Educators and Students of the Month

December Educator and Students of the Month:
 
High School Educator:
 
Kori Landman:
 
For her exceptional leadership and dedication to the improvement of the MHS Career and Technology Education program, agriculture teacher Kori Landman received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence from Principal Jamie Dornak at the December board meeting.
As a teacher, Miss Landman supervises nine different classroom subjects so that MHS students can earn credit for a coherent sequence of CTE courses in Ag Business, Ag Engineering, and Food Science. On top of that, she has provided fun learning opportunities, including processing chickens, making homemade noodles, and preparing homemade noodle soup. Her Floral Design students create arrangements for the holidays throughout the year and also made their own mums for homecoming.
In addition, she recently completed a three-day AWS welding inspector course so that she can administer D1.1 and D9.1 certification tests to our students, and she has also completed the Floral Instruction 1 & 2 requirements so that she can give knowledge-based certification tests to Floral Design students. These certifications are essential to our CTE program because they provide credentials that our students can use in the real world after graduation.
Miss Landman’s efforts don’t stop there. As an FFA advisor, she has grown our membership from 20 last year to 38 this year, and she also has 12 Junior FFA members. She also took two teams to area LDE competition in her first year of teaching and coached another student to that level this year.
Rounding out all that she does, Miss Landman works hard to help make the Junior Livestock Show a success. She attends monthly MJLS committee meetings, provides input when consulted, and offers her help as needed. Likewise, in order to help her students grow as agricultural leaders, she supervises their agricultural projects by making weekly visits to assess the progress of their animals for both the local and major stock shows.
 
 
High School Students:
 
Angeles Juarez and Julianna Buehring:
 
Student Council Historian Emma Buehring and Reporter Angeles Juarez received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for their exceptional leadership and compassion in organizing StuCo’s Game Night, which raised $415 that the Council then donated to the Turtle Wing Foundation. Turtle Wing is a 501c3 non-profit organization that helps children with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and developmental needs. Principal Jamie Dornak presented Emma and Angeles their Award of Excellence at the December board meeting. Congratulations, girls, on your well-deserved honor!
 
Elementary Educator:
 
Lisa Zidek:
 
2nd Grade Teacher and Art Director, Lisa Zidek received the Elementary Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence. She is dedicated to her students here at Moulton Elementary.  She has over 30 years teaching experience.  She sets an example to us all.  She is here early and stays late.  She comes up on holidays and weekends to work in her classroom.  She is always helpful and willing to share her knowledge with her peers.  She has started our art program from scratch and transformed it into a wonderful class for our students, which includes Rodeo Art, Christmas projects, Dia De Los Muertos Family Night, and numerous other projects throughout the year.  Along with teaching 2nd grade and being the Art teacher, she also volunteers in her community.  Mrs. Zidek has taught CCD on Sundays to students for many years.  She also volunteers her time at the church picnic.  She is one of the most dedicated teachers and she truly makes a difference in all of our students.  Congratulations, Lisa Zidek and thank you for your dedication and hard work to making our school and community a better place! 
 
Elementary Students: Amelia Buehring and Hailey Rothbauer
 
4th Grade Students, Amelia Buehring and Hailey Rothbauer, received the Elementary Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for their exceptional characteristics and qualities.  They both were nominated for their generosity and compassion towards other students in all of their classes.  They are always polite to adults and students.  On several occasions they have partnered up with students that are shy instead of going to be with their friends and they do this without being asked.   These girls demonstrate kindness, thoughtfulness, leadership, and respectfulness to name a few.  They both go above and beyond in and out of their classrooms.  They both participate in UIL and 4H.   I have seen them help others without being asked.  Volunteer when someone needs something and think of others when they need it.  Congratulations on your well-deserved award! 
 
