Rose Parade President visits Reagan High School

2018 Tournament of Roses Parade President Lance Tibbet

Ronald Reagan High School welcomed 2018 Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbett to its campus Monday, May 15, at 11:30 a.m.  Tibbett visited the school to present an official Tournament of Roses flag to the band in advance of their participation in next year’s Rose Parade held in Pasadena, Calif.   They'll march and play with other select bands from around the nation in the televised event that precedes the Rose Bowl.

He also honored four outstanding volunteers in keeping with the 2018 Rose Parade’s theme, “Making a Difference.” 


The theme is a great fit for Reagan High School. Last year, out of the seven traditional high schools in North East ISD, Reagan amassed the most volunteer hours overall, according to NEISD officials. 


“Band Director Dan Morrison and the talented team of assistant directors, show designers, dance teachers, color guard instructors, and parent volunteer crews have marched the Reagan Band to the top of every spectator’s heart, spreading the message of love and unity to fans across the nation,” they proclaimed.


The volunteers who are to be recognized include:

Shirley Williams, who served as this year’s Band Booster President.   Williams has made significant contributions to the band members of Reagan High School.


Starla Burrell is a dedicated volunteer for the Reagan High School Dance team.  Burrell has devoted her time and effort to supporting the Diamond Dancers.


Heather Jackson is a teacher in the North East ISD.  She has selflessly adopted and taken in multiple foster children, many who are in need of special assistance.


Sabrina Epstein is a Reagan high school senior who founded and runs a non-profit called Artful Start, an art program for students with special needs and disabilities.


Reagan High School is only the fourth San Antonio-area high school band in the past 50 years to receive this honor.  Other honorees were the “Lady Bird” Johnson High School Band in 2014, the Churchill High School band in 2005 and the Marshall High School band in 1977.  


Bands are selected by the Tournament of Roses based on a variety of criteria including musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. In order to be considered, band representatives submitted detailed applications, which included photos, video footage and letters of recommendation, district officials said.


According to the Feb. 9, 2017, issue of Marching News, authored by Ken Martinson, 

“Another selection in November was revealed during the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. Tournament of Roses 2018 President Lance Tibbet was on hand to personally extend an invitation to the Ronald Reagan High School Marching Band from San Antonio, Texas. The Reagan Band delivered impressive performances in the competition and advanced from prelims to semi-finals to finals. 

“The invitation made the success at Bands of America even more special, according to Daniel Morrison, Director of Bands at Reagan High School. 

‘"I was beyond thrilled when it was announced that we were chosen to participate in the 2018 Rose Parade," Morrison said. "The students were in shock because they had no idea a Rose Parade selection was even a possibility! They are so excited to have the opportunity to march in such a prestigious parade. 

‘"This is the first Rose Parade selection for Ronald Reagan High School Marching Band. The dance and band programs have a very close relationship, and the members of the dance team will march in the parade as well. The dance team has been a part of Reagan's competitive field show for the last two seasons.’" 



Courtesy of NEISD.  Photos by: Laura Morales