Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joreen Waddell- Then and Now, Doing What Makes Sense

Huntsville High School teacher Joreen Waddell considers herself a pretty typical person. But, when you start talking to her you realize that, despite what she may think of herself, she's actually a pretty remarkable lady.

Joreen Wadell- Doing What Makes Sense
Joreen was born in Huntsville, and her family has been here for over eighty years.  Back in the 1960s, she was an eighth grader at Scott Johnson Junior High, which was the Middle School that the black kids attended.  At that time Huntsville, like a lot of places, was segregated.

Mrs. Waddell sits down to tell her personal story of integration to the crew from
Bryan / College Station,  KBTX-News 3.
If you haven't seen their terrific piece, you can scroll down to watch below.
Photo by Mandy Stewart.

Even as a girl, segregation just didn't make sense to Joreen.  She remembers herself at the time as a social butterfly, a matter-of-fact girl that wouldn't really ever consider herself a 'rebel.'  She just had an honest curiosity as to why schools had to be divided.

This is the episode of, 'That Friday Show', that the Huntsville Hive produced on Civil Rights which includes Joreen Waddell as well as HHS Spanish teacher Mr. Rudy Rios.  The piece begins approximately 1:10 into the show. 

Other things around town didn't make sense to her.  She remembers that at that time,  there was a "5 & 10"' store downtown where white kids could earn money during the Christmas holidays by wrapping presents.  As a black girl, she wasn't able to apply for that job and she remembers thinking, "I could sure use some extra money." It just didn't make sense.

                Check out the KBTX-TV Story on Joreen and her personal experiences during the Civil Rights movement.

In 1965,  the Huntsville ISD school board decided to have black families have the freedom of choice as to which high school their children would attend.  Joreen spoke up and told her parents she would like to be among that first group of 11 students.  Although her parents didn't understand her interest (and feared for the difficulties that lay ahead for their daughter), they whole heartedly supported Joreen's desire to be among that first class.

At the Elective Fair:  Let's get that temp!

Joreen's experience at Huntsville High School was not without its hardships, hassles and heartbreaks, but she flourished at her new integrated high school.  And, by 1968, Huntsville Independent School District was fully integrated.

Back Row: L-R Jalynn, Missy, Noemi, Crystal and Yalery;  Middle Row: Hunter; Front Row: Maura and Merary
Just some of the CNA students that are on their way!

Now let's move forward through the years, and after Joreen has raised kids, travelled the country and a had a long and rewarding career as a nurse, she is approached by Huntsville High School to teach.

CNA Classmates and Friends.

Mrs. Waddell said "yes," and started a Certified Nursing Assistant program here at the school. 
And why do you think she did that?  
Because starting this program, one of the first of its kind here in Texas, made sense to her. 

Pick a topic, any topic!
Written on these slips you will find the procedures that the CNA students must learn as part of their course.

  Now, more than ten years later, she heads the program that gives students the chance to not only get a certification, but gain real world experience caring for residents of a nursing home here in town.  

Whaaa?!  And here we thought PROM was just a dance.
Number 16 of the 21 procedures is PROM:
Perform a Modified Passive Range of Motion Screening.
At this time of year, the students continue earning hours for the certification, but they also spend time testing themselves on the twenty one procedures that they must know backwards and forwards
to pass their certification test. 

What's the magic number?
Chelsea was one of the students checking out the CNA program at
the High School's elective fair.
Over the years, hundreds of students have earned this certificate.  It's hard, but it can be done, and for students that are interested in entering the field, it just makes sense!

At the Electives Fair: Say Ahh!

Then and now, Mrs. Waddell considers herself a pretty typical person, but talk to her students, both former and current, and you'll see a she's a pretty remarkable lady.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kids Read to Kids: Mance Park Students Read Across the District for Read Across America Day

This past Monday was Read Across America Day, and members of the Mance Park National Junior Honor Society hit the road with books in hand and headed to Scott Johnson Elementary School to celebrate the day by reading to some younger students.

The Perfect Combination
(L-R) Andrew, Hunter and Jaden get into listening about Mega-Rescuers,
and Addie gets into reading about them! 

The students are members of the National Junior Honor Society, and Chapter Advisor and Mance Park Science Teacher Amber Bearden thought that a venture to an elementary school would be a great way to participate in the nationwide event.  (And it's also a very fun way for the MPMS students to earn some of the necessary service hours required by the NJHS.)

Do you think Maya is enjoying this??

Amanda cozies up on the floor with a good book

These kids are all ears and all eyes on Cade.

No wonder MPMS Spanish Teacher Amy Beers is smiling!
She's a council member  to the National Junior Honor Society and a lover of books!

Halee is wondering how this one is going to end!

Braden reads, and Gabby thinks, "Verrry interesting!" 

Kids weren't the only ones that enjoyed the day-
Second Grade Teacher Stacie Roberts was impressed with Mance Parkers and her kids.
Everyone was really into it!

Jason looks like he's thinking- "And then what happens?!"

A book we know and love: "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog"

Blake reads from Actual Size.  Yes, that picture of the spider is...actual size!

Mance Park Science Teacher & National Junior Honor Society Advisor Amber Bearden.
Monday was definitely not a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!"
David (right) thinks, "Can you please take the pic because Alodi and I are trying to listen here!"
Robert takes a breath before getting back into it.

The members of the National Junior Honor Society just before getting on the bus.
How many books do you think they read?  A lot!

A New Year, a New You, a New Day, a New You...A New Moment, A New You!

This blog post is not what it was supposed to be about.

