Tuesday, August 23, 2016

2016-2017 Here we Come!

I'm excited about another school year.  Yes, I enjoy the pace and dress of the summer hours.  But nothing compares to having our students back at school.  A full school is one that is packed with potential and energy.  Our first day went well.  We have twenty-four new students to our school.  I'm excited to get to know them.

Like all years, it is a challenge to get to know all our students.  Mrs. Sanders and I are diligent to get to know our students' names as fast as we can.  With a healthy sized 3rd grade and the twenty-four new students, it will take some time to get to know them.  The first day was filled with smiles and enthusiasm.

We have many new staff members this year.  First, we have Mrs. Kenzie Talbert and Mrs. Alisha Brittain.  Both are new teachers to the 3rd grade.  Also, Mrs. Brooke Arellano is new to our 4th grade.  She will be pairing up with Mrs. Isom to teach writing and Science.  Finally, Mrs. Michelle Chase is new to our 5th grade.  She will be pairing up with Mrs. Kelley to teach our 5th graders Science.  Ms. Jocee Lackey Hoffman is new to our school.  She is presently working in our computer lab and helping out all around the school.  I want to mention that Mrs. Camille Talbert is our new Reading Specialist this year.  She moves over from the 3rd grade.  Also new to our campus is Mrs. Robin Woycheshin.  She will be teaming up with Mrs. Pewitt and Mrs. Collins to teach our Life Skills students.

We have some changes to the school year.  Our theme this year is a Hollywood theme, "Setting the Stage for Success."  We want all our students to ACT and PERFORM well this year as we DIRECT them to success.  I will begin each day with the phrase, "It's Showtime!"  We are looking forward to the upcoming school year.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer is here

The NED Show (May 4th)
Even though it's been a long and prosperous year, I'm ready for the summer.  I'm setting my sights on a new school year, filled with new faces and others whom I'm known for a while.  The halls are now filled with desks and chairs, the bulletin boards are empty, and the rooms are getting prepared for cleaning.  My office has not changed.  That's a good thing, since the last two summers we all had to move out during the summer.  Last year I was at the middle school and two summers ago I was housed at the Primary School.  I will get a lot done, being in my own office.

Career Day (May 25th)
The end of this year went well.  I think this has been the busiest May since I've been a principal. We added Career Day to the list of things to do.  Career Day, along with the many other events were all huge successes.  These pictures depict some of the events we enjoyed during the final part of the school year.

STAAR - our students did fabulous
I'm proud of our teachers and staff for completing a very successful year.  Our initial STAAR scores came in for the 5th grade:  90% for reading and 92% for math.  The rest of the scores will come in on June 15th.

Market Day (May 26th)
I'll be around for most of the summer.  If you need something, drop by or give us a call.  The school number is 857-4613.  Summer school will begin on July 25th and run through August 5th.  Many have already signed up to come.

4th Grade to Ft. Worth
Stockyards (May 20th)
Meet the Teachers night will be on August 19th (5:30-6:30) and the first day of school will be the next Monday, August 22nd.

2nd Graders come to visit (May 24th)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

We Want Your Feedback - 2016 Parent Survey

In an effort to gather information and improve our schools and district, we are requesting your participation in a short parent survey. The survey will be available until May 6th. We want to hear from you.

Please take a few minutes and provide us with feedback in order to make our schools the best they can be. We appreciate you being partners with us in our most important responsibility of educating your children.

*If you have students at more than one school, please fill out a survey for each campus. There will be a link at the end of the survey for you to submit another.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

We Beat the Facts

It's been a long time since I've posted on my Elementary page.  Sorry for that.  Since coming back from Christmas, things have been moving along pretty swiftly.  It seems like after Christmas things would slow down, but that's the exact opposite.  We are accomplishing much this Spring.  I want to let you know of a few things:

BEAT THE FACTS:  This is our annual math contest where students eagerly study their math facts, becoming familiar with them.  A two minute test is given weekly to our students during a five week time frame.  Two bonus tests are given, which totals seven times that a student can "beat the facts."  The goals are simple:  3rd Grade:  Get 34 multiplication problems (through 9's) correct in a 2 minute test and you beat the facts.  4th Grade:  Get 42 multiplication problems (through 12's) correct in a 2 minute test and you beat the facts.  5th Grade:  Get 42 multiplication and division problems (through 12's) correct in a 2 minute test and you beat the facts.