January Educator and Students of the Month:
 
High School Educator:
 
Leigh Ann Darilek:
 
Our staff recipient of the January Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence is a teacher who has gone above and beyond to care for students as director of our Special Education and Emerging Bilingual programs.
Currently in her 10th year of education, she teaches eleven different subjects to 17 students each day, and because some of them come to her for multiple subjects, she’s actually teaching 30 students throughout the day. On top of that, she takes care of preparations for meetings, she writes goals and PLAPFS for each student and subject, she conferences with her students to address academic and emotional needs, she answers questions parents may have, and she seeks out any and all resources that will help her families.
She has planned the Texas Workforce Solutions family night next Wednesday, and she is working on providing this free resource to our students during class.
In addition to taking care of our special education population, she also oversees our Emerging Bilingual program, which requires her to attend training and conduct meetings. She also coordinates with EB parents and helps educate staff on dual language strategies.
For both of these programs, she is very passionate about providing the best individualized accommodations for students so that they can succeed.
She and her husband are active in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and serve as picnic chairmen, and together they have three children and a bonus daughter.
For her exceptional leadership and dedication to the MISD Special Education and Emerging Bilingual programs, we congratulate our staff recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Mrs. Leigh Ann Darilek.
 
High School Student:
 
Mickey Burger
 
As our district works to meet the ever-changing needs and requirements in education, we still hold on to what we’re known for, our tradition of excellence in academics and athletics. This month’s student recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence has certainly done her part in sports to hold up the traditions our school, as well as her family, are known for.
Her commitment to excellence began paying off when she was named Newcomer of the Year in her basketball district her sophomore year, and during that same year she was a member of the All-Region and All-State teams. As a junior, she received the honor of District MVP and for the second year in a row was an All-Region and All-State player. Those accomplishments led to her selection as a player in the All-Star Game in Arlington the summer before her senior year, and her accomplishments continue during her last season as a Kitten. She was the three-point champion in both the Port Aransas and Moulton tournaments, and she was named to the All-Tournament teams in Moulton and Port Aransas as well. On January 4, she eclipsed 1,400 career points and currently stands to pass 1500 as her current total is at 1,485.
On top of her dedication to the Kitten basketball program, she thought jumping into golf as a junior would be fun as well, and she ended up qualifying for the state meet.
Active as a mentor in our Peer Assistance and Leadership program, she strives to be a role model for others to follow and points to one lesson she has learned along the way. In her own words, she says, “Having accomplished all these things has taught me through hard work and dedication, your dreams really can come true.”
For her exceptional leadership and dedication to our athletic programs, we congratulate January's student recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, senior Mackenzie “Mickey” Berger.
 
Elementary Educator:
 
Michelle Ramos:
 
Moulton Elementary Secretary, Michelle Ramos, is the staff recipient of the January Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence. She goes above and beyond to care for our teachers and students and always has a willingness to help out.  She is always happy to assist us any way she can.  Even when things are hectic and we have a lot happening, she is able to handle the situations presented to her.  She is often pulled in many directions at once, but strives to help everyone she can.  Mrs. Ramos is the first face people see and the first voice they hear when they visit our campus.  She goes above and beyond for the staff here at the elementary to make sure everyone has what they need to be productive during the day.  She is helpful for our parents, teachers, and students.  We congratulate our staff recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Mrs. Michelle Ramos. 
 
 
 
Elementary Student:
 
Clayton Chaloupka:
 
Moulton Elementary Kindergartener, Clayton Chaloupka, has received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence. Even though this student is one of our youngest, he still exemplifies what a true Bobkat is all about.  He is a dependable and responsible student who helps others in the classroom.  He is polite and uses his manners, puts forth every effort in class, and produces quality work.  Even at just 6 years old, he demonstrates model behavior. We are very proud of our newest Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence recipient, Clayton Chaloupka. 
 
February Educator and Students of the Month:
 
Elementary Educator:
 
Debbie Rother
 
Moulton School Nurse, Debbie Rother, is the staff recipient of the February Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence.  She has worked in our district for over 30 years.  She is a vital employee who helps every student on our campus.  She is a wealth of knowledge and her years’ experience have proven to be beneficial to our district.  She takes care of all of us.  When COVID began 2 years ago, we could have never imagined what our district and community would go through.  She did not waver in the uncertain times and the unknown of COVID.  She uses her knowledge and expertise to help us make it through.  I am so glad we have her during this trying time.  She truly cares about our students, staff, and community.  She has dealt with cuts, bruises, broken bones, and allergic reactions to name a few.  She does vision and hearing screenings for our students. She helps organize vision screenings with our local Lions Club.  She is also the District SHAC coordinator.  She prepares and conducts all of our SHAC meetings.  She was a 4-H Leader for many years.  She volunteered her time to help make our 4-H groups successful.  She is a dedicated employee and is greatly appreciated by all.   She is involved in the community as well.  She is active in her church and church picnic.  We congratulate our staff recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Mrs. Debbie Rother.  
 
