Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Huntsville ISD, Sam Houston State University and "The Bearkat Promise," Committed to Providing an Education for Huntsville & Walker County Students

What is college REALLY like?  How do you get from here, to there?

Bonding with a Sam Houston State Dance student!
I mean, what is it like to be a student at Sam Houston State University?

Lee Miller, Director of the Center for Community Engagement
at SHSU (and... a Hornet, a Hornet Mom & a Bearkat) is hanging with our Seniors.
Although SHSU sits right in the middle of our school district, many of our students don't really know what it's like at the University, and may not even consider 'Sam', or college of any kind, as a part of their future.

College may not be for everybody, but without knowing all of their options, do students really have a choice in their future?

Eat 'em Up Kats!  and Sting 'em Hornets!!
It's hard not to catch the enthusiasm of the student tour guides, aka "Sambassadors"!
Recent efforts, collaborations between leadership at both Sam Houston State and Huntsville Independent School District, are working to open students' eyes, broaden their experiences and maximize their possibilities through partnering together to bring our students to the campus of 'Sam.'


The Senior Class experience was called College Sense.  It included both academic presentations
and sessions that included the "how-to's" of applying and financial aid.

Two recent field trips are an example of the effort.  All of the sixth graders made, for most of them, their first trip to the campus and got taste of college life.

A few weeks later, our High School seniors made a similar but more involved field trip that included tours of the campus, student panels, discussions with financial aid folks and a very special announcement made by our Superintendent Dr. Howell Wright and  Dr. Jaime Hebert, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Sam Houston State.

Picture these two at college.
Dr. Herbert shared information about the university's standing "Bearkat Promise," which states that if a student desires to attend Sam Houston State University, the university is committed to working with that student and their parents to make it happen.  In other words, if our Hornet students "do their part" in high school by preparing themselves and meet the admission requirements, the University will work to find the financing through available grants, scholarships and other forms of financial aid to make that college dream a reality for them!

Mrs. Cason, a chaperone on the Senior trip, has a second to pose for a pic!
(Thanks Mrs. Cason!)




I can almost picture the Sam Houston Statue saying, "Good to see you!"
Here a student is getting down to how these meal plans work!
Follow the dotted line....
Taking a moment to let it sink in.
'Sambassadors' need to love people and having fun, and clearly these guys are good at their job!

Jennifer Kempton is our College & Career Counselor, and she was 'in the zone' at SHSU.
She has loads of information on her page on the HHS website, which you can find here

What is college really like?
Students could ask questions of the student panel,
 a diverse group that was happy to answer any and all the Seniors had.
They're listening...

Huntsville High School Principal Beth Burt and High School Counselor Mandy Stewart
Those students who knew they were heading to Sam
went up to get their first 'Sam' T-Shirt as an accepted student!


Rosa Mejia is the Assistant Director of the Visitor Center,
 and her team of 'Sambassadors' took our students all over the campus!
Hey, I know that guy!
That's HISD Board of Trustees President (and On Campus Recruitment Coordinator for SHSU) Patrick Antwi
with Clair Collins, Senior Admissions Counselor.  These are among the SHSU folks that worked hard to host
our students on both the Sixth Grade and Senior Class field trips.

Just some of the "Sambassadors" with Visitor Center Counselor Kristin Limón (third from left), Visitor Center Coordinator  Melanie Zuniga  (center back with glasses),  On Campus Recruitment Manager Courtney Chastine (in white) and in rear (with arm raised in back) GO Center Counselor Casey Cox.

Let's do this!

Mrs. Davis, one of the Sixth Grade chaperones rocking that
"windswept" look!  It suits her, doesn't it?
(Did we mention it was cold and windy that day??)
This may be the first of many trips to the Lowman Student Center for some of these students.
We made the sign!!
SHSU On-Campus Recruitment Coordinator welcomes the students to the campus!
OK this is interesting...

Practice makes perfect, and it's best to start early--- Eat 'em Up Kats!
And now, to one of the cool buildings on campus, the Gaertner Performing Arts Center!

The students were able to sample a variety of classes,
this guy is in a movement class in the Dance department.

She's getting into this class!

Visiting a rehearsal studio was probably a first for some of these sixth graders.

This is a pretty cool day!

Sixth graders on the move...

"Separate checks, or ?.."  Actually, it was on the house!
The Fresh Food Company's Old Main Market generously provided free lunch for BOTH of our trips, all
of the sixth graders and all of the senior class! 

Is this college life? OK, I can get down with this!

Lunch was amazing!

Huntsville Hornet, future Bearkat?

This is a pretty dang orderly line for free pizza!

Wow!  That looks good!

How did this student swing meeting  his mom for lunch at the Old Main Market?
Easy, his mom works there!

Thank you Sean, Annlyn and the entire Old Main Market management team and crew!

To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I'll be back!"

Heading home with a full stomach, head full of ideas and
 a picture in their mind of what may be in store for them.
The next day, we couldn't resist taking this student's pic rocking
the BearkatNation shirt she received the day before at SHSU!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Safety Town, Population Fun!! Huntsville Community Agencies Help Teach Our Kids Safety at One of a Kind "Safety Town"

Recently first graders from around the District spent the morning at Safety Town. 
If the helmet fits...

Safety Town is a one of kind, home grown environment that is devoted to teaching children safe practices in their world. At the heart of Safety Town is a miniaturized cross section of streets built to resemble a small town. It's built for tricycles and walking kids, and it's a perfect scale for little people to learn to navigate the big world.


Safety Town is Busy Town.

At Safety Town, kids learn everything from how to cross the street, to how to be safe in the kitchen, from what to do if you see a gun to what to do when there's severe weather. 