OUR SCHOOL GOAL:  This year we had 305 students beat the facts and many others that came close.  And, this year is our first year to meet our school goal of 300 students.  On March 4th, our students were rewarded with a day of fun - movie, extra recess, snow cones, fun activities in the classroom.  It was a great way to spend the day before Spring Break

PERSONAL GOALS:  All throughout this contest, students were upping their goals to beat their score from the week before.  Most students doubled or tripled their scores throughout the contest.  Every child made improvements.  That is what is important.

BEAT THE FACTS CHALLENGE:  15 of our fastest students who know their math facts competed on March 4th to see who was the fastest.  The following are the students who competed:

3rd Grade:                                 4th Grade:                                          5th Grade:
1st: Daniel Miller (118)            1st:  Landon Holze (119)                    1st: Jasmin Romero (123)
2nd:  Gavin Schrader (88)        2nd: Place: Bailey Henderson (108)   2nd:  Austin Evans (104)
3rd:  Riley Robertson (84)        3rd:  Gabriel Bachert (105)                 3rd:  Kandrin Johnson (94)
4th:  Addison Rohde (79)         4th:  Mackenna Holt (94)                     4th: Kendall Bready (93)
5th:  Mason Walker (77)           5th: Jackson Generals (93)                  5th: Isabel Gallegos (91)

PETER PIPER PIZZA TRIP:  The 15 finalists for our Beat the Facts Challenge went to Peter Piper Pizza with Mr. Anderson on March 4th.

Monday, November 30, 2015


It's hard to believe it's been since October 9th that I've posted something.  The time has certainly gone by fast.  Since my last post, I've completed my lunches with students.  Now I can claim to know everyone's name in the school.  For some I have to think a little harder when calling their name.  

Mrs. Price, leading our 3rd graders in one of three songs in our
our Veterans Day Program on November 11th

Our Veterans Day Program was a huge success.  We appreciate all the hard work that Mrs. Price put in to prepare our students to sing.  They sounded wonderful.  Also, it was great to have a "local celebrity" come to speak to us.  Doug Currin came to speak to both our students and vets, giving students a perspective of what veterans have to go through when they are deployed.  We had 95 veterans come to enjoy the program.  I think that is a record for us.  We really appreciate all that they have done for our country.

Doug Currin, news anchor for KCEN, came to speak to
our veterans and our students at our Veterans Day
Program on November 11th
We, as educators work pretty hard for the time we're here.  My Uncle Richard used to bug me because he said that we only worked nine months out of the year.  And there is some truth to that, but we put our 12 months in during a nine month time frame.  Teachers use much of their time on the weekends planning for their classes.  Each night they take home papers to grade while sitting in front of the television.  We have some who welcome phone calls to assist the students in their homework.  Our teachers here are dedicated to get the job done well.  So when I speak of having a week off for Thanksgiving, while it IS a luxury to that that time off, it is a welcome break for our teachers who put in so much to bring our students a quality education.  I am thankful for what I do and I know I was destined to be an educator, even though there were no educators in our family, going back generations.  

As we enter December, rest assured that your students are being taught well.  Thanks for helping us out in the educational process.  You are all so supportive of what we do here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

An Honor to Serve Lorena!