 
Elementary Student:
 
Joe Juarez
 
Moulton Elementary 5th Grader, Joe Juarez, has received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for the month of February.  He exemplifies what a dependable and responsible student is.  He is helpful to his classmates, cares for others, and goes out of his way to support others in his class.  Joe has great manners and is respectful toward teachers, staff members, and other students.  He does well with his classes and has a strong work ethic.  He has a terrific attitude and always wants to do well on assignments.  He is a leader in his classroom and is someone others can look up to.  We are very proud of our newest Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence recipient, Joe Juarez. 
 
High School Students and Educator:
 
February Award of Excellence Honorees (l-r) include VC instructor Dwayne Maly, Electrical I students Andrew Guyn, Draven Bridges, John Manzano, Tyler Siegel, Talan Darilek, Jodie Raabe, Matthew Rabin, and VC instructor Bill LeFurgey. Not pictured is Ryan West.

February’s student recipients of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence are a group of hardworking sophomores, juniors, and seniors who enrolled in the Electrical I class this year. These students recently achieved their CORE and Site Safety Orientation certifications. These are national certifications that employers want to see as part of the hiring process, and they increase employability skills that can help these students enter the workforce after graduation.

Staff recipients of this month’s Award of Excellence are from Victoria College, and without their efforts and expertise, MHS would not be able to offer a class like Electrical I and the certification opportunities that come with it. Instructors include Bill LeFurgey and Dwayne Maly. Bill was the chief engineer for TYO Corporation in Austin and also owned his own custom air conditioning and refrigeration company in Victoria, He also worked for Whataburger as a training coordinator for the South Texas area and managed maintenance for ten years. Dwayne hails from Shiner and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M in 1993. He worked for Alcoa for 23 years and has been with VC for the last 5. He is director of the CE Industrial programs including Core, Carpentry, Electrical, HVAC, Millwright, Pipefitting, Plumbing, Power Line worker, and Welding. On a side note, his father is a proud graduate of Sam and Will Moore Institute, so he has ties to our school traditions.

Kudos to our VC partners in education and our hardworking Electrical I students!!!
 
March Educator and Students of the Month:
 
Elementary Educator:
 
Moulton Elementary Aid, Melissa Berckenhoff, is the staff recipient of the March Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence.  She has worked in our district for over 12 years.  She is an essential employee who goes out of her way to help students be successful.  She is a vital staff member for our younger elementary students.  She pulls students into small groups to help struggling readers.  She helps teachers where needed.  She never complains and is always willing to help.  She has been an important part of our Art program here at the elementary.  She helps with Rodeo Art and other projects throughout the year.  She knows our students and meets their needs.  She is an instrumental aid to our elementary campus and we are so lucky to have her.  She is also active in her church.  She taught Sunday School for many years, is a Catholic Daughter, and her family helps out at the church picnic.  We congratulate our staff recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Mrs. Melissa Berckenhoff. 
 
Elementary Students:
 
Moulton Elementary 5th Graders, Ava Olivarez, David Fernandez, Brianna Gomez, and Joe Juarez have received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for the month of March for their participation and placing in the Annual Conservation Awards Poster and Essay Contest hosted by the Lavaca Soil and Water Conservation District.  Ava Olivarez won first place for her essay.  In the poster contest, David Fernandez received first place, Brianna Gomez received second place, and Joe Juarez received third place.  Each year our local Lavaca Soil and Water Conservation District #334 hosts a poster and essay contest.  The topic for this year’s poster and essay contest was “Healthy Soils: Healthy Life.”  Students have to either create a poster or essay to submit to our SWCD local office.  From there they judge the posters and essays.  We would like to recognize these students and this program to highlight the importance of the Lavaca County Soil and Water Conservation District.  Living in a rural community, organizations like this are so important.  It is vital for our students to understand just how important our soil and water are to us and to the next generations.  Our teachers do a fantastic job every year to teach students about soil and water conservation, and the poster and essay contest can help bring together what the students learn along with their own creativity. We honor four 5th grade students for their incredible work on their posters and essays.    We are very proud of our newest Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence recipients.  
 
