Friday, September 26, 2014

Are YOU One of the Watch D.O.G.S.?

Are you one of the Watch D.O.G.S.?   (By the way, "D.O.G.S." stands for Dads Of Great Students.)

Meet Huntsville Fire Fighter and Head of the Watch D.O.G.S. at Scott Johnson Elementary School,
Mr. William Lamb and his daughter, Emily.  (Daughter Bailey is at Huntsville Intermediate School.)
Mr. William Lamb, along with lots of other Scott Johnson Elementary dads, are definitely Watch D.O.G.S.  How did that happen?

Good Morning to You!!  Mr. Clayton Heald is one of the Watch D.O.G.S.,
and he begins today by helping with the car rider line.
It all began last year when Huntsville Firefighter and District Dad William Lamb caught a story on The Today Show about the National Center for Fathering and their Watch D.O.G.S. program. 

It's a one-of-a-kind, school based father involvement program that works to support education and safety.  Once Mr. Lamb saw the story, he knew he had to act.

From Reading Aloud to Helping with Clean Up- Watch D.O.G.S do it all!

So he contacted Scott Johnson Elementary, and working closely with School Counselor Mrs. Marsha Stringer, they launched the program at the beginning of the school year.

Scott Johnson Counselor Mrs. Marsha Stringer with Joel Williams,
who's dad, Anthony "Moose" Williams, is definitely one of the Watch D.O.G.S.!

It began with an orientation meeting one weeknight a few weeks back, and both Mr. Lamb and Mrs. Stringer were bowled over at the attendance.

I did not know that!
Mr. Lamb learns something new everyday from the kids at Scott Johnson Elementary!
At least one hundred dads attended, and since then there has been a steady stream of volunteers.

Greyson and his dad, Mr. William Lutterschmidt, who's a professor of
Biological Sciences at Sam Houston State University.
Today was his first day as one of the Watch D.O.G.S., and if felt great!

Matthew and his Dad- Mr. Clayton Heald.  Mr. Heald is one of the "regulars," when he has
free time away as Systems Analyst at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Some Watch D.O.G.S. can make a weekly commitment, others monthly and still other dads can come only occasionally.

That's my daughter!  Mr. J.R. Hartley points to a picture of he and his daughter, Lydia,
posted on the Watch D.O.G.S Wall of Fame at the front of the school.
Mr. Hartley comes whenever he can when he isn't working at the Kroger's here in town.

The process is simple. First, we a do background check and go through an orientation.  Next, Mrs. Stringer creates a personalized schedule based on the school's daily needs and reflecting the opportunity for the Dad to spend time in their child's class (and to eat lunch with their kid, if the volunteer's schedule allows).

Is that a proud dad or what?  Mr. Arcibar poses with his son Emilio (left) and daughter Ali. 

We all know that you don't have to be a Dad to be a positive adult male role model for your (or any) child,  so the Watch D.O.G.S. program is available to grandfathers, uncles and any significant male figure in a child's life.

The Watch D.O.G.S Wall of Fame is filling up, but there is always room for more!!

What about the kids?  The children of Watch D.O.G.S. love it!  Ask any of them and they'll tell you about how much fun it is for them to have their Dads at school with them.

Mr. Josh Holloway- Dad of daughter Emily,
Craftsman with the HISD Maintenance & Operations Department and one of the Watch D.O.G.S.! 

Let it Begin!  The line is long, but it goes fast!

Mr. Lamb invites any dad with available time to come on down, make a difference and have some fun!  Not only can you get some insight into your kids' lives, you feel pretty dang great doing it!

"A Man's Gotta Eat!"  Why not dine with your daughter?

Help is now available in the cafeteria for opening rascally milk cartons and ranch dressing packets.

If you want to join in, please contact Marsha Stringer at Scott Johnson Elementary.  There is always room for one more!

Watch D.O.G.S  find a  need and fill it.
Here, the student council could use some help raising the flags.

Huntsville Independent School District, Huntsville ISD, Matthew Lahey

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hornet's Got Talent! Huntsville ISD's Back to School Conference Returns to Huntsville High

After the success of last year's first ever Back to School Conference, we all had one thought:  Let's Do It Again!

Welcome to the Hive!
The idea is simple.  Each year, teachers have a lot to learn to stay on top of the latest technologies, initiatives and policies, so let's bring the conference experience to our teachers and have them learn it all here at the high school in a conference-type environment.

