Teachers collaborate on alma mater and fanfare


The Magnet Tribune: Susana Ginez

Lyrics to VMT’s new alma mater, Hand of Destiny, written by Pre-AP English I and Tapestry instructor Ashley Ramirez and students. (Graphic by Susana Ginez; photo by Delilah Gonzalez)

Selena Borjas and Krysta Robles

Susana Ginez, Staff Writer

Composing VMT’s alma mater, Hand of Destiny, was a labor of love. Faculty and administration all chipped in money from their own pockets since there was no other funding.

“Everybody was on board. We worked together as a faculty and administration to make this happen,” John Reimund, music instructor and leader in getting the Hand of Destiny created, said.

“Our school is one of a kind so we needed to have an original alma mater that no one else ever had,” Reimund said.

With everyone working together, they helped come up with the money in under a week to pay the composer.

“The response was so good that we actually had to tell people, ‘Enough, we already got it,’” Reimund said.

William Owens, of Forth Worth, composed the music for Hand of Destiny. He gave the school a discount, and Reimund paid $700 in donations.

The Hand of Destiny lyrics was written by Tapestry and Pre-AP English I teacher Ashley Ramirez along with her 2014-2015 Tapestry class, with a final run-through supervised by AP English III teacher Gerardo Flores, all without charge.

“Although the idea had been lingering for almost a year, it took us about a week to finalize the lyrics. The inspiration came from a deep appreciation for VMT, in what I’ve experienced both as a student and teacher. It was a shared appreciation amongst other colleagues/professionals,” Ramirez said.

Dr. David Manuel Garcia, former band director at TAMIU, composed Magnet Overture, a fanfare. Along with Ramirez, he donated his services.

“I offered to pay but he refused,” Reimund said.

According to Reimund, the Hand of Destiny and The Magnet Overture are different.

“The Hand of Destiny is an alma mater written in the style of 19th century art song kind of fused with an alma mater. The Magnet Overture is definitely a 21st century sound and a fanfare,” he said.

Both made their debut at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new campus on Aug. 6.

Our school is one of a kind so we needed to have an original alma mater that no one else ever had.”

— John Reimund

Writing the lyrics to the Hand of Destiny had a few challenges.

“Some of the challenges included incorporating the three high schools and making sure the alma mater encompassed an equally shared impact of everyone’s experience at VMT,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez feels like she has continued a legacy since the last changes her graduating class, class of 2006, created.

She discussed what she would tell her children about this achievement.

“I will tell them that making a positive change, a lasting impact other than bringing them into this world, is one of my greatest achievements; nothing means more to me than knowing I’ve done something worthy in the eyes of others,” Ramirez said.

It’s rare to hear that magnet schools have an alma mater, Reimund said.

“It puts us in the public eye,” Reimund said. “We get recognition. It gets our name out instead of just locally.”