High School Educator:
 
Our staff recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence is a teacher who serves as the perfect example of what it means to be a servant leader in our school and in our community.

She has taught English for 18 years, and in each of those years she has served as the Student Council advisor. It is through StuCo that she has developed the leadership skills of our students, showing them how to plan, organize, and conduct events that improve the lives of our students. Under her guidance, the Council has earned the Outstanding Student Council Award 17 years running, and the Moulton Council has served as a district officer for 14 years. She has been named the TASC District Advisor of the Year in 2015, 17, 19, and most recently, in 2022, and a perfect example of how active our StuCO is can be seen in their bid for state president. In 2016, the students decided that little 1A Moulton would head to the state convention with a campaign plan to run for the President school of State StuCo. I had the privilege of chaperoning and helping our advisor and students from MHS force a run-off vote for the office. It came down to a 1A Council vs. a 6A Council. Moulton was the runner-up for president that year, but our Council members were the biggest winners at the convention because of their tenacity, teamwork, and leadership skills.

Rounding out her school efforts, she has been a 4-H club manager for four years, she sponsors the yearbook, and she has coached students to the state academic meet in Ready Writing and Prose Interpretation.

Her list of community activities is long and impressive, with most of her efforts centered around St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the Youth Mass Coordinator and helped begin the monthly pancake breakfast at church, and after years as a member and director of the Chamber, she now serves as president and was instrumental in obtaining the GVEC Power Up grant which added a 16-foot lighted tree to our downtown Yule Trail. You can see why I nominated her for the Chamber’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year, an well-deserved award she was presented Sunday night.

For her dedicated servant leadership and her commitment to her school and community, please help me congratulate our staff recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award, and our current Distinguished Citizen, Anna Bartos.

High School Student:
 
This month’s student recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence is a senior who has led by example and achieved quite an impressive list of accomplishments. She has participated in the Student Council, FFA, Beta Club, 4-H, UIL academics, and athletics. Her honors include being a part of the 1st place State Social Studies Team in which she garnered a silver medal as an individual, and her Science team also placed third at state. She garnered Grand Champion honors in the Republican Women of Yoakum’s essay contest and earned her FFA Lone Star Degree as well. Her community activities include maintaining the Governor’s Community Achievement Landscape Monument, volunteering at the Lutheran church spaghetti supper, working at and donating to the Catholic Church picnic, refereeing Little Dribblers, baking pies for the scholarship auction, and working at the hamburger stand at Jamboree. Currently ranked number one in her class, she will attend Texas A&M in the fall to major in biomedical sciences, and after receiving her bachelor’s degree, she will continue her education with the ultimate goal of becoming a large and small animal veterinarian in a rural area. This senior’s outstanding resume and character resulted in her most recent honor- being selected as the Chamber of COmmerce Outstanding Senior at Sunday’s banquet. For her exceptional leadership and accomplishments, please help me congratulate our student recipient of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Catherine Wenske.
 
April Educators and Students of the Month
 
Elementary Educators:
 

Moulton ISD Music and Band Directors, Mr. Joel Whittington and Mr. George Koudelka, are the recipients of the April Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence.  These two have been with the district for many years. They both play an important role for our students. Mr. Whittington has been a band director for years and has been Moulton’s band director for 17 years.  He teaches band to our students from 4th grade until high school.  He is a wealth of knowledge and we are lucky to have him teaching our students. Mr. Koudelka has been with Moulton for over 40 years.  He teaches music to our Pre-K through 3rd grade students.  He is dedicated to Moulton and loves working with the students.  Both of these recipients work hard with our students from teaching them music, using different kinds of instruments, and performing band concerts.  They have helped grow our music program and Moulton ISD is lucky to have them.  We congratulate our staff recipients of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Joel Whittington and George Koudelka.

Elementary Students:
 

Moulton Elementary Kindergartener, Christian Mezik, has received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for the month of April. Christian has shown tremendous growth and we couldn’t be more proud of him.  He is always polite and does his best in the classroom.  He loves to participate in music and is learning how to read.  Seeing his excitement as he learns new things brings us all joy.  He always follows the rules!  He has a great memory, is always willing to participate in class discussions, and works well with others.  He always puts in 100% effort in everything he does.  We are very proud of our newest Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence recipient, Christian Mezik.  