Yes we can.
A student (who's a teacher) in Aerobics Class led by Crystal Wilding,
Third Grade Teacher at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary.

Several weeks ago, we had the opportunity to see various groups around Huntsville Independent School District marking the new year (and new semester) by trying something new.

It's opposite day when Hailey & Noelle keep score for the adults.
Huntsville Intermediate's Fifth Grade Coach Brad Didier (aka "Coach D")
 is organizing Faculty Fun days after school.

As things sometimes go, this post was placed on the back burner, and then?

What?  That was totally in!! or, what I meant to say was,
"Respectfully, I am inclined to disagree with you...and I would like to forward the opinion that the ball was in fact in."

And then? And then time passed.

At Huntsville Elementary, they started a new initiative focusing on the importance of reading aloud to students.
Second Grade Teacher Courtney Duerer with Brandon and one of his favorites- "Skinnybones."

Now it's March, and we looked at the photos, thought about the story and started thinking that maybe we missed our moment on this post.  We thought it might be too late.  Is it too late?

First Grade Teacher Elizabeth Matchett is leading a faculty and staff walking club at Stewart Elementary.

Well, yes and no.  It's too late to write a "New Year, New You," post, but it's not too late to share these initiatives.

Huntsville Intermediate's Rolando Salazar brings the heat! 

So let's change up the topic of this post, and salute what our folks are doing in the district, and let's tell them that, if it's working, keep going strong!

Huntsville Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Melissa Crowder likes to read aloud!

And what if it's not working?  Well kudos to you (and, "kiss your brain!" to quote an elementary teacher or two)  for trying something new.

Third Grade Teacher Crystal Wilding has a passion for health and staying active, and enthusiasm to share it!
She leads the aerobics after school at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary.

And if you had to take a break on the initiative or put it on pause for testing, schedule changes, etc.? Then we hear you and we know you will pick it up again as soon as you can!

Anybody who knows "Coach D."  knows that this is a photo of him at rest.

It can be a New Year and a New You, a New Day and a New You, and as we live in each moment, we can decide that it's a New Moment and a New You!

Huntsville Intermediate School Principal Delanise Taylor watches
 the volleyball game from the (relative) safety of the sidelines!

At Huntsville High School, Nurse Tina Williams (RN) is spearheading the annual weight loss challenge.

Post workout, and it feels good! 
Samuel Walker Houston Elementary Assistant Principal Courtney Lucas and Counselor Judy Phillips.

Assistant Principal Kerri Thorp getting down to some serious play.

Kathy Goree,  the PE IA for Sixth Grade Huntsville Intermediate, started a morning walking club before school.

Huntsville High School Counselor Nikki Surley won last year's weight loss challenge.
This year, she's back again to keep it off!

 Keiyonna and Teacher Mrs. Merillat  at Gibbs PreK Center.
Keiyonna was being praised for making safe choices.
(Doesn't feel good to be caught doing good?!)

This is actually fun!
Johnathan Cox at Huntsville Intermediate after the match.
(Jonathan is now an inclusion teacher at HHS.)

Fill in the blank caption:
These ladies are_________(that's right) putting their best foot forward. :-) 

The Path Forward:
The walking club uses this sidewalk outside of Stewart Elementary.

A New Year, a New You.   A New Day, a New You.  A New Moment, a New You!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mance Park Eighth Graders Go To Our Nation's Capital Hashtag: #MPMSDC2015 #AmazingTrip

Spring Break is next week, but a group of Eighth Graders at Mance Park Middle School, already had their travel adventure for the year.  They have the memories and the hashtag to prove it:  #MPMSDC2015

In front of the Capital building: the gang is all here! 

For over 12 years, Seventh Grade math teacher Mr. Jamie Nash has taken a group of Huntsville ISD kids and parents to Washington, DC, to see our Nation's Capital.

Beautiful on a snowy evening.

And this year, like most, Seventh Grade Science teacher Johanna "JoJo" Ullrich has been right along with him, helping keep the kids safe and on track for a wonderful trip.  Each trip is thoroughly scheduled, and each year is unique.  This year, the group experienced some record breaking cold and more snow than some had ever seen!

The Air and Space Museum is full of cool stuff!

All the while during the trip, Mr. Nash takes photos and posts them to his website at the end of the day, so the family back home can get a taste of what the students are experiencing.  He even blogs during the trip.  (All photos of the trip in this post are provided by Mr. Nash.  Click here to be taken to the website, and here to see the blog.  )

New for 2015, Mr. Nash created a hashtag so both he and the kids' postings to Facebook and Twitter are easily found. By the way, a hashtag is a word or phrase- in this case MPMSDC2015 (for Mance Park Middle School District of Columbia 2015) preceded by the pound sign -hash mark- used to identify posts on a specific topic.

The group at Gettysburg. #Chilly :-) 

Snowball fight?  Snowballlll fighhhhhttttt!!!!

The students check out the sights including The White House, the US Capital Building, and Gettysburg, as well as museums and memorials throughout the area.

Icy Roads Possible, Snowy Roads Absolutely

Mr. Nash has a passion for photography and loves to give the kids and their families that extra "something" to enrich their experience and memories.  He figures he will handle the sights and the group shots, and the students will handle taking pictures of themselves.

Was it cold and snowy?  Yes.  Was it amazing and awesome?  Yes!
Eighth Grader and DC Trip veteran Caitlyn photographed back home in Huntsville, TX (It's green!)

Mr. Nash's website is not only stocked with photos, but also information and readings to enrich your trip, so check it out, and in case you were wondering, he is getting ready for next year's trip!