SMHS weekly publication Vol. 2 Issue 12 12/02/2022

They're Back!

Who is back? Well, Cougar ESports that's who we are talking about. Last year, as part of our Ace Program, SMHS was able to field an organized league playing ESports team for the first time. Mr. John Hernandez sponsor and coach returns once again and has high hopes for his team, as many of his players from last year's team return. Last year's team played Halo, this year the team will be competing by playing Fortnite. He adds, that he is super proud of his group and extremely fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to work with such an enthusiastic and talented group of students. They are once again members of the High School ESports League which enables the team to play against teams from all over the nation online. League play begins this week and will go until the end of the school year. Just like athletes, members of the team also have the opportunity to be contacted and recruited by universities who field Esports team and this is evident as one of our very own Junior Damian Palafox at present has been contacted by Graceland University. Graceland is located in Iowa and have expressed a desire to have Damian join them and be a part of their university's ESports Team. The high school team is composed of Juniors: Ethan Chavez, Damien Palafox, Joseph Vasquez, and Sophomores Allan Gomez, and Jonathan Morales. Our junior high team is composed of Victor Chavez, Luis Espinoza and our first female gamer Ailed Garcia.

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Graceland University Bound...

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Damian Palafox ESports extraordinaire...

Ms. November (SOM)

It is once again time to announce our Student of the Month. Please join "The Cougar Weekly" in congratulating our November SOM Sophomore Carmen Guzman Rangel. Carmen joined SMISD shortly before the pandemic and was enrolled as an eighth grader upon her arrival from the state of Guerrero in Mexico. In speaking to her, she says that even though at times it has been a difficult adjustment, she has trained herself to focus on the opportunities that an education will provide and not on the difficulties. By coming to school in Texas, Carmen shares with us that she is fulfilling her mother's desire that she be educated in America and as the oldest in a family of three brothers has embraced being the positive role model in her family. Though, she only has three years of English instruction under her belt, she is doing extremely well in her classes, and gives her grandmother Maria del Carmen most of the credit for that, as her grandmother has been instrumental in helping her learn the English language as well as lending a hand when needed with her school work. Her teachers will attest that her attitude and desire to excel is in her DNA. Her most difficult subject is English but what makes it easier for her is that the class is taught by her favorite teacher Ms. Garza. Ms. Garza says the following about her "Carmen Rangel is hardworking and driven. While she may be a student of a few words, when she does speak up, she is the one that shines brightly. She's an excellent reader with wonderful handwriting. She shows her passion for learning both in the classroom, on the court or out on the track and truly a joy to have in class!" Carmen is not only an excellent scholar but also an athlete. This year she was on the Girls Cross Country team, is currently playing Varsity Basketball and in the spring will join the track team. Last spring she participated in UIL Number Sense and Calculator Applications. In addition to that she also makes time afterschool to meet up with the activities that The Electrical Vehicle Club at school is involved in. To sum it all up, Carmen is one student who truly appreciates the opportunities that SMHS offers its students and is happy to be proactive and partake of the total high school experience.


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Mrs. November (TOM)

When a new month rolls around we take a moment and the opportunity to reflect on the last one and of course, we also use the time to announce Mrs. Karla Leal as a most worthy recipient of our November Teacher of the Month award. Yay! Three Cheers for Mrs. Leal! Si Se Puede, Si Se Puede! Mrs. Leal is a five year veteran of the teaching profession and has spent all five of them here at SMHS teaching Spanish as well as Spanish AP and dual credit courses. Mrs. Leal tells us that she enjoyed her high school's Spanish teacher class so much that looking back she is certain it served as her impetus to propel her into her chosen profession of teaching. What keeps her and her classes going and energized day in and day out is her love and desire to learn more every day about the culture of each of the 21 Hispanic countries that she covers in her courses. Three adjectives that people that know Mrs. Leal well use to describe are nice, friendly and loyal. The Cougar Weekly couldn't agree more with that assessment of her. Two fun facts that she shared with us is that her last name of (Leal) actually means loyal and that before she became a teacher, wife, and mother she actually was part of a pop music band. Yes, you read that last line correct. Hmmm... Maybe we can get her to perform something for us at the next pep rally. Who would have thought that about her? We do in fact learn something new every day.

