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harlandale insider week of Nov. 12

Frontier Bowl celebrates 55 years

Nearly 10,000 administrators, teachers, students, family members and community members gathered at Memorial Stadium for the 55th annual Frontier Bowl on Nov. 2.

To kick-off the big game, the Harlandale and McCollum choirs teamed up to perform a remarkable performance of the national anthem.

Despite the cold weather, the Harlandale Indians and McCollum Cowboys battled with determination and showed terrific team effort. The excitement in the stadium was palpable as both teams made magnificent catches and runs, as well as incredible passes.

Ultimately, the Indians defeated the Cowboys with a 54-0 win!

The mascots, marching bands and school chants captured the true essence of the game - the Harlandale community coming together as one big family.

In honor of the longest-running high school bowl game, both high schools took part in several traditions throughout the week leading up to the game.

The cheerleaders and dance teams decorated central office in all things maroon, green and gold, campus leaders came together at the traditional “Round Up” event at McCollum HS and each school hosted fun Night Pep Rallies.

Tailgating is definitely one of the most popular traditions that gets better each year. Barbeque pits and vehicles were spread out among both parking lots as smoke from the fires were grilling up tasty food items such as turkey legs, fajitas, sausage and burgers for all to enjoy.

The inaugural Big Bib BBQ Rib Eating Contest, sponsored by HESA, also took place during the tailgating.

Harlandale ISD also introduced the five new members of the Harlandale ISD Hall of Fame in front of the home crowd. The inductees this year are Harlandale HS alumni Javier “Jay” Mora and Antonio “Tony” Soto Jr., McCollum HS alumni Jacob Garcia and Terry Raley, as well as community service honoree Esequiel “Zeke” Mendoza.

A big thank you to both teams for another memorable Frontier Bowl!

McCollum softball player signs with Lamar University

McCollum softball player signs with Lamar University

McCollum High School senior Nicollette Ramirez signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Lamar University on Nov. 14.

Family, friends, coaches and administrators gathered in the Main Gym to cheer on Nicolette as she put pen to paper and made her decision official.

Prior to the official signing, the talented softball player expressed her gratitude toward her coaches, teammates, teachers and family for their unconditional support throughout the years.

“Thank you to everyone that is here, my support system is amazing and I couldn’t be here with you,” Nicolette expressed.

McCollum Softball Coach Valerie Idrogo is extremely proud of Nicolette for not only being dedicated on the field, but in the classroom as well.

“Nicolette is ranked third in her senior class and has maintained a GPA of 100.82. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and displays a positive attitude towards all her classmates,” Idrogo said.

The three-year softball letterman received All District New comer of the Year her freshman year, consecutive All Academic honors, and 1st team All District honors all three years. Idrogo added that Nicolette continues to maintain leadership and provide a very positive attitude about life and academics.

“It has been my pleasure to coach a hard working individual that displays exceptional knowledge, and leadership abilities,” Idrogo said. “Since I have met Nicolette she has been passionate and focused on her goal in attending Lamar University to pursue her softball career and that she has done. We wish her all the glory and best of luck in her career.”

Way to go, Nicolette!

Harlandale ISD choir students to perform at Tobin Center

Harlandale ISD choir students to perform at Tobin Center

A group of 75 Harlandale ISD choir students in grades 6-12 will display their voice talents at the inaugural Boys to Men Festival at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 18.

The free concert, presented by the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, will feature a total of 450 male singers from across San Antonio including IlluMen, the Marcsmen and singers from Trinity University.

The young singers have been preparing music for the festival since early September and have been rehearsing at each school. A media crew even stopped by during an entire ensemble rehearsal to film for a documentary about the festival.

Harlandale MS and Leal MS Choir Director Sarah Arce has been working with the students and is looking forward to seeing them performing in such a world-class venue as the Tobin Center alongside other male singers.

“As singers, they put in just as much heart and dedication as any athlete out there,” she said. “It takes a lot of courage to sing in front of someone, and I hope they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride that they were able to do this.”

The audience can expect to see the students standing tall, proud and confident as they present their musical pieces.

“These boys are coming together from different backgrounds, different ages, different ability levels and different schools and are able to create a musical art form that takes discipline,” Arce added. “Our boys will bring high energy and entertainment to the stage and will tell a story with their art form.”

The festival hopes to give choir a place in the community and highlight our students’ talent. The event is free and begins at 4 p.m.; however, you do need a ticket to attend.

“I hope as many people will come out to support these boys and learn an appreciation for the art form that is choir,” Arce concluded.

Good luck, choir students!

Career Days inspire Adams Elementary students

Career Days inspire Adams Elementary students

Young students at Adams Elementary recently got a glimpse of real-life occupations during the school’s annual Career Days on Nov. 7-8.

