• This page no longer contains updated or relevant information pertaining to our Club or Team. However, due to its significane to our past, we have kept the page in homage and as a historical record. 

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    Check out the National Forensic League for team and individual standings. 

    Kempner Speech Team Headed to Nationals

    May 3, 2013

    The Kempner Speech and Debate team did the best they’ve ever done at the National Forensic League district meet.  Two Kempner students will be headed to the National Forensic League national tournament in Birmingham, Alabama on June 16-21, 2013.  Hoai My took first place in Humorous Interpretation and will be competing at nationals with her piece, Pocahontas.  Shane O’Dwyer will be competing in national extemporaneous speaking.  There were many alternates.  Ryhan Chowdhury advanced to finals in United States Extemp, Fatima Qadri and Hoai My in Duo Interpretation, Azam Baig in International Extemp, Evan Rossi in Dramatic Interpretation, and Bradley Iwe in Humorous Interpretation.  Coach William Mason will also receive his Second Diamond Award at Nationals for ten years of coaching a large, successful team.

    Photo: Left to Right – Shane O’Dwyer, Ryhan Chowdhury, Hoai My, Evan Rossi, Fatima Qadri


    UIL Academic Competitor Advances to State

    Shane O’Dwyer advanced to the UIL Academic State meet in Informative Speaking.  He represents Kempner and Fort Bend ISD in Austin, Texas on May 20, 2013. 

    The Kempner UIL Academic Team competed at the District Meet at Bush High School in April and Kempner students advanced to the top ten in Fort Bend ISD.  Coached by Ms. Rhodes, The Spelling and Vocabulary Team of Miguel Bitonga, Zahmen Kugshia, Maleeha Ali, and Rehab Hussein, took second place overall.   Miguel Bitonga took first place in that event and advanced to the Regional meet at Cyprus Woods High School.  Robert Cypruss placed in the top ten in Mathematics in Fort Bend ISD.  Coached by Ms. Stevenson, Esosa Ehonba took 5th place in Ready Writing.  Coached by Mr. Mason, Harris Khowaja took 4th Place in Informative Speaking, Azam Baig took 5th in Persuasive Speaking, Evan Rossi took 6th Place in Prose Interpretation.  Kempner is proud of the coaches and students who work hard to compete against the best in the district in academic events.

    Photo (L to R): Ms. Rhodes, Mr. Mason, Miguel Bitonga, Zahmen Kugshia, Rehab Hussein, Shane O’Dwyer, Maleeha Ali, Robert Cyprus, Azam Baig, Esosa Ehonba, Ms. Stevenson.


    Kempner Speech and Debate Team Competes at State Meet

    Photo (L to R): Mr. William Mason, Bradley Iwe, Washma Anwar, Evan Rossi, Danielle Fournier, Chris Sabbagh, Ryhan Chowdhury, Vincent Nguyen, Azam Baig, Shane O'Dwyer, Fatima Qadri, Moiz Rizvi, Hoai My, Armaan Bhimani.

    National Forensic League - Press Release

    IH Kempner High School Students Earn NFL's Highest Rank

    Ripon, Wisconsin - May 3,2012

    Jordan Huynh and Eric Diep, under the guidance of William Mason, have earned the degree of Premier Distinction— the National Forensic League's highest degree of student membership. A degree of Premier Distinction reflects sustained excellence in classroom activities, competition rounds, and service projects. Students may earn points in six separate categories: speech, debate, congress, service, district, and national.

    A total of 80 high school students earned the degree of Premier Distinction between March 15, 2012, and April 15, 2012, placing them among the top half of one percent of NFL student members.
    Jordan Huynh and Eric Diep attend I.H. Kempner High School in Sugar Land, TX.

    About the NFL
    The National Forensic League (NFL) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit honorary society whose mission is to promote high school and middle school speech and debate activities as a means to develop a student's essential life skills and values. More than 120,000 high school and middle school students, representing nearly 3,000 schools nationwide, are currently building their communication, leadership, cognitive, and presentational skills as members. Since 1925, more than 1.3 million students have found their voice in the NFL. 
    For more information, visit www.NFLonline.org.