     I've been in education a long time...since 1980.  If you count up the years, you will realize that I have many years "under by belt."  I enjoy coming to work everyday.  Being with 8, 9, 10, and 11 year olds keeps me young at heart.  I'm in the middle of my quest to get to know students' names and something about each.  I've eaten lunch with 15 groups of students (That's 90 students).  I look forward to my "lunch dates" because I can talk silly with the students, finding out things about each of them.  We play a game together - in which I usually lose - so students know there's a softer side to me.  I want students to know me as one who cares for them and has high expectations.  I've got a few more "lunch dates" ahead of me that I'm looking forward to.

     I think about what I do and I'm so blessed to be where I'm at.  First, I'm blessed to be an educator.  As a teacher I formed many close relationships with colleagues and students.  I've had the opportunity to positively influence many in their lives.  Also, I'm blessed to be here in Lorena.  I enjoy seeing students who really want to learn every day.  It's also fun to see those whom I have had in past years doing well in the middle and high schools.

     Once in a while I hear from an ex-student and am pleased by what they are doing in their lives.  I will be reflecting on some of my success stories in the next few blogs.  My first is Mary:

MARY:  Mary was a girl I had in class when I was teaching 4th grade.  She lived in a poor neighborhood with many family members living in her house.  She came to school with an "attitude."  Much of her attitude focused on her not caring about her school work.  She didn't try at her assignments, she acted like she wasn't interested in my lessons, and she had no goals to improve.  She was determined to "skate by."  I challenged each of my students in a different way.  With Mary, my goal was to get her to WANT to succeed.  I would go above and beyond to make her laugh, to pay attention to her, and to brag about her progress that I saw.  It took a long time for my to "break through" with her.  It was in February of that year.  We had taken a lengthy test, preparing for the TAAS test.  Like any standardized test, it took a lot of effort.  When I graded her test, she got a passing grade.  The next day I went up to her and looked her in her eyes and said, "Now I got you!!"  She smiled as I told her results.  Her "won't" turned in to a "will" and she made more progress after that.  After about five years after I started here at Lorena ISD I heard from her in an email.  She told me how much she appreciated me and that she was doing well in high school.  That was the last I heard from her, but I was so encouraged about her progress and it made me feel so good that I made a difference in her life.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

We're Getting the Hang of it

     We're nearing the end of our third week of school and I do believe we're all getting settled in.  Procedures are overwhelming for many of our students, especially our new students.  As for our 3rd graders, I'm proud of how well they're adjusting to their new environment.  

     Not only do we have new students, but we have some new teachers this year.  The following are those who are serving your students in Lorena for the first time:

1) Jessica Price:  Mrs. Price is our new music teacher.  She comes to us from Corsicana.  Both her and her husband have musical background. Mrs. Price teaches all three grades here at the elementary.  She also is the middle school AND high school choir teacher.  

2) Stacy Isom:  Mrs. Isom is our new 4th grade teacher.  Mrs. Isom teaches Reading and Science.  She comes to us from the Robinson school district.  She has been teaching for many years and is a very enthusiastic teacher.

3) Camille Talbert:  Mrs. Talbert joins the 3rd grade team.  She teaches all subjects, since the 3rd grade is self-contained.  She also comes to us from the Robinson school district.  She is a positive and high-energy teacher who also has many years of experience teaching.

4) Laurie Steinke:  Mrs. Steinke joins our special education team.  She joins Mrs. Burton to assist students in need.  Both her and Mrs. Burton go into classes to co-teach with our classroom teachers.  Mrs. Steinke is a very positive and cooperative person who understands the needs of our students.  We're fortunate to have her on our staff.

5) Marisa Leidenfrost:  Mrs. Leidenfrost is our new paraprofessional who works with our Life Skills students.  She has worked for us last year extensively as a substitute teacher.  She was a regular presence on multiple campuses last year.  She is very excited about being part of our staff this year on a permanent basis.

6) Tammy Pewitt:  Mrs. Pewitt is not new to our staff, but she is new to the teaching profession.  Mrs. Pewitt has worked with our Life Skills students as a paraprofessional.  This past summer she earned hear teacher's certificate and we are now blessed to have her as a teacher.