Friday, May 29, 2015

The Huntsville Mountain Bike Team: It's NOT just about the bike!

Now if you know anything about Huntsville Intermediate School Fifth Grade PE Teacher Coach Brad Didier, you know he has a passion for bicycling.   

What's up, Coach?
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page.

So much that, with the help of Mr. Kiser at Huntville Intermediate School (also a passionate cyclist)  and fellow community members and parents, he launched a mountain bike team at the High School in 2011.  

Let it Begin!!
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page
As a member of the Texas Mountain Bike League, the teams don't have tryouts and there is not a Varsity / Junior Varsity designation.  It's about getting interested high schoolers on bikes, so much that if you are in high school and you make the commitment to be on the team, you may not even need a bike!  (That's because they might be able to spot you one for awhile!)

Megan and Coach Didier
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page.
What has all this added up to for the Huntsville Hornet Mountain Bike Team?? 

Besides having a lot of fun, getting out into the fresh air and building up camaraderie, it's also added up to some phenomenal success for our student athletes, including exceptional results in both individual and team categories.

Texas Girls State Mountain Bike Champion!
Meet Megan Gautreaux- mild mannered junior off the trail, a (mostly friendly) monster on the trail!

Post Race Congratulations:
Coach Didier and Mountain Bike Team Member Cameron

Another accomplishment of the team has been the success the program has earned in bringing our Huntsville community together.  

Cranking down hard.
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page.
As you can imagine, the budget for a mountain bike team is next to nothing, but the capacity to get people together is huge.  Fundraising and community support is essential for the success of the program.

Coach with Mountain Bike Team Member Destyne Dismuke.
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page.

#Hornet Proud
One of the earlier moments in the team's history where this was made clear is when a family trailer carrying the team's bikes and equipment was involved in a car wreck.  The family, parents of one of the original mountain bike team members, lost their trailer (it was totaled), but contents were fine.

 $5000- Now that's a big check! To see it for yourself, go to The Bike Spot. :-)
At that point, another parent happened to write to Clif Bar energy foods for a contest called, "Share Your Epiphany."  The dad, Mr. Tim Dixon, shared the story of the Huntsville High's new Mountain Bike Team, and their need for a trailer.  Mr. Dixon's "epiphany" was one of five Clif Bar chose to fund, and they were awarded $5000.00.

Mr. Tim Dixon in front of his shop.  Long before he opened the store,
he was a dad who shared a passion for mountain biking with his kids,
one of which just finished the season on the team.

Last year, Tim Dixon opened his own bike store, The Bike Spot , which has quickly become the go-to place for all things bicycle in Huntsville, as well as serving as the backbone of support for the team and it's unofficial clubhouse.  Tim and crew keep the team going strong and bikes mechanically sound and is also able to offer steep discounts on bicycle parts.

CrossFit Stars and Bars-Marine Veteran and Owner/ Trainer  Elmer Miguel (left) with Trainer Tanner Wheelis
Tanner trains the team here at the gym.

CrossFit Stars and Bars- The Piney Woods Original.  
Located just a few blocks of The Square at 929 University Avenue, Huntsville, Texas 77320

The Mountain Bike team also enjoys phenomenal support from CrossFit Stars & Bars, a CrossFit gym that opens it's facilities and expert trainers for the team, and, Ironworks Gym, which allows our student athletes free use of the their spin class room for indoor bike training.

Iron Works took over the Nautilus Space at 123 American Bank Street. This location is Iron Works Club 2, 
and it's here that Iron Works hosts the Mountain Bike Team for their twice weekly spin classes.

Choose your weapon:  Coach Dixon leads the classes.  Take a look at that back wall...

...and you will see a familiar sight- a fully autographed jersey from a recent season.

Sure it's hard, but it's beautiful, too.
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page

These guys are coaches, family and- mechanics!

At The Bike Spot: Jacob Gautreaux (Dad and assistant coach) and
 Michael Johnson (assistant coach, Chief Course Marshall & Coach Didier's Father in Law)

Feel the Power!
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page

So now the season is over, but don't think for a second that these athletes have stopped riding.  This summer, they will ride when it's cool and get ready for next season. Of course they wouldn't be able to do it without the support of the Huntsville community.

So, thank you, and see you on the trails!

Hey! They clean up nice!
This photo taken from last week's End of Season Banquet.
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page

The Three Amigas
From the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Facebook Page

Beautiful Photo of the team taken by Samuel Beard.

LIVE STRONG Week at Huntsville ISD

Earlier this month, Huntsville Intermediate's Fifth Grade PE teacher Brad Didier, decided to celebrate LIVESTRONG Week a little differently than he had before.

