School News

Memorial High Headlines

Are you ready for some SBISD football?! Gear up, put on that face paint, grab your foam fingers get ready to cheer for your favorite varsity team ONLINE. That’s right we’ve partnered with Vype to stream this season’s football games for each SBISD team. Visit your school’s home page our follow our social media pages for the game links.

Watch your Memorial Mustangs host Seven Lakes live today, Sept. 24 https://bit.ly/3i1C7US. The broadcast starts at 6:15 p.m. Don’t be late!

Mark your calendars!

Each year, SBISD hosts a College Night event for students and families. The goal is to provide information, ensure access to higher education, and help guide students pursue their T-2-4 options. Due to Covid-19, our in-person event has been moved to a virtual platform. The Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (TACRAO) is hosting and funding all Texas college fairs for the 2020-2021 school year. This change will allow our students and families to meet and interact safely with representatives from institutions of higher education across the nation.  

SBISD College Night 2020

  • Date:  October 12th, 2020
  • Time:  6:00-8:00 pm  

Students will be able to explore Higher Education opportunities and interact with representatives from over 300 institutions across the country! Students must register to participate:

REGISTER: https://falltacrao.swoogo.com/2020virtual 

Additional Dates & Times

If you can't join us on Oct. 12, below are additional dates and times you can register for using the same event link above.

  • Oct. 13-15:  9 - 11 a.m., 1 - 3 p.m., 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 16:  9 - 11 a.m., 1 - 3 p.m., Oct. 17: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Beginning September 8th and continuing through December 31st or until further notice by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Spring Branch ISD will provide meals at no cost to all students in SBISD.

The USDA has extended several flexibilities through as late as December 31, 2020, for Child Nutrition Programs across the country.

Click here to read the full story.

The 2020-21 school year will present new challenges and new opportunities for Spring Branch ISD and our community. No matter what challenges we face, our responsibility is to ensure students in SBISD continue learning safely and effectively. Our commitment to inspire minds and shape lives while maintain-ing student learning and academic performance is non-negotiable.
 
The District is equally resolved in its commitment to go beyond to  prioritize health and safety for students, employees and the entire SBISD Family.  These two overriding priorities have informed and shaped  
our 2020-21 back-to-school plan, LearnSBISD.
 
LearnSBISD affirms how - together - we’ll support these priorities, and your role as our vital partners. LearnSBISD provides information families need to make the best decisions for their child’s education. 
 
The plan was informed by countless hours of research and planning by district and campus leaders, employee and family surveys, medical professionals, lessons learned from Spring 2020, summer pilot programs, and local, state and national health and government agency guidance. LearnSBISD addresses four critical areas of focus.
 
OUR PLAN FOCUSES ON: 
 
Health and Safety 
Teaching and Learning 
Family Supports
Staying Connected 
 
Click the link provided below to learn more about LearnSBISD.
 
 

Sofia Alvarez was honored during the 17th annual Character Without Question awards ceremony at the Feb. 24, 2020 Spring Branch ISD board meeting. She was nominated and selected for the award from the student body for embodying strong character traits such as honesty, kindness, integrity, perseverance, courage, caring, and more.

Each school’s honoree received a framed award, the book “Oh the Places You Will Go,” and congratulations from all SBISD Trustees, to the cheers of family, friends and school leaders gathered in the Northbrook High auditorium.

At the pre-event reception, supported by Wells Fargo and the Spring Branch Education Foundation, the Character Without Question honorees enjoyed refreshments and had photos taken with their families.

Congratulations Sofia!

 

Lindley Amarantos, head girls soccer coach at Memorial High School, was recently honored by national and district officials as best in class as she received a prestigious coaching award.

The National Federation of State High School Associations named Amarantos as recipient of its award for State Coach of the Year for Girls Soccer during a presentation ceremony held April 20 in Austin. In 2018, the Mustangs team won the UIL 6A girls state soccer championship.

Amarantos was praised by the national federation for reflecting excellent coaching abilities on and off the athletic field.

“Your service to the state of Texas has not gone unnoticed, and we are very proud to have positive role models like yourself impacting our student-athletes. Thank you for representing your team, school, community and the University Interscholastic League in a manner that is to be commended and celebrated,” the national federation said in its recent award nomination.

In addition to national recognition, Coach Amarantos was honored by the SBISD Board of Trustees with a special recognition presentation during its May 20 regular monthly meeting.

 

Memorial High School swimmers are headed to state, but they won’t need lanes or starting blocks.

 

These swimmers will represent Memorial in water polo, a club sport not sanctioned by the University Scholastic League (UIL). A number of area schools participate in water polo as an off-season conditioning program for swimmers who choose to participate.

“I started the water polo program at Memorial in 2006 in order to help our swim team to have a different experience during the off season,” said Memorial High School swimming coach Jason Mauss. “We play about 40 boy and 40 girl games during our season from late February to early May.”

The MHS boys and girls teams came in second in the District 24 contest, which earned them a trip to the state-level competition May 3-4 in Austin (see results in UPDATE below).

In the District 24 area of Houston, players from Stratford High School men’s team tied for fifth at the regional tournament held in late April. Spring Woods High School also participates in water polo.

Click here to see a photomontage of the MHS teams’ experience at regionals.

Water polo at MHS has over 50 athletes who train after school to improve their agility, teamwork, swimming, and ball-handling skills in a competitive way. 

