Year begins with new faces, places and times


photo by Sarah Sumpter

Finding bearings– Freshmen scan schedules and find lockers before classes on Aug. 26. First week enrollment was at 703.

With 703 students enrolled as of week one, freshmen and new students aren’t the only ones getting used to changes this year. From virtually a new coaching staff to a completely different bell schedule, the SHS population began making adjustments immediately. With all the new faces, confusion over names and faces was common.

“I think it is a good thing for the high school,” senior Lacy Molina said. “Living in a small town you get used to people, and new faces are a good thing. New people bring different personalities which bring more color to the high school.”

Administration and a faculty committee designed a new schedule with a tutorial period in the middle of the day making the first bell ring 15 minutes earlier and the last ring five minutes later. Because of the new sixth period class in the middle of the day, A and B lunch are gone and the whole student body now dines together. Students have over an hour to eat unless a homeroom or assembly is scheduled or they have mandatory tutorials.

“The new lunch time makes it easier to get into tutorials if you need help because you don’t have to come in the morning,” sophomore Alyssa Carnes said. “Long lunch is good too. I stay at school, and it’s nice except on pep rally days because those cut into lunch and it’s really crowded.”

One drawback for students who are involved in a variety of activites is not enjoying the long lunch, due to having homeroom nearly every day since the year started. “I don’t like the new lunch schedule because most days homeroom takes out of your time, and it feels shorter,” junior Annie Rempel said. “On long days, I go out, but on short days I go home because there’s not time to go out. It will be much better without homeroom every day.”

With every freshman class, high school is an adjustment. Courses are more rigorous and teachers and coaches require more effort.

“It’s a lot different than junior high,” freshman Lacy Jackson said. “There are a lot more opportunities. Volleyball practice is longer. They expect a lot more of you.”

Fall sports, including volleyball and football, cross country and tennis began summer workouts in August in preparation for their new 4-4A districts. The Maiden volleyball team took preseason in strong form and was ranked as high as No. 5 by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.

“So far I think we’ve adapted well together,” senior outside hitter Susan Reimer said. “We lost two graduates, and they can’t be replaced, but I think we’ve done well so far. For district our goal is to be the only district champion and I think we can go to State. I think this is our year.”

The Indian football program began a completely new adventure with men’s Athletic Director Kent Jackson, who once played Indian sports at SHS himself. “I like Coach Jackson a lot,” senior quarterback Jarrett Johnson said. “He’s really cool and fun to play for. I don’t really know about the rest of the season. We’re taking it one game at a time.”

Other sports began with new coaches as Kevin Gersbach replaced retired tennis coach Rhonda Burns and Eldon Smith took Rick Spruill’s place in men’s cross country. The Pride of The Tribe band program began preparing patriotic songs for its performances and marching contest season.

“I think it’s going to be an awesome year for band because our freshmen are better than previous classes,” band chaplain junior Sarah Sumpter said. “I’m definitely ready for competition because I think we’re a lot more prepared than we have been since I have been in high school.”

Other fine arts like theater and speech began preparing for fall show and weekend competitions. Two other successful programs that are already rehearsing and preparing for competitions are theater and speech. Theater has started night rehearsals for the musical Godspell that will be performed publicly in November. Speech and debate will travel to El Paso on Sept. 12 for their first invitational meet.

“I’m really excited for speech,” sophomore Grace Hatley said. “It’s a lot of hard work, so you have to be dedicated. Theater rehearsals are hot, but a lot of fun, and I get to be around all the people I love, so it’s great.” From practice and rehearsals to simply remembering whether one has to go to homeroom or not, the 2014-15 year has begun.