Cancer Survivor Rebecca Turner of HISD's Technology Department and Coach Brad Didier,
Fifth Grade Physical Education Teacher at Huntsville Intermediate School

Coach has been a leader in the cancer outreach organization for years, and brought his passion for the cause when he arrived at the district a few years ago.  This year, he wanted to take a leap forward, and he made that leap by jumping in his car and visiting district employees who have been affected by cancer.
Special Delivery! Coach heads out for one of his five consecutive day deliveries!

His message?  That they are worthy of honor, that they are not alone and that LIVESTRONG can help them and their families in their fight against cancer.  What was their message?  Well of course each of their stories are unique, but they all share the same themes that include the powers of courage, love, humor, grace and the importance of a strong family in the fight against cancer.  They also shared that when it comes to fighting cancer, there are good days, and there are bad days.

Barbara Didier 

For Coach Didier, it's personal.  He lost his older sister Barbara Didier back when he was in high school.  Barbara was diagnosed with brain cancer and died at age 23.  As Coach describes it, what followed was a long time of mourning and loss, but not a lot of direction or sense of purpose for him.

Coach Didier meets Ms. Laura Campbell of Mance Park Middle School.
Coach comes equipped with a bouquet,
information on LIVESTRONG and an understanding and desire to listen.

Coach hadn't found a way to channel his energy & grief into a purpose. He found that sense of purpose through his relationship with his then girlfriend (now wife!) Jennifer.

Brad and Jen at a Dallas Stars hockey game.
Jennifer's immediate family had also been affected by cancer, and Jennifer was able to direct her energies to something positive through her work with LIVESTRONG.  Coach Brad saw all the good Jen was doing, and how all of this good work fulfilled her.

Our Students May be Young, But They are Strong!
Huntsville Intermediate student  Jonathan Taylor Ross is one tough dude!

Have you read the news?
HIS's Mrs. Michelle Jeske supports LIVESTRONG week!

For those of you that aren't familiar with the LIVESTRONG non profit, their mission is to "engage friends, families and community members in collective action to make cancer a priority.  Led by cancer survivors and supporters, these individuals work within their local communities to raise awareness, reduce stigma and generate funding to for the cancer fight."

Mrs. Kimberly Cardoza and Mrs. Shelley Ancira,
Rocking the Live Strong T-Shirts and the Jonathan Taylor and Big George Ancira wristbands.  

Since then, Coach Didier and his wife Jen have worked to promote the LIVESTRONG mission, and when they moved to Huntsville, they brought their passion with them.

Huntsville Intermediate School is the epicenter for the LIVESTRONG week here at Huntsville ISD.

Huntsville Intermediate School's Mr. Phillip Kiser
Mr. Kiser's mom insisted that he and his brothers go every year for a prostrate check.
Prostate cancer runs in the Kiser family, and his father died from the disease.
He credits his mom for getting him and his brothers early treatment.
She died from multiple myeloma cancer in 2006.

Huntsville Intermediate School's Susan Cook's Motto is:
Stay Strong, Stay Hopeful and Keep the Faith!

Huntsville Intermediate's Kathy Goree had a double mastectomy in 2006 
for ductal cell carcinoma cancer. 
She has had several surgeries, and if you are a woman with any questions 
about breast cancer or reconstructive DIEP flap surgery, she would be happy to talk to you!
Ms. Samantha Osbourn was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma 
over Spring Break of her first year of college.  Samantha's message is that you are not alone. 
 She didn't know a single person  her age who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, until she discovered STUPID CANCER, a nonprofit advocacy group for young adults with cancer.
You can find more information about that group here.   
If you any questions, don't hesitate to contact her.

Scott Johnson's Mrs. Myla Weber credits her family, 
friends and students in helping her through her journey.
She also found power and meaning in caring for her fellow chemotherapy patients by cooking!
She saw their suffering, and by preparing soup for them to eat 
during the weekly treatments at the doctor's office, she found a way to focus her energies on others.

Mrs. Elaine Kane at Huntsville High School has fought leukemia twice along with lung cancer.
She brushes off descriptions of her being tough, but she's quick to describe her family that way.
She says they have been through a lot.  "On the cancer journey, there are are a lot of potholes!"

Huntsville High School's Lisa Black-Fuller and her son Mason.
Mason was 23 months old when he was diagnosed with ALL leukemia.
He had chemotherapy for the next four years. Lisa was moved and inspired by the community, especially the children in the play room,  at MD Anderson Hospital.  As she watched them play, she was consistently reminded that kids are kids, and that, regardless of their illness, they still want to do what every other kid wants to do- play and have fun!
She also found wisdom in the mantra: Take One Day at a Time.

#BRINGIT !!!!!!!!!!
We miss you Big George Ancira!!!!

At HIS, Mrs. Shelley Ancira along with the faculty and staff celebrate the life of her husband Big George Ancira.  Mr. Ancira died of pancreatic cancer earlier this school year, and is deeply missed.

