Calculating the win: All girls UIL accounting team heads to state

Vandegrift seniors L-R: Kaylen Taylor, Miranda Saenz, Brooke Moore, and Sydney Paul advance to the UIL Regional competition over the weekend. Submitted by Candace Nassa


Vandegrift Voice

For the first time ever, the UIL accounting team is made up only of girls, and the team is heading to state after last weekend’s performance.

Previous teams have traditionally consisted of one to two males, but these four girls from Candace Nassar’s accounting class have made Vandegrift history. Seniors Miranda Saenz, Brooke Moore and Kaylen Taylor and senior captain Sydney Paul advanced to the UIL Regional competition on April 23 at The University of Texas at San Antonio. 

“We were 2nd runner up as a team but were able to advance to state because we were the highest scoring 2nd place team in the state! It’s called the wildcard team,” Nassar said. 

The team also placed 2nd and 3rd in the overall individual competition. Moore was 2nd and Paul placed 3rd.

“The girls were awesome and we had so much fun,” Nassar added.

They have been practicing previous to the start of UIL, and will continue to represent Vandegrift with their best foot forward. 

“I chose to join the team because I thought it seemed like an interesting way to apply what we’re learning in class in a different format,” Taylor said. “Sydney, the captain, was on the team last year as well and she told me how much fun it was which convinced me to join.”

A typical competition starts with a team meeting an hour prior for test prep and review. After that, the test begins, running about an hour long. The test consists of different puzzles related to accounting that the girls must solve.

“What’s cool about the dynamic of our team is that it’s all girls who compete,” Taylor said. “We’re all seniors and plan to do something with accounting in college, so it’s super easy to talk to and relate with each other.”

During the test, the girls must remember all the content and topics they’ve learned in their class. For example, they are given financial documents with missing information, and they must work backwards to figure out the missing numbers. The test usually contains true or false questions and multiple choice sections.

“I’ve had a really great time being on the team this year,” Paul said. “Last year when I competed on the team I was the only junior, so getting to have weekly in-person meetings [this year] has been so much more fun. We are all seniors so having similar goals has brought us together.”

Each girl competes individually but each is also scored holistically on both an individual and team level. 

“My favorite part of competing is taking the actual test,” Taylor said. “I love accounting and puzzles, and these tests are a fun way of combining the two. It’s also so cool to see people from other schools who are also interested in accounting and come from different backgrounds as us.”

To prepare for the district competition the girls met every Thursday during PIT to practice. Moving into the regional competition, they have been meeting every Tuesday after school in addition to the Thursday PIT practices. 

“My favorite memory has been spending time with my teammates and Mrs. Nassar,” Paul said. “We always have a good time in practice. I’ve especially enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Nassar better. She’s the reason that I love accounting and her teaching has inspired us all to pursue this career.”

As they make school history by being the first all-female accounting team to compete, this experience has launched greater aspirations.

“Being on the UIL team is what proved to me that accounting was what I wanted to pursue in the future,” Paul said. “I was able to explore my interest in accounting in a fun way while competing alongside my friends. I loved being a part of this team and I’m excited to continue studying accounting in college next year because of this experience.”

Arabella Villarroel is a VHS junior and she loves to dance and is in the Vision Dance Company. She also loves to bake, read, write and everything Disney!