May

11

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 11, 2014

Courtesy Photo John Reed, 14, died by his own hand May 6, 2014, his family blames bullying at his school.

Courtesy Photo
John Reed, 14, died by his own hand May 6, 2014, his family blames bullying at his school.

Kerens eighth grader attended Eustace ISD 2007-08

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KERENS–The family of a dead Kerens Middle School student has one message to faculty, staff and students at Kerens ISD – “Stop the bullying. Don’t let this happen to another child.”
Tuesday, John Reed (JR), 14, pressed a .22-caliber rifle under his chin and pulled the trigger. His grandmother, Linda Reed, sent JR’s big sister outside to find out what was keeping him. “We heard the screaming,” Linda said. “I performed CPR. There was so much blood. I did everything I could to save my grandson.”
Earlier that day, JR was pulled into the principal’s office, where he confessed to writing a terroristic message on the mirror and wall of one of the boys bathrooms.
“He did something stupid, but he manned up about it,” Linda told The Kerens Tribune, “He said, yes, he did it.” The message read: In three days there will be a shooting. You’ve been warned, she said.
The bullying had persisted over the past six years, Linda said. JR didn’t talk about it much with his mother or grandmother, but had several “deep conversations” about bullying with his dad, who lives in Fort Worth. Linda claimed that JR’s dad called the school several times about the problem. And his mother and grandmother told JR to report the incidents to the school.
“They (JR and his father) told several people over the years,” Linda reported. “It would stop for a day and go right back.”
Elizabeth Reed said, she was glad that her son had a close relationship with his dad. “He spent spring break with his dad and he gave his life to Christ,” she said.
The day of her son’s death, she posted to FOX 4 NEWS: “Why can’t there be more done in small towns against bullying? Why does a family have to bury their son of 14 years because HE was bullied to the point of taking HIS own life? WHY DID I LOSE MY SON TODAY BECAUSE THE F—G SCHOOL DID NOTHING TO STOP THE TORMENT?
She also posted a short message on the Kerens ISD Facebook page. While acknowledging recent postings on Facebook about the death, Kerens ISD Superintendent Kevin Stanford said Wednesday he had no comment. “I am aware of the concerns of the public about the welfare of our students. It is a very difficult situation,” he said.
At around 11 a.m. just two hours before JR ended his life, the school gave him a three-day suspension, “while they figured out what to do TO him, not FOR him,” Linda told The Kerens Tribune.
His mother brought JR home from school. Shortly after arriving to a residence outside the city, she told him to take all his electronics outside to a storage building, as a consequence of his suspension.
“He was gone too long,” Linda noted, “that’s when I sent Cerise out to get him. I knew he must feel lost.”
His sister, Cerise, graduated from Kerens ISD last year and turned 20, Wednesday. She attends welding classes at a nearby college.
JR started attending Kerens ISD in kindergarten and has been there ever since, except for one year, when his mother moved her and her children to Eustace for a year in 2007-08, when he attended Eustace ISD. They returned to Kerens after a motor vehicle accident in 2008. “It was just like he had never left (Kerens),” his mother said of their return.
Keren ISD posted a message on the district website Tuesday from Stanford: “I am very sad to inform you that we recently learned that an eighth grade student passed away at his home this afternoon. … Our focus now is to meet the needs of our students on campus. We are enlisting the assistance of area counselors and ministers to help our students to deal with this difficult situation.  Be assured that we will continue through this process to make sure all students needs are being met.”
Counselors from Region 12 as well as the Bi-County Co-op were at the school Wednesday to offer help to any student who needed to talk, he said. “Student well-being is our top priority.”
Stanford also noted that faculty and staff were “pulling together at this time.”
Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner verified that his officers were investigating the incident as a suicide.
Eubank Funeral Home in Mabank is overseeing the funeral arrangements, Elizabeth said.
JR loved playing football, his sisters (including two younger half sisters) and ducks, she said.