Congrats Mrs. Leal for a job Well Done...

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Congratulations to all the young men who were selected to their respective All-District teams. Hats off to you for doing an outstanding job on the field, classroom and representing SMHS. On a separate note, basketball seasons for both the boys and girls is well underway. Please do your best to show your school spirit, attend the games and support the Mighty Blue and Gold. As always GO COUGARS!

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Lady Cougar BBall...

This year the Lady Cougars are being led by Coach Rodemiro Alvarez (pictured on the right). Mr. Alvarez came on board this year and is a 25 year veteran of the coaching profession. Currently, the program is only fielding a varsity team and he has 10 girls proudly wearing the Blue and Gold. Members of the team are: Aleila Cantu, Anika Cantu, Marlett Flores, Mia Picazo, Pricila Ruiz, Carmen Rangel, Giselle Mendoza, Araceli Magdaleno, Avery Back and Melanie Garza. The Lady Cougars season is well under way and so far they have displayed teamwork, tenacity and resiliency in the 12 games they have played. As of this writing, the team currently sports a 8-4 record. Recently, the Lady Cougars participated and were crowned champions of the Santa Rosa Tournament. Coach tells us that during the championship game of the tournament he was extremely proud with the way his team kept its composure, persevered when they defeated a feisty San Isidro Lady Tigers team by the score of 42-40. This weekend the girls are playing in the La Feria Tournament and so far they came up short in their opening game against La Feria but rebounded nicely against PSAJ Memorial. Great start to your season Lady Cougars.... Keep on Keeping On!

Santa Rosa Tournament Champs!

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Reading is Lit!

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Message of the Week (MOW)

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Words of Wisdom (WOW)

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Picture of the Week (POW)

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If this doesn't make you wonder or bring a smile to your face we are not sure what will....

The Cupcake Club (Birthdays)

This week Birthday Central returns back to report on Cougar Birthdays after our one week Thanksgiving Break hiatus. We start out by wishing Sophomore Ximena Castellanos a Happy Belated Birthday as she celebrated her special day on November 23rd, Sophomore Kaylie Ortiz followed her on Tuesday the 29th and Senior Rolando Garza Jr. called the 30th his special day. On the faculty side a Happy Belated Birthday Wish goes out to Mr. Crisanto Cavazos as he had a another birthday to be thankful for when he blew out the candles on his birthday cake on the 23rd of November. Do reach out to these Cougars and acknowledge their festive days. May their birthdays be full of joy and may they celebrate many more.

Kindness it costs nothing, but means Everything!

Happy BDay to YOOOUUUU! And many More!!



Greetings all,

We are fast approaching the end of the first semester and soon we well breaking for our Christmas Holidays. I am happy to share with the community that our planning period for PTECH is almost complete and we are more than ready for the goals we have formulated for the coming years. PTECH at SMISD will provide more opportunities for our students and the community. We have a great team of educators and staff that will help us make sure that all our students are college ready or career ready.

The TSI Boot Camp was a success and more students are eagerly getting ready to embark their college career by participating in our dual enrollment program. We are happy to make it possible and help our students to understand the college process. We have partnered with higher education agencies that are helping our students complete applications for college, FAFSA, and scholarships. Students now better understand the importance of meeting deadlines and setting goals. We have an upcoming meeting this Tuesday with TSC out of Brownsville, to explain the dual enrollment process. The community and those that are interested are invited to this meeting so they can learn more about the options available. We will continue striving for excellence for the rest of the year and appreciate any of your feedback. If you have any questions please feel free to come by our campus. May your weekend be a restful one and as always GO COUGARS!

Mrs. Y. Flores

Santa Maria High School


12/1-3rd GBBALL: La Feria Tournament

12/1st-3rd BBALL: Corpus Christi Tournament

12/3 ACADEMICS: STAAR Saturday Academies 8 am to 12 pm

12/6-9 ACADEMICS: STAAR Testing

12/6 BBALL: Cougars vs. La Feria (Home) 6/7:30 pm

12/6 GBBALL: Lady Cougs vs La Villa (Away) 6:30 pm

12/8th-10th BBALL: La Feria Tournament

12/8th-10th GBBALL: Lyford Tournament