 

High School Students:

This month's student recipients are two young ladies who have excelled both in and out of school. Our first student is a senior who has definitely risen to the occasion in our new art program and displayed her talents in a variety of ways. Her paper mache project you see here tonight is a testament to her talent and love of horses, and that same passion and set of artistic skills are reflected in her Houston Rodeo Art project, which won her Best in Show for Moulton High School. She has also utilized her artistic abilities as a member of our Poetry Interpretation team, and as a junior she competed at the UIL Academic State Meet in that event. She is also an active member of the Shiner Lutheran Church, where she often volunteers, and most recently she helped run a hamburger stand at the Shiner Cook-Off and Car show, with the proceeds funding camp fees for children at her church. After graduation next month, she plans to move to New Braunfels, begin her online Vet Tech training program through Penn-Foster, and work as a horse trainer with Destiny and Steven Ranch Horses. Eventually, she hopes to open her own horse training business. The daughter of Brian and Erika Baker, she is one of this month’s recipients of the  Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, so please help me congratulate Kristina Baker.

Our second recipient this evening is a junior who has been active in and out of school. She has represented MHS as a member of our cross country, basketball, and softball teams, and she has also participated in FFA as the club reporter. She has also exhibited lambs in the local and San Antonio stock shows, and she has represented MHS as a member of the livestock judging team. In our community, she has excelled in representing Moulton, Lavaca County, and Texas through the pageant circuit. Currently, she holds the state titles of Texas Teen Miss United States Agriculture and Miss Lonestar Teen, and she will compete in two national pageants in Florida in June and July. In her first pageant, she will represent Texas as she vies for the national title of Teen Miss United States Agriculture, and as Miss Lonestar Teen, she will compete with girls from the the United States, as well as contestants from other countries, during the Royal International Miss Pageant held at Disney in Orlando. She is the daughter of Eugene and Tina Trejo,  and she is our second recipient of the student Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence this evening. Join me in congratulating Kaylee Trejo.

High School Educator:

 The staff member receiving tonight’s Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence has been instrumental in reviving our high school art program, which has not been active since Mrs. Caballero was in high school decades ago. She shifted from teaching theater to art last summer, and when she did, she hit the ground running, earning her certification and then planning interesting projects for her students to showcase their talents. Her class has created projects involving stained glass, paper mache, and clay, and mediums she has introduced to her students include charcoal, water colors, acrylics, and pastels. In addition to art, she teaches a full schedule of English classes and also coaches Literary Criticism. This year her Lit Crit team has advanced to the regional meet in Brenham next week.

She volunteers her time outside of school to St. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, and she is very committed to her family- her husband Brian, children Kaitlyn, Emma, and Felix, and her parents Marlon and Debbie Novosad. A dedicated teacher who has taught a total of nine years- including the last three here in Moulton- please help me congratulate our staff recipient of this month’s Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence, Amber Nieto.

May Educators and Students of the Month

Elementary Educators:

Moulton ISD Teachers Anita Drabek, Amber Kopecky, Brandi Chovanec, Bernadette Nieto, Jennifer Morrison, Karla Kresta, Megan Hull, and Pat Zidek are the recipients of the May Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for completing the Texas HB3 Reading Academies.  In recent years, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3 which includes HB 3 Reading Academies.  This bill states that all Kindergarten-3rd grade teachers are required to complete the HB3 Reading Academies.   This school year we had 8 teachers who have completed the Reading Academy.  This was no easy feat. The Reading Academy was a yearlong online course which included dozens of assignments, artifacts to be completed, and hundreds of discussions that were had.  These 8 people are all amazing teachers and spent countless hours completing this course.  While they all earn 60 hours of continuing education, many spent more time throughout the year.  These teachers are the core teachers in teaching our youngest students foundational skills. Region 3 has worked with us to make sure we completed our modules on time and they complemented our teachers at every update.  They said Moulton has “such a hardworking and dedicated team.”  We couldn’t agree more.  These teachers are the definition of hardworking and dedicated.  We congratulate our staff recipients of the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for the completion of the Reading Academies. 