They're Teachers, They're Spouses, They're Listening!
Keith and Christina Jeffcoat are 'tuned in' during the first session.
This year our theme was "Hornets Got Talent," and throughout the conference, we kept noticing proof of that fact all around us.

New-to-the-District Teachers Elizabeth Clark and Darius Hopkins inspired us when they
shared their perspective coming into Huntsville ISD through the previous week's New Teacher Academy.
So, after our Convocation but before our students returned, we came together to learn at Huntsville ISD's Back to School Conference.

Amy Mayer, Director of District Initiatives & Staff Development,  listens to the new teachers share.

It all began in the auditorium first thing on Wednesday, August 20th.  Amy Mayer, Director of District Initiatives and Staff Development, hosted this first session with all teaching staff.

A scene from the BTS video, where Sonny Cruse sings his breakout hit, "Back this Fall."
Our Interim Superintendent is not just a pretty face!  He's got a pretty voice, too!

Amy introduced special speakers, a surprise serenading performance from Huntsville High's Glee and the annual Back to School Video (starring some of the finest acting, song and dance stylings that you will see in all of Huntsville, Walker County, East Texas, Texas, the United States, North America the World!!). 

Why does HHS's Glee serenade our teachers?  Well, because they are "Happpppppyyyy!!!!"
L-R Chris George, Alyx Cousins, Colton Hoover and Kaleigh Ambrose.

Marjetta Spriggs, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction, shares her story to a packed house

In this first session, Marjetta Spriggs shared her personal story.  Anyone who knows Mrs. Spriggs, knows she isn't naturally inclined to talk about herself.

However, she took Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse's message of "Sharing Our Story" to heart and movingly told the packed house of her journey.  She shared her struggles and the ultimate success of her education.  And, she underlined the importance of the impact that one person can make in a child's life.  In her case, it was the teacher that believed in her and that insisted Marjetta believe in herself.

Let's get it on!  Huntsville High's Bobby Connor and David Sheffield are ready to learn.

Afterwards, teachers then split up and attended workshops they had signed up for earlier via preregistration.  By the way, although there were mandatory training workshops, teachers were able to choose a portion of their conference itinerary.

ESC6 Folks Step in to Lend a Helping Hand:
L-R Back Row: ESC6's Cathy Moak (in black), HISD iTech Ruth Hutchinson,
HISD iTech Karen Paschal & ESC6's Erika Tijerina
Front Row: HISD's iTech Melissa Thornton and ESC6's Melissa McClatchy
Naturally, Huntsville ISD's Curriculum and Technology organized the event and taught many of the workshops.   However, our department brought in experts from the Education Service Center VI (you probably know it as ESC6) as well as representatives from ClassFlowEduphoria and Schoology.

District Behavior Coordinator Jeri Johnsen leads a highly interactive training in the Commons.

Most noteworthy of all the workshop leaders would have to be the teachers themselves.  We were able to tap the expertise and experience of many of our own teaching staff to lead and teach their fellow Hornets.

Let Ruth take you on a tour of Gradebook.

Samuel Houston's Barry Nichols poses in front of his teams creation.

Brooke Burns is having fun "Making and Taking"
in the (you guessed it!)"Make and Take" Session

A Packed House!  All of the signs were made by the Cheer Team!
Let's hear it for the teachers!!  And the Cheer Team!!!  (Thank you!!!)

Todd Maupin takes a break from all this learning!

Excel Center Represent!  Jim Pitts (Left) shares a table with dynamic duo, husband and wife Amy and Micah Gilcrease.
Members of the community came to support and welcome our teachers back, including the generous drink and snack donations from our Chamber of Commerce, and the newly formed community leader committee, Promoting Our Potential.
Judy Emmett of Promoting Our Potential.
Mance Park's Coach Michael Walker and (in background) Mandy Hysmith are all ears.
We also want to thank Huntsville High School Principal Beth Burt and her staff for their hospitality in allowing us to hold this conference on her campus for the second year in a row.  And of course we could not have done it without Larry Brown and the Maintenance and Operations department.  Thank you!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A New Era Dawns under Huntsville's Friday Night Lights

Last Friday night marked the beginning of a new era in Huntsville!