    National Qualifiers 2012 - June 13-18, Indianapolis, Indiana


    Trisha Obinyan - Duet Acting

    Chinaza Okeke - Duet Acting

    Brandon Daniels - Public Forum Debate

    Eric Diep - Public Forum Debate


    UIL State Qualifier 2012

    Eric Diep qualified for the UIL State tournament in Persuasive Speaking.  Azam Baig took the first alternate spot in Lincoln Douglas Debate.  They will be competing at the University of Texas in Austin in May 2012.

    For the Second Year in a Row Kempner took the Overall Speech Team champion for Fort Bend ISD, April 2012


    Regional Qualifiers were: Jordan Huynh - Persuasive Speaking; Eric Diep - Persuasive Speaking; Azam Baig - LD Debate;  Brandon Daniels - Informative Speaking; Stephanie Gutierrez (Alt) - Poetry; Evan Rossi - Poetry.

    Kempner wins State Championship in Debate

    Two seniors at Kempner High School, Eric Diep and Brandon Daniels, became the state champions in Public Forum debate at the Texas Forensic Association State tournament held in Amarillo, TX on March 1-3, 2012. Both students received plaques and a $500 scholarship for their hard-fought accomplishment. Eric and Brandon debated eleven rounds, beating out all of the best Public Forum debaters in the state of Texas. Their Speech and Debate sponsor, Will Mason, is so proud of these students, as this is the first time that Kempner has ever had a state champion in any speaking event.

    Other honors received include Jordan Huynh breaking into the finals round in two events taking fifth in the state in foreign extemporaneous speaking and seventh in student congress. Jonathan Adams broke to the semis round in Poetry making him one of the top fourteen poetry readers in the state. Overall, an unprecedented fifteen students from Kempner High School qualified for the state tournament including Eric Diep, Brandon Daniels, Jordan Huynh, Azam Baig, Rafael Acosta, Shane O’Dwyer, Trisha Obinyan, Chinaza Okeke, Danyal Rizvi, Moiz Rizvi, Bradley Iwe, Ryhan Chowdhury, Jonathan Adams, Chris Sabbagh and Michael Mangione.

    The state Competition included over 1600 of the best speakers and debaters from across Texas competing in speaking, acting and debate events. Students qualify for the state tournament by breaking to finals rounds at practice tournaments between August and February. All competitors work hard preparing for and competing at these two day tournaments to qualify.


    National Qualifiers 2011 - June 13-18 in Dallas, Texas


    Eric Diep - Public Forum Debate, Foreign Extemp

    Hira Baig - Public Forum Debate

    Stephanie Calvino - Original Oratory

    State Qualifiers 2011 - March 13, 2011 in Flower Mound, TX


    Eric Diep - Foreign Extemp, Public Forum

    Hira Baig - Foreign Extemp, Public Forum

    Jonathan Adams - Poetry

    Michael Mangione - Lincoln Douglas Debate

    Brandon Daniels - Public Forum Debate

    Jordan Huynh - Student Congress

    Greg Fournier - Student Congress

    Eric Diep and Hira Baig advanced to Quarters in Public Forum debate; Hira advanced to semis in  Extemporaneous Speaking.

    Kempner became the Overall Speech Team champion for Fort Bend ISD

    April 2011

    Advancing to Regionals were Jonathan Adams, Lianne Martin, and Merlin Daniel (Alternate) in Prose; Nsela Ndando in Poetry.  The Prose and Poetry teams were coached by Ms. Rachel Gutierrez.  Hira Baig advanced in Informative Speaking and Eric Diep in Lincoln-Douglas Debate and Persuasive Speaking. 

    http://www.sugarlandmagazine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/KSD_Lamar_Cons_20111028.jpgThe Kempner High School Speech and Debate team won first place sweepstakes at the Lamar Consolidated tournament on October 28, 2011.  In addition to winning more than thirty trophies, several students qualified to compete at the TFA State tournament. 

    The team has already qualified ten students for the TFA State tournament.  That’s more qualifications than the team has ever had.  On November 19, Chinaza Okeke and Trisha Obinyan qualified for state in Duet Acting.  Already qualified for the TFA state are Eric Diep, Brandon Daniels, Jordan Huynh, Shane O’Dwyer, Rafael Acosta, Michael Mangione, Chris Sabbagh, and Azam Baig.  These students will be competing in various events such as Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Student Congress, Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory.  The state tournament will be held in Amarillo, Texas in March 1-3, 2012.

