I love working on our blog and learning about the teams that we serve. All have similar challenges and
goals, but all are also so very different. I do, however, know a bit about this month’s team, the J. J. Pearce
Precision Pacesetters in Richardson, Texas, my own high school drill team.

Oh, how I loved drill team (clearly, as I have made it my life-long career in many aspects). I have
incredible memories, in large part due to my incredible director, Lisa Owens. The drill team was founded
in 1969, but she was the one who honed the tradition of excellence for the Pacesetters in the early 80’s.
Since then, they have had seven outstanding directors maintain that tradition.

Currently, Katie Hightower, an ex-Rangerette, has been leading them for the past thirteen years. She
began her teaching career at Rowlett High school as the JV drill director and Varsity assistant, while
teaching Speech Communications. She then went to Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas where she
served as the Varsity director before coming to Pearce.

Under the guidance of Katie Hightower, the Pacesetters undergo rigorous training to hone their technical
abilities and enhance their performance skills. They perform at many community events, school events
and spring show. One of the ways they honor the Pacesetter tradition is to perform the same spring show
finale since the 1990’s and the field kick routine to “Deep in the Heart of Texas” since the early 80’s.
Katie cited burnout as her biggest challenge. She said, “We all love what we do and who we do it with and
for, but at times, the team members can feel tired and overwhelmed with all they have going on. We do our
best to have brain breaks and fun team activities to keep the excitement up!” She finds her inspiration in her
students. Katie described the best part of teaching for her is, “meeting and loving on all of my students.
Whether on the team or in my class I truly enjoy getting to know them and see them flourish throughout their
years on campus.”

Serving as ambassadors for school spirit and pride, Katie Hightower has led the Pacesetters to inspire
their peers and community with their discipline, poise, and dedication to their tradition of excellence.
Through their hard work, talent, and unwavering commitment to excellence, the JJ Pearce High School
Pacesetters set a shining example of teamwork and artistic expression in the realm of dance.

Look at JJ Pearce’s inventory here.