Monday, October 20, 2014

This is What We Do in Huntsville

Emergencies never come at a convenient time, and the fire at Parkview Senior Community on October 3rd was no exception.

Jennifer Graves, Huntsville High School Assistant Principal and District Emergency Team Co-Leader 

The Huntsville Fire department responded to the call around 4 p.m..  The firefighters confirmed that the facility's safety sprinklers had worked and the fire was extinguished.  Then they were posed with a sensitive logistical problem:  how to safely transport and shelter the over forty seniors displaced by water damage due to the sprinklers.

One Call Does it All:
Huntsville ISD's David Baker (Transportation Coordinator) and Tim Hooks (Director of Transportation)
Mr. Baker got behind the wheel himself to get the job done.

Many of the folks were mobility impaired, which required that transportation provide wheel chair lift equipment, and other folks had important medications that could not be left behind.  There were even a few therapy animals that needed to brought along.

Who did the fire department call? Tim Hooks, our Director of Transportation and HISD's designated co-manager for Red Cross shelters.

Four of Huntsville & Walker County's Bravest:
Firefighters (L-R) Stephen Rosenberger, Chase Wood, Theo Meisel and Brandon Kolaja.
(Brandon was on the responding team at Parkview)

That one call did it all, as it began a series of actions that lead to the displaced seniors having a hot BBQ meal at the storm shelter at the H.E.A.R.T.S Veterans' Museum within a little over an hour after that conversation.

Huntsville's Veterans' Complex, which is home of the The H.E.A.R.T.S. Veterans Museum of Texas,
the Veterans Conference Center and the Walker County Storm Shelter.

It didn't matter that it was late on a Friday afternoon right during the time when buses are out on routes, that this was the day of out of town Volleyball and Football games requiring the use of 13 buses, OR that our school staff had already begun their weekend.

Tim called fellow co-manager of HISD Red Cross Shelters (and Huntsville High School Assistant Principal) Jennifer Graves, and she reached out to our employee volunteers while Tim and Transportation Coordinator David Baker worked on buses and drivers.

Transportation's Leroy Bryant, Bobby Davison, Anthony Griffin, Clarence Griffin Ethel James and Patty Lolley all stepped in to safely drive these folks to the shelter.

Sally Dowis (District Social Worker), Stacy Godby (Huntsville High Teacher),  Anthony Griffin, Clarence Griffin, Ethel James,  Dr. Rosa Martinez (Principal of Gibbs PreK), Sherry Odom (Superintendent's secretary, Administration) and Shelley Petkovsek (Mance Park Teacher) all arrived at the shelter to help Tim and Jennifer get the displaced seniors signed in, situated and fed.  

Joe Godby, Huntsville Student and Huntsville Volunteer.

Also, Huntsville students also pitched in to help, including Joe Godby, Benjamin Saumell, Isabel Saumell and William Saumell.  Much later in the evening, Jan Moore (Mance Park) took over for the late night shift.

Late Night Volunteer and Mance Park Teacher Jan Moore

By noon the next day, the residents of Parkview were either back in their apartments or with family and friends and the shelter was ready to be cleaned and closed!

Everything is getting repaired and back to normal at Parkview Senior Community.

In a situation such as this one, Huntsville ISD works closely with Butch Davis and the Walker County Emergency Team and Walker County CERT.  Walker County EMS had two paramedics on site at the shelter, and Huntsville's Police Department handled security.  The Red Cross came up from Montgomery County.

Each member of this multi-agency team provides essential support.

Our district, and our employees, are ready to help.

They have done so in major ways during the  past (both Jennifer and Tim spent 10 days at the shelter when Hurricane Ike hit back in 2008), and they will do so again when they get the call.

This is what we do in Huntsville- this is our town, and this is our school.

Huntsville Independent School District, Huntsville ISD, Matthew Lahey

Monday, October 13, 2014

You Demanded It, and Now it is HERE. Huntsville ISD-centric Versions Of Viral Videos are Now Online!

If you remember way (way way!) back before school started, you attended the Back to School Conference (...All coming back to you now?)  

During the first session we showed you a video that consisted of various 
Huntsville Independent School District staff and administrators getting in touch 
with their goofy side all at the service of making you smile and laugh.

Well now you can sing along with our Interim Superintendent Sonny Cruse as he belts out his smash, 
"Back This Fall" with the release of our official lyric video.  

In fact, in the spirit of the genre,  we've broken all the viral videos that made up the original BTS video into bite sized pieces for your enjoyment and pass around.

and of course the Evolution of Principal Dancing.  
Our cameras also happened to be there on 

So here you are, because you demanded it!  (You demanded it, didn't you?!)

