Sandra Day O'Connor High School (Helotes, Texas)
|Sandra Day O'Connor High School|
|12221 Leslie Road
Helotes, Texas Bexar County, 78023
|School type||Public, High School|
|School district||Northside Independent School District|
|Superintendent||Dr. Brian Woods|
|Vice principal||Ken Vogel|
|Grades||9 - 12|
|Color(s)||Navy Blue , Vegas Gold , and White|
|Rival schools||Louis D. Brandeis High School
Ronald Reagan High School
|Athletic conferences||UIL 5A Division I|
Opened in 1998, O'Connor High School followed the tradition of all the Northside ISD high schools in being named after a Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, who served from 1981 to 2006 and was the first female justice on United States Supreme Court. The school colors are navy blue, white and old gold and the mascot is the Panther. The principal was Larry Martin until 2010 when Jacqueline Horras became the new and current principal. O'Connor High School serves the entire town of Helotes and a small part of the larger central city of San Antonio. Feeder schools come from half of Garcia, Jefferson, Stinson, and Stevenson Middle Schools. The campus comprises over 15 limestone buildings and the walkways are mostly outdoors. In 2009, the school was rated "recognized" by the Texas Education Agency, and continues to hold this rating today.
O'Connor is classified as a UIL 5A high school. Students can participate in a wide variety of school sports. These sports include: Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Football, Goldusters Dance Team, Starduster Pep Squad, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Volleyball, and Track. Most school sports house practices and home games at O'Connor High itself, however, the football team, soccer team, and swimming & diving team uses The Dub Farris Athletic Complex off of Loop 1604 and Bamberger Trail for practice and home venues.
O'Connor has the largest and most expansive FFA complex in the Northside Independent School District. The Agriculture Department at O'Connor is a unique program in which students learn a wide variety of agricultural techniques in a hands-on environment. Any students residing in NISD are able to transfer from their zoned high school to attend O'Connor to participate in the agriculture program. The O'Connor FFA is the largest in the state of Texas.
The Sandra Day O'Connor High School Marching Band has been in existence since the school was open. O'Connor High School was one of Texas' largest marching bands, with over 360 members at its height, and was led by Mr. Wallace Dierolf from its inception until 2004. It is now headed by Mr. Roland Sandoval. After Dierolf's retirement, the school's newly built multipurpose facility, containing both a band hall and a dance studio, was named after him. Since the opening of Louis D. Brandeis High School, the band's numbers have dropped to 230. Under the direction of George G. Garza, the O'Connor Drumline placed first at the national PASIC indoor marching competition in Columbus, OH in November 2005. Wesley Perkins is the brass specialist and an assistant director.
In the 2008 marching season, the Panther band finished fourth place at the Area Marching Contest and moved on to the Texas 5A State Marching Competition for the first time. At the 5A State Marching Contest, The Panther Band placed 26th. Their UIL show was entitled "Things That Go Pop", an entertaining medley written by Key Poulan. The show included variations on the classic "Pop Goes The Weasel" melody, as well as colorful balloons, bubbles, and various popping sounds from the front ensemble. At the conclusion of the show, the band marched off the field to a jazzy arrangement of "Pop Goes the Weasel" - a feature for the trombones arranged by Bill Hill (brother of Matt Hill), a trombone player and senior in the class of '09.
In the 2010 marching season, the Panther Band finished 2nd place in the Area Marching Contest Preliminaries, and then advanced to the Finals round where they again took 4th place at the Contest, moving onto the Texas 5A State Marching Competition for the 2nd time, Contest to take place Nov. 2nd. Their UIL show was entitled "Phobia: What are YOU afraid of?" a show composed of movements that portray some common phobias in today's society, Written by Key Poulan.
In the 2012 marching season, the Panther Band finished 4th place in the Area Marching Contest Preliminaries, and once again advanced to the Finals round where they took 2nd place at the contest for the very first time. They would then move onto the Texas 5A State Marching Competition for the 3rd time, Contest to take place Nov. 6 where they placed 22nd out of 38 bands, three out of the five judges placed the band in the teens. Their UIL show was entitled "Rain" by Daniel Montoya Jr.
The O'Connor theatre program was pioneered by the Drama Department director Deann Fleming's (whom has sence retired) senior one-act project. It allows fourth-year theatre students to direct their own shows and produce them in various state and national theatre competitions.
Fleming's first year at O'Connor included performances of: Foxfire, Any Number Can Die, Oklahoma, and the Grapes of Wrath. Year two would be one of struggle and compromise for the department, entering a rebuilding phase with less than stellar performances in Noises Off, The Music Man, Steel Magnolias and Of Mice and Men. The first class of senior one act plays showcased Into the Woods and The Boys Next Door, both of which would garner less-than-stellar reviews.
A production of "Of Mice and Men" in the year 1999-2000 would be a satisfactory success for the school. Two members of the ensamble would go on to win scholorships for their roles in the production, however they would not use them. The cast competed in the Selena Auditorium in Corpus Christi, TX, and won regionals securing a trip to the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. The show was featured twice in Lincoln, and the ensamble, production staff, and Mrs. Fleming would get decent feedback from the reviewers.
Arguably the most successful phase of O'Connor theatre would come with the arrival of new director and theatre prodigy, Cody Eoff. Mr. Eoff, a true visionary way ahead of his time for this department, would soon guide a fresh new team of bright young talent into the department's most exciting and popular seasons ever, including Tony-worthy performances for actors in The Diviners, All My Sons, and The Kentucky Cycle: Fire in the Hole, which would be seen at the UIL regional competition at Ronald Reagan High School. Notable senior one act plays from this era include A Bad Day at Gopher's Breath and the 2003 production of "El Juego Sagrado" by Wilberto Canton, a Spanish piece. The show would go on to be showcased at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska as the first ever student-directed show from a Texas school. In addition, the drama students participate as Korny Klowns in the annual Helotes festival Cornyval, an event that allows the students to express themselves creatively and humorously while providing a service to the Helotes community. The Drama Department is a 5A participant in The University Interscholastic League.
The O'Connor theatre program is currently a part of the Thespian Society Troupe #5872.
Air Force JROTC
O'Connor activated their Air Force JROTC detachment (TX-20082) for the 2008-2009 school year. The first and current Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI) is Lt Col James "Smokey" Payne (USAF ret.) and The Aerospace Science Instructors (ASIs) are CMSgt Barbara Opel (USAF ret.) and MSgt. Lisa Moberly (USAF ret.). In 2012 the JROTC department, along with the Math department, moved into a newly constructed permanent facility on the northwest side of the campus.
- Sandra Day O'Connor High School — official site