Feb

26

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 26, 2015

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler Eustace ISD newly appointed board member James Kirkhart Jr. is sworn-in Feb. 17 at the monthly board meeting.

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler
Eustace ISD newly appointed board member James Kirkhart Jr. is sworn-in Feb. 17 at the monthly board meeting.

Maximizes competitive edge in 2016; discuss championship commemerative marker

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees met Feb. 17 to discuss the 2015-16 calendar, induct a new board member and modify the Cheerleader Handbook to enable cheerleaders to compete in 2016.
Board members opened the meeting with the swearing-in of newly appointed board member James Kirkhart Jr., who was appointed Jan. 20 to fill a vacant seat until the May 9 election.
Board members also heard Eustace ISD Cheerleaders will compete in the inaugural UIL Texas State Spirit Championship competition January 2016 in Arlington.
The competition is open to all schools that want to compete, allowing each team 20 participants with two or fewer males.
“It is not a tumbling thing. It is to see what your team looks like at a Friday night football game,” Eustace ISD Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe said.
Board members agreed to modify a few items in the Cheerleading Handbook to maximize the teams competitiveness. “Thirty-five ladies are trying out this year and eight are trying out for mascot,” Holcombe said.
Varsity squad membership will be increased from 12 to 16 with two mascots, and junior varsity will be bumped up to 12 members and one mascot.
“This allows us to take 20 participants to the competition. The 20 best girls at tryouts will get to go whether they are varsity or junior varsity. This gives the JV team something to work for and look forward to,” Holcombe explained.
Board members also approved next year’s calendar with Monday, Aug. 24, being the first of day of school.
“The 2015-16 school calendar looks the same. It is the easiest calendar we’ve done in 14 years,” Holcombe said.
Many comments were received about the ease and likability of this year’s calendar and many staff members wanted the new calendar to be similar.
The 2015-16 state waivers were approved, giving four comp days to teachers; and six early release days, including two at the end of the semester, one before spring break and one before Easter.
Holcombe also presented a brief overview of the district’s bond indebtness, interest earned and monthly revenue stating the fund balance was healthy with enough money to cover the monthly payments. He also stated January’s interest was the highest of the school year so far.
“We do not have any unexpected expenses. Everything was done purposely. The report is boring but that is good. It means things are going well,” Holcombe said.
Expenditures did not include anything out-of-the-ordinary, with bills going toward:
• bus fuel,
• payments on the March 2014 purchase of two buses,
• round kitchen tables for the high school,
• calculators for the middle school,
• golf apparel,
• track meet medals and ribbons,
• counter tops in the computer lab at the middle school, and
• new baseball uniforms.
In other action, trustees:
• reset the Tuesday, March 17 meeting to Thursday, March 5.
• heard enrollment is up by 28 students from this time last year for a total of 1,515 students.
• reviewed the preliminary drawing of the state championship marquee. Estimated costs and location of the structure are still under discussion. Suggested locations included the grassy area by the old marquee, in the park, or in front of Bulldog stadium.
“I want people to be able to read it when they drive by,” Holcombe said.
The new marquee will have individual student’s and coach’s names for championship commemoration on multiple side plaques, while the center section could highlight current championship information and be interchangeable.
The preliminary plans are for a 10-15-foot high structure with an arch bridging two pillars.
“I envision a historical marker-type of thing,” Holcombe said.
• heard most staff members are agreeable to enrolling in graduate classes related to their area of teaching in a staff Post Graduate Interest survey. A hundred percent of those surveyed said they would need financial assistance with tuition and 85 percent agreed to commit to staying with the district for another five years if financial assistance was provided.
• approved Holcombe’s certification as the superintendent for the Regional Advisory Committee for Region 7.
• unanimously supported HB 384, which would allow residents in common law cities (less than 5,000 residents) to restrict access as to where registered sex offenders can reside.