If the helmet, and the jacket, ALMOST fit. :-)

Over the last 11 years, a visit to Safety Town has become a rite of (safe) passage for hundreds of Huntsville ISD students and other little ones.


The siren definitely got their attention!


Safety Glasses?  Check!  Smile?  Check!

The Forest Service folks talked about fire safety in the woods.


Hopefully the kids will never have to dial 911, but if they do, they know how to do it and what to say.
It's a town, but it is also a testament, to the adage, "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child." We couldn't pull this together and make it a yearly success without the help of countless county, city and state agencies.  Each year, it gets a little bigger, and a little better, with the help of our departments and the members of our community that are willing to lend a hand.
No biggie- just hanging out with McGruff the Crime Dog.
Ladies and Gentleman, it's almost time to start your engines!  

Did we mention there's an "Eating Ice Cream" Station?
Not sure what safety this covers- unless it's how to prevent brain freeze!

Which way is the Hornet Way? Why it's the SAFE way.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.)


Yes, you STILL have to wear your seat belt even if you are just going to McDonald's and it's just down the road and you don't feel like wearing a seat belt.
Members of our own HISD departments, including Maintenance & Operations, Nutrition Services and Transportation have the opportunity to put on their 'teacher cap' and share the knowledge they have with our students.  Even our students get in on helping their younger fellow students.  Members of the Interact Club helped during the sessions, and Mr. Connor's High School class, Advanced Building Technologies, help with repairs and upkeep. 


Good thing we are learning about safety because that looks dangerous! 

For some of these student volunteers, they had such good memories of attending back when they were younger that they jumped at the chance to return the favor.


The Mayors of Safety Town?
Huntsville ISD's Jim Kreier, Linda Marshall and Huntsville Rotarian,
Retired TDCJ employee AND President of the Safety Town Non Profit David Standlee
work together to make this program a success!
I really like the way this guy uses the hand rails when he exits the bus!

You crack me up- this boy just told Smokey the Bear a joke!

Mrs. Walker's class, are y'all ready to do this?

Nutrition Services Mascot "Lift Off" is taking a quick break in the shade
with Huntsville High School Interact Club members.

Where did you get that cool vest????? 


Demonstrating walking in the safety zone around the bus- any closer and it's dangerous!

Even the offender work crew of the Wynne Unit with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice play a roll in supporting this effort.  When Safety Town is closed, these men keep the area clean and maintained in preparation of our events.

If you find a gun in your house, should you touch it?
NO!  Do NOT touch a gun if you find it in your house!

Looking Left
Looking right





















Through the years, communities around the state have come to visit Safety Town and have been inspired to start their own.

Safety makes sense to this girl!


We invite you to look through the list of people that helped make this event so special, and say thanks the next time you see them.   They are all part of the network of adults that teach our children to be safe.



Huntsville Police Department 
Corporal Scott Bennett
Officer Zach Duer
Detective Everett Harrell
Officer Ryann Kaaa
Sergeant Mike Legerski
Parking Enforcement Officer Yoselyn Ramirez

Huntsville Fire Department 
Jason January
Greg Mathis

Region 6 Service Center 
Donald Brown
Chris Hemphill
Melvin Jefferson
Amy Moser

HISD Transportation
Arthur (Bo) Davidson
Kimberly Franklin
Tim Hooks
Kirby Isaac
Charles Mc Gowen

Huntsville Independent School District Maintenance 
Josh Holloway
Jim Kreier
Juan Lopez
Michael McBride
David Niedermeier
Patty Nunley
Curtis Wanza

Walker County Sheriff Department 
Sergeant Danny Billingsley
Detective Chris Buck
Lieutenant Jason Sullivan
Detective Greg Williams

Walker County Juvenile Service 
Haley Griffin
April Payne
Katy Ringo
Jill Saumell

Texas Forest Service 
Jordin Herrin
Luke Masters
Josh Mizrany
Crockett Pegoda

Huntsville Independent School District Food Service
Aaron Bauer
Rita Roberts
Henry Tapia

Walker Count Public Safety Communications Center 
Anthony Tryon

Walker County Emergency Medical Service 
Vince Allen
Nick Coronis
Alex Gibson
Tamara Glover
Valeria Mendez

The City of Huntsville, Texas 
John Agey
Joseph Wiggs

Texas Department of Criminal Justice Department- Wynne Unit 
Warden Kelly Strong
Assistant Warden Brian Smith
Officer Willie Adamson

Huntsville Rotary Club 
Kalyn Cavasoz
Marcus Gillespie
Nisa Gillespie
John Hendricks
David Standlee

Huntsville High School Interact Student Volunteers
Julie Savage- Huntsville High Faculty, Group Sponsor
Giselle Avelar
Cindy Campa
Blake Castleberry
Jackie Castilleja
Jesslin Castilleja
Katie Chadonnet
Cammie Clute
Kalyn Cotton
Alyssa Crump
Sarah Dawson
Hannah Duncan
Kathy Escobar
Ayanna Gutherie
Harley Hall
Markayla Johnson
Cassidy Langley
Beatriz Massa
Stevie Milton
Julie Norwood
Mathew Saakshi
Tania Santos
Megan Skains
Addie Slie
Kevionna Smith
Montana Strait
Taylor Thompson
Dinora Torres
Vicky Torres
Laila Tucker

Huntsville High School Advanced Construction Technology
Bobby Connor, Teacher
Maxxwell Arrowood
Julia Avila
Ricko Bennett
Travis Danford
Oscar Escanuela
Chase Guynes
Amanda Hall
Jared Hesterley
Desmon Johnson
Katron Jordan
Jacoby Limbrick
Kaleb Moore
Ben Pannkuk
Javier Prieto
Kevin Torres


On her way, safely!!