    This year, the team hopes to become the top UIL Speech team in Fort Bend ISD for the second year in a row.  For the past three years, the Speech and Debate team has had students advance to the National tournament.  In June of 2011 Hira Baig, Eric Diep and Stephanie Calvino competed in Dallas, Texas.  Eric and Hira were ranked in the top 35 of Public Forum debaters in the United States.  Eric Diep, a senior, is currently ranked in the top fifty debaters in the nation and twelfth in the state of Texas. kempnersd@earthlink.net or through Kempner High School. 


    Kempner Takes 2nd Place Sweepstakes at W.B. Ray tournament in Corpus Christi, Texas.

    November 8, 2010

    National Qualifiers 2010 - June 13-18 in Kansas City, Missouri


    Angela Chin - Public Forum Debate

    Hira Baig - Public Forum Debate

    Amala Chacko - Alternate in Original Oratory


    Hira and Angela placed in the top 35 in the nation after advancing to round nine.


    State Qualifiers 2010 - March 13, 2011 in ElPaso, TX
    Four students broke to elimination rounds at state.  Mehreen Jamal broke to quarters in Prose, Eric Diep broke to semis in Impromptu Speaking, Angela Chin broke to quarters in Domestic Extemp, and Hira Baig broke to quarters in Impromptu Speaking.

    Nationals 2009

    National Qualifiers 2009 - June 14-19 in Burmingham, Alabama
    Kempner students return from Alabama Nationals tournament

    Two Kempner High School students and a coach returned in June from a national speech and debate competition in Birmingham, Alabama. 
    Each year since 1931, the National Forensic League has been inviting top high school debaters together for an international competition in 13 speech and debate events.  This year the event was held in Birmingham, Ala. from June 14 to 19, and two students from Kempner High School competed in the competition.  Fort Bend ISD took a total of 13 students from Kempner, Elkins, Clements and Hightower to compete with the best of the best in the nation.
    Mirza Baig, a senior this year and Hira Baig, a junior, both competed in the Public Forum debate arguing the topic of U.S. relations with Cuba. They competed against 1,195 teams from 50 states, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Saipan.  The National Forensic League also recognized Rachael Gutierrez, Kempner’s UIL Coordinator, as a "diamond key coach" due to her students' high performances over the years. Coaches receive one-tenth of their students' points, and Ms. Gutierrez former students have received over 15,000 points since she started coaching.  Mr. Mason, the current debate coach, received his diamond key award last year at the Las Vegas Nationals.
    "I am so proud of our team this year." said Will Mason, “The students have shown great motivation to do well and this has translated to success.  Hira and Mirza exemplify what this kind of competition is all about.”


    UIL State Qualifier 2009

    Stephanie Tran advanced to the UIL State meet in Poetry.   This is Kempner High School's first state qualifier in speech and debate events.  Stephanie is planning to attend the University of Texas at Austin and spends much of her time figure skating.

    Advancing to the UIL Regional Meet this year were Joe Green in Current Events and Nipa Patel in Computer Applications.

    Kempner Speech and Debate Joins the NFL 100 Club

    The Kempner Speech and Debate team was awarded membership into the “100 Club” by the National Forensic League this year.  This puts Kempner in the top ten percent of Speech and Debate teams in the nation.   

    The students have been working hard to compete at Houston area tournaments and here are some of the results.   Bradley Iwe, Christine Nguyen, Chandra Kovvali, Merlin Daniel, Nipa Patel, Nicole Yeung, Vy Nguyen, and Stephanie Tran have broken to finals in various acting events.  Eric Diep, Jeffrey Ihaza and Angela Chin and Amala Chacko have gone to finals in speaking events as have Hira Baig and Jordan Huynh in Congressional Debate.  Mahek Bhojani, Mirza Baig, Tina Joseph, Eric Diep, Angela Chin, Moiz Rizvi and Stephanie Calvino have broken to finals in debate, just to name a few.  Mehreen Jamal and Jeffrey Ihaza placed first in Public Forum debate and are qualified for the State tournament in El Paso this March.