Feb

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 19, 2015

Courtesy photo/Sandra Caffey The Mabank High School debate and Scholar Institute toured Yale University in Connecticut Feb. 11-16 while debating at the Harvard University National High School Debate meet for the first time. Pictured are (from left) sponsor Jason Caldwell, Cameron Banghart, Grayson Jackson, Morgan Crawford Moore, Grace Dickens, Colton Banghart, Jacey Pridgen, Kaylee Caffey, Lexi Johnson, Josiah Sohasky and Aaron Williams.

Courtesy photo/Sandra Caffey
The Mabank High School debate and Scholar Institute toured Yale University in Connecticut Feb. 11-16 while debating at the Harvard University National High School Debate meet for the first time. Pictured are (from left) sponsor Jason Caldwell, Cameron Banghart, Grayson Jackson, Morgan Crawford Moore, Grace Dickens, Colton Banghart, Jacey Pridgen, Kaylee Caffey, Lexi Johnson, Josiah Sohasky and Aaron Williams.


By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Top students from Mabank High School, who qualify for acceptance to Yale and Harvard universities, were given the opportunity to visit those prestigeous schools while competing in a national debate meet held at Harvard University.
They were housed with 485 competitors from all over the country. Mabank Scholar Institute students and debate team members ranked in the top third during the contest.
For many of the Mabank students this was not only their first experience with really deep, cold snowy weather, five of them had never been up in an airplane before.
Sponsor Jason Caldwell said the trip really opened eyes and hearts to the possibility of attending ivy-league schools and helped students glimpse their true potential.
The nine students were able to raise half the cost, while the debate teams’ October Speech and Debate Invitational meet raised the other half.
A trip to the New Haven Museum’s “Monuments Men” exhibit, styled after the 2014 Summer movie of the same name, was also an educational highlight of the trip; but perhaps nothing matches the Sunday blizzard in Boston.

Feb

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 19, 2015

24 students advance to state competition

Special to The Monitor
KEMP–Fifty band students from Kemp High School (one from the junior high school) competed in the UIL regional solo and ensemble competition at Mesquite High School Feb. 7.  Of that number, nearly half advanced to the state level of competition.
“We are very proud of all those who participated and are very excited that 24 of these young musicians are advancing to the State Level of competition in May,” band director Marc Christy said. 
“Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work and success.” 
The contest is divided into three classes, with Class 3 being the easiest and Class 1 the most challenging selections to perform. Students are rated on their performance with Divisions 1-5, with Division 1 being the highest or best possible rating.
Here is a list of those who advanced to state with Division 1 ratings: 
Solos
Class 3, Division 1 recipients:
Flute: freshmen Jaylin Contreras, Savannah Henderson and Veronica Herrera,
Clarinet: freshmen Ariana McDonald and Harlie Tarno,
Trumpet: freshman Kassie Mast,
Class 2, Division 1 recipients:
Flute: freshman Kaden McSpedden,
Clarinet: sophomore Allison Kent,
Alto Sax: freshman Justin Tyler, sophomore Karen Quezada,
Class 1, Division 1 recipients:
Clarinet: senior Ryder Busby,
Trumpet: freshman Donna Hyde,
French Horn: senior Cameron Polk,
Tuba: senior Emily Kelley,
Percussion: sophomore Amanda Sparks,
Busby and Polk performed completely from memory.
Ensembles
Class 1 Division 1 recipients:
Flute Trio: sophomore Alyssa Fisher, junior Jenafer Matich and freshman Kaden McSpedden.
Clarinet Quintet: seniors Ryder Busby and Austin Dennie, freshmen Kasey Cockrell, Camron Elliott (alto clarinet) and Alex Glass (bass clarinet).
Brass Ensemble: sophomore Rebeca Galvez and freshman Donna Hyde (trumpet), senior Cameron Polk-(Eb horn), sophomore Wyatt Bynum, junior Justin Glass and senior Sly Blankenship (trombone), freshman Jordon Rabon (French horn), and Emily Kelley (tuba).
Percussion Ensemble: seniors Dilan Tanner and Mason Hyde, juniors Beau Dancer and Kyle Keathley, sophomores Amanda Sparks and Rhonda Harper, freshman Malia Cantrell and eighth grader Maria Mireles.
“Congrats again, to all for representing Kemp Schools extremely well!”