Elementary Students:

Moulton Elementary 5th Grader, Blake Robinson, has received the Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence for the month of May.  Blake received the honor of Top Reader in the entire elementary.  He has read enough books to receive 505.5 Accelerated Reader points.  The goal for 5th grade is 125 points and as you can see he outdid this goal.  We are so very proud of him.  Not only is he a great reader, he also excels in the classroom.  He will also receive the top level for XtraMath.  He is willing to help others when they need help understanding different concepts.  Blake always has a great attitude and always tries his very best.   He works hard, completes assignments, and is always willing to help out.  We are very proud of our newest Katz and Kittens Award of Excellence recipient, Blake Robinson. 

High School Students:

 Two young men who have done what it takes to excel in their respective sports, and at this time I would ask Trenton Meisetschleager and Mateo Vasquez to please come up. Trenton and Mateo, along with their families, have devoted countless hours outside of school to practicing, playing, and honing their athletic abilities, all the while making their academics a priority. Because of their dedication, talent, hard work, and perseverance, they have reaped the rewards. Trenton was named to the Student Athlete World basketball team and will represent his community and country when he plays among the best in Costa Rica this summer, and Mateo’s talent was recognized when he was chosen as member of the Barca World Tour soccer team in the 14U division, a dream of his that was cancelled due to COVID. He finally got the chance to play soccer in Barcelona, Spain, in April, and he has since been featured in the Victoria Advocate and in a TV feature story. Please join me in congratulating these young men- Trenton and Mateo- for all that they have accomplished.

 

Our Awards of Excellence continue with the students who placed at the UIL State Academic Meet in Austin last weekend. This group earned 102 points at the state meet and currently lead all 1A schools pending the Speech state meet in two weeks. As I call your name, please remain up here for a group picture.

Zoey Sturm- Zoey is a freshman and placed 6th at the state meet in Ready Writing.

The Math Team of Jaxon Bartos, Trenton Meisetschleager, Tatum Langston, and Lily Simper. This group brought home the silver medal in team competition in Math.

Lily Simper- Lily placed 2nd in Calculator Applications.

Oscar Lugo, Angelica Manzano, Leslie Juarez, and Julianna Buehring- This group won the state championship in Spelling with a score of 244 points, which makes them back-to-back state champs in Spelling. Angelica placed 4th individually, Leslie placed third, and Julianna, who is a sophomore, placed first in state spelling.

Blakely Richter, Moises Manzano, Alex Tortoledo, and Catherine Wenske. These students won the state Social Studies championship, which makes them back-to-back state champions as well. Individually, Moises placed 5th, Alex finished 4th, and Catherine Wenske won the gold medal.   Please give these hardworking academic contestants a round of applause for their outstanding performance at state.

High School Educators:

Our solid tradition of success in academics would not be possible without the coaches who work so hard during school and in many after-school practices to push their students to be the best they can be, and tonight we honor them for their tireless dedication to excellence.

Anna Bartos coached Zoey to 6th place in Ready Writing, an event she has coached since 2010. During that time she has taken five students to the state meet, with Zoey and another of her students placing. She currently coaches prose interpretation as well and coached poetry in the past as well.

Randy Stevenson says he was like me- he didn’t know UIL academics existed until he moved to Moulton, and he began participating his freshman year because his friends told him to. He said he realized quickly that anything short of a medal at state was not acceptable. He competed in Spelling, Headline Writing, Computer Applications, and Computer science. When he began working at MHS in 2014, he was given Math and Calculator Applications to coach- events he had no experience in. But he learned the ins and outs of the test and how to maximize points, and his teams have captured the regional championship in Calculators the last five years of competition with three individual medalists at the state meet. 2022 is the first year a Math team advanced to the state meet, and through his guidance, they were the state runners-up.

Heather Olivarez has been coaching academic UIL since 1995, and she says she realized very quickly that winning was expected. Her first state appearance was in 2001, and after Mr. K left, she picked up spelling because she knew we needed the points to win the district and regional championships. In 2004, she made her first trip to state in Spelling. That’s the same year the UIL began the Social Studies contest, and she took her team to state that very first year. 

In spelling- which I began coaching with her in 2009, she’s had nine state appearances with teams placing in the top three and individuals placing in the top six, in Social Studies, her teams have made ten state appearances with teams placing in the top three and individuals in the top 6, and from 2014-2022, her teams competed at state in both Spelling and Social Studies each of those years, with both of those teams the current back-to-back state champions in these two events. Moulton wouldn’t have the rich tradition of academic success without dedicated, hardworking coaches like these three, so please help me show our appreciation and congratulations for all that they do.