There are many folks in our district that have been affected by cancer that are not mentioned in this post.  We understand that there are many reasons that you would decline to participate in this post.  However, if you are reading this post and you or a loved one is fighting cancer, we invite you to contact Coach Brad Didier at Huntsville Intermediate School.  

He would love the opportunity to put you in contact with LIVESTRONG resources that can help you and your family, and he would love to hear you share your story.  Live Strong!

HIS's Coach Marcus Williams and IA Mrs. Joy Woods share the spirit!

Have Flowers, will travel!
Sicily Pierce and Ginny Laws of Heartfield Florist,
Sicily's mom, Cindy Pierce owns the flower shop.  We thank them for their donation of these beautiful flowers!
Heartfield Florist, 1525 Sam Houston Avenue, Huntsville, TX 77340

Hornet Proud- Huntsville Hornets Sting Cancer!

What does the back say?

Unity is Strength.
Knowledge is Power.
Attitude is Everything.

Mrs. Jaleesa Searcey has the spirit!

The Spirit is everywhere- including in the Library!
Huntsville Intermediate Librarian Mrs. Melissa Fry 

It's "GO TIME!"

Coach Didier and Ms. Laura Campbell

Rebecca Turner, you are next!

Building a community, one hug at a time.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What does Enrichment Day mean at Huntsville Intermediate School?

What does Enrichment Day mean at Huntsville Intermediate School?  Well it depends on who you ask!

Looking through a microscope is cool!

Ask the fifth and sixth grade students, and they'll tell you it's one of the most fun days of the year, and not just because it's the Friday before Spring Break!

Instructional Technologist Ruth Hutchison with a bunch of fifth graders!
During one of the stops along the geocaching scavenger hunt, students had to take a photo of themselves-
here they are posing for that mandatory "Us-ie"
Ask the teachers and staff, and they'll  tell you it's a lot of planning, a lot of craziness,  a lot of fun AND one of the days that you can guarantee yourself a goodnight's sleep at the end of the day!

The next hidden cache is----------that way!!

Ask the more than a dozen community members that come to Huntsville Intermediate School to present, lead and guide the countless sessions, and they will tell you it is an opportunity to share their profession, their passion and their expertise to hundreds of fifth and sixth graders.

These guys are chillaxin' on a break.  (Do people still say "chillaxing"?)
It's a day that Huntsville Intermediate School looks forward to every year, and it never disappoints.  Mr. Gedelian led the charge this year, and we thank him, and everyone else who pitched in to make this a great day of fun...and learning! (Of course- Learning! lots of learning! :-))

Author Reading:
Judy Phillips is the counselor at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School
 and a childrens' book author.
Please scroll down to see the complete list of presenters that donated their time, effort and expertise for the benefit of our children at Huntsville Intermediate School!

What better way to learn about Australia than from an Australian?!
Here, Mr Lloyd Hinton holds a woomera, which is an Australian Aboriginal spear throwing device.

She's cuddled up with a hide in Mr. Hinton's session.

Mr. Garcia says, "Get to know about these- they are called checks, and
you need to know how these work!"

Members of the High School Mountain Bike Team presented on- you guessed it- mountain biking!

Maybe a few future mountain bikers?

These guys are saying, "What's Up?" from Enrichment Day!

Winner of Lady Dubois and Miss Black and Gold are in the house, representing the Boys & Girls Club 

This is a highly visual way to be reminded that electricity can be dangerous, and to be careful around it!

That's a lot of pelts!

Getting a closer look...

That doesn't feel the way you thought it would.

Happy to be here!

Weird and cool.

View from above- We did not see any bees in there, thank goodness!

Never held one of these before!

Can you find these very cool amphibians?

My folks aren't going to believe this, better take a pic!

Mr. Pete from the Boys and Girls Club.

How about Enrichment Days, like fifty, instead of just one?

Microscopes are a new window to the world.

SHSU Honor Biology Students came to  share their love of science.

Somebody say Legos???

Everybody- and I mean EVERYBODY was there- Abe Lincoln & a guy in a chicken costume included!

Coach Didier (right) and members of the Huntsville High School Mountain Bike Team enjoy the lunch spread.
The Staff and Faculty of HIS provided all the spread- making salads, desserts, etc.  It was a team effort!

Living in China sounds pretty wild!

Mr. Bill West, though you may know him as "Coach West," came back to share his love of urban archaeology.
In his hand is a radiator cap from an old Ford Model-T type car he found near his place.

Living in pioneer times sounds hard!

They are making their first candles!

Huntsville Intermediate Art Teacher Mrs. McKinley is
in charge of wax.

Cason is a Huntsville Intermediate Student AND a presenter,
 as he raises prize winning rabbits and was asked to share.

Any more questions?