More than 40 local professionals made a special visit to the school across the two days to introduce students to a variety of fields available to them.

Some of the professionals that students had the opportunity to hear from included nurses, fire fighters, authors, pharmacists, municipal court case managers, paramedics, professional wrestlers, animal care workers, police officers, dental assistants, food service workers, counselors, librarians and armed forces personnel.

“Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and participate in hands on activities that gave them a glimpse of what each career entailed,” Adams Elementary Social Worker Jennifer Montes said.

Throughout the presentations, students took notes and drew pictures to help them remember their experiences

Career Speakers, students and teachers all enjoyed the event and the Adams Student Support Services Team comprised of School Counselor Sheila Harper-Penn, School Social Worker Jennifer Montes and CIS Site Coordinator Monica Hernandez are already planning for next year!

Way to go, Adams Wolves!

HISD teachers recognized for integrating digital literacy in the classroom

HISD teachers recognized for integrating digital literacy in the classroom

A total of 12 Harlandale ISD teachers earned special recognition for being top users in the nation of the software program Learning.com for the 2017-18 school year.

The program, used in all elementary and middle schools, gives students the opportunity to learn and develop digital literacy skills such as keyboarding, word processing, computational thinking and coding.

To celebrate their achievement, Harlandale ISD Instructional Technology Facilitators Sara Dunn, Marguerite Lowak and Amy Montesdeoca hosted a special reception, with the help of Shelly Pulliam, at Central Office on Nov. 12.

“It was important for us to recognize these teachers because they are going above and beyond to teach students how to use digital literacy which will help prepare them for college and the workforce,” Dunn said.

All the teachers received a certificate as they enjoyed their delicious refreshments. Principals Sylvia Tovar, Dr. Traci Smith and Taleen Bloom were also in attendance to support their teachers.

The awards were classified into three categories:

Digital Literacy Champions (top 16 – 20 percent of Learning.com teachers nationwide): KMS Teacher Lesley Fielding, KMS Teacher Yvette Escobedo, Gilbert Elementary Teacher Claudia Garcia, Morrill Elementary Teacher Erika Jaramillo and Adams Elementary Teacher Kristen Guevara.

Digital Literacy Experts (top 6 – 15 percent of Learning.com teachers nationwide): LMS Teacher Wendy Maron, SWF Elementary Teacher Joshua Romero, Columbia Heights Elementary Teacher Christina Hernandez, KMS Teacher Caroline Macias and KMS Teacher Annie Zoll.

Digital Literacy Masters (top 5 percent of Learning.com teachers nationwide): HMS Teacher Tricia Kilbride and Carroll Bell Elementary Teacher Charlotte Kreusel.

Congratulations, teachers!

McCollum students learn about school psychology

McCollum students learn about school psychology

In light of School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW), Trinity University student Edith Pantoja visited McCollum psychology classes to speak to students about the school psychology profession on Nov. 14.

Pantoja, who is currently completing her psychology internship at Harlandale ISD, talked about the important role school psychologists play to help all students thrive.

She shared that this year’s SPAW theme is “Unlock Potential. Find Your Password!” A password is a personal key for unlocking any number of areas of potential in our lives. School psychologists are skilled at assisting students and staff in unlocking the resources, proactive and preventative skills, and positive connections necessary to unlock one’s full potential to succeed in school and life.

Harlandale ISD Licensed Specialist in School Psychology Marlo Mitchell-Gonzalez hopes the visit helps raise awareness about school psychology among students.

“We want to let students know that this is a potential career path to go down because there is a critical shortage of school psychologists at this time,” Mitchell-Gonzalez said. “We all know what a teacher or counselor does, but a lot of people don’t know about school psychologists. We want them to know the pros of becoming a school psychologist.”

Harlandale ISD’s Licensed Specialists in School Psychology currently assist students ages 3-21 every day to strengthen connections between home, school and the community. They provide academic, behavior and mental health supports, evaluation, assessment and data analysis, and consultation with teachers and families.

Pantoja is happy to have gained real-life experience while interning at the district and looks forward to working with students in the future.

“Students face a lot of problems, which can affect them in an academic way,” she said. “As a school psychologist, I hope to make an impact on their lives and help them succeed.”

Thursday Night Lights: Harlandale HS wraps up great season

Thursday Night Lights: Harlandale HS wraps up great season

The Harlandale Indians kept their spirits high as they braved the cold and faced the Wagner Thunderbirds in their playoff game on Nov. 15.

Football fans filled the bleachers to cheer on the Indians one last time this year.

Congratulations to the Harlandale Indians on a great football season! We are looking forward to another exciting season in 2019!