Big Thanks again to all that participated!!!

We know you care enough to get out of that comfort zone of yours!


Angee Andrus
Sally Bacon
Larry Brown
Beth Burt
Andrea Cortes
Alyx Cousins
Sonny Cruse
Susan Cryer
Maria Delgado
Shannon Duncan
Coach Marcus Evans
John Green
Linda Grigsby
Allison Hollis
Debbie Homann
Traci Isaac
Jeri Johnsen
Jim Kreier
Patty Marler
Linda Marshall
Dr. Rosa Martinez
Amy Mayer
Colleen McMillian
Nadine Pharries
Amber Rodriguez
David Rosser
Tracie Simental
Coach Rodney Southern
Marjetta Spriggs
Henry Tapia
Delanise Taylor
Shannon Williams
Mayor Mac Woodward

Special Thanks to:

Larry Brown
Jessica Clancy
Jonathan Clancy
Zoe Clancy
Lauren Davis
Jack Herrington
Tim Hooks
Huntsville ISD Maintenance & Operations
Huntsville ISD Transportation
Owen Lahey
Kay Laube
Sam Houston Memorial Museum
Sheila Simmons
Ginger Widner
Nanci Yamada

Huntsville Independent School District, Huntsville ISD, Matthew Lahey

Monday, October 6, 2014

Huntsville ISD Celebrates College Night (..and, before that, College Day!)

This past Tuesday, the High School hosted its annual College Night, and it was a hit!

Caught considering the possibilities!

Representatives from 40 colleges, tech schools, the armed forces and universities came to the Paul Bohan Gym.  They all came to Huntsville to meet with the over 400 Huntsville High students (along with family and friends) exploring their opportunities for "What's Next." These high schoolers have begun considering what they will do after graduation.  (For a complete list of visiting institutions, check the end of this post.)

Tell us More about Howard Payne!

But College Night began way before the 6:30 p.m. start time on Tuesday, as this was the first year that HISD had College Day districtwide.
Mireya and Ana- Harvard and University of Texas?  You know it!

Universal Technical Institute was among the many tech schools that came.
Mohammed and Juan- taking a break from getting down to serious researching.

Starbucks?  Check! Texas State Shirts?  Check!

Earlier this year, Mrs. Julie Picket had the idea to invite the entire district to participate.  With an enthusiastic "thumbs up" from our district leadership team, they spread the word throughout the district's eight campuses.

Our College and Career Counselor, Julie Picket!

Students, teachers and staff were encouraged to wear their favorite college shirts or colors.  In this way, we created an opportunity for our teachers and staff to share their personal story and begin talking to our students about their plans after high school.

We have an Oklahoma Sooner and Louisiana Tech Bulldog amongst these Bearkats!
(Left to Right, all from Samuel Walker Houston Elementary:
Angela Coleman, Amanda Ramos, Claire Southern, Hontrelle Ligon and Susan Cryer).

A Bearkat Bunch at Stewart:  Amy Salazar, Connie Mathis and Amanda Kuykendall

This event helped spread the message of the importance of post-high school education and training for a successful, meaningful and productive life.

Aggies Shelley Ancira (Left) & Cathy Davis (Right) surround Longhorn Lori Riley

A Big Texas State (Christell Marshall) and Baylor (Tania Merik)
"Howdy" from Mance Park Middle School!

Each of our students, regardless of their specific interests, talents or financial positions deserves help and guidance in creating their path to a future of fulfilled potential.
Scott Johnson Elementary Front Office Shows Their College Colors:
Sara Williams, Marsha Stringer, Dora Whitmire, Kim Bolton, Penny Foley, Martha Valdez and Shannon Williams.

"Eat 'em up Kats" say Huntsville Elementary School's
Tami Elliott, Freda Shaw & Chris Matthys

Visiting all the campuses on Tuesday, it became evident that we are in fact living in Sam Houston State University's Bearkat Country!

Samuel Walker Houston Elementary's Nina Baker
with a couple of little SHSU Bearkats, and a Baylor Cub (er..Bear!)

While no one can argue that Huntsville Independent School District and Sam Houston State University enjoy a terrific relationship (and that SHSU is awesome!), if you scroll down you will see a wide variety of schools represented around the District.

Gibbs Elementary School- Albert Archuleta and Karen Conroy
show Aggies and Longhorns can get along...most of the time :-).
Mr. Archuleta is wearing a Longhorn shirt- though he is also an SHSU grad and an Army (and an Army Reserve) man.

