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Patti Welder staff sings in new school year (video)

By Sonny Long
Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:26 a.m.
Updated Aug. 27, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.

Richard Wright, principal, and Linda Bournias, English teacher, play guitar and sing with other staff members to the students on the first day of school at Patti Welder Middle School in Victoria.

There may have been only one person in Victoria who stands as tall in his own school as towering Richard Wright, Patti Welder Middle School principal.

Gary Moses, who taught at the school for 37 years, helped kick off the 2013-14 school year with words of inspiration for the assembled sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Moses, standing in the middle of the gymnasium floor, touched the panther logo at his feet.

"I was here when they put the first one of these down," he said.

He urged students to do their best.

"You're lucky," Moses told the crowd. "You are in a great, great school.

"You've got to do one key thing - give your best. Good things will come from that. Have a great year."

Wright and fellow staff members followed Moses with some inspiration of their own - musical inspiration.

The group performed two Mariachi songs for the students with Wright - among others - playing musical instruments and singing.

Assistant principal Gabe Garcia came up with the idea from his time as Mariachi director and classical guitar instructor in the Ector County school district.

"It was unbelievable what they did in a short amount of time," Garcia said. "Some of them had never played a guitar."

Seventh-grader Gilbert Cortinas enjoyed the performance.

"They played good," he said. "I was surprised that Mr. Wright was out there."

Wright said the performance was a good way to kick off the first day of school.

"I have a very talented staff," he said. "It really came together. It's a cultural heritage thing here at Patti Welder and all across South Texas.

"The kids seemed to enjoy it."

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