Inside FWISD September 6, 2018

DHJ Eagles Snap 77-Game Losing Streak

The Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles are soaring high into Game 2 of the 2018 season.

Last week, the Eagles’ varsity football team made national news when it snapped a 77-game losing streak and clinched its first victory in eight years.

Diamond Hill-Jarvis defeated Dallas Conrad 40-12 in its season opener at Scarborough-Handley Field Thursday, August 30.

“It was something surreal. We have been picturing this for a whole year and a half,” said Coach Oscar Castillo, who’s led the team since 2016. “Once we realized that this was real, everybody started celebrating and hugging.”

The Eagles' 40-12 win on Thursday, August 30, garnered local and national media attention.

According to the website for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, a biannual magazine, Diamond Hill-Jarvis held the record for the second all-time consecutive losses in the state behind Houston Jefferson Davis, which recorded 80 consecutive losses from 1985 to 1993. Up until August 30, the school held the longest active losing streak in Texas.

The Eagles dominated the field for most of the game against Dallas Conrad and wowed fans in the stands.

From a 40-yard pass resulting in an Eagles touchdown in the third quarter to an 82-yard kickoff return resulting in another touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Eagles home opener was filled with several memorable moments.

Coach Castillo said he sometimes did a double take at the plays he was witnessing. He brimmed with pride as he realized his team had a win in sight.

It’s hard to put into words what this win means, Coach Castillo said. It’s not only momentous for the team but the community and Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School.

He said that his team overcame so much individually and as a team to reach this point. There’s many on the squad who work, sometimes to 1 a.m., to support their families and they arrive at school before 7 a.m. for practices and then classes, Coach Castillo said. They’ve endured harsh comments from some, which hasn’t been easy, he said. Coach Castillo said he would like people to know his team’s story and the obstacle after obstacle they’ve all faced.

“I can’t even explain how proud I am of these guys,” he said.

Diamond Hill-Jarvis was one of six FWISD varsity football coming away with a win in their 2018 season openers last weekend. The Western Hills Cougars defeated Dallas Molina 46-21, and the Benbrook Bobcats finished with a 40-29 win over Nevada Community on August 30. The following day, the Trimble Tech Bulldogs defeated Carrollton’s R.L. Turner 40-7; the Polytechnic Parrots dominated Dallas Hillcrest 62-20, its first season opener victory in nine years; and the Paschal Panthers finished 5-0 in a match against Irving.

Varsity football continues this Thursday and Friday.

The Eagles will take the field for their next game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 7 at Handley Field. The team’s opponent is North Dallas.

As the team prepares for its next game, nothing changes about what it does from day to day, Coach Castillo said.

“I just want them to continue to do what they’ve been doing,” he said.

View the District’s complete 2018 varsity football schedule here.

Read Fort Worth Welcomes Anel Mercado As Executive Director

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article was originally posted on the Read Fort Worth blog.

Read Fort Worth announced that Anel Mercado, former director of programs at Arizona Center for Youth Services, has been named Read Fort Worth’s next Executive Director.

Mercado will assume the new role Sept. 5 and will lead the dynamic cross-sector Read Fort Worth partnership into the next phase of the project. She succeeds founding executive director Kristin Sullivan.

“I am truly excited to join the Fort Worth community and lock arms with the Read Forth Worth leadership, partners and team to continue and grow the work that has been established,” Mercado said.

The partnership was founded in 2016 by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner, business, civic and philanthropic leaders to align partners in support of the district’s 100x25FWTX Initiative and our shared goal that 100 percent of third-graders will be reading on grade level by 2025. Matt Rose, executive chairman of BNSF Railway, serves as chairman of Read Fort Worth’s 11-member Executive Committee.

“We are looking forward to the energy and experience that Anel Mercado will bring to Read Fort Worth,” Rose said, “and are truly grateful to Kristin Sullivan for her hard work and dedication that was essential to get us where we are now, poised for continued growth and success.”

Price has made quality early childhood education a key focus area for the city. She said: “Anel Mercado is the right leader to continue our important work with Read Fort Worth, and I am thrilled to welcome her to our community.”

Mercado was selected following an extensive, national search this summer that culminated in identifying the individual with the experience and knowledge that Read Fort Worth leaders have identified as key to the continued success of the initiative.

“Thanks to our founding executive director, we’ve laid a strong foundation for success,” Dr. Scribner said. “We will now build upon that and look forward to working with Anel Mercado and Read Fort Worth to reach our 100×25 goal.”