 

The teams practice in the SBISD Natatorium as well as host many games and tournaments involving more than 60 Houston-area high schools with club water polo teams.

Three sophomores from the MHS teams – Will Robinson, Mason Welch and Tessa Welch – also participate on the USA Olympic Development Team. Miss Welch represented this team in Hungary last summer.

Mauss has taught at MHS for 14 of his 18 years in education. He played club water polo at Texas A&M during college and travels to the Junior Olympics in California each summer.

“This is our 13th season of polo at Memorial and [our] fourth trip to state,” said Mauss.

UPDATE: The MHS boys and girls teams placed fifth overall in the state tournament, the highest finish ever for the MHS Water Polo program. Three of the teams' athletes were named to the All State team: Will Robinson, Tessa Welch and Colin Norton.

Submitted by Rusty Graham (russell.graham@springbranchisd.com) and Becky Wuerth (becky.wuerth@springbranchisd.com), SBISD Communications.

 

The MHS Meistersingers, the varsity mixed choir at Memorial High, competed recently during the Texas Renaissance Festival, beating out 20 other high school choirs in the Large Mixed Choir Division for a first-place trophy.

The group’s win marked the first appearance at the special-event choir festival for the MHS Meistersingers. The Meistersingers competed against high school choirs from Austin, Houston, the San Antonio area and other surrounding school districts.

The Texas Renaissance Festival, which dates back to 1974, is held over nine weekends in October and November. More than a half million festivalgoers regularly visit the site in Grimes County, about 55 miles northwest of Houston.

The medieval festival operates on 50-plus acres. It’s well known for its costumed actors, walking performers, themed weekend celebrations, artisans, shops and music, dancers and special public reenactments ranging from medieval jousts to free-flying bird shows.

The MHS Meistersingers won first place performing on a festival grounds stage during an Early Music Festival for middle and high school groups, held on Nov. 7. 

“This was the first time Meistersingers has competed in this competition, and we are so proud to have come out on top, even against several past competition winners,” reports Memorial High Director of Choirs Lawrence Johnson.

Meistersinger is a German term for “master singer,” and the term was used to describe a member of a German guild who performed lyric poems, early music composition and unaccompanied art song during the 14th through 16th centuries.

Memorial High Choir students in recent years have won numerous local, regional and state awards, including prestigious All-State recognitions.

Members of the MHS Meistersingers include: Mina Azad, Eric Bavaro, DeCory Brown, Lydia Bryant, Laura Carrasco, Angela Choi, My-Lien Dang, Rober Diaz, Diona Evers, Laura Fields, Joseph Finck, Max Gao, Mason Guzman, Logan Hallock, Payton Hill, Connie Lee, Connie Lee, Elizabeth Lee and Daniel Lim.

Student members also include Connor Moore, Colin Norton, Taylor O’Hara, Alex Papin, Emily Read, Reagan Sepulveda, Carter Smith, Maisa Syed, James Tesarek, Sophia Trifilio, David Trippon, Crystal Wang, Chandler Weber and Reece Wilkinson.

Visitors to Memorial High School’s Dia de los Muertos celebration on Nov. 2 quickly learned one thing – the Day of the Dead is not Halloween, nor is it observed like Halloween.

Organized by the Spanish III classes of teachers Yoset Altamirano and Rafaela Berrones, Friday’s celebration included altars celebrating the lives of prominent Hispanic figures, a main altar and a mariachi band in the lobby of the MHS auditorium. Colorful “papel picado” – paper cut into intricate and elaborate designs, hung over a mock graveyard.

 

Spanish III students at MHS study the history and roots of the celebration then bring it to life by learning about an important Hispanic figure and creating an altar.

Spanish Club President Asha Ayyar told those crowded into the lobby that Day of the Dead started with the Aztecs and other pre-Hispanic cultures in Central America. The Aztecs in particular believed that the spirits of the dead return, and Dia de los Muertos is a holiday to honor the spirits of loved ones.

Spanish conquerors didn’t like the tradition of recognizing the dead – for them, death was final and the celebrations scared them. For the Aztecs, though, death was part of the circle of life and even loved ones who had passed from the earth enjoyed the beauty of the decorations and celebrations.

Altars today include photos of the loved ones as well as items that the person enjoyed in life, including food and sweets.

 

Altamirano said that in Honduras, her home country, the holiday is sort of like Memorial Day here, where families go to cemeteries to clean gravesites of loved ones. It wasn’t until she got to Houston that she learned the Mexican tradition.

Barrones said that she’s from Mexico but really didn’t know the celebration until her college years at Texas Tech, where she was active in the Spanish Club.

“It has nothing to do with Halloween,” said Barrones. “It’s not spooky … kids can learn about their family members.”

Altamirano and Barrones were dressed as La Catrina, a skeletal lady first depicted by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada and stylized more elegantly by Diego Rivera. Slang for elegant or well-dressed, La Catrina has become the iconic image in the Day of the Dead celebrations.

Many MHS Spanish students wore faces painted as skeletons throughout the day Friday, including freshmen Sarah Davis, Renee Read and Morgan Valdivieso. Durng an interview with MHS broadcast journalists, Read said she got “a lot of weird looks in the hallway” but that the day was fun.

 

Altamirano said that her classes celebrate Day of the Dead every year, but has the bigger event such as Friday’s every other year.

Day of the Dead is used as a teaching and learning opportunity at various campuses across the district.