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MPISD – News

(L to R): Maleah Duenez, Linzy Walker, Jeffrey Bond, Madison Zepeda, and Kristina Tidwell

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPJH students selected for All-Region Choir

Five Mount Pleasant Junior High School choir students have earned places in the Junior High All-Region Choir. To achieve a place in the choir, each singer had to learn three selections and sing parts of each in a blind audition. Auditions were recorded and submitted in December for judging online.

Those selected include eighth-graders Jeffrey Bond (soprano), Maleah Duenez (alto), Kristina Tidwell (soprano), Linzy Walker (alto), and Madison Zepeda (alto). The second year in a row for them to select Bond and Walker to the All-Region Choir.  

“I couldn’t be prouder of the choir students at MPJH,” said Junior High Choir Director Joshua Miles. “Their hard work, dedication, and efforts at after-school rehearsals have paid off. I can’t wait to see everything else they accomplish this year and the years to come.”


Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPISD students advance to state Destination Imagination competition

Eleven Mount Pleasant Independent School District Destination Imagination (DI) teams competed virtually against over 100 teams from the East Texas region of DI. Six MPISD teams brought home medals for their efforts and are advancing to the virtual state tournament, the Lone Star Finals, in April. The second consecutive year that the elementary level teams represented MPISD at the state tournament.

A Destination Imagination Team Challenge is an open-ended project that teams work on over an extended period, usually 2-4 months. Each year, there are seven new Team Challenges: Engineering, Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning Challenge (Rising Stars!).

Placing second and advancing to state in the Technical Challenge category is the Techno Penguins from Annie Sims Elementary. 

Team members Drason McDaniel, Yoseline Nava, and Sebastian Otero researched the art and skill of creating video games.

Placing second and advancing to state in Engineering are the Brainy Bunnies from E.C. Brice Elementary. This team also earned the distinguished award of Highest Instant Challenge score in the region. Team Members Sage Jordan, Katie Snyder, and Abby Wooten researched multiple types of architecture and visual art styles and created a structure that combined the two.

Placing third and advancing to state in Engineering is the Unstoppable Last Brain Cell from Corprew Elementary. Team Members Bently Basey, Jamie Douglas, Nathan Martinez, Ulisses Mata, and Jassy Pena Petaton created and presented a story about how opposites can complement one another. It included a structure that combined one architectural style and one visual art style.  

Placing third and advancing to state in Improvisational is the Rubber Ducky Detectives from E.C. Brice Elementary. Team Members Jannahi Castro, Kaylee DeLaCruz, Ivan Flores, Lily Henry, Adrianna Martinez, Aldo Orona, and Caleb Townson created and presented an improvisational skit about a detective who uses a forensic technique to solve a mystery with a red herring and a real clue.

Placing fifth and advancing to state in Engineering are the Generation Gamers from Vivian Fowler Elementary. Team Members Aaron Klump, Anthony Macareno, Jax Olivares, Siya Patel, Heymar Rivera, and Melissa Rivera researched the art and skill of creating video games.

Placing fifth and advancing to state in the Scientific Challenge is The Missing Chickon from Annie Sims Elementary. Team Members Piper Hearron, Karli Lowry, Hudson Rider, Josiah Segovia, and Abigail Tolentino created a documentary. It shared the day in the life of a farmer whose world turns a little strange when a scientific law breaks and his chicken goes missing.

In seventh place in the Technical Challenge were The Three Eyes from E.C. Brice Elementary. Team members were Aiden Hendricks, Tristan Kirkland, and Jonathan Williams. Also placing seventh was The Mysterious Huskies from Vivian Fowler Elementary. Team members were Joahn Balderas, Julian Hererra , Jonathon Jimenez, Cristal Leyva, Anahi Martinez, Adriana Perez, and Zoe Zuniga.

MPISD also had three second-grade teams participate in the non-competitive Rising Stars category. The Fowler Tigers included team members Bryson Havard, Melody Hernandez, and Giavanni Williams. The Dino Trio from E.C. Brice Elementary included team members Kolten Heeren, Braxton Lesher, and Natalia Portales. The Think A Lots from Annie Sims Elementary included team members Chaney Bell, Sebastian Cates, Ava Claire Hageman, and Analie Mata. They tasked all three teams with creating a video with an animal that went on an unexpected adventure.

“Destination Imagination is a wonderful adventure in challenging creativity,” said MPISD GT teacher and DI Coordinator Jamie King. “The solutions our teams create are simply amazing. This year was particularly challenging because every event had to be recorded and sent into a virtual tournament. Teams were required to create and edit their own solutions as well as their video submissions. Our instant challenges required our students to record separately and edit their video to show teamwork and completion of the challenge. Though very challenging, our teams had fun and learned so much along the way about audio/video techniques. I am so proud of their hard work!”

Jamie King, Sheila Eddy, and Gina Landrum are the coaches for the MPISD Destination Imagination Teams.

Varsity: The MPHS Varsity Winter Guard

JV: The MPHS JV Winter Guard

JH: The Mount Pleasant Junior High Winter Guard


Kelly Cowan

Mount Pleasant ISD Winter Guards attend competitions

The Mount Pleasant ISD Winter Guard teams, competed at the North Texas Colorguard Association (NTCA) competition at Alvarado Junior High on March 6. The competition featured 28 teams from across the state of Texas.

The Varsity Winter Guard placed second out of nine in their division with a score of 73.360, just .82 behind the first-place team. The Varsity Show is titled “Bizarre Love Triangle.” The JV Winter Guard placed second in their division out of seven entries, scoring ahead of several varsity teams. The JV show is titled “Toxic.” The Mount Pleasant Junior High Guard placed first in their division, a full seven points ahead of the second-place team with their show, “Lean on Me.”

Cristian Gomez directs the MPHS Varsity and JV teams. Presley McClendon runs the Junior High team.

Left to Right: Taylor Hubbs and Connelly Cowan

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS juniors earn Academic All-American awards

Mount Pleasant High School juniors Connelly Cowan and Taylor Hubbs have earned the National Speech and Debate Association’s Academic All-American award. Of the more than 141,000 student members of the Association, fewer than 1,000 students earn the Academic All-American Award every year. To date, only ten team members from MPHS have ever achieved this prestigious honor.

The Academic All-American award recognizes students who have completed at least five semesters of high school. They had to earn the degree of Superior Distinction in the National Speech and Debate Association Honor Society, a total of 750 or more merit points, have at least a 3.7 GPA and have demonstrated outstanding character and leadership.

Cowan, Collin and Kelly Cowan’s daughter, is a five-year member of Mount Pleasant Speech and Debate and serves as the Team Captain. She competes in Cross-Examination Debate, Congressional Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking. She is a five-time UIL state medalist, a three-time qualifier for the Texas Forensics Association State tournament, a 2021 NIETOC qualifier, a three-time National Qualifier, and a 2021 qualifier to the Extemp Tournament of Champions.  

Hubbs, Brandon Hubbs, and Angelia Morris’s daughter is a three-year member of Mount Pleasant Speech and Debate and competes in Cross-Examination Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Extemporaneous Speaking. She is a two-time qualifier for the Texas Forensic State tournament and a two-time National Qualifier.

Enrique Martinez is Mount Plesant High School’s Speech and Debate coach.