Getting Back to Normal
AHHS Spirit Showcase Allows Groups to Perform, Give Back
By Stefan Enslin, Hoof Print Co-Editor in Chief
Emmie Chaney, Olmos Co-Editor
Lexi Ramirez, Senior Ads Editor
Students have overcome many challenges resulting from living and learning through a pandemic. One of the ways that allowed them to share in a traditional experience, was the creation of the Spirit Showcase. The event featured AHHS cheer, Spurs, twirlers, color guard, Posse and band, provided a bit of normalcy and celebration. The showcase was held on the football field at Alamo Heights High School and entrance fees, canned food items donated by attendees, allowed for fundraising for the San Antonio Food Bank. Community members also donated money and, at the end of the night, $3,390 was raised for the organization. The night was also special because senior members of the groups were recognized with their parents.
“It was fulfilling to receive recognition as a senior for all the hard work over the past four years,” senior Emily Bond said. “It was a memorable night.”
The band formed a semi-circle around the field and played the songs they play for football games and competitions.
The Spurs Dance Team was also at the showcase to perform. They performed multiple dances and routines, providing energy, creativity and talent to the showcase. The girls performed their annual dance with their parents to Sweet Caroline, a long-standing tradition at AHHS.
Cheer performed their competition Game Day routine at the event in order to show their routine to parents and members of the community who couldn’t make it to their regional competition the following weekend.
“I think our team performed really well for our first time doing the routine full out in front of a crowd,” senior Spencer Henderson said. “It was a really good practice before our competition and gave us more confidence.”
The showcase was student led, meaning the captains of the dance, cheer and band teams announced the performing groups.
Also, the audience was able to watch color guard and the twirlers perform and they were recognized with their parents.
“It was exciting to present what we’ve been working on to our friends and family,” senior Brooke Rohweder said. “It might not have been the most conventional setting, but I’m happy to be back and performing again with the band.”
Strings Students Practice for Good
Alamo Heights Junior School (AHJS) strings musicians found a unique way to support the Snack Pak 4 Kids initiative that supports their own school. They launched their first-ever String-A-Thon!
Students were asked to work towards a goal of practicing every day for 21-days. Orchestra Director, Kathy Murdock, inspired students with the fact that 20 practices make a habit, a great tip for all growing musicians! Students set their goals and then collected pledges for those goals. As the students progressed through the String-A-Thon, they collectively celebrated individual student accomplishments to keep the energy and momentum moving forward.
The group raised just over $3,000 during the String-A-Thon, with half of the proceeds benefitting the AHJS Snack Pak 4 Kids Program and the remainder benefitting the AHJS Orchestra Program.
Snack Pak 4 Kids was created to provide weekend food supplements to students who are identified by their teachers, creating food SECURITY for them over the weekend. With the support of partners, donors and volunteers of all ages, Snack Pak 4 Kids San Antonio works hard to be a learning enhancement tool for these kids, solving their weekend hunger issue so they can learn during the school week.
AHISD Names Campus Teachers of the Year
Alamo Heights ISD announced the Campus Teachers of the Year for each of the district’s five campuses. Honorees were selected by their peers and will represent the campus throughout 2021. Honorees included: Bryan Stanton, Alamo Heights High School; Michael McElrath, Alamo Heights Junior School; Carly Leech, Howard Early Childhood Center; Mariana Medaris, Cambridge Elementary; and, Barbara Iverson, Woodridge Elementary. The candidates will complete for the title of District Teacher of the Year, which will be awarded in January, during the board meeting set for Thursday, January 21, at 6 pm. The district honoree will move on to compete for the Trinity Prize and Region 20 ESC Teacher of the Year.
Place for Us: Varsity Soccer Teams Begin Seasons
By Parker Johnson
The varsity soccer seasons are just around the corner and because of the construction, the Mules do not have a home stadium for games. The teams’ practices are in the morning or after school depending on the schedule and with all of the ongoing construction, the players head to Cambridge, Woodridge or Alamo Heights Junior School for practice.
“It’s upsetting not having a home stadium for my senior season because whenever you play away, not that many people come to the games,” senior Defensive Midfielder Kennedy Massey said. “When we practice, we have to drive to a different field and it just makes things more difficult for us, but I am so grateful to be able to play and have a season with my team.”
Coach Chris Sharp leads the girls’ team while Coach Christopher Perez leads the boys. Both coaches are getting their teams ready for the 2020-21 season after last season’s cancellation because of COVID-19.
“I’m really excited to begin the season this year since our season last year was cut short,” junior Right-Wing Parker Johnson said. “This year we lost some key components from our roster but we had some new guys come in and they blended in really well.”
Both the boys and girls began their season on December 10 with the boys playing Southwest and the girls facing Johnson. The Lady Mules are very confident in their team’s ability and are sure they will come home with a win.
“We have been working really hard and I think teams are going to be coming after us,” junior Outsider Defender Annette Mickler said. “This year we have mostly upperclassmen on our team. There are a few lower classmen but they fit in really nice and the senior are great leaders and role models.”
SMH Celebrates and Upholds Honored Tradition
Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) celebrated one of its honored traditions in November: the annual Founders’ Day. Despite the current challenges, SMH was able to successfully and safely hold the event on campus and virtually. A number of community members attended, including seniors, with 6 ft. distance between seats and masks worn for safety. The rest of the student body and faculty watched the streamed event from their classrooms and homes.
This unique occasion recognizes a person or family whose faith, vision, and determination have made a lasting impact on the school. Though SMH did not have an honoree this year, the school carried this tradition forward with an official installation of Head of School Len Miller and the presentation of Master Teacher Awards. During the ceremony, Mr. Miller was presented with symbolic gifts, including a compass, lapel pin, book, and SMH spirit wear.
“Thank you for this opportunity to serve you in the best way that I can,” said Mr. Miller. “I want every member of this community to feel that deep sense of belonging that elicits pride in this institution that our founders undoubtedly felt over the storied history of this great school.”
Mr. Miller also presented the Master Teacher Awards to four deserving faculty members. Since 2002, teachers who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to the SMH community and through extraordinary instruction have been awarded the title of Master Teacher. The 2020-2021 Master Teachers included Social Studies and Science Teacher Mary Scherrer (Lower School), Prentice Huntington Miller & Reid Huntington Miller Endowed Chair of World Languages and Cultures and Spanish Teacher Laura Renard (Middle School), Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers Master Chair in History and Social Studies Teacher Bret Bigelow (Upper School), and Drawing and Painting Teacher Logan Blanco (At-Large, Upper School). These exceptional teachers show true passion for the students, community, and mission of Saint Mary’s Hall.
The Circle School
The Circle School is internationally designated as an Ashoka Changemaker School for cultivating students with the skills and confidence to change the world for the common good. Changemaker projects are always an integral part of our curriculum and our school culture, but especially this year. 2020 has given us many challenges to transform into opportunities to hone these skills. In November, our Circle School Changemakers led a food drive for the San Antonio Food Bank. Students hand delivered flyers to our neighbors to encourage participation and ultimately collected five barrels of non-perishable food items. Our small but mighty cooperative community proudly delivered six-hundred and sixty-seven pounds of food and $1,090 in monetary donations to the San Antonio Food Bank! Each dollar donated to the food bank equals ten pounds of food for San Antonio area families. For our students, this project modeled the changemaking power of love and compassion to support the needs of our community.