DR. MARK PORTERIE — Local students, events highlight holiday spirit in Port Arthur

Published 10:54 pm Friday, December 1, 2023

On behalf of the Port Arthur Independent School District, (PAISD) we want to wish our community a Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays!

Reflecting on the first semester of the 2023-24 school year, we remain committed to our pledge of Success for All Students. We are incredibly proud of our collective accomplishments within PAISD.

We will return in the New Year with a relentless spirit, an abundance of enthusiasm and an even stronger commitment to support student instruction, strengthen school-to-family relationships and protect school environments for the advancement of all our students.

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As a reminder, on Dec. 15, there will be an early release for our students. Dismissal times will be posted on our website and social media platforms.

Winter Break will begin Dec. 18 and will end Jan. 2.

Jan. 3 will be a Teacher workday/Student Holiday. Bus transportation and classes will resume Jan. 4.

During the month of December, we hope to see you at various events the district and community have planned for your enjoyment.

On Tuesday (Dec. 5), our annual FREE Christmas Concert, Sounds of the Season, takes place at Woodrow Wilson Early College High School, 1500 Lakeshore Drive, here in Port Arthur. Come out and be marveled by the creative talents of the Symphony of Southeast Texas under the magnificent Maestro Chelsea Tipton II.

Our very own son of Port Arthur, and PAISD Amazing Alumni, Glenn Alexander II, will be a guest conductor.

Light refreshments will be served beginning at 6 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7 p.m.

Students from the Memorial High School, Memorial High School 9th and Woodrow Wilson Early College combined choir will certainly help you to get into the holiday festive spirit with a rendition of “Oh Holy Night.”

Keeping with tradition, our award-winning MHS Marching Heat will serve as ushers for the evening event. We appreciate all of the hard work our corporate sponsor, Motiva Refinery, has put into making our joint venture a tremendous success year after year.

On Dec. 8 and 9, PAISD will sponsor the 30th Annual James Gamble Classic. Please note the tournament is being held a few weeks earlier than usual this year.

On Friday, games will begin at 11 a.m. at the Memorial High School Competition gym.

The MHS TITANS varsity basketball team will thrill you with two exciting games at 12:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games will begin at 9 a.m. Memorial will play at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Also on Saturday/Dec. 9, please join our entire community for the City of Port Arthur’s Annual Holiday Downtown with a parade beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Procter Street.

The parade will begin at the Carl Parker Center and travel to Houston Avenue. There will be a tree lighting at 6:30 p.m., spotlighting the 125th year of the City of Port Arthur as our Quasquicentennial Celebration continues.

There will be many activities for our community, including a petting zoo, bouncy house, face painting, food and vendors. Please come out and support our entire community as we usher in the spirit of Christmas.

We also extend the season of thanksgiving and continue to appreciate our families, friends and the love that surrounds us.

While we enjoy our holiday season, I encourage you all to keep other parts of the world in our thoughts and prayers; we should be mindful of the peaceful climate we have in the United States of America.

 Dr. Mark Porterie is superintendent of schools for the Port Arthur Independent School District. He can be reached at mporterie@paisd.org.