    TFA State 2009

    TFA State Qualifiers 2009


    Kendrice James - Student Congress/Poetry;

    Samah Lateef - Duet Acting;

    Hiba Siddiqui - Duet;

    Hira Baig - Public Forum;

    Mirza Baig - Public Forum

    Scarborough H.S. 2008

    National Forensic League Diamond Coach Award


    The National Forensic League is proud to announce that William Mason from I. H. Kempner High School, TX, has earned a first diamond. Mr. Mason attained a total of 1,763 points on October 10, 2007. Coaches receive one tenth of their student's points. Under Mr. Mason's instructions, his students earned over 17,630 credit points. Coaches qualify for membership and advanced degrees according to the same schedule provided for students and must apply and pay a membership fee. Coaches who obtained membership as a student can request their points be added to their coaching record. One-tenth of the points earned as a student will be transferred without application or fee.

    In June, William Mason will receive special recognition at the Lincoln Financial Group/NFL National Tournament. This year's Desert Lights National Tournament will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 15-20,2008 and will draw 2,700 students and 1,500 coaches, school administrators and parents. The National Speech Tournament has been held continuously since 1931 (except for the W.W. il years) and has appeared on the approved list of the National Association of Secondary School Principals National Advisory List of Contests and Activities since origination of the list.

    The National Forensic League is a non-partisan, not for profit educational honor society founded in 1925 by Bruno E. Jacob at Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin. Its purpose is to encourage and motivate high school students to participate in and become proficient in the forensic arts: debate, public speaking, and interpretation.

    Since its founding, NFL has enrolled over 1,264,888 members in all fifty states, U.S. possessions and several foreign countries. Currently over 93,000 high school students and over 6,500 high school teachers are active members.

    2007 State Qualifiers


    State Qualifers 2007


    Zahra Ahmad - Student Congress; Susana Svojsik - Congress; Destiny Edokpa - Dramatic Interp; Amanda Nunez - LD Debate

    Kempner Takes 3rd Place Individual Sweeps at Scarborough H.S.

    November 17-18, 2006


    Kempner High School took the 3rd Place Individual Sweepstakes at the Scarborough Tournament in Houston.  Kempner placed 4th over all and Emmanuel Hampton took home the Outstanding Performer trophy.  Here are the results.

    Extemporaneous Speaking: Susana Svojsik – 4th, Emmanuel Hampton – 7th

    Impromptu Speaking: Emmanuel Hampton – 3rd, Zahra Ahmad – 5th, Shanup Dalal – 5th, Joe Wearden – 7th

    Prose Interpretation: Rohan D’Cruz – 5th, Andrew Nunez – 6th, Brittany Christa – 7th, Kayla Henderson – 8th

    Dramatic Interpretation: Destiny Edokpa – 7th

    Duet Acting: Sama Lateef & Hiba Siddiqui – 5th; Andrew Nunez & Amanda Nunez – 6th

    Duet Improv: Justin Salazar & Tammie Tse – 3rd; Brittany Christa & Jim Scofield – 5th; Sama Lateef & Hiba Siddiqui – 7th

    Impromptu Poetry: Brittany Christa – 1st; Destiny Edokpa – 3rd; Zaid Siddiqui – 6th

    Student Congress: Susana Svojsik – 4th; Emily Lian – 7th

    Debate: Kimberly Pagarigan – 2nd Place Speaker Award; Amala Chacko – Octos; Mehreen Jamal – Octos; Joe Wearden & Emmanuel Hampton – 3rd; Kimberly Pagarigan & Kayla Henderson – Quarters; Waqaar Diwan & Alec Morton – Quarters

    Kempner takes 2nd Place Sweepstakes at Westside H.S.- October 6, 2006


    The finalists were Emanuel Hampton, Amanda Nunez, Auri Jalili, Sanayya Sohail, Zahra Ahmad, Ebad Jangda, Ismail Mohiuddin, Justin Salazar, Tammie Tse, Susana Svojsik, Joesph Wearden, Thomas Pierce, Andrew Nunez, Rohan D’Cruz, Kendrice James, Zahra Ahmad


    See the results here!

