Many of Cooper Landeche’s accomplishments can be traced back to one simple question he asks himself: “Why not me?”
Landeche has often asserted himself as a leader, be it as a member of the Hahnville High School band or the many other groups he is a part of. He takes pride in it, and just as importantly, takes pride when he sees leadership manifest in others as well,
“It’s a matter of not asking, ‘Why me?’ but ‘Why not me?’” Landeche said. “Some people like the idea of being a leader, or want certain things to change, but they won’t step up and make it happen. Whether it’s at Hahnville or outside of it, I’ve always wanted to be a leader and able to impact people positively in a lot of ways. I want to bring that sense of leadership out of other people so they can go forward and do great things in our community. I pride myself on leadership,”
Landeche has been saxophone section leader for two years and as a senior he was selected as band president. Landeche was also selected as Beta Club president this year and was a member of National Honor Society Interact and Spanish Honor Society, as well as the soccer and tennis teams at different times during his tenure.
Landeche also serves as a leader in his church community as the lead organist every Sunday. During the summer, he participates in monthly Second Harvest Food Bank distribution.
Band has long played a central role in his life, one reason he plans to join the Pride of Southern Mississippi Marching Band when he arrives on Southern Miss’ campus. There, he will major in kinesiology and looks to apply to physical therapy school thereafter with an eye on becoming a physical therapist down the line.
The many hurdles this senior class has faced, including COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida, affected the students’ day to day experiences. The band was not exempt, and Landeche noted that the reduced practice time and chances to work together for band members led to an unavoidable decline – something this year’s band was driven to course correct.
“The program went through so much – I think any band that went through the pandemic and hurricane had their difficulties,” Landeche said. “With COVID, we hardly ever met that year … then with Ida, we were performing our show during the summer, then the storm hit and really derailed us on that.
“I feel like we were really able to bring it back to life this year and set it back on a good track for the future. There was tremendous leaderships from both the students and the band directors, who I can’t say enough about the hours and work they put in. I feel really proud of what we were able to do and I’m looking forward to seeing what the band is able to do over the next few years.”
Service is also something he believes greatly in. As Beta Club president, he helped coordinate service projects in the school to allow students to get involved, earn service hours and perhaps be inspired to continue on with volunteerism.