Monday, August 25, 2014

Teachers...Molders of Dreams

Last week at our convocation, our Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse closed his remarks with a poem by Clark Mollenhoff entitled, Teachers...Molders of Dreams. We thought we would share it with you here on this first day of school.  Remember, if you teach children, you are a molder of dreams...

Teachers . . . Molders of Dreams
Clark R. Mollenhoff

You are the molders of their dreams
The gods who build or crush
Their young beliefs of right or wrong.
You are the spark that sets aflame
The poet’s hand or lights the flame
Of some great singer’s song.
You are the god of the young, the very young
You are the guardian of a million dreams
Your every smile or frown
Can heal or pierce a heart
You are a hundred lives, a thousand lives.
Yours the pride of loving them
And the sorrow too.
Your patient work, your touch
Make you the gods of hope
Who fill their souls with dreams

To make those dreams come true.

Huntsville independent school district huntsville isd matthew lahey

Friday, August 22, 2014

Huntsville ISD Convocation- Our Day to Come Together!

Monday was one of the most special days of the school year here at Huntsville Independent School District, and there isn't even one student around because school 
doesn't start for another week!
Sting 'Em Hornets!
That's because on Monday we held our annual Convocation, one of the very few times of the year that all of us get together, from PreK to High School, from Maintenance to Excel, to come welcome each other back, to get the news and to get inspired for a brand new school year.

The Cheer Team & Flagmen Get the Staff Pumped Up!!

This year, Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church graciously hosted our event.  This was a first, and it worked out perfectly.  Before the convocation, all staff were invited to breakfast across the street from the church at Huntsville Intermediate School.

Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church  member and Huntsville Elementary Teacher Sharon Jefferson
with one of our hosts, fellow Greater Zion Hospitality Committee member Deborah Byrd

Later, we caravanned to Northside Baptist Church and were treated to a delicious BBQ hosted by Northside Baptist Church.  The congregation prepared lunch for over 880 people!

Thank you, thank you, thank you goes to Pastor Davis and the Greater Zion Mount Baptist Church Congregation, as well as Pastor Cooksey and the congregation of 
Northside Baptist Church.

Let's Go Hornets!
Special Thanks to Cheer Coaches Kelly Jordan and Assistant Coach Bailey Henson,
and Flag Men faculty sponsor Jerilynn Bulloch for making it happening!

Kimberly Johnson of Stewart Elementary and
Nurse Karen Pine of Huntsville Elementary School.

Like our shirts?  Huntsville ISD ordered 950 shirts and Nate from Inkslingers turned them around in a week!

Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church's Dessie Cherry and Dororthy Hicks.
A very special thanks goes to Mrs. Cherry, for helping us secure the use of their Sanctuary.
We really appreciate it!!

Everyone who's anybody was there.  Pictured here are three of our School Resource Officers:
Officer Duer, Officer Smith and Officer Harrell

Our Human Resources Team:  Staci McGinty, Mona Goebel, Kaelyn King and Mary Jackson.
You think they've been busy the last couple of weeks?!?!

Our Board of Trustees was present, and Board of Trustees President J.T. Langley began our program with a welcome and a prayer.  Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse introduced our leadership team and inspired us to, "Share Our Story."  

Mr. Cruse shared his own story, and we learned that he came from a single parent home and benefited greatly from some teachers that believed in him.  They were mentors that saw something in him that "he himself was yet to see." His wasn't a "college type" family, so his decision to go to college was a decision made outside of his comfort zone.

You've heard of yard signs?  This is a fern sign. :-)

Sheila Cannon of the United Way of the Piney Woods spoke to the group about her organization's work, thanked the staff and faculty for our strong support and echoed Mr. Cruse's call for a renewed spirit of volunteerism.  

Director of the Chamber of Commerce Carol Smith and Huntsville Mayor Mac Woodward
with our Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse.

Dr. Stacey Edmonson, the Dean of the College of Education at Sam Houston State University, spoke on the close relationship the School and our District have, and offered her help and support as well as her appreciation to our District.

