McMillen Lions Have Summer in their Rearview Mirror
Many members of the McMillen student body and staff have been hard at work throughout the summer preparing for a great 2019 – 20 school year.
Murphy resident, DeMarcus Mathes, is the athletic director at McMillen. This is his first year to hold this position, however, it is his fourth year as a staff member at McMillen. Previously he was a special education teacher and coach. There are 120 members on the McMillen football team. Approximately 10 of those players will play at Plano East Senior High. The freshman team practiced the week before school started from 6 – 8 a.m. Last year, both the freshman and sophomore team were city champions. Mathes said, “We look to defend our crown this year.” Regarding what he is looking forward to this school year, he said, “Working with and building relationships with the kids. The kids are good and it’s fun to see them celebrate together.”
Josh Kurzweil is the newly hired band director at McMillen. This is his 17th year as a teacher. Before coming to McMillen this year, he was a band director in McKinney. There are 135 students in the band this year. Before the school year began, this organization practiced from 8 – 11 a.m. Kurzweil said they worked on marching fundamentals and the basics of dance. The theme of their fall show is Prometheus. Prometheus is a Greek god who is credited with giving fire to humans. Kurzweil said their show this year will be fire-themed and feature theme-focused music such as Firebird Suite by Stravinsky.
Courtney Davis is the dance and drill team instructor at McMillen. She has worked at McMillen for three years and with Plano ISD for six years. There are 20 students on the Dazzlers Drill Team this year, compared to 23 last year. This summer, Dazzlers have attended boot camp, line camp and officer camp to prepare for the football season as well as spring competitions. Last year, the Dazzlers Drill Team officers and team were both selected as the grand champion team in their size category as well as the overall JV grand champion team out of the entire competition. All eight teams and officer routines scored first place. Regarding what she is looking forward to this school year, Davis said, “I look forward to our dance and drill team programs continuing a tradition of excellence and pride within our school, our district and our Murphy community.”
The first day of school for PISD was Aug. 12.