Wednesday, September 7, 2016

We Do This for the Students

Teachers, staff, and administrators get up every morning - early.  We do our morning routine to get ready.  For some of my staff, getting their children ready is a challenge.  I remember when I was a school teacher.  My wife and I decided that having both our boys enroll in the school that I taught was the best thing.  I lived in Lubbock and travelled about 30 minutes to Abernathy, Texas.  I was a 4th grade teacher for many years and both of my children were in elementary school when I was a teacher at Abernathy Elementary School.

My oldest son was a quiet boy who had many friends.  He was smart and was good about doing his work.  When he was old enough to be a 4th grader, I asked my boss if I could have him in my class.  He was reluctant, but complied with my request.  For the most part, it was a great year.  He behaved well.  He never called me "papa" in front of his friends, but never called me "Mr. Anderson" either.  I don't remember what he did to get my attention.  I guess he raised his hands.  My wife was a "single parent" that year.  I say that, because I didn't sign any of his notes and my wife usually was the one to help him on his homework (I helped him some).  Needless to say, it was a good year - something most teachers would not do (to have their child in their class).  My son wasn't perfect.  Once he decided it would be cool to mock me in front of his friends.  We laugh to this day about how I had to give him a "write-up."  He said that was the only one he got that year.

My youngest son did not have me as a teacher.  We moved to Waco the summer before he was in the 4th grade.  I would've requested him if I was still in Abernathy.  In fact, he looked forward to being in my class.  Thomas, my younges son, was very social and was not shy like my oldest son, Lars.  Thomas wouldn't hesitate from walking into my class during my teaching when he was in the lower grades to get lunch money
from me.  It was a comforting thing to have both of my children in the same school with me.

As a teacher, I looked forward to each new year to learn names of my new students.  I enjoyed gettting to know each of them and teaching each one the skills of the 4th grade.  Workbook pages and tests are things I don't remember as a teacher.  My fondest memories are the students' personalities, their smiles, and the challenges that each one had.  I remember some better than others, some because of struggles that I may have had with them or the joy I had conversing daily as a teacher.  As a male teacher at Abernathy Elementary, I was "an icon" of sorts.  Besides the principal, I was the only other man around.  That in itself was an advantage for me.  I really enjoyed what I did and I was pretty good at it.

When I left teaching to become an administrator, I was ready to move on.  Every day I reflect on my fondest memories of being an effective teacher.  I want the same now - to be an effective administrator.  I want to make a positive difference in the lives of my students. I don't have one class anymore to get to know.  I have 375 students who need my leadership, my smile, my humor, and my energy.  I still have these qualities and use them every day in my role as principal at Lorena Elementary School.

There is no way I would be doing what I am doing if it wasn't for the students who come to school every day.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Join the Lorena PTO!

The Lorena Parent Teacher Organization is beginning its membership drive for the 2016-17 school year! The cost is $10 per family, which includes a campus wide directory. Additional directory copies are available for $5 each.

To join, please download and complete the registration form and then return it along with your payment in an envelope marked PTO Membership to any Lorena ISD campus.

We look forward to working together to enrich the education and experience of all the students of Lorena ISD!

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.