After former speech and debate coach, Debbie Begley’s retirement at the end of last year, Timber Creek was in need of a replacement for the inspirational and hardworking teacher. Then came along Timber Creek Alumni, Alyson Neeley, to fill Begley’s shoes.

Neely graduated in the class of 2013 at Timber Creek. Speech and Debate has always been Neeley’s passion. She joined in 2009, when Timber Creek first opened. She was on the Speech and Debate team freshman, sophomore, and senior year.

“I knew pretty quickly that I was gonna wanna come back and teach here,” Neeley said. “Mrs. Begley was the coach at the time and really helped me find a love for speech and debate. Helping those students be successful making them kind of feel comfortable, kinda come out of their shell is super important.”

The Speech and Debate team has taken on quite a few members this year especially. They hold practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and would love to have new members join the team. The team is also looking for a student to create the design for their team shirts, so if any students are interested they can contact Neeley at

One of the main focuses of the team is to make all the members feel like they belong and are contributing.

“Making sure they feel welcome, and find their place in our team, is really important to me,” said Neeley. “But also helping those seniors take full advantaged of the year that we have.”

It felt strange to Neeley to teach at the school she graduated from, and seeing teaches that taught her when she went here.

Neeley commented that even though she wasn’t the best student at Timber Creek, she wants to change that image of herself. She aims to give her students the same unique opportunity that she received while involved in Speech and Debate.

“Timber Creek definitely feels like home,” Neeley said. “I’ve always been super involved, so it feels good to come back.”