Old Year/New Year

So here we are about to close out 2011 and jump into 2012.  It has been a very crazy fast paced year, and I honestly think that it’s going to continue to spiral rapidly on as we step forward.  2011 saw some amazing things and some horrific moments as well.  For the band, it was an stellar year in which they accomplished some incredible things, including winning the OBA Class 2A State Marching Band championship.  It was also a hard year as we have struggled watching as one of our own has fought leukemia and we hold our breath as we wait and see if his body will accept or reject his recent bone marrow transplant.  As the wife of a police officer, I have endured and blown up at people attacking our officers verbally and have read countless news stories of officers that we have lost due to them being targeted and taken out in cold blooded murder.  More, now than ever I fear for my husband every time he walks out the door and goes 10-8.  We may live in a small community, but that means nothing because anytime, anywhere someone could decide to take an officer out just because they can.

2011 has been probably the busiest year of my life.  I am a wife and a mother of 4 with one fixing to graduate.  I became the band booster president for this school year.  I work summers at The Castle selling fireworks.  And I spend more days than not doing whatever I can to help the band program, it’s director and students progress, inspire and be the most exciting program that Hennessey schools has to offer.  When I look at the calendar for 2012, I can’t help but cringe, because I think it’s going to be even busier than this year has been.  In January alone, we have 2 honor band concerts, are joining a band honor society program, I am going to start cataloging all the music in the band room, my husband will be gone 2 weeks for DARE training, so I will essentially be a single parent for that time.  We have to start working on mini band camp, Hennessey Band Day, the spring concert, the band ball and the band banquet.  There are also solo and ensemble contests as well as Tri-State that students have to start preparing for.  Throw in a couple of dances that we are going to DJ, that I am working towards starting a police officers apouse area support group and that I am contemplating writing a book and that my oldest has prom, baccalaureate and graduation.  Life before May is going to be a bit more crazy than I even thought it could possibly be.  In June we step into K101 Classic  Bowl and back to work through July.   Then, the cycle starts again with preparing for band camp.

People tell you to live life to the fullest.  Well, I don’t think I am having a problem there.  If anything, it’s a bit too full.  Would I change it? Nope, I just have to change my time management.  Am I excited?  Yep, and a bit scared along with it.  One minute I have more ideas than I can count for a book and the next I’m telling myself I must be nuts to even think about doing such a project, then I turn right around and say why not??  Is there any reason that I CAN’T write a book?

2012 is going to be a landmark year for not just myself, but my family.  It is going to be a year of significant change for us.  But it is also going to be an exciting year as we march with the band, stand with the thin blue line and write the words on our hearts.  The beginning of a new year, a chance for you to start in a fresh direction if you are not happy with the one you are going.  A chance to make a difference in the lives of students, friends, and family.  A chance to live life to the fullest.

City of Champions

Hennessey Eagles…….This is your time!  This is your moment!  This is your year of victory!

Every year, schools across the nation compete on all levels of competition to prove that they are the very best.  And while many schools are able to capture championships in a single area, be it sports, academic or the arts, it is a rare thing for a single school to capture multiple titles.  This year the Eagles of Hennessey, Oklahoma became a city of champions for the second year in a row, setting a new standard for competitive programs in schools.

Last night (12/10/11), the Hennessey Eagle football team captured their state championship, beating their rival Jones 21-7 at OSU’s Boon Pickens Stadium, lighting up the field, taking not just possession of the ball used in the game, but of the gold ball as well.  IAMBK has become not just a motto for the team, but a standard for the entire town.  I Am My Brother’s Keeper.

The Cross Country Track girls also proved that they have what it takes, exploding into action claiming their crown of victory.  Not just giving the team a great victory, but for two of it’s runners, Cheyenne Choate and Katie Lee individual five-time state champion titles.

The Pride of Hennessey Marching Band took a step towards expanding their marching competition level by becoming members of the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association as well as competing in OSSAA contests.  Unlike OBA, OSSAA does not hold a state title for marching bands.  The Pride stepped up to the challenge of competing against elite marching bands in this prestigious marching organization and claimed the title of OBA State Marching Band Champions in their first year of competition.

As we approach the 2nd semester of the 2011-12 school year, there is one title to be defended.  Last year the Lady Eagles track team captured their own championship and are waiting for their time to defend their title.  The school and the community stand behind them and look forward to watching and cheering them onto another victorious season!

As a parent, I have to say a huge thank you to the teachers, coaches and directors that work with our kids, helping them to succeed on every level, be it academics, sports, band, FFA, or chorus.  You invest into our children everyday and impact their lives on such a huge level.  To the community, the support that you show the kids that make up the Hennessey Eagles is extraordinary.  You stand behind them everyday in every way making them proud to call themselves Eagles.  To the students, you put in the work, the sweat, the tears, the injuries and drive yourselves to be the very best that you can be.  Not just for you coaches, teachers,directors and parents, but for yourselves.  Enjoy this moment at this time! You all have earned it, it is YOU, the students who made this town, Hennessey the CITY OF CHAMPIONS!!!!

 

 

Bass Drum Beauty

Having highlighted each section of the Pride of Hennessey marching band, one would think that we would be done featuring members of this amazing band.  Not so.  While we may not be looking at sections, there are still those who make up those sections who are worthy of being highlighted, so as we continue on the 2011-2012 Pride of Hennessey journey, we will look at it’s members, find out more about them, and brag on their abilities.  This week’s Mama Cross Featured Student is middle bass drummer Halee Garner.

Halee, also known as Aqua H is a sophomore whose favorite colors are lime green and bright yellow.  Her favorite numbers have always been 21 and 411 and loves pomegranates and watermelon.  When listening to music, she listens to Christian and her favorite movies are “Johnny” and “Odd Girl Out”.  Other favorites include the books “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Identical”, and animals are quarter horses, thoroughbreds and German Shepherds.  Her intense DISLIKE is having her picture taken.  I know this firsthand as I try to capture as many of her as I possibly can. 😉

Halee is an incredibly active young woman as she participates in band, piano, her church praise band, quilting, riding horses and hanging out with her friends.  Living in El Reno, which is 41 miles away from here in Hennessey, makes for very early mornings and very late nights.  Her driving force for this daily routine stems directly from band.

After spending her Friday nights in Hennessey at the games, she decided that this was something she wanted to be a part of, but “had no idea what she was getting herself into.”  Her day begins at 4:30am to make it to early band, and ends after 11:00pm after getting home from practices and ball games.  If you ask, she will tell you. “It’s worth every minute,” and believes that band has helped her work as a team, meet friends with the same interests, given her better self discipline and encourages her to have fun.  As a part of the drum line, she says that they work hard at everything they do and are not just a team, but a family.  Halee is not just a drummer, but a piano player as well and wants to do as much as she can to improve in both areas of music.

Her role modle is Diana Pruitt who she says is “always positive, a great teacher/musician and is there for her no matter what.  Diana ALWAYS puts others before herdels and works hard at what she wants,” and Hallee wants to be more like her, a wonderful Christian.

When talking about her future goals, Halee says that she wants to be a long term missionary in Djibouti and open a school/orphanage, showing how big of a heart she has towards others.  “If you want to feel rich, count the things you have money can’t buy.”

The Pride of Hennessey has an amazing group of students full of talent and dedication.   It is an amazing thing to have members such as Halee, who are not only talented and dedicated, but compassionate and caring as well.  It’s part of why she is an important member of the heartbeat of the band, a member of the drum line.