It was our first football game of the season, it was our 'home opener,' and it was the first game under the leadership of Coach Rodney Southern and his staff.   

It also marked a first for the band, now under directorship of newly promoted Director of Bands John Green and a first for the Grenadier Guard, which is now headed by Dana LeNorman.

Oh, and by the way, we can also mark it down as our first win of the season!

The weather was beautiful, the crowd enthusiastic and the competition tough.  We were tied 14-14 going into the half.   But, through some half time adjustments and exceptional play, our Hornets pulled away and beat a worthy Coldspring team by a convincing 27-14 score.

They are so excited and they just can't hide it!
Mance Park's Amber Bearden and her son with Huntsville Intermediate's Shelley Ancira.

The coaches and staff were really happy with the results.  Though they are first to point out that the staff and team take one game at a time, and that they are all now focussed squarely on their next game, which is this Friday!  Sting 'Em Hornets!

Joe waits patiently for the "all clear" to lead the Hornet Buddies on the field!
Hornet Buddy (and Coach Bell's son) Dacorian is ready to run!

Director of Bands John Green (right) looks on as the Huntsville Hornet Military Marching Band begins to perform.
(Assistant Director Robby Yarber is on Mr. Green's left).
The Volleyball Team represented big time in the front row!

Cheerleader McKayla Chamberlain with Huntsville High School Principal Beth Burt.
Awesome to see McKayla out and about after her car accident-
we knew she was talented and beautiful- now we know she's tough, too!

Meet Huntsville's Flagmen of 2014-15, under the direction of Mrs. Jerrilyn Bulloch. 

Meet Huntsville's Varsity Cheerleaders of 2014-15,
led by Coach Kelly Jordan and Assistant Coach Bailey Henson.

You think they are ready to do this?!

Ricko Bennett drops back for a pass

Huntsville Hornets recover another Coldspring fumble!

Flagmen help celebrate a touchdown.


Huntsville High School Teacher and Track Coach Chris McCall.

United We Stand.

Huntsville High School's Media Outlets were out in full force.
(From L-R)  Gary Holl, Nikki Miller and Jayden Mathis (all from Yearbook)
and Keona Wynne from The Hive, the high school's daily news show.

Multi-tasker Queen is not your average-everyday-alto-sax-playing-band-member-and-varsity cheerleader.

Coach Southern congratulates Melvin Walker and the team on some amazing defense.

View from the stands:
Flagmen don't mind the exercise, and the football team made them run.

Hornet Cheerleaders Makayla Doyle (back left) and Chelsea Houston (front right)
host a visit from the Coldspring High Cheer Team during the game.
Every game, each cheer team visits the opposing side to cheer together for both teams.  That's classy. :-)

I'm thinking they are thinking that this is fun. :-) 

Meet the Seat Patrol Team of Turner & Thorp-
that would be Huntsville Intermediate School's Assistant Principal Team of Amy Turner and Kerri Thorp

Mance Park's Cathy Landrum brought a couple of BIG fans to the game- Cassidy and Kylie!
Mary Lacy and The Grenadier Guard, Front and Center.

Mance Park's Jamie Nash here with wife Alicia and their son Walker.
You guessed it- Walker is a Hornet Buddy so they got to the game early. 
Jordan Denman leads the way as the GG's exit the field.

Kalin Collins of the Grenadier Guard.
That's three generations of Hornet fans (and Kalin Collins fans- see above!) right there!
Mrs. Nettie, Trace and Kalin's mom, Bridgette.

Coach D. leads a quick debrief after the half time performance.

It's a date: Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse and his wife Danna.

Mr. Gary Evans is greeted by some Mance Park students wondering how his new job at Huntsville High is going.
(And to tell them they miss him.)  heard him say that if they play their cards right
they will all see him soon- at the High School!

Hey- that's Board of Trustees Secretary Tracy Stoudt and her date, husband Bob.

Whoa!  That's a once in a lifetime split that could not be repeated...

Um, scratch that last caption from above- Cheer Team, Prepare for Flight!

Kerri Carpenter is ready for action.
(Sure she looks nice, just don't cause any trouble!)

This is Tyler....

...and this is Tyler's mom!

After the game- "All Hail the Green and White!"

Matthew Lahey  Huntsville Independent School District  Huntsville ISD  HISD