(L to R) Tripp Hinton, Connelly Cowan, Taryn Thurman, Ja’Quacy Minter
MPHS Speech and Debate team members compete at TFA State
Four MPHS Speech and Debate team members competed in the Texas Forensics Association (TFA) State Tournament during Spring Break. The tournament was held at Alief Taylor High School in Alief, a suburb of Houston, on March 14-16, 2019. Those competing included Tripp Hinton in Poetry, Ja’Quacy Minter in Program of Oral Interpretation (POI), and the team of Connelly Cowan and Taryn Thurman in CX Debate. All were making their first appearance at the TFA State Tournament.
Cowan, a freshman, was named one of the Top 10 speakers at State, earning 7th place out of 210 total speakers. Hinton, a senior, was named a semifinalist in the Poetry division. This placed him in the top 18 out of 58 competitors at State. Minter, also a senior was named a quarterfinalist in POI.
The Texas Forensics Association is open to all public, private and charter schools in Texas. To qualify for the State tournament, team members had to compete at qualifying tournaments earlier in the year and earn 12 points. Points are made every time a student places in an event at a qualifying tournament.
Students at the TFA State tournament are not divided by school type or school size. MPHS team members competed against private schools as well as large 6A programs from across the state.
“It was a great showing for Mount Pleasant High School,” said MPHS Speech and Debate Coach, Cody Morris. “The idea that our school was competing and beating out some of the best programs in the State is a great feeling. We were competitive in every event we entered, and that is a great accomplishment.”
Cowan and Thurman will compete at the UIL State CX Debate Tournament in Austin on March 21-23. Hinton and Minter will compete at District on April 4 for a chance to make it to the Regional Tournament later in April.
MPISD students compete in Destination Imagination
Eight Mount Pleasant Independent School District Destination Imagination (DI) teams competed on Saturday, February 23, at Poteet High School in Mesquite. There were 297 teams from the East Texas region of DI. At the end of the day, five MPISD teams brought home medals for their efforts.
A Destination Imagination Team Challenge is an open-ended project that teams work on over an extended period, usually 2-4 months. There are seven new Team Challenges each year: Engineering, Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning (Project Outreach) and Early Learning Challenge (Rising Stars!).
The Sims Medical Mystery Team researched and created a play about rabies with a healthy and unhealthy brain model. They earned the Spirit of DI award which celebrates teams that express creativity, teamwork, and sportsmanship to the highest degree. “The Medical Mystery team from Annie Sims earned this award for their amazing positivity and overcoming ability!” said MPISD DI Coordinator, Jamie King. “This team earned the hearts and respect of all who watched their performance on Saturday! They were missing things they had planned on having that day, but instead of giving up, they created what they could with supplies they had and put on a great performance regardless of the obstacle. I am so proud of them! Their wonderful teamwork and overcoming spirits are a credit to parents and teachers who model that positivity, supported them and encouraged them throughout the season! The entire awards assembly cheered for them as they were announced for the Spirit of DI award. They deserved every bit of that adoration!”
The Sims 2nd grade team and the Fowler 2nd grade team both earned Rising Star medals which are awarded to Early Learning participants, Kindergarten through 2nd grade, who successfully meet the parameters of their challenge and present it at the regional tournament. The Sims 2nd grade team created a life-size pop-up book and a play about a Space Farm. The Fowler 2nd grade team also created a life-size pop-up book and a play titled “Lionel Messi and the Seven Dwarfs.” The Fowler team was led by Mrs. Sheila Eddy.
The Brice Improv team earned 4th place medals for their research on figureheads on coins. They created a skit using their analysis.
The Corprew Technical team earned 5th place medals for creating a flying device that took off and landed in five different areas and dropped five payloads on a target area for a varied amount of points.
Also, competing for MPISD were Sims 3rd grade that created a life-size mouse trap from the game Mouse Trap and Fowler 3rd grade that built a wooden structure that held hundreds of pounds and created a special effect to introduce a unique character. Fowler 4th grade that researched and produced a play about heart disease and created a model of a healthy and unhealthy heart.
“Destination Imagination has something for almost all students,” said King. “Though we are centered around creative problem solving, students build teamwork and communication skills that last a lifetime. It is a joy and an honor to serve our MPISD GT students as they work together to create unique solutions for their challenges in technical, engineering, science, fine arts, improvisational, and rising stars. Our teams dedicated many hours of researching, planning, developing and building ideas, skills, props, sets, costumes, and skits. Our East Region tournament is the opportunity to show their solutions to a panel of appraisers and a large audience.”
MPHS Fishing Teams all qualify for Regional Tournament
The Mount Pleasant High School Fishing Teams were all back on the water on Saturday, March 2, at Lake O’ the Pines. Overall, MPHS placed 2nd out of 15 schools in the tournament.
Contributing to the 2nd place team finish included Tyler Welborn & Zane Phillips with a 5th place finish, Tyler Miklos & Zeth Whittington placing 14th, Ethan Cota & Bryce Bartlett finishing 20th, Blake Denson & Rance White placing 31st, and Jordan Boyd and Hunter Mayfield coming in 35th out of 98 teams who fished on Saturday.
The Lake O’ the Pines tournament marked the end of the regular season, and with their final placements, all five MPHS Fishing teams have advanced to the Regional tournament. Standings have the MPHS team in 4th place overall. Individual standings include Welborn & Phillips in 12th place, Denson & White in 20th, Miklos & Whittington in 26th, Cota & Bartlett at 29th, and Boyd & Mayfield in 49th out of 133 registered teams in the Northeast division.
The Regional Tournament will be held at Lake Palestine on April 13. The MPHS teams will all be fishing for the opportunity to make it to the State Tournament.
Contact: Kelly Cowan