Mercado has a passion and extensive experience for serving the community in various roles, from mentoring youth and other emerging leaders to engaging key stakeholders at all levels to create avenues for systems change.

No stranger to the dynamic collective impact work, Mercado served as the director of Phoenix-based Thriving Together, a multifaceted partnership serving as a catalyst bringing together different sectors of the community and along the educational continuum to strive for better results in education, for every child, youth and young adult from cradle to career.

She relocated to Phoenix from Seattle where she served as an educator consultant for the Public Health Department, developing and implementing strategies to reduce health disparities for the Latino community by addressing access to care issues at community and systemic levels. Mercado has served on various community nonprofit boards, commissions and is a long-standing supporter of the national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Washington.

Read Fort Worth is an important initiative with broad community support, and the Executive Council is excited about the addition of Anel Mercado to the leadership team and the possibilities of the future direction of the partnership.

About Read Fort Worth

Read Fort Worth is the privately-funded, locally-controlled backbone organization formed to coordinate cross-sector, collective impact efforts to ensure that 100 percent of third-graders are reading on grade level by 2025. Read Fort Worth exists to provide unique, actionable data; to organize and align partners under the shared 100×25 goal; to develop strategies for significant improvement, and to communicate best practices and drive results. For more information, visit www.ReadFortWorth.org. View our inaugural Community Achievement Scorecard at http://readfortworth.org/2017-community-achievement-scorecard/.

FWISD To Launch City-Wide Read, Performance Program This Month

The Fort Worth ISD is partnering with the Dallas Holocaust Museum to present a City-Wide Read and Performance program this semester.

Planning for kickoff celebrations that will be hosted September 17-26 at middle schools and sixth-grade centers across the District are currently underway. At these events, sixth-grade students will each receive a copy of the book “The Children of Willesden Lane” by Mona Golabek, which they will read throughout the second six weeks, with daily lessons supporting and enriching the reading experience in literacy, social studies, and fine arts classes.

Students will be encouraged to write Ms. Golabek personal letters about their own connections to the novel and how it changed their view of themselves and or the world. The student letters have the opportunity to enter the Library of Congress Letters About Literature National Writing Contest.

“The Children of Willesden Lane” is the story of Lisa Jura, Ms. Golabek’s mother, who was a Jewish girl from Austria that sought refuge in England during world War II in 1938. She was part of Kindertransport, a rescue mission to save children threatened by Nazi persecution.

Ms. Golabek, a renowned concert pianist, is scheduled to do two exclusive piano performances of her book for the District’s sixth-grade students, November 26 at the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium and November 27 at the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA.

Organizers say “Ms. Golabek combines elements of storytelling, acting, and music to tell her mother’s inspirational story of survival during the Holocaust. The show expands on the themes found in the book and further demonstrates the power of the human spirit to persevere through the most challenging of circumstances.”

District winners from Letters About Literature contest will have a chance to participate in a "Meet and Greet" event with Ms. Golabek and have their books signed.

“This story connects students with history that continues to shape today’s world, while its story’s universality resonates with children and adults from all backgrounds,” said Joseph Niedziela, director of the Social Studies Department. “Through the story, students will deepen their understanding about the resilience of the human spirit and explore how mutual understanding, acceptance, and respect form a foundation for responsible citizenship. The overall experience of reading the book, engaging in the curriculum, and participating in a live performance, will establish enduring memories that yield lessons for students well into adulthood.”

District teachers and librarians have spent the last several months attending professional learning sessions on how to teach sixth-grade students about the book and the Holocaust in preparation for the program’s upcoming kickoff.

For more details on the City-Wide Read and Performance program, call the Social Studies Department at 817-814-2470, or the secondary literacy office at 817-814-2520. Information is also available at www.fwisd.org/Page/14356.

District Names Kirkpatrick MS Wing, Auditorium for 2 Beloved Educators

The eighth-grade wing and auditorium at Kirkpatrick Middle School will soon bear the names of two beloved educators.

Recently, the Board of Education approved motions to name the school’s eight-grade wing for retired Principal Jorge Mendoza and its auditorium for eighth-grade English language arts teacher, Leo “Mr. Kirkpatrick” Vaughns Jr.

Plans are underway to host a dedication ceremony once signage for the eighth-grade wing and auditorium arrives, according to school officials.

From left is Jorge Mendoza and Leo Vaughns Jr. at an August 7 board meeting.

