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Debate Teacher Receives National Outstanding Educator Award

Posted Date: 06/03/2020

Debate Teacher Receives National Outstanding Educator Award

June 25, 2019—Mellessa Denny from Amarillo High School has been named the Outstanding Speech, Debate & Theatre Educator for Section 6 by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

This award is presented to educators who have made overall contributions to educating students in speech, debate or theatre, have served in both curricular and co-curricular activities, have organized and continued an activity program, made significant and on-going contributions to the field and have contributed to the profession both in and out of state.

The Section 6 honoree represents the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arkansas. Nationally, only 8 honorees are chosen. With only one nomination allowed for each state, Denny was nominated by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) to represent Texas. UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said Denny is “exactly the type of individual the UIL wishes to celebrate. Having participated in our activities as a student [she is] acutely aware of the value these activities provide to both the student and to the school they represent,” according to a new release.

A veteran educator, Denny has more than 20 years of experience teaching speech and debate. A number of her students have gone on to participate in regional and state competitions. In addition to teaching, Denny currently serves as the Fine Arts Department Chair and UIL Academic Coordinator for AHS. In the past, she was president of the Texas Speech Communication Association and was a recipient of the 2018 UIL Sponsor Excellence Award.