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MPISD – News

Front (L to R) Construction students Emilio Reyes, Jr., Addriana Cordova, Alan Nava / Center (L to R) MPHS Life Skills teacher James Townsend, Johnette Poole, and one of her therapy dogs / Back (L to R) MPHS Construction instructors Jim Alston and Alan Salinas, MPHS Construction student Ailyen De La Rosa, MPHS Principal Craig Bailey  

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS Construction students build a table for the special needs program

The Mount Pleasant High School Construction Technology program recently built and donated two picnic tables to the Hooves and Halos program, an annual playday in Winnsboro for special needs students and adults. After attending with his students for the last few years, MPHS Life Skills teacher James Townsend saw a need for more outdoor seating and approached MPHS Construction teacher Jim Alston to have his students build and donate a picnic table. Townsend provided the funds for one table, but the students ended up creating both an adult-sized and a child-sized table, with plans to build a third one that will be wheelchair accessible.

Hooves and Halos have been in operation since the spring of 2014. The first event began with only about 15 children and has grown exponentially. It has operated at multiple venues, including a tiny church arena in Winnsboro, the Mount Pleasant Civic Center Ag Pavilion, and back to Winnsboro at the City Park and Rodeo Arena. But after the pandemic shutdown, a new plan was hatched to move it to the Winnsboro home and ranch of the Hooves and Halos creators, Johnny and Johnette Poole.

The event includes hayrides, a mechanical bull, games and activities, a playground, horseback riding, a petting zoo, and Longhorns. Guests are served hamburgers and hot dogs, with volunteers serving around 200 people every 30 minutes. Participants receive a free T-shirt and make a trip into the mercantile to pick out a stuffed animal, Bible, and book.

The event is entirely free and funded solely by donations. “Everything that we do, everything that we give, everything that we are, is made possible by someone’s generosity,” said Poole. “We operate solely on donations of time, supplies, love, and money. We have no big corporate sponsors. We have Mamas and Grandmas that make cookies and desserts. Small churches donate most of the Bibles, books, and DVDs. Precious volunteers collect Stuffed animals year-round from thrift shops, dollar stores, and anywhere they can find them. Businesses, individuals, and a few of the guest’s group homes donate most of the food.” Over the years, donations have even funded accessible restroom facilities, including suites for wheelchairs and changing stations for attendees requiring diaper changes.

To learn more about the event, donate, or volunteer, visit their website at To learn more about the MPHS Construction program, contact the Career and Technology Director, Karl Whitehurst, at 903-575-2020.


MPHS senior Cosmetology students at Premier San Antonio Front L to R: Odalis Leyva, Fatima Clavel, Elva Garcia, Laiklyn Epps Back L to R: Dulce Uzcanga, McKinsee Oviedo

Contact: Kelly Cowan

MPHS Cosmetology seniors attend tradeshow

Mount Pleasant High School Cosmetology seniors experienced their first tradeshow for the professional beauty industry at Premiere San Antonio on October 1-2. Students had the opportunity to explore the latest looks in the beauty industry, from the hottest hair color trends and cutting techniques to high-fashion nail art and edgy barber designs.

Students could choose from over 125 workshops and meet with renowned licensed professionals like Sam Villa. In addition, they connected with manufacturers and distributors, increasing their resources for their careers in the industry. 

“As an instructor, I strive to inspire, educate, and introduce as many avenues to allow my students to bring their careers to the next level,” said MPHS Cosmetology instructor Aleshia Rivera.

Mount Pleasant High School offers three years of instruction in Cosmetology, starting with an introductory course for sophomores followed by Cosmetology I and Cosmetology II for juniors and seniors. Students completing the program can graduate with their cosmetology license simultaneously with their high school diploma. They can immediately begin working in the cosmetology field. To learn more about the MPHS Cosmetology program, contact MPHS Career and Technology Director Karl Whitehurst at 903-575-2020.


Group Fowler students receive copies of The Boar Named Bob (Seated) Lian Arce (L to R) Willow Culpepper, Bradley Reynolds, Osiel Salazar, Diva Desai, Graceland Jones, Giovani Wilder (Back L to R) Jana Bowers, Sue Barker, Fowler Counselor Debra Williamson

Barker (left) reads with Fowler kindergartener Osiel Salazar

Barker (left) tells the story to Fowler 2nd grader Willow Culpepper

Fowler Counselor Debra Williamson and 1st grader Geovani Wilder look over the book together.

The Boar Named Bob

Students at Vivian Fowler Elementary School were surprised on Thursday, October 5, with a visit from someone they had never met who wanted to bring them a special gift. Sue Barker of Mount Vernon stopped in to see the students and brought them a present, a book titled The Boar Named Bob. The author, Cole Barker, wrote the book and created the illustrations when he was ten—the story he never meant to be published. It was a class assignment inspired by Cole’s very first hog hunt.

Cole graduated from Mount Vernon ISD in 2000, went to Baylor University in 2005, and then moved to Colorado, where he ultimately began an excavation business. Tragically, he passed away in 2017 due to a skiing accident. It was then that The Boar Named Bob started a second life.

When Cole’s teacher, Jeanne Lawrence, learned of his passing, she reached out to his mother and brought her The Boar Named Bob, which she had kept tucked away for all those years. Cole’s mother, Sue, was inspired to help keep his memory alive. She contacted a publisher to share his story, and The Boar Named Bob was born. At the same time, classmates from the Mount Vernon Class of 2000 came together to create the Cole Barker Memorial Scholarship Fund.

 “Losing our son was nothing short of devastating, but the love and support from Cole’s family and friends has helped lessen the heartache we face each day without him,” said Sue Barker. “Thanks to incredible teachers, like Ms. Lawrence, who can see potential, and friends who band together, Cole’s book and his memory will touch more lives than we ever thought possible.”

MPISD purchased 100 copies of the book, and they are now available in classrooms and the library at Fowler Elementary for students to check out.

The MPHS Goin’ Gold Band Drum Majors and Color Guard officers with their trophies L to R: Jose Fuentes, Jocelyn Marroquin, Shpat Zeqaj, Addison Heeren, Orion Senence

Mount Pleasant High School Goin’ Gold Band named Grand Champions at UAM 

The Mount Pleasant High School Goin’ Gold Band competed at the University of Arkansas at Monticello marching contest on Saturday, October 14. Of the 22 bands competing, MPHS earned nine awards, including the title of Grand Champion Band.

In addition, the band earned four Best Overall awards, including Best Overall Band, Best Overall Colorguard, Best Overall Drum Major, and Best Overall Percussion.

The nine awards the band brought home were first divisions in Band, Colorguard, Drum Major, and Percussion.

The band’s show, “Wednesday,” is based on the Netflix series of the same name, which is a continuation of the hit TV show, The Addams Family. The show features the familiar theme song, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica and “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones.

The Goin’ Gold Band is directed by Dr. Theodus Luckett III and assisted by Jamey Sterrett, Brian Bass, Alicia Hargett, Karen Luckett, and Sheri Sullivan.