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Week of October 25, 2021

On Friday, October 15th Hispanic Heritage Month came to a close. Before completely saying goodbye to it we would like to remind all of you that if you haven't gone to the Annex Building lately, please do so and admire the eye-catching bulletin board (pictured below) that Mrs. Leal and her Spanish AP students put up. Various well-known Hispanic role models from several
Latin American countries are featured. Bien Hecho Pumas! Well Done Cougars!

Mr. Jefferson Lotspeich joined the district in 2019 and for the past three years has served as the SMHS Band Director. One of his first orders of business was to increase membership in the band, and he was off to a great start in that regard until COVID-19 reared its ugly head and brought everything to a halt. Now that we are back to face-to-face instruction the band's
numbers are once again starting to grow and at present, he has a traveling squad of 26 students. He also has 14 middle schoolers that he is working with that will become full-fledged band members upon entering high school. The band will be performing in several upcoming parades beginning with the Mercedes Veterans Day Parade on November 13th, and you can also catch them in action displaying their Christmas spirit at both the Mercedes and La Feria Christmas Parades. Mr. Lotspeich is grateful for the opportunity to work with his aspiring musicians and is upbeat about the band's progress and the direction it is headed in.
When asked what song the band likes to play best he quickly responded with Wilson Pickett's 1966 hit single "Land of 1000 Dances". For your listening pleasure, I have attached a university band's performance of that popular tune. There are many benefits and lessons one can learn by being in band. Aside from the obvious one of learning to play an instrument here are five important life skills that are most often mentioned by former band students: Commitment, Self-Confidence, Responsibility, Appreciation for Hard Work, and a Sense of Belonging.

For those who love music and a great drama, The Cougar Weekly highly recommends "Mr. Holland's Opus". Our popcorn-eating movie critics give this PG-rated film a bona fide thumbs up. It is
an oldie but a goodie and it garnered various awards back in the mid-nineties. The film depicts a story about a man who loves
music and reluctantly accepts a job as a high school band director. Well, one thing leads to another, life happens and before he realizes it he ends up spending 30 plus years of his life inspiring a multitude of students.


FFA is an organization that exists to promote and support agricultural education. Nationwide this organization has 735, 038 members and over 8,817 chapters in all 50 states. Here at SMHS, their sponsor is Mr. Juan Cavazos and he is assisted by Ms. Victoria de la Rosa. Mr. Cavazos states that our chapter has over 60 active members and is led by the officers in the picture that follows. Victor Garcia the chapter's president has been in FFA for four years and relishes in all that FFA has to offer. During his time in FFA, he has raised and shown various breeds of pigs (Duroc's, Dark Cross, Light Cross, and Yorkshires) at livestock shows and has
also learned the art of welding. He says that "he plans to expand the chapter, get more people involved, go places they have never gone before and continue to make memories. At the end
of the day, our goal is to do our best, support all those we can, and become a better person, FFA teaches us the beauty of failure, without it we won't improve." The Cougar Weekly wishes
all the participants a great livestock season and may the many lifelong lessons that FFA teaches continue to bring out the best in each and everyone of you.


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