LHS alum returns to the flock

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Photo courtesy of JPF

  LHS alum John P. Fugler will be returning to teach at LHS and co-coach speech and debate with head debate coach Rory Mckenzie. 

  “Lindale is a special place for me because it’s where I discovered my love for learning, writing, and forensics,” Fugler said.  “I am honored to return to a school that helped shape me.”

  When Fugler attended as a student he was involved in speech and debate and UIL academic events.  Other activities include being a staff member on the Eagle Eye and competing in One-Act Play.  

  “Lindale holds a special place in my heart,” Fugler said.  “As a teenager, all of my friends spoke about how much they couldn’t wait to leave Lindale. I was never that way.  Lindale is my home and I have traveled enough to know it is truly one-of-a-kind.”

  Fugler has a past with both head debate coach Rory Mckenzie and “graduating” coach Mrs. Caldwell.  Fugler and Mckenzie both were in speech and debate and served on the Eagle Eye staff.  Caldwell was Fugler’s debate coach all four years of his high school career.  

  “Not everyone gets to work with their best friend,” Fugler said. “The position at Lindale affords me that opportunity.  Mr. McKenzie and I are both at the beginnings of our careers. Getting to grow together and mold the team as we gain expertise is exciting.”

  Both debate coaches have coached and had students compete at the National Speech and Debate tournament held during the summer, as well as coached kids who have become Texas state champions.  Jacob Savage of Van High School, coached by Fugler, won both first place in Original Oratory and Persuasive Speaking at various debate tournaments.  Mackenzie Marquess of Van High School has also won first place in LD at various tournaments.

  “Our paths have crossed repeatedly and we have developed a friendship around forensics competition,” Mckenzie said.  “We share lesson plans, ideas and a love of ‘room escape adventures.’ It’s exciting to look forward and consider what we might be capable of as a team.”

  While Mckenzie specializes in coaching events such as Extemporaneous Speaking and Policy Debate, Fugler will focus on individual events such as Original Oratory and Lincoln-Douglas Debate.  

  “My strengths complement Mr. McKenzie’s,” Fugler said.  “The idea is that we will split the events between us and specialize in our strengths.  I’m hoping my addition will allow some students to focus on events and circuits where I have more experience.  I count it as a blessing that I will hopefully get to do the same for my future students at Lindale High School.”