Cypress, TX News – Cypress Creek Debate Teacher Wins Statewide Awards

Cypress, TX News (June 12, 2015) – Cypress Creek High School speech and debate teacher Scott Baker recently received two prestigious national awards for his work as a speech and debate coach.

Cypress Creek High School speech and debate teacher Scott Baker displays the NFHS Outstanding Speech, Debate and Theatre Educator Award he was presented at the UIL Academic State Meet in May

Cypress Creek High School speech and debate teacher Scott Baker displays the NFHS Outstanding Speech, Debate and Theatre Educator Award he was presented at the UIL Academic State Meet in May


First, Baker was recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) with the 2014-2015 Outstanding Speech, Debate and Theatre Educator Award. The organization takes nominations from all its member organizations and then has an advisory committee that reviews each application to determine winners. Baker was chosen by the University Interscholastic League as its Texas nominee and was one of 20 recipients from across the country who was honored.

“Scott is a pillar in the speech and debate community at the district, region, state and national levels,” said UIL Speech & Debate Director Jana Riggins. “He exemplifies all the characteristics of an outstanding educator.”

Riggins said that a primary reason that Baker was chosen by UIL for this honor is because he not only focuses on his own program’s success but selflessly goes out of his way to support others in speech and debate. Baker was recognized by the UIL at the organization’s Academic State Meet at the University of Texas at Austin May 26-28.

NFHS is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Through its 50-member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million student participants in interscholastic activities.

Baker also has been honored by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) with his Third Diamond Award for excellence in coaching after earning 8,162 points on April 30.

The Diamond Award recognizes a professional career that combines distinction and longevity. The NSDA, the honor society for speech and debate, gives points to students for their tournament participation. Coaches are credited one-tenth of the points earned by their students. A coach earns his or her first Diamond Award after teaching for at least five years and after earning 1,500 points. A second diamond is earned at 3,000 points and a third at 6,000 points. Five years must pass between each diamond, marking both the success and career dedication of the coach.

Baker will be honored by the NSDA during its diamond ceremony at the Speech & Debate National Championship in June in Dallas, where more than 5,000 students, teachers and parents are expected to be in attendance.

“The award was given for 15 years of dedication and service, and these 15 years have been full of memories and students and experiences that are far beyond any kind of recognition and award,” said Baker, who is leaving to take a college position after serving at Jersey Village, Cypress Ridge and Cypress Creek high schools. “It is nice to have this recognition as I transition to teaching on the college level.”