The December 2014 recipient of the SBISD T-2-4 Spotlight Teacher recognition was Landrum Middle School Choir Director Jaime Trigo.
He received this honor at the Dec. 15 Board of Trustees Regular Meeting for his ongoing and acclaimed efforts to embrace the district's T-2-4 goal, and for actively going above and beyond to demonstrate a commitment to, and actions in support of, T-2-4 and the belief statements that undergird it.
Since 2009, Trigo has worked patiently toward an important Landrum Middle Choir goal: top Sweepstakes UIL recognition for group performance. In 2013, the choir was awarded this top rating, a first for this school’s choir in recent history.
Separately under Trigo's direction, the Landrum Middle School-KIPP Advanced Girls Choir won district renown for its tuneful, rock 'n roll-based live performance during SBISD's Convocation held in August 2014.
At the recent Good Neighbor Celebration in November, the Landrum-KIPP Combined 7th and 8th Grade Choirs performed. His choir students performed recently as part of a seasonal Villages park program, too, and this choir will perform at a KIPP regional meeting in January 2015.
"We still have a lot of work to do. I feel that our students just now are beginning to flourish," Trigo says. "But all of our sixth-graders saw that first Sweepstakes happen and now they all know what's expected to make it to Sweepstakes again.”
“I believe that kids will jump as high as you ask them to jump, if you clear a path for them. You set them up, give them a nudge, they will give their best."
In his own life, Jaime Trigo has combined a personal passion for rock guitar with successes in college, the military, and musical choir direction. The eighth of nine children, Trigo grew up in South Texas in San Diego, a small town located between Laredo and Corpus Christi.
He graduated as valedictorian and class president, then went on to study engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. But the struggling young father who was just 21 credits shy of a degree joined the Air Force and served overseas before returning to Texas.
Older by then, and much more able to follow his heart, he earned a bachelor of music degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville.
Before joining SBISD, Jaime led several student choirs to Sweepstakes UIL ratings at schools in San Diego and Gregory-Portland ISD near Corpus Christi.
At Landrum Middle, he plays guitar and his student singers help him "rock" the house. Two of those students and choir members, Alex Paz and Kristen Reyes, praised Trigo before Trustees, each in their own way.
Alex Paz spoke about how Trigo inspires students through his own life. Kristen Reyes, who is a choir soloist, performed “All I Want for Christmas is You” like a holiday crooning Mariah Carey.
Here is what eighth-grader Alex Paz told Trustees:
My name is Alexander Paz, and I’m a proud member of the class of 2019 at Landrum Middle School. I want to take a moment to thank Dr. Klussmann, the Board Members, and all who have attended today to let me say a few words on behalf of Mr. Trigo.
Wow, what can I say about this guy? He’s bigger than life! You wouldn’t think that a man of his stature can rock out on a guitar! Have any of you seen “School of Rock”? Yeah, that is Mr. Trigo.
When you walk into his class, Mr. Trigo has us on point. He’s a flurry of activity. From the first moment of the class period we are working on becoming better singers. He wants 100 percent. He expects the best. He pushes us to our limits and then expects more.
When we are feeling down you can guarantee a story about his life will get us back into working mode. When he was in junior high, he told us he didn’t have much just like most of us at Landrum. He told us about his gym clothes and that he only had one set. He had to be responsible and keep them, wash them, and take care of them himself. He knows what it’s like to grow up like we have. It means so much to me that he relates to us and wants to see us succeed.
Mr. Trigo, you are the best! You’re so good at what you do that you can make any kid in the district into an “O.P. singer.” And for people who don’t know what that means and O.P. singer is an Outstanding Performer. Yeah, you’re that good!
In school, everybody looks at me as a natural born leader on the sports field and in the classroom. The only reason I’m a leader is because of this man, Mr. Trigo. He gave me the responsibility of leadership. Even though I fail at times he always gives me another chance and pushes me to work even harder. I know what it means to give a 1,000 percent every day just by watching him.
So thank you, Mr. Trigo, for everything you have done for us and for the choir program. Keep rocking out for Landrum and making us a success!