Education Briefs: Our Lady of Guadalupe students decorate Ninfa's, UT coach visits alma mater St. Pius X, St. John XXIII wins football division

December 11, 2018

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School students add flair to Christmas decorations at Ninfa’s

By Jo Ann Zuñiga, Texas Catholic Herald

HOUSTON — Fourth-grade students from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School excitedly decorated the Christmas tree at the Original Ninfa’s Mexican restaurant on Navigation, hanging handmade racially diverse angels and wreaths with Mary and baby Jesus.

“This is fun decorating one of Houston’s most popular restaurants,” said a student in his school uniform interviewed by FOX 26 news live on Nov. 29.

Our Lady of Guadalupe principal Irazema Ortiz said this school-and-restaurant teamwork has been a tradition for more than a decade. Ninfa’s, located just a few blocks from the school, is a longtime community partner, donating food at times for school events, she said.

“Our students look forward to making these Christmas Art decorations every year. All grade levels from Pre-K3 through 8th grade create the decorations,” Ortiz said.

Once the art classes finish up the handmade decorations, then a class travels to the restaurant for the final touches. An ABC13-KTRK photojournalist also documented the creative process, following the students from the art class to the restaurant, videotaping the students diving into boxes of decorations and then carefully considering where on the tree they wanted to place the colorful artwork.

“The students in fourth grade along with their parents help decorate the restaurant. We are grateful to Ninfa’s for this opportunity,” Ortiz said.

This year, the school’s new art teacher, Diana Muñiz, said she helped students to use a variety of art techniques, even painting the Virgin and baby Jesus on flour tortillas in bright blues, greens and gold.

“We are working on multicultural themes, including racially diverse angels. I teach students that all colors are beautiful. With the world so polarized now, I hope the students understand how all colors work together and apply that to their own lives,” Muñiz said.

While the students did much of the decorating, parents like Maria Lilly came in handy with climbing ladders and carefully hanging wreaths over the doorways.

Tim Loftin, general manager of that Ninfa’s, enjoyed his morning coffee as he watched over the group of children and parents as well as reviewed his staff bustling about in preparation for the lunch crowd. “We’re glad to participate,” he said. 

UT coach visits alma mater, St. Pius X High School

HOUSTON — David Pierce, head coach of baseball at the University of Texas at Austin, visited with students at St. Pius High School on Nov. 16.

A native Houstonian and St. Pius X High School 1981 graduate, spoke to students about his path from where they are to national acclaim while imparting insight and wisdom as they decide their next steps in life.

Pierce was named the head baseball coach at The University of Texas on June 29, 2016, and in his second season at the helm, Baseball America’s National Coach of the Year after guiding the Longhorns to a 42-23 record and back to the College World Series for the first time since 2014. With a 17-7 mark in league play, Pierce, who was named the Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year, led his team to the Big 12 Conference title — the first conference title for Texas since 2011 — and hosted both an NCAA Regional and an NCAA Super Regional.

In the Austin Regional, the Longhorns went 3-0 with wins over Texas Southern, Texas A&M and Indiana. In the Super Regional, Texas dropped game one to Tennessee Tech before taking games two and three to send Pierce to Omaha for the first time as head coach. The Longhorns finished ranked in the top eight in every major poll to close out the season and finished first in the nation in double plays (73) and ninth in triples (22).

St. John XXIII wins Division V title

KATY — St. John XXIII College Preparatory defeated St. Mary’s Hall of San Antonio 38 to 27, winning the Division V football championship.

The team, coached by Clay Richardson, finished the season with a 10-1 record, which tied the Lions school record for most wins at 10 since 2013. Their only loss this year was their fifth-week match-up against C.H. Yoe High School. The Lions rallied after that loss and won six consecutive games en route to the title. This is the first Division V title for the school.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what our coaches and players were able to accomplish this season,” Athletic Director Billy Jackson said. “Their hard work and dedication brought about a contagious sense of pride in our school community that will hopefully carry over into the winter and spring sporting seasons.”