Carnegie is a school that has always been known for and taken pride in its stellar academics. The school is ranked sixth in the nation (according to the US News Report), and has the test scores to back the high ranking up. But does Carnegie take pride in its athletics? That question has been asked quite a bit recently, especially when HISD decided to challenge the continuation of UIL sports at Carnegie. This move would not allow those in cross country, baseball, tennis, and volleyball to compete at the highest level. Although these sports could continue at the club level (in which they would play in a recreational league often set up by other high school teachers), losing UIL sports would also make Carnegie lose a lot of future applicants.
When a school loses UIL it also loses funding, access to various tournaments, and college scouting. Even though some college scouts also attend non-UIL Texas sporting events, it is rare, especially when you already have colleges feeding off the pool of athletes from schools such as Lamar and Bellaire, who compete in UIL sports. The lack of recruiting exposure will turn a lot of kids who are aiming for an athletic scholarship in addition to excellent academics away from Carnegie. If Carnegie allows UIL sports to be eliminated, our school will also lose the diversity that makes it so great. If we were to lose UIL sports, we would be labeling ourselves as “the academic school”, and while we ARE the academic school, we are also so much more than that! We would then only interest students solely focused on academics. With UIL sports we are able to let future applicants know that this is a school that encourages students to excel in everything they do.
Our principal, Ramon Moss, said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that we are a well rounded school due to the many extracurricular activities, including UIL sports, that students can participate in. After school activities like robotics, theatre, and sports help Carnegie students not only become gifted learners, but also well rounded and disciplined people. In addition, many people forget that after-school sports often act as a stress reliever for students. In 2015, most people recognize that exercise is so important for our health and learning. Being ranked the ninth “most challenging” school in the nation (according to the Washington Post), the words “stress” and “relief” are not often used in the same sentence at Carnegie. So if a Carnegie student finds his or herself in the rare situation where some of the stress that burdens them can be relieved… why not let that continue? Sports are a way many students here unwind after a strenuous day at school.
As parents, students, and faculty of Carnegie, it would be in the best interest of everyone to keep our UIL sports alive and well. Even if you personally do not participate in, support, or even care about our sports teams, you should still try to help just for the sake of letting kids continue to do what makes them happy. And who knows, maybe they will return the favor by bringing some trophies back to Carnegie.
Sign this petition to help, or contact HISD officials to let them know your concern.