On Tuesday, May 24 and Wednesday, May 25, Shelbyville High School student Ava Silva competed in the U.I.L. state speech tournament in extemporaneous informative speaking in Austin, Texas. According to the U.I.L. handbook, “The purpose of this contest is to stimulate an active interest in current affairs at the state, national and international levels, and to teach the student to present facts extemporaneously in a clear and impartial manner. This contest is an exercise in clear thinking and informing the public on the issues and concerns of the American people. The objective is to orally present information in an interesting way.” Ava Silva was awarded the title of state champion for her speech presentation over Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Shelbyville Speech and Debate was also awarded the prestigious honor of being the second highest ranked speech team in the state of Texas. This is Ava’s third state medal this school year and first time to be awarded champion. She has also placed 3rd in cross-examination debate with her partner Aubree Camp and 3rd in congress. She is coached by her mother, Emily Sowell.