Award winning author virtually visits middle school students

Award winning author virtually visits middle school students

Students from Kingsborough Middle School and Leal Middle School were invited to attend a virtual author visit with Newbery award winning author Kwame Alexander.

Alexander’s works are written in verse and are primarily sports themed.

Students prepared for the visit by reading a short story and his novel “Crossover.” They were able to ask him questions that ranged from how he gathers ideas for his works to what edits were made before his books were published. The inquisitive students even got to ask him about his thoughts on Lebron James’ move to the LA Lakers.

“I really wanted students to have the opportunity to talk to an author and poet on where he draws his inspiration to write poetry, which is something our students struggle with.” Leal Middle School Librarian Roxie Martinez.

Way to go, Leal Apaches and Kingsborough Knights!

Middle school students compete in Quiz Bowl

Middle school students compete in Quiz Bowl

A group of 20 students representing Harlandale MS, Kingsborough MS and Leal MS competed in the second Quiz Bowl tournament of the school year on Nov. 10.

The tournament was a four-team, double elimination competition. The teams played a total of six matches of 20 questions.

First place went to the team "We Googled Everything" representing Harlandale MS. The coach was Joanne Donachie.

Team captain Magdalena Keller was the individual high scorer with a total of 19 tossups answered correctly for a total of 195 points. One question was answered early earning the team five bonus points.

Team members (left to right): Abigail Maldonado, Brandon Sanchez and Magdalena Keller.

Second place went to the "Knights of Knowledge Team A" from Kingsborough MS. The coach was Ralph Sarmiento. Team Captain Daniel Guel was the individual high scorer by answering seven tossups for a 70-point total.

Team members (left to right): Daniel Guel, Bella Scott, Marissa Guel and Matthew Calderon.

Third place went to "Knights of Knowledge Team B" from Kingsborough MS, also coached by Ralph Sarmiento. Alejandra Almarez was the individual high scorer, answering five tossups for a total of 50 points.

Team members included Alejandra Almarez, Seth Riojas and Oscar Olivarez.

Way to go, students!

Stonewall Flanders' ACE families relax with art

Stonewall flanders' ACE families relax with art

Stonewall Flanders’ ACE program held a successful night of painting with families on Nov. 14.

ACE Family Engagement Specialist Maria Ayon explained that painting can be therapeutic as it allows the mind to focus on the images at hand and on nothing else.

“This focus toward one central topic relieves stress on the mind, and in turn, relaxes the body,” Ayon said.

She added that the greatest benefit was the fact that painting provided parents and children a great platform to bond and to spend valuable time together.

A big thank you to the ACE families at Stonewall Flanders for their dedication and participation to ACE family events!

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Harlandale Highlights

harlandale highlights

San Antonio College, in conjunction with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted the 9th Annual CORE 4 STEM Family Day Expo this past weekend. Harlandale ISD middle school students got the opportunity to explore STEM careers right here in San Antonio. KSAT 12 was on hand to feature all the excitement and interviewed Kingsborough Middle School student Asjahanna Garcia! Way to go, Asjahanna!
In honor of Veterans Day, Harlandale HS Cafeteria staff recognized their team member Jose “Jay” Montanez for his service to our country. Montanez served in the Army from 1999-2008. He is a recipient of two Purple Hearts and now serves 1,850 students at Harlandale High School. “We are proud to have Jay on our team and thank him for his service,” Harlandale HS Cafeteria Manager Olivia Lopez said.
Stonewall Flanders Elementary hosted its annual "Turkey Talent Show" on Nov. 15. Administrators and staff entertained families and students with fun dance and song performances. The school also raffled off boxed dinners at the end of the night!
Morrill Elementary celebrated the fun in reading and writing with Author’s Day on Nov. 15. Each grade level focused on a different book with interactive activities. Parents were also excited to join in on the fun. Congratulations to the first grade team for winning the bulletin contest! Grade level teams were scored on originality and creativity, student work, book theme and the activity they did. As the big winners, all of first grade enjoyed a nacho party in the afternoon!
Wright Elementary fifth grade teachers helped students and parents create Thankful Pumpkin Centerpieces! This fun and interactive activity helped students with procedural text.
Wright Elementary honored their veterans and spouses with a luncheon on Nov. 12. Thank you for your service, veterans!
Through the ACE after school program, Gillette Elementary students in the Culinary Club learned how to read recipes, make smoothies and no-bake pies! “I hope students will learn and practice some basic math concepts and build language skills when presenting their food items,” Gillette Elementary Academic Dean Julia Gimbel said. Students are very excited to share with their parents what they have cooked and learned. “Thank you ACE for partnering with Gillette to create these wonderful experiences for our students!” Gimbel added.

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