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MPISD – News

Pictured L to R
Sam Pearson, Jose Liera, Taylor Hubbs, Katie Ochoa, and Mary Kait Heeren


MPHS Students Compete at Texas A&M—Texarkana

Twenty-two students from MPHS recently competed in the 2018 High School Math Contest at Texas A&M University – Texarkana. Students were able to compete in the areas of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus, based on the subject area in which they are currently enrolled. Eighty-one contestants represented ten high schools at the contest. MPHS walked away with the Highest Overall Performer award as well as five of the 15 places that were awarded.

Senior Jose Liera was awarded the Highest Overall Performer and also received 1st place in Calculus. For those accomplishments, he received a $500 scholarship to TAMU-T and $50 for 1st place. Junior Sam Pearson won 1st place in Pre-Calculus and received $50. MPHS Geometry students, all freshmen, swept their event with Mary Kait Heeren winning 1st place and $50, Taylor Hubbs 2nd place and $30, and Katie Ochoa 3rd place and $20.

Participation in this event was made possible by a grant from the Mt. Pleasant Education Foundation.


Marco Ponce, Law Enforcement teacher Ricky Chamness, Martina Ramirez, and Ariel Baez

MPHS Students Compete at Texas Public Service Teacher Association Contest

Mount Pleasant High School Law Enforcement teacher Ricky Chamness took ten of his students to Georgetown High School on December 1 for the second annual Texas Public Service Teacher Association Competition. It was the first time MPHS participated in this competition, and at the end of the day, three of his Law Enforcement students placed third in the Burglary in Progress event.

According to Chamness, the students were put in a real-world law enforcement scenario. They received a call from dispatch of a burglary in progress and had to respond accordingly. “Part of the reason that they placed was that they encountered a person leaving the scene,” said Chamness. “They stopped the person to make identification and discovered a gun in the basket he was carrying. They detained that person, and they were able to apprehend the burglars inside the building. It was our first time participating in this competition, and we had no idea what to expect. They did an excellent job.”


From left to right:
First Row:
Alvin Gonzalez, Frank Piña, Nia Jackson, Rebecca Yox, Oscar Palacios, Nicholas Segovia
Second Row:
Brian Ramirez, Nestor Cruz, José Martinez, Jose Mata, Jordi Bello

MPHS Students Named to High School All-Region Band

Eleven members of the Mount Pleasant High School Goin’ Gold Band were named to the High School All-Region Band after auditions at North Lamar High School on Friday, December 7.
Eight have qualified for Area auditions. Two students, Jose Mata, and Nestor Cruz earned 1st chair for their respective instruments.

Those named to the All-Region Band include Rebecca Yox-3rd chair flute-Symphonic Band (6A Area qualifier), Brian Ramirez-oboe (6A Area qualifier), Nia Jackson-4th chair clarinet-Wind Ensemble (5A Area qualifier), Jose Mata-1st chair baritone sax-Symphonic band (6A Area qualifier), Frank Pina-2nd chair tenor trombone-Symphonic band (6A area qualifier), Nestor Cruz-1st chair contrabass clarinet-Wind Ensemble (6A area qualifier), Alvin Gonzales (6A area qualifier), Oscar Palacios-2nd chair trumpet-Symphonic band, Jose Martinez-11th chair trumpet-Symphonic Band, Nicholas Segovia-trombone (6A area qualifier), Jordi Bello-3rd chair tuba-Symphonic band.

“I’m extremely proud of these students,” said MPHS Head Band Director and Director of Fine Arts, Dr. Theodus Luckett III. “They have worked very hard! This would not be possible without the support of our administration, parents, and community!”


From left to right:
First Row:
Abril Ramirez, Jayme Don Juan, Aachal Amin, Alitzel Mendoza, Neida Perez
Second Row:
Leslie Mayo, Pablo Mata, Jonathan Tepetate, Holly Reese, Kayla Mata
Third Row:
Jair Moreno, Donovan Young, Erick Ojendis, Odalys Adame, Jayden Beckham
Not pictured: Manoa Bagsic

MPHS Students Named to Freshman All-Region Band

Sixteen freshman members of the Mount Pleasant High School Goin’ Gold Band were named to the Freshman All-Region Band after auditions at Pine Tree High School on Monday, December 3. To audition, students had to prepare two short technical pieces. MPHS placed more freshmen than any other school. Two students, Holly Reese, and Pablo Mata earned 1st chair for their respective instruments.

Those named to the Freshman All-Region Band include Aachal Amin-3rd chair Flute, Kayla Mata-5th chair Flute, Alitzel Mendoza-8th chair Flute, Manoa Bagsic (8th grader)-5th chair clarinet, Jayme Don Juan-7th chair clarinet, Neida Perez-11th chair clarinet, Abril Ramirez 13th chair clarinet, Holly Reese-1st chair bass clarinet, Jonathan Tepetate-2nd chair Alto Sax. Also, Pablo Mata-1st chair Tenor Sax, Jayden Beckham-3rd chair Trumpet, Odalys Adame-2nd chair Trombone, Leslie Mayo-4th chair trombone, Donovan Young-4th chair percussion, Jair Moreno-6th chair percussion, and Erik Ojendis-7th chair percussion.

“I’m extremely proud of each student that auditioned,” said MPHS Head Band Director and Director of Fine Arts, Dr. Theodus Luckett III. “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.”