And remember,  these pictures here are just a sampling of the hundreds of teachers and staff that participated.

Has there EVER been a photo taken of two ladies wearing
T-shirts from University of Delaware and Coastal Carolina University in the same picture?
There is now!  Robin Swackhamer represents UD as a family connection
and Kimberly Cardoza used to play softball for CCU.
We did hear some rivalry talk between the teachers, but as Gibbs PreK's Assistant Principal Albert Archuleta, it's (mostly :-) ) all in good fun, because underneath it all...

We all bleed Hornet Green! :-)

Huntsville Elementary School's
Deborah McNeil and Jana Bethel are Aggie Proud!

SHSU- it's written all over her back!
Huntsville Elementary's Courtney Duerer.
Bearkat Second Grade Teacher, Huntsville Elementary's Jamie Pesl

Daughter Steely (aka Tootie) and her mom Connie Nelson with Elizabeth Matchett.

Mance Park's Melissa Henke takes a quick break to show her pride!

Lone Star Fan Katherine Smith from Samuel Walker Houston Elementary.

Samuel Walker Houston Elementary's Randi Jo Barndt takes it to the Next Level!
The University of Houston ball cap represents a family connection,
but that quilt is made up of T-shirts from her alma mater- Go Tarleton State!!!

Scott Johnson Elementary's Bobbi Stefaniak representing 
Villa Maria from the Great State of New York!

Amanda Leland of Mance Park is excited and she just can't hide it!

Lockie Archie at Stewart Elementary is a SHSU Bearkat, can you tell?

Second Floor, Mance Park:  Two SHSU Bearkats sighted.
Names?  Shawn Dunbar and Charly Baker.
The Administration Building's Kay Laube, Shelly Christie and Sally Bacon
  are all on the same team, no matter what their shirts may read!!

SHSU Bearkat Calvin Ortiz at Stewart Elementary.

Cougars 'n'Aggies CAN get along!
Mance Park Middle School's Kelli Vossler and Tiffany Wiggins.

Mance Park Middle School's Becky Vaughn
closes her eyes and hopes the photographer will disappear.
Geaux LSU Tigers!

Stewart Elementary's Alba Miller is a Longhorn fan.

District Behavior Coordinator Jeri Johnsen is a graduate
of Buena Vista University in Iowa!

Hook 'em Horns! Huntsville Elementary's Rebekah Smith.

Samuel Walker Houston Elementary's Sharla Riggs and Elizabeth Williams.

Smilin' "Kat: Mrs. Sharon Jefferson of Huntsville Elementary School

Look at those kicks!  Mrs. Sharon Jefferson represents from head down to her toes.

Huntsville Intermediate School's Suzanna Salazar rocking her 'Hornets Back the 'Kats' "T."

Samuel Walker Houston Elementary's Paige Holden strikes a pose for
Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi! 
Huntsville Elementary School Jasmine Cowl sports an Oakland University shirt.
(It's in Michigan, don't you know!)
Samuel Walker Houston's Courtney Savage is a Smiling SHSU Bearkat!

Samuel Walker Houston Elementary's Amy Phillips and Kimberly Spradlin.

Huntsville Intermediate's Jill Maupin in her University of Michigan jersey.

Mrs. Paula Foreman from Samuel Walker Houston.  Go 'Kats!

Bridget Smiley reppin' SHSU outside of Huntsville Intermediate School.
Samuel Walker Houston's Makinzie Nicks
is a pretty fresh graduate from Sam Houston State University.

Samuel Walker Houston's Amberleigh Ficklen-
representing not just Texas A&M but their Veterinary School, to boot!

The Administration Building's Shari Odom's shoes are fully customized...

...front and back!

Thank you to all the educational organizations that came out Tuesday night!!

Air Force
Art Institute
Education Opportunity Center
Hardin Simmons
Howard Payne
Lamar University
Lone Star College
Louisiana Tech
Lubbock Christian
Magan Miller
Mary Hardin- Baylor
Navarro College
Prairie View A&M
Sam Houston State
Stephen F. Austin
Tarleton State
Texas A&M Galveston
Texas Army National Guard
Texas Southern 
Texas State
Texas Tech
University of Texas at Austion
Tyler Junior College
University of Houston
University of Houston, Victoria
University of North Texas
University of Texas, Tyler
University of Texas, Permian Basin
Universal Technical Institute
University of Texas, San Antonio

Huntsville Independent School District, Huntsville ISD, Matthew Lahey