It looks like a can, but it works as a stove!

I have never seen that!

Up close and personal.

How does your garden grow?

Dr. Hudson loves gardening, don't ya' know!

Smells good!

Welcome to the cafetorium, I mean dojo!

In Karate:  OK, stay in that pose and we will come back in three hours!

Mr. Luebbe brought the stars down here to us.

Give her a few minutes, and you'll be making flowers out of ribbon!

Recording the action at the Ballet Folklorico.

OK, everybody line up.

Where to next?

Let's figure this out together.

Wha?  There are riddles, too?!

It's a good day.

Are you takin' my picture?

Girl Power:  Taking care of business with GPS!

They think they are getting the hang of this!

She knows she is getting the hang of this!

All is right with the world.

Who's this for?  Me? No?  (Ok, that's cool....) 

The dancing was fun!
Meet the Talented Young Ladies of the Ballet Folklorico!

Again, thank all of our community members coming to Huntsville Intermediate School to share your passion and expertise with our fifth and sixth graders!!

Dr. Joan Hudson, SHSU Professor presented on Gardening.

Mrs. Michelle Rush, Huntsville Intermediate Teacher and Robotics Team Coach, presented on Legos.

Mr. Lloyd Hinton, presented on the Aboriginal people of his home country Australia.

Mr. Robert McBee, Huntsville Intermediate Teacher, on China 
and his and his family's extended time living there.

Mrs. Judy Phillips, school counselor at Samuel Walker Houston Elementary, and children's book author read from her series, Beauregard Le'Moose and discussed being an author.

Mr. Kevin Smith, Boy Scout Leader of Huntsville's Troop 114,  presented on the basics of camping.

Mrs. Mary Gedelian, of Houston ISD's Outdoor Education Center taught folk dancing.

Mrs. Lisa Gregg, Miss Ruth Hutchison, Mrs. Karen Pascal & Mrs. Melissa Thornton, 
from Instructional Technology and
Mr. Rob Kennedy, Mrs. Rebecca Turner and  Mr. Ben Stubbs from Technology
worked together to present and participate on GeoCaching.

Mr. Steve Kelly and Mr. Mark Short of the Walker County Bee Keepers Association 
presented on Bee Keeping. 

Cynamon Simmons, Nia Young & Mr. Brandon Pete, SHSU college students and Boys & Girls club staff, presented on Boys & Girls club activities.

Mrs. Dalia Harrelson, retired teacher from Huntsville ISD, presented on the folk art tradition of ribbon flower making.

Coach Bill West, retired from Huntsville ISD,  presented on local archaeology.

Coach Brad Didier, Huntsville Intermediate PE teacher and the High School Mountain Bike Team presented on the High School Mountain Bike Racing

Huntsville Intermediate School's very own Cason Moorman presented on Rabbit Raising.

Mr. Mike Beumel from Sam Houston Electrical presented on how electricity works 
and how to keep yourself safe around power lines.

Ms. Whitney Heckler, Educator at the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, presented on cool amphibians.

Mr. Karl Luebbe, from Houston ISD's Outdoor Education Center, presented on Astronomy and Star Gazing via the Star Lab.

Ms. Jessica Gross and volunteer Mr. Don Chronister from Huntsville State Park presented on area wildlife, and brought pelts and skeletons.

Ms. Hannah Johnson, Ms. Michelle Harrel, Mr. Matthew Breuer, and Mr. Travis Tate, of the SHSU chapter of Tri-Beta, the Biological Honors Society presented on microscopes 

Mrs. Deborah McKee, Huntsville Intermediate Sixth Grade Art Teacher,
presented on Pioneer Life and Candle Making. Mrs. Kasidy McKinley, our Huntsville Intermediate School  Fifth GradeArt Teacher helped her.

Mr. Jordan Herrin, a forester at the Texas A&M Forest Service, presented on trees.

Mr. Andy Hyvl, of the Huntsville School of Karate, along with HISD students that include Austin Artho, Koen Dunbar along with Hannah Prouty, presented on Karate.

Mr. Eric Garcia, a financial advisor from BBVA Compass Bank, presented on financial literary

Anita Escobeda, and student participants performed traditional Mexican Folk Dancing 
(Ballet Folklorico)  Mia Vasquez, Diana Gallegos, Dane Thomason, Gloria Rodriguez, Sarah Rodriguez, Monserrat Rodriquez, Emily Torres, Jasmin Esturba, Anita Lugo, Brisa Gallegos.  Elizabeth Garcia, Noemy Perez, Arlette Garcia, Daniela Arriaga, Jailyn Thomas, Samantha Banuelos, Valerie Rocha, Evelyn Puente, Anai Zamora, Alejandra Arriaga, Tania Gonzales,
Josline Petron, and Jennifer Gallegos