UIL Academics Kicks into High Gear
Christmas has come and gone for another year, so that means it is time for Pine Tree's UIL Academics team to kick into high gear and make another great run into spring and the end of the school year.
Pine Tree has a rich history in UIL Academics, and this year should add to that history as the team begins its work Saturday with a meet at home. Pine Tree annually begins the spring schedule with a meet that is well attended, and this year will be no different.
UIL Coordinator Collin Robertson said nearly 30 teams will be attending the PT meet this year, and others wanted to come but rooms were already full with competitors.
"We feel we have a good group of competitors and will do well this spring," Robertson said. "From math science to ready writing to journalism to debate to current events and social studies, we have students who have been working all year to get ready for these meets," he said. "Pine Tree should bode well in these competitions."
Robertson is in his first year of coordinating UIL but he is not new to competition. Last year, he had several students excel in Social Studies and current events, and combined with Deborah Wait and Jennifer Cartwright in Math Sciences the Blue and Gold is looking for people to reach state for the third year in a row.
The team will go to Mount Pleasant, Hallsville and a couple of other locations for meets this spring before heading into district in April. Regionals and state follow that with the season ending in May.
Other than UIL, choir and band still have competitors looking for state recognition in events this spring. Danielle Warren with choir and Aaron Turner with band will both have a multitude of competitors in regional and state events in the next month or so, and both of those programs are also looking for good results from the young people.
"The program keeps getting better and better because the young people put the work into it to get better," Warren said. "That also inspires others to reach that level as well."
Turner and the Pine Tree Band are already known around East Texas as one of the top programs,
but he would like that notoriety to stretch across the state with PT band members earning statewide recognition.
"I am so appreciative of our young people and how hard they work," Turner said. "And, now it is time for that work to pay off as they go to competitions."
Lisa Wright and the One Act Play group also feel that drive for success.
Wright and her cast and crew are 100 percent into working on the production which will enter competition in February, and they are excited about the opportunity they have to move into regionals and state.
Wright is in her first year of teaching at Pine Tree, but she is no stranger to One Act Play success.
And, she is bringing that experience to a group of students who have missed regionals by one place the last two years and who are ready to take that next step.
Along with competitions, seniors are beginning those last steps toward graduation with the ordering of caps and gowns and graduation announcements. They are also finishing college plans and finding out from their counselors about things they need to finish before May to graduate.
The underclassmen are now having meetings with counselors on their plans for next year, and Pine Tree is presenting an exciting array of courses for students to take along with the core classes they need to graduate.
Pine Tree is known for its excellent diversity in courses so that students get a taste of a host of professions while earning high school class credit. Pine Tree also offers a wide variety of dual credit classes to allow students to begin, as high school juniors and seniors, to earn college credits.
It may only be 40 school days until Spring Break, but don't tell high school administrators, teachers and students that. They are all very busy moving forward in their academic pursuits, all of which will end up allowing Pine Tree to have another excellent and memorable school year.