    Kempner Speech and Debate qualifies for NFL Nationals - June 27, 2006 in Dallas, Texas

         Kempner High School’s speech and debate team continued it’s tradition of excellence as one member, senior Becky Scofield, qualified for the National Forensic League’s (NFL) national competition held June 18-23 in Grapevine.  This was Kempner’s first time to qualify for NFL Nationals.

         Scofield qualified for Student Congress to represent the South Texas District in the House.  This year marks the fourth time Becky has competed at the district level.

         The team took more than 20 students to the NFL district tournament, the precursor to NFL Nationals, at the University of Houston April 27-29.  Approximately 30 schools were present.   

         “Districts is always challenging,” said Kempner speech and debate coach Will Mason.  “I’m very proud of all of them.  The team came together and worked very hard this year.  Competing at this level is a major achievement.”
         Scofield plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin next year.

    Kempner Qualifies Six for TFA State - March 2, 2006

    Kempner Speech and Debate team qualified six students for the Texas Forensic Association State tournament held in Pharr, Texas on March 2-4 this year.  Students qualify for state by competing at tournaments throughout the year. Left to Right:

    Jason Cockerham - Dramatic Interpretation

    Becky Scofield - Foreign Extemp and LD Debate

    Nicole Sorrels - Student Congress

    Adam Alonso - Domestic Extemp

    Taylor Kilroy - CX Debate

    Tariq Gulamhusein - CX Debate

    Kempner Takes Third Place Sweepstakes at Needville H.S. Tournament - 2006

    Twenty Kempner High School students were awarded the third place sweepstakes trophy at the Needville state qualifying speech and debate tournament. Adam Alonso was awarded trophies in Extemporaneous Speaking, Student Congress, Humorous Interpretation and Impromptu Speaking; Taylor Kilroy and Tariq Gulamhusein took first place and Auri Jalili and Sherry Ramji took third place in Cross Examination Debate; Nicole Sorrels was awarded first place in Poetry;  Susana Svojsik took first place in Extemporaneous speaking in the novice division; Becky Scofield advanced to elimination rounds in Debate as did Shalin Dalal; Jason Cockerham was awarded a finalist trophy in Prose; Yarickza Shirley took fifth place in Dramatic Interpretation.  Thus far, Becky Scofield, Taylor Kilroy, Tariq Gulamhusein and Adam Alonso have qualified for the state tournament to be held in Pharr, Texas in March. 

    TFA State Qualifiers 2005

    Kempner High School Qualified Six Students for the Texas Forensic Association State Tournament held March 3rd - 5th in El Paso, Texas. Their Hard work certainly paid off. Students qualify for state by earning points by advancing to the finals rounds in tournaments across the state.
    Megha Agrawal - Student Congress
    Antione Jean - Student Congress (not shown)
    Tariq Gulamhusein - Cross Examination Debate
    Hani Mirza - Cross Examination Debate
    Shireen Nasir - Lincoln-Douglas Debate
    Becky Scofield - Lincoln-Douglas Debate

    NFL Congress Team 2005

    NFL Student Congress Team: Antione Jean, Taylor Kilroy, Noor Himani, Zahra Asrar, Becky Scofield, Tariq Gulamhusein, Hani Mirza and Haseeb Jangda. Held April 16th, 2005 at Westfield High School.

    NFL 2005 District Team

    Left to Right: Becky Scofield, Hani Mirza, Noor Himani, Zafar Ishaq, Taylor Kilroy, Jason Cockerham, Jonathan Morales, Yarickza Shirley, Zahra Asrar, Destiny Edokpa, Nicole Sorrels, Joseph Wearden, Haseeb Jangda (not shown)
    District Competition Results
    Becky Scofield: 4th Place - LD Debate
    Joseph Wearden and Hani Mirza - 4th Place - Public Forum Debate
    Destiny Edokpa - Semis - Dramatic Interpretion

    TFA State Qualifiers 2004


    Megha Agrawal, Student Congress

    Irfan Siddiqui, Extemporaneous Speaking

    Simin Sun, Extemporaneous Speaking

    Becky Scofield, LD Debate

    Fariha Khan, Student Congress

    TFA State Qualifiers 2003

    Coach, William Mason; Rupak Gandhi, Rebekah Kratochvil, Bassam Tariq, Armand Jawanmardi, Katie Scofield