Putting the ‘Coming Home ’Back in Homecoming
By Jason Jones
LATEXO – Homecoming is upon the students, faculty, staff and alumni at Latexo ISD. It’s not business as usual, however, as the district’s focus this year is to amplify the annual event and make it a can’t-miss for the entire community.
Latexo wants to make “coming home” the biggest part of “Homecoming.”
“The biggest thing is we’re trying to combine us with the city. We’re trying to bring back one weekend of coming home,” said Latexo ISD Superintendent Michael Woodard.
Longtime faculty member and parade coordinator Barbara Simpson added “We want to have alumni coming home the same weekend as Homecoming. We had a really good turnout a few years ago, but then COVID hit, and it hasn’t recovered. We’d like to have an event that people would like to come back for.”
A major part of that effort will be Latexo’s first ever Homecoming Parade.
The parade will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, January 15. The route will incorporate the new road built by the City of Latexo to access the Elementary School and will take place primarily on the LISD grounds. As a posthumous honor, the district has named Thomas Gilson as the honorary Grand Marshal.
“It was always a running conversation with Thomas on when Latexo would have a parade. He would talk about all the other communities within the county had parades and Latexo should too. I truly regret that Thomas didn’t live to see his idea come to fruition. Although Thomas is no longer with us, he will most certainly be there in spirit. We are extremely proud to have Thomas as the honorary Grand Marshal,” said LISD School Board President Kelly Nicol. “Thomas served on the school board for 11 years and was truly loved by this community. His passing a few months ago left a huge void for so many people in this area.”
Connecting the school and the community is the main focus of Latexo ISD’s homecoming efforts going forward.
“I think the main thing is that we appreciate the community investing in us and helping us expand the school, and we want to help expand our community and make it stronger,” Nicol said. “Being able to incorporate the new road, which the city did such a beautiful job building for the school, is a big part of making a parade possible.”
The schools will kick off the Homecoming festivities with Spirit Week starting Monday, January 10. An “in the building” parade featuring all the Homecoming court candidates will take place Monday morning, and the rest of the week will feature different themes each day for students to show their school spirit.
Friday the 14th will feature the Homecoming basketball game, which will tip off at 5 p.m.
Saturday the 15th will feature the Latexo VFD Annual Chili Sale, which is the departments biggest fundraiser of the year. At 9 a.m. the inaugural Homecoming Parade will kick off the day’s events. Later in the evening, the Latexo Homecoming King & Queen will be crowned at 7 p.m. at the Latexo High School Gymnasium, followed immediately by the Homecoming Dance to wrap up the weekend.
The Duke and Duchess candidates representing grades 7 and 8 are Grace Jones, Cadence Commander, Brooke Brown, and Ashley Thomas as well as John Allee, Michael Woodard, James Allee, and Drayden Lehman.
The Prince and Princess candidates representing grades 9, 10, and 11 are Skylin Andrus, Parker Beavers, Ava Dugger, Callie Lee, Tara Hinton and Abbi Arce as well as Yazdaan Khokhar, Dakota Sherley, Thomas Luce, Ryan Hernandez, Caden Abshire, and Zachary Patton.
The King and Queen candidates representing the Senior class are Ashton Hargrove, Dakota Yrlas, Eduardo Rodriguez, Morgan Noble, Elle Brown, Haleigh McKenney, Emily Bird and Caleigh Duvall.
Latexo is excited about the new facilities currently under construction at the school. The board and administration are looking forward to seeing the event grow and expand in such a way that sees “coming home” become a big part of the Latexo community.
Jason Jones may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org