Posted by : May 29, 2014| On :
KEMP–The Kemp High School Band took 28 qualifying students to the Texas UIL State Solo and Ensemble contest Monday held at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville.
After giving some of the state’s best performances, the students pictured earned first division gold medals and second division silver medals.
“We are also proud of the second division performances turned in by the school’s trumpet ensemble and its percussion ensemble teams,” band director Jimmy Polk said.
This is the highest number of band students qualifying for state level competition, the school has ever sent, he added.
Posted by : May 29, 2014| On :
By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank Independent School District Board of Trustees approved an increase in lunch and breakfast prices for the 2014-15 school year.
Biscuit or toast and breakfast for pre-k through 12th grade increases by five cents making biscuits and toast .35 cents and breakfast $1.50.
Prices also increase to $2.30 for pre-k through sixth grades lunches and $2.55 for seventh through 12th grade lunches.
A la cart entrees went from $1.70 to $1.75 and vegetables and fruits from .85 cents to .90 cents.
Girls and boys regional track qualifiers were recognized as well as UIL academics, performings arts, and golf and baseball.
In other news, the board:
• awarded The Monitor Managing Editor Pearl Cantrell and Reporter Robyn Wheeler with the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) 2014 Media Honor Roll for fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools.
• approved the custodial services contract renewal with GCA Services Group of Texas.
• heard the 2014 graduation ceremony is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.
• witnessed the swearing in of new board members Erik Tijernia and Jeremy Zmolik, and current board member Todd Grimes.
Posted by : May 11, 2014| On :
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.