Mr. Konda's debate class was the first class I walked into my freshman year. I had just moved to this town the day before, and I was the "new kid." So, walking into that class I knew it was going to be hard. With the nature of debate you have to talk with your peers, and I knew no one. Fast forward to conferences, Mr. Konda told my mom and I about the debate team. Although I was a little hesitant at first, I decided to join it. What I didn't know at the time was that Mr. Konda had just helped me discover my debate family, my strongest pillar of support for the next four years of my high school career. Through debate, I made life-long friends but I also learned how to amplify my voice and discovered my passion for advocacy. If it wasn't for Mr. Konda, I would have never found my voice.
After joining the debate team, Mr. Konda quickly became more than just my debate teacher, he became my mentor, someone I look up to. Although I wasn’t one of his brightest debaters, he worked with me every step of the way to ensure that I was reaching my full potential. He always pushed me to work harder and believed in my abilities even when I didn’t myself. All my accomplishments in debate I owe to him because he saw me at my worst, and never gave up on me. He has played a significant role in the person that I am today. Growing up in an Indian family, I was always told that you have to be perfect, Mr. Konda taught me that it’s okay to not be perfect, and what matters is that I am trying my hardest. When my personal life was overwhelmed with uncertainty he was always there to show me the bright side and to remind me that everything will be okay in the end.
Mr. Konda embodies the word dedication, he spends hours within his classroom and outside to ensure every kid knows the impact of their voice. Mr. Konda is invested in every single one of his debaters and makes us a priority. He serves many roles within our school, he teaches debate and an array of social studies classes, he is the head coach of our speech and debate team and he is the advisor of our FBLA chapter. He is also one of the strongest advocates for education within our community. Mr. Konda leads by example and develops emerging leaders through his service to our community.
Mr. Konda showed me the power of teachers, he rewrote my story and he turned what I thought would be the“worst 4 years of my life” to “the most precious 4 years of my life.”
Abiah S. George