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MPISD – News

MPHS VASE State medalists and their pieces (L to R) Daynara Pulquero, Ailyen De la Rosa, Jose Vega


Contact:  Kelly Cowan

MPHS art students earn state medals

Four Mount Pleasant High School students advanced with six pieces to the state level of the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), with three of those students earning state medals for their work. The VASE state competition was at San Marcos Consolidated High School on April 26-27. Students from 29 regions in Texas compete for a chance to advance to the state VASE event. Of the over 33,000 entries at regionals, just over 2,300, or 7%, advance to the state level.

MPHS junior Josue Vega earned a state gold medal for his piece “The Boys.” For the second year in a row, Vega had two pieces advance from Regionals to the state competition. It is Vega’s second state gold medal, as he also medaled in 2023 with his piece “Cowboys.”

MPHS sophomore Ailyen De la Rosa earned her first state gold medal for her piece “Cherished.”  De la Rosa also had two pieces advance from Regionals to the state competition.

MPHS sophomore Dayanara Pulquero earned her first state gold medal for her piece, “Red.”

“It is my privilege to announce our state VASE medalist for 2024,” said MPHS Art instructor Laura Kirkland. “These students have worked so hard, including many hours creating these beautiful pieces. I am so proud of each of them and honored to call them my students! All the artwork that went to State VASE, including these pieces that received a medal and a rating of a 4, will be displayed in the HS Art studio windows until the end of the school year.”

MPHS Health Science instructor Mandy Hutchings (right) with her Clinical Medical Assistant cord and pin recipients
MPHS Health Science instructor Kristi Houchin (left) with her Phlebotomy Tech and Patient Care Tech pin and cord recipients
MPHS Health Science instructor Sarah Carrell (left) with her EKG Technician pin recipients


Mount Pleasant High School holds a Health Science pinning ceremony.

Mount Pleasant High School held its second annual pinning ceremony for Health Science program students who have completed Phlebotomy, Patient Care, EKG, and Medical Assisting certifications. They conducted the ceremony in the MPHS auditorium on Wednesday, May 1. MPHS senior Charis Ramirez offered the opening prayer, followed by MPHS Career and Technology Director Karl Whitehurst and Health Science instructor Amanda Hutchings with opening remarks. And senior Sophie Greco served as the announcer for the evening.

Health Science teacher Sarah Carrell pinned those who had tested and who had credentialed as Certified EKG Technicians. EKG Technicians work with patients to monitor and interpret their cardiac health using EKG tests that measure the electrical activity in the patient’s heart. Those students were Elise Alcibar, Melanie Barraza, Danika Beckham, Elizabeth Buck, Zoey Cato, Alessandra Cervantes, *Emely Chavelas, Evan Cota, Diya Desai, Patricia Gonzalez, Sidney Harbour, Karen Hernandez, Eli Hernandez, Hayden Hester, Kelsey Howard, Christian Johnson, Jamesia Lamb, Autumn Leroy, Amir Martinez, Kevin Mendoza, Jesus Moreno, Dylan Ramirez, Misely Ramirez, Kaylee Ramos, David Reyes, Emily Robles, Francisco Rodriguez, Araceli Solis, Christopher Sorto, Diego Ugalde, and Daniel Villareal.

Health Science teacher Kristi Houchin awarded completion cords and pinned the Certified Phlebotomy Techs and the Certified Patient Care Tech Assistants. Phlebotomy Techs perform the following tasks to aid in patient care – venipunctures, explaining procedures and making patients feel comfortable during lab draws, performing Point of Care (POC) testing, preparing specimens for testing, and maintaining medical lab equipment. Certified Patient Care Technician-Assistants assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), routinely check on patients to maintain safety and wellness, and perform EKGs. Receiving those cords and pins were Ashley Almeida, Gema Amaro, Jordan Bachelor, Analee Escalante, Javier Garcia, Ahilin Hernandez, Breanda Hernandez, Jesus Hernandez, Morgan Hill, Yvonne Huerta, Casey Jones, Jocelyn Marroquin, Harley Martin, Yalit Mata, Mariana Mendez, Amariya Miller, Saniya Milton, Alyssa Narvaez, Genesis Organista, Jinnely Padilla, Tisha Patel, Charis Ramirez, Jacqueline Reyes, Naomy Rivera, Joseph Tolentino, Jacqueline Varela, Perla Vazquez, and Beverly Zuniga.

Health Science teacher Mandy Hutchings awarded completion cords and pinned the Certified Clinical Medical Assistants. A Certified Clinical Medical Assistant works in a physician’s office. They schedule appointments, verify insurance, take patient history and chief complaint, vitals, assist the physician with exams and in-office surgeries, administer injections, perform phlebotomy skills, perform an in-office EKG, and identify abnormal readings. CCMAs work directly with physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Being a CCMA allows you to work anywhere in the United States as it is a national certification. Cord and pin recipients included Genesis Aguilar, Kaylee Connally, Ella Cross, Jarely Esguerra, Estefani Garcia, Isabel Gara, Abigail Gutierrez, Kaira Leija, Arely Lopez, Silvia Lopez, Nathan Martinez, Erika Mickens, Emilee Miles, Angel Munoz, Johana Perales, Estven Perez, Cecilia Phan, Katherine Plata, Hope Powell, Andrianna Price, Bianca Quistian, Evelyn Sandoval, Diana Vargas, Conlee Zachry, and Shpat Zeqaj.

In all, eighty-four MPHS students received recognition for at least one certification that will follow them after high school and allow them to work in the medical field immediately after graduation.