Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 51

One of Larissa Loveless’ top accomplishments in 2018, aside from her election to the Palestine City Council, was helping launch Operation Read. To promote reading and literacy, Operation Read provided three free books to children in kindergarten to third-grade. Loveless, 53, directs public relations for the Palestine Independent School District. She started teaching in Elkhart in 1984, one year after graduating from high school. Loveless has served on numerous boards, including Main Street, Library, Museum for East Texas Culture, and YMCA. She is a founding member of Wine Swirl, now an annual event. Asked why she ran for City Council, after former Councilman Will Brule resigned, Loveless said: “I just felt there was a need for my voice to be heard. If he (Brule) was not going to be there, I was interested.” Loveless moved to Palestine in 2006 with her husband, Lee. She has a 26-year-old son and two grandchildren. Leslie Hooe Helping students find their voice Choir teacher Leslie Hooe inspires students at Palestine High School to find their voice. “Both literally and figuratively,” Hooe said. “My students learn to sing, but I also do my best to teach them how to develop a voice in the world – to stand up for themselves and their beliefs.” A Palestine alumna, Hooe said she had some inspirational choir teach- ers. Rhonda Herrington, she said, was like a second mom to her, and chemistry teacher Kathleen Brown also inspired her. Both women played the piano and helped Hooe with performances during her formative years. Today, Hooe inspires a new generation of students. “I try to making learning fun,” Hooe said. “I work all forms of academia into music, especially history, which can be rather boring for teens, if they don’t, or can’t, relate to a time period.” Students often take choir thinking it’s going to be an easy grade, Hooe said. Instead, they find a teacher who pushes them to excel in every area of life, especially school. JANUARY 2019 51