May

04

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 4, 2014

Courtesy Photo Eustace ISD employees honored for years of service April 29 (from left) include Susanne Pharmakis, 15 years, Gwen Orr, 20 years, Holly Bailey, 25 years, Sherri Purselley,  25 years, Donna Chiles, 25 years, Judy Vestal, 30 years, (not pictured) Sandy Sowers, 30 years, Janice Beasley, 35 years and Chuck Powers, 45 years received service pins and restaurant gift certificates.

Courtesy Photo
Eustace ISD employees honored for years of service April 29 (from left) include Susanne Pharmakis, 15 years, Gwen Orr, 20 years, Holly Bailey, 25 years, Sherri Purselley, 25 years, Donna Chiles, 25 years, Judy Vestal, 30 years, (not pictured) Sandy Sowers, 30 years, Janice Beasley, 35 years and Chuck Powers, 45 years received service pins and restaurant gift certificates.

Eustace ISD honors employees with longevity


Special to The Monitor
EUSTACE–The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees recognized employees of the district for their years of service during the annual Employee Banquet held at the First Baptist Church in Eustace April 29. The following employees of EISD received service pins at the banquet:
5 Years
Kathyrn Hendrickson, DeDe Lancaster, Hayley Lane, Karey Smith, Lindsay Spivey.
10 Years
Darlene Bolton, Rebecca Cantrell, Kortni Harris, Sabrina Kavanaugh, Debra Meyners, Jerri Davis, Charline Harris and Chris Powers
15 Years
Kay Powers, Tish Bennett, Taressa Charlton, Tonnie Hemphill and Susanne Pharmakis.
20 Years
Gwen Orr
25 Years
Holly Bailey, Donna Chiles and Sherri Purselley
30 Years
Sandy Sowers and Judy Vestal.
More than 30 Years
Janice Beasley received a service pin and a plaque for 35 years of service.
Chuck Powers was honored with a service pin and plaque for 45 years with the schools.
After 22 years, Haskell Cook was recognized with a plaque marking his service to the students, school, staff and community and retirement this year.
Special recognition was also given to Mary Bell and Faye Barnett for organizing, decorating, and securing a record setting number of door prizes for the banquet.
Employees and their guests were treated to a catered meal from Danny’s Barbecue. At the conclusion of the banquet, door prizes, generously donated by local merchants, were awarded to a number of employees.
“Finally, I would like to thank all of the sponsors that donated services and goods for the door prizes,” superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe said.

May

04

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 4, 2014

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler Mabank fourth grader Payten Nolen points to her VASE art work on the MISD Administration Building hall walls April 28.

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler
Mabank fourth grader Payten Nolen points to her VASE art work on the MISD Administration Building hall walls April 28.


Girls soccer team and art students acheive high goals

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Mabank Independent School District (MISD) board of trustees met April 28 to honor students, view art work on display in the MISD Administration Building and discuss agenda items.
Receiving recognition, were high school girls soccer team members, and high school art and Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) award contestants.
Mabank students, under the instruction of high school art teacher Kyra Tracy, received five gold medals in the VASE competition and art work from every campus was on display at the MISD Administration Building.
Mabank High School Athletic Director Jared Wingfield praised the girls soccer team saying they were great leaders and resilient. The team bounced back from a rocky start, winning District 10-0 and making the Regional Quarter Finals.
Trustees approved several action items for 2014-15 including the food services management company contract for child nutrition services, articulation agreement between Mabank High School and Texas State Technical College in Marshall and the Title I Part A School-Wide Program grant application through Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The grant awards the district $750,000 to $800,000 each year.
In other news, trustees:
• moved the May board meeting from Monday, May 26 to Monday, May 19.
• heard graduation ceremonies are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.
• approved submitting Dec. 6, 2013, for a TEA low attendance waiver, saving the district approximately $12,000 by not using the day in the overall yearly attendance count.
• approved the Foreign Exchange waiver.