Sandra Day O'Connor High School (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|
Navy Blue, Vegas Gold, and White
|Rival school||Louis D. Brandeis High School|
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, Folks, 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 6A high school. Students can participate in a wide variety of school sports. These sports include:
- Cross Country
- Goldusters Dance Team
- Starduster Pep Squad
- Swimming & Diving
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 one of the largest in the Texas FFA Association.
The Sandra Day O'Connor High School Marching Band has been in existence since the school was open. O'Connor High School had 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. After the opening of Louis D. Brandeis High School, the band's numbers had dropped to 230. Since then, the band has reached 380 members. 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 high brass specialist and an associate director. The newest director was Thomas Kober, however, he is no longer with the Panther Band. Mr. Jaime Ramos joined the Panther Band in 2016 as an Associate Director and has been a great addition to the staff.
In the 2008 marching season, the Panther Band advanced to the Texas 5A State Marching Competition for the first time. 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.
In the 2010 marching season, the Panther Band would once again advance to the Texas 5A State Marching Competition. 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 2nd place in the Area Marching Contest Finals, and advanced to the Texas 5A State Marching Competition for the third time in a row. They placed 22nd out of 38 bands, again the best in school history. Their UIL show was entitled "Rain" by Daniel Montoya Jr.
In the 2014 marching season, the Panther Band placed 1st in their area, making school history, and advanced to the Texas 6A state Marching Competition for the 4th time in a row. They placed 28th out of 37 bands. Their UIL show was entitled "Between Heaven and Earth" by Daniel Montoya Jr.
The O'Connor theatre program was pioneered by the Drama Department director Deann Fleming's (whom has since retired) senior one-act project. It allows fourth-year theatre students to direct their own shows and produce them through via the International Thespian Society at the Texas State and International Thespian Festival s.
Mrs. Fleming's first year at O'Connor included performances of: Foxfire, Any Number Can Die, Oklahoma, and The Grapes of Wrath. Year two would consist of Noises Off!, The Music Man, Steel Magnolias and Of Mice and Men.
The production of "Of Mice and Men" in the 1999-2000 season would be a great success for the school. Two members of the ensemble would go on to win scholarships for their roles in the production, however they would not use them. The cast competed in the Selena Auditorium at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX, and won Regionals securing a trip to the International Thespian Festival. The show was featured twice in Lincoln, and the ensamble, production staff, and Mrs. Fleming received great positive 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, 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 Regionals 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 ROTC
O'Connor activated their Air Force JROTC detachment (TX-20082) for the 2008-2009 school year. The current Senior Aerospace Science Instructor (SASI) is Major Eric Cox (USAF ret.) and The Aerospace Science Instructors (ASIs) are MSgt Ralph Perez (USAF ret.) and MSgt. William Andujar (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.
JROTC performs ceremonial Color Guard and Saber Guard for numerous school and Civic Organizations. They have 13 teams that compete at the local, state and national levels. Those teams are Cyber Patriot, Rocketry, Marksmanship, female and male Physical Training, Female and Male Color Guard, Armed Drill and Unarmed Drill, Orienteering and Academic Bowl. They have won numerous awards over the school year.
Notable awards for the 16/17 school year. Physical Training placed in the top three of every competition they entered this year, with the female team capturing First overall in 6 of 12 competitions. O' Connor captured the coveted title of overall Grand Champions at Somerset and Kennedy H.S. Drill Meets. Marksmanship placed first at the Lee H.S. Invitational, Wagner, Clark, Kennedy H.S. O'Connor placed a team of 4 shooters and an individual shooter in the Air Force National 3 position Championships in Feb, then 2 shooters qualified for the JROTC Nationals in March. O'Connor competed at the National Drill Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida in May 2017.
JROTC detachments are required to perform community service in addition to teaching an Air Force approved curriculum. OC cadets performed over 4,270 hours of community service in the 16/17 school year.They are frequent volunteers at the San Antonio Food Bank, have a long-standing relationship with the Helotes Cornyval Association and Scholarship Beauty Pageant and participate in 6-8 Elementary School Carnivals for NISD schools. They instituted a training program for Kuentz Elementary School's Safety Patrol Squad that raises and lowers the flags every day.
- Boone Logan (c/o 2002) - Major League Baseball Pitcher for the Colorado Rockies .
- Justin Olsen (c/o 2005) - 2010 Winter Olympics Gold Medalist on U.S. Bobsled team, led by Steve Holcomb
- "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency.
- The Athletics Department
- "Agriculture Science Teachers". nisd.net. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Directors". Archived from the original on 15 October 2008.
- "Boone Logan Stas". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Sandra Day O'Connor High School — official site