Patsy Ann Reed of the Huntsville Education Foundation gave information on this local foundation's grant work that is for the exclusive benefit of our HISD teachers and students.  They have awarded over $300,000 over its history.  Mona Bartoshek of the Walker County Retired Teachers Association introduced us to her organization's work in supporting HISD, and invited those teachers that may be at the end of their career to consider joining with them.

By the way, we have to take a minute to thank Entergy for its generous support of the foundation- Entergy has been essential in keeping this funding strong.  With the support of Entergy as well as the support of countless local contributors and our district "Jeans Pass" fundraiser, this is a foundation with solid background and a strong future.  HHS English teacher and ATPE representative Amy Langley spoke about the benefits of joining
the Association of Texas Professional Educators.

After everyone else spoke, our keynote speaker, Joel Zeff, entered the stage and took over, with his infectious, high energy and highly interactive improvisational humor based program.  

Joe Zeff says- Look at your neighbor, put up your hands and say "Buddy Buddy."
Feel Better? Of course you do!

His aim is to inspire people to be the best they can be by helping us learn to celebrate everyday successes, help learn what motivates us, and empower people to do their jobs.  

Linda Grigsby and Maria Delgado laugh along with the show-!!!

Huntsville High's Scott Bumbaugh, Gibbs PreK Center's Albert Archuleta,
Speaker Joel Zeff and Scott Johnson's Sydney Groveton 

His "talk" was highly interactive, leading all 800 plus of us to get up and act goofy and then taking several volunteers from the audience to help illustrate some important points- among them being in the 'moment,' cooperation, communication, empowerment, trust 
and the power of "Thank You."

Thumbs Up!
Joel Zeff, Scott Johnson Elementary's Bre'Neka O'Bryant,
Scott Johnson's Brooke Burns and Huntsville High School's  Karen Tymniak
Huntsville High's Deneice Davis and John Rhine from Mance Park

Allison Hollis, Director of Special Education for HISD
and Deneice Davis of Huntsville High.

L-R, Mance Park's Terrence Bell (front) and Huntsville Intermediate's  Chris Sinski`
with Laura Sausage behind Joel Zeff 
Breakfast was served at Huntsville Intermediate School,
and the Huntsville Police Department provided help crossing the street- thank you folks!
Lori Riley of Huntsville Intermediate School with Jean Qualtrough of Mance Park Middle School.

Let it Fly!!

Another amazing and delicious event provided
by Henry Tapia and our HISD Food Service Team.

Huntsville Elementary's Nieisha Matthews and Tantanisha Laymon

Gibbs PreK Center's Albert Archuleta loves breakfast!
(Yes, Mr. Archuleta knows this photo is up on the blog!)

Breakfast is (pardon the expression...) buzzin'!!

and lunch is a 'hive' of activity.  (Sorry about that one.)
Before Tara Grisham heads to her manager job at Wally's Card & Party,
she stopped by to volunteer at Northside for our lunch!
Huntsville Elementary's Laura Delfin is good to go!!

Service with a Smile:  Colt Christian.
Need directions to the lunch? Head up FM 980 and look for the sign!

Our Emcee for the Morning, Director of Communications Shannon Duncan.
It's a nice feeling when it's finished, isn't it Shannon? 

Dad and Daughter Team:
 Jenna Slie and her dad, Northside Baptist Youth Pastor Bob Slie

Pastor, Cook, Server and Host Extraordinaire:
Pastor Reagan Cooksey of Northside Baptist Church
Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Huntsville High School Teachers: Getting a Little Help from their Students

Of course school begins on Monday August 25th, but there's been plenty of students showing up to the High School these last couple of weeks. Why?

HHS National Honor Society's Xavier, Jackson and Trinity- a picture suitable for framing!
These students came to step in and help out teachers as the teachers prepare their rooms and halls for the students!   In this post, we share pictures of some of the groups that we caught in action.