MPHS Choir Goes Caroling

On Monday, December 10, members of the MPHS Choir, accompanied by Director Nancy Vines and Assistant Deanna Warren, set out to spread a little Christmas cheer through old-fashioned caroling across Mount Pleasant. They made stops at Pleasant Springs Nursing Home, Mt Pleasant Assisted Living, the MPISD Administration Building, Titus Regional Medical Center, The Lodge, Citizens National Bank and Focused Care.

“Caroling through the community is something MPHS Choirs have done for eleven years now,” said Warren. “It’s always one of my favorite days of the year!”





Pictured L to R
Bottom Row: Carson Bell, Melany Morales, Karyme Sanchez, Mackenzie Jaime, Maggie Wilson, Mary Beth Snyder, Isaac Hernandez
Top Row: Caydon Johnson, Cohen Gillean, Titus County Cares Director Luke Philips, Jayden Loewen, Drew Cross, Edwin Valerio, Sergio Moreno, Christopher Gonzalez, Ayda Payne


E.C. Brice NEHS Holds Plastic Bag Drive For Titus County Cares

The members of the National Elementary Honor Society at E.C. Brice Elementary School held a plastic bag drive to benefit Titus County Cares. Members collected bags from November 27-December 10 and were able to donate three large trash bags full of plastic bags that they used in the Food 4Kids program. Food4kids delivers sacks of kid-friendly food for identified needy children every Friday to area schools.

According to Luke Phillips, Titus County Cares Executive Director, 1400 plastic bags are needed each week to deliver food to students who are participating in Food4kids. The number of bags doubles before an extended break for students. “The week before Christmas, we will deliver 2,800 bags of food,” said Phillips. “If you also consider our Food Pantry, which serves an average of 175 people each week, we will use over 4,500 plastic bags this week.

The bags donated from the NEHS students at E.C. Brice were essential for us to be able to complete all that we are doing this season. We are very grateful for the efforts made by E.C. Brice, and we appreciate our partnership with all of our local schools.”


Ja’Quacy Minter

MPHS Speech and Debate Team Competes at UT Austin

The Mount Pleasant High School Speech and Debate team competed at the Longhorn Classic on The University of Texas at Austin campus on December 7-8. Senior Ja’Quacy Minter was named a semifinalist in Oral Interpretation. He was one of the top 32 competitors out of 115 entries. He now has bid to compete at the Tournament of Champions in Kentucky and the Nebraska National Individual Events Tournament of Champions.

“I am so lucky to have Ja’Quacy in my program,” said MPHS Speech and Debate Coach, Cody Morris. “He is the most uniquely talented individual I have ever coached. Ja’Quancy has such an enormous talent for the performing arts and is an instrumental piece the to Mount Pleasant High School Speech and Debate team. He is one of the hardest working individuals I have and just an overall great student. He has become the most decorated performer in school history. I wish I had a dozen more students just like him.”

Ja’Quacy is the son of Tedd and Danielle Minter.


Pictured: Members of MPHS TAFE
from L-R back row: Lisbeth Moreno, Lauren Southerland, Ashley Rodriguez, Jashon Pogue, Breanna Flores, Alex Guzman, Mily Sanchez, Savannah Mack, Maria Colorado, Veronica Hernandez, Abby Caamal, Karlee Newman, Yasmin Murillo
Front Row L-R: Sophy Turner, Keyla Plancarte, Jackie Puente, Christina Gordon, Paulina Baez, Leslie Caamal, Laura Castro, Odalys Macedo, Zaira Reyes, Tania Hernandez, Jaquelin Ferretiz, Yamile Pineda, Lisette Otero, Megan Miller
Not Pictured:
Daisy Reyes and Baylee Craig


MPHS Future Educators Advance to State Competition

The Mount Pleasant High School Chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) attended the Regional competition at the Region 8 ESC on November 30. Seventeen members qualified for a trip to the State competition in Allen, Tx in February. Three of the seventeen have advanced to state in multiple events.

The team of Leslie Caamal, Keyla Plancarte, and Jackie Puente presented a Chapter Scrapbook and advanced to State with their themed book “Limitless.”

Ashley Rodriguez and Lauren Southerland, two seniors, took on the task of writing and illustrating a children’s book for K-3 and advanced to State. Both of these students also submitted their working portfolio for judging which caught the eye of district and region professionals. They now improve to State in Portfolio as well.

Seniors Karlee Newman and Tania Hernandez competed in Children’s Literature and advanced with a Touch and Feel book for Pre-K students.

Juniors Sophy Turner and Baylee Craig created an interactive Bulletin Board that secured their spot at the State competition.
Maria Colorado, Abby Caamal and Zaira Reyes each had entries in Teacher Created Materials that guaranteed them all a trip to State in early Spring.

Jashon Pogue and Alex Guzman submitted a project for Teacher Appreciation that won the judges over and secured their spot at State competition.

Many future educators attempted the Educational Leadership Fundamentals Assessment for an additional opportunity to compete and test their knowledge at the state level. Ashley Rodriguez, Lauren Southerland, Veronica Hernandez, Savannah Mack, Angelica Najera, and Sophy Turner all scored well enough to advance, with junior Savannah Mack taking the highest score for MPHS.

“I am so very proud of the efforts that each of these students put forth,” said TAFE Advisor Aimee Sweeden. “Their success is just validation of all their hard work and dedication to the field of education. I am honored to be a part of their journey, and I cannot wait to see how far they go!”

Contact: Kelly Cowan