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MPISD – News

Photo L to R: Zöe Newman, Orion Senence, and MPHS Jazz Band Director Jamey Sterrett 


Kelly Cowan

MPHS students named to All-Region Jazz Band

Two members of the Mount Pleasant High School Jazz Band were named to the All-Region Jazz Band after Pine Tree High School auditions on Thursday, September 20. 

To audition, students had to prepare three technical pieces in the jazz style. They had a few short weeks to prepare, and each piece required a high level of skill and a mastery of the jazz style. Those named to the All-Region Jazz Band include juniors Zöe Newman (3rd chair Alto Saxophone) and Orion Senence (3rd chair Trumpet). 

“I’m extremely proud of each student that auditioned,” said MPHS Jazz Band Director Jamey Sterrett. “Their hard work and dedication to excellence continue to set them apart from all others. I’m truly honored to assist them on their musical journey.”


Jeremiah Campbell, Jaicee Amador-Oluwatoke, and Loagyn Hurley sing a folk song in music class.
(Front L to R)Jariyah Brown, Mateo Canada, Mia Carrillo, Gunner Craig, and (back left) Jaiden Edwards warm up by practicing reading music 

Damian Amador works on his typing skills 

5726: Jannahi Castro works on an art project for Hispanic Heritage month

Wallace 5th graders try on electives for size.

Middle school is a time for discovery. It’s a time to try new things and unlock new talents. The fifth-grade class at P.E. Wallace Middle School does just that with elective options in music, art, and computers.

At the beginning of every year, they split the fifth graders into three groups.

Group A spends the first six weeks in music class, Group B attends art class for six weeks, and Group C enjoys six weeks of instruction in computers. At the end of each six-week grading period, the groups rotate so that everyone can experience all three areas twice by the end of the year.

In music first semester, each group learns the basics of reading music. They can identify different notes, read notes on a line, and keep simple rhythms. They then transfer that knowledge into singing simple songs. In the second semester, they will use what they learned to play music on recorders, much to the delight of their families and the classrooms on either side. Joshua Miles and Diane Swiger teach the music.

In computer class, the first semester focuses on teaching the students proper typing skills. They use various age-appropriate programs to learn to type using the correct finger placement. When they return after Christmas break, the students delve into some simple Computer Science and programming basics. Tara Flores and Bridget Arevalos provide computer instruction.

In art, the students learn multiple techniques to create artwork for various events. So far this semester, the students have worked on pieces for the Titus County Fair and the Wallace Hispanic Heritage Festival and will create pieces for the annual Veteran’s Day program in November while also learning 3D art. In addition, students produce artwork for the spring dance, Valentine’s Day, and the MPISD end-of-the-year staff breakfast in the spring semester. Instructors for art include Terry McCain and Janie Moreno.

As sixth graders, these same students will be able to select a full-year elective class from art, choir, band, dance, theatre, pre-athletics, or computer. The students have already tried on most of these electives for size and can decide which area suits them the most. And they will already have some basic knowledge in the subject, allowing them to succeed and grow in an elective class that interests them.