Clearly, Paige of HHS's National Honor Society views this "helping teachers" thing as a big pain. :-)

Glee members work on "Happy" the song, and the moves!

Many hands make light work, especially when you are pumping up the jams.

HHS National Honor Society member Mason
outside of Mrs. Stewart's room helping set up a bulletin board.

It's coming together for Alyx, Chris, Colton and Kaleigh.

Students have also stepped up to lend their talents to help make our Back to School Conference extra special for the teachers during our opening session!

You've heard that it "takes a village" to raise a child?
Well it "takes a team" to paint these big signs. :-)

The cheer teams created the massive signs that hung in the auditorium and Glee prepared a live rendition of the Pharrell Williams hit "Happy" to sing to our packed house first thing Wednesday morning.

Cheer Team Leadership for 2014-15, clockwise from left:
 Co-Captain Lauren Evans, Co-Captain Chelsea Houston,,
Dance Choreographer Alexys Wharton & Captain Makayla Doyle.

By the way, if you've seen our back to school video (below) and have wondered how our Interim Superintendent got such a beautiful singing voice......we would like to introduce you to Alyx!  

Alyx- High School Student, Band Member and Glee Member by Day, Secret Singer by Night????
Let's just say Mr. Cruse's singing voice is very, very very similar to Alyx's.

Painted, Hung and Ready for the Teachers!

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District

Sunday, August 17, 2014

First Ever New Teacher Academy Goes Out with a Bang- and a Banquet!

After three days of learning, thinking, talking, considering, contemplating, evaluating and reflecting (among other things), Thursday was a day for celebration.

Hey Teachers! First a picture, and then we'll eat!

Huntsville ISD's first ever New Teacher Academy ended with a bang, and a banquet!

The one hundred fifteen (or thereabouts) new-to-our district teachers range from "brand spanking new" to "experienced seasoned veteran," and they all came together at Magnolia Lake for a celebration and congratulation lunch in honor of...them!

Sonny Cruse

Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse shared a few funny and touching moments from his many years as teacher (coach, principal and superintendent) during his remarks.  He urged the incoming teachers that they (all of us!)) all need to work together to teach and serve our children.  As he aptly put, "If it's going to be, it's up to--WE!"

Huntsville Elementary School Principal Koren Nicks (center in teal)
with her new elementary teachers!  HES, represent!

 As part of the capstone experience, each teacher created their Teacher Vision and Mission Statement.  

Brandi Ramdohr's Vision & Mission centered around a critical time in her life,
the epiphany she experienced and the teachers that made a profound difference.

Amy Mayer , Director of Staff Development & District Initiatives congratulates new
Huntsville ISD teachers on their hard work throughout the week.

Marjetta Spriggs our Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction,
steps in to help keep the ice tea coming for our teachers!

Carol Smith of the Chamber of Commerce (left)
gives a personal welcome! 

Carol Smith, from the Walker County Chamber of Commerce, came bearing gifts in the form of lots and lots of "goodie" bags.    We'd like to thank Carol and the Chamber for coming and giving a gracious welcome from the City and Walker County, as wellA BIG special thanks to the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and the following businesses for contributing:

Wally’s Party Factory, Devine Life Change, Giddy Up Glamor, Pita Pit, SAAFE House,
Curves, Edward Jones Investment- Randall Mangum,  The Huntsville Item, Inspirational Graphic Designs, Rollo Insurance, Iron Works Health Club, Snap Fitness Huntsville, State Farm Insurance Diana K. Barnes, Young Living Essential Oils, On Pointe Dance Company, Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, BBVA Compass, Domino’s Pizza, Mitcham Industries, Casey R. Frazier, D.D.S., First National, Bank of Huntsville, Maurices 1729, Precision Printing, Southwestern Consolidated Directory Co. and Community Service Credit Union.

Jackie Dawson, one of our mentor teachers, listens to Sonny Cruse.

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville ISD Huntsville Independent School District