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New Heads of Category Appointed!

After many hours of evaluation and deliberation, NHI at Tip of Texas is excited to announce that we have selected the individuals who will serve as the Head Coaches of each category.

Applicants were selected based on the extent of their prior involvement with the organization, the leadership capabilities they demonstrated throughout said involvement, and their understanding and ability to apply the principles of Immersive-Disruptive Learning as reflected in the nine-hour curriculum all candidates were asked to submit.



Stephanie Vela was an Elite-Eight finalist at the 2019 Texas Great Debate, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and the author of one of the five pieces of legislation passed at the 2021 California LDZ, and is presently a senior at Veterans Memorial High School.

"I am extremely excited about serving as the Head Coach of Mock Trial this year," she said. "I hope the Mock Trial staff and I are able to have a positive impact on the incoming participants and contribute to their journey to success on becoming future leaders."


Paola Rodriguez was a Final Four finalist at the 2019 Texas Great Debate. After the program, she went on to serve as a coach for the 2019 Ambassador Great Debate, a JFL Fellow at the 2020 GDx, and most recently was a member of Governor's Cabinet at the 2021 California Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session. She is presently a senior at Mathematics and Science Academy at The University of The Rio Grande Valley

"NHI influences students' leadership from the beginning of high school with an unforgettable learning experience that cannot be found anywhere but here," she said. "This season, I hope to help students grow into successful future leaders through NHI’s foundation. Every year, students come back to continue their involvement at The Tip Of Texas because of the positive impact, endless friendships, and opportunities NHI has to offer."


Octavio Alvarado Huerta participated in the 2019 Texas Great Debate and is presently a senior at Veterans Memorial Early College High School.

"It's always a surprise when it comes to Oratory, we're constantly filled with participants who have so much potential," he said. "As head coach of this category, I believe that it's our job as coaches to help participants reach their fullest potential in becoming outstanding Orators. I'm excited for this upcoming season and am ready to take on whatever Oratory awaits."

Mildred Verlage participated and was a Final-Four finalist at the 2019 Texas Great Debate and is presently a Senior at Saint Joseph Academy.

"I am so thankful and thrilled for the opportunity to continue to shape the lives of the future young leaders of our community," she said. "We don't only prepare our participants for the Great Debate, but also for the challenges that they will face in the future."


Audrey Berryman participated and was in the Extemporaneous Speaking Final Four at the 2020 GDx, a Senator and voted most promising leader at the 2021 California LDZ, and is currently a junior at Veterans Memorial Early College High School.

"Although it's rigorous and takes plenty of dedication, I hope the Great Debate and the preparation leading up to it is an unforgettable experience that will motivate the youth to be the leaders of today," she said.


In the next couple of months leading up to the beginning of training, these individuals will train and meet with the members of their staff to prepare for the upcoming season.


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