Mr. Mendoza worked 30 years for the District. He joined the FWISD as a social studies teacher at JP Elder Middle School and went on to become a central office administrator, assistant principal and principal. A bulk of his career, 23 years, was spent as an assistant principal and principal at Kirkpatrick Middle School. Along with his wife, who worked for the Fort Worth Police Department, Mr. Mendoza held annual crime prevention meetings at the school for the community, according to board agenda documents.

He remains actively involved as a community volunteer and speaking at various events at his former school.

Mr. Mendoza calls it a privilege to have a portion of a school he led for more than two decades named for him.

“I think it’s a privilege for anyone to have a school or part of a school named after them,” Mr. Mendoza said. “I think that’s a great honor.”

Mr. Vaughns joined the District 29 years ago as a music teacher, which he taught for several years before transitioning into ELA. Throughout his career he’s participated with the after school program, produced all the school plays, rewritten the school anthem and written curriculum, according to board documents. He also founded Wildcat Brothers.

The ELA teacher said that he tears up at the thought of the school’s auditorium being named for him. Mr. Vaughns said that Kirkpatrick is a part of him so much so that stepping onto the campus is like coming home.

He said to receive the honor while he’s still part of the staff is a joy.

“I was proud of course … just ecstatic,” Mr. Vaughns said. “ I was shocked. Speechless.”

Mr. Mendoza hired Mr. Vaughns to teach at Kirkpatrick in the early 1990s. He eventually went on to teach English. Mr. Vaughns said he looked to Mr. Mendoza as a supportive mentor, and he’s ecstatic to share this honor with him.

“To have [facilities] named after him and myself is an impact to the entire North Side community,” Mr. Vaughns said. “It will be something. They’ll never forget us.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following are recent photos from across the Fort Worth ISD.

College Colors Day: Fort Worth ISD teachers, students and staff joined many across the nation in celebrating College Colors Day, Friday, August 31. Participants showed off their team spirit by wearing college team colors, college or university apparel.


Employees Have Two Ways to Earn ‘Bonus Pay’

The Fort Worth ISD is willing to do what it takes to hire – and keep – good school bus drivers.

The District is paying $500 bonuses to new bus driver hires who commit to one year of employment.

Also, both new and veteran drivers are eligible for additional pay when they have perfect or “almost-perfect” attendance. This fall, drivers who complete 100 percent of their routes during the school year will receive an extra $12 per day. Drivers who complete 95 percent of their routes (that means they are only absent five days) will receive an additional $9 a day.

The $500 “new bus driver” bonus will be paid at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The “attendance payouts” will happen twice a year, in January and June.

To reiterate the details:

New Hire Incentive

  • Newly hired drivers, as of July, are awarded a $500 sign on bonus at the completion of the 2018-2019 school year.
  • The $500 “new bus driver” bonus will be paid at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Attendance Incentive

  • ALL fully-credentialed bus drivers will be eligible for this incentive. The pay will be based on the number of instructional days (students are in class) that bus drivers complete all their scheduled routes.
  • “Attendance payouts” will happen twice a year, in January and June.
  • Instructional Days for the 2018-2019 year total 177 days.
  • 100 percent is defined as a driver completes all of his or her scheduled routes. 100 percent attendance = an additional $12 per day
  • 95 percent is defined as a driver has no more than five allowable absences per semester. 95percent attendance = an additional $9 per day
  • Taxable incentive pay will be paid in the January and June paychecks.

For questions, please contact the Fort Worth ISD Transportation Recruiting Office at 817-815-7918.

FWISD JROTC, JCC to Host Patriot Day Events

The Fort Worth ISD will commemorate Patriot Day, Tuesday September 11, with multiple ceremonies across the District hosted by Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps

(JROTC) and Junior Cadet Corps (JCC) programs.

The District’s 15 JROTC programs and 21 JCC groups are expected to hold their own Patriot Day ceremonies at various times throughout the day.

Patriot Day is observed in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 lives lost in terrorist attacks on the United States, September 11, 2001.

At 8 a.m. September 11, at the FWISD Administration Building, JROTC officials will retire the American flag flying above the facility and replace it with a new one. The ceremony will include brief remarks from LTC Richard Crossley, director of JROTC programs, and Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. A display with flags and a remembrance banner will also be placed in the Administration Building lobby.

LTC Crossley said the Patriot Day events across the District are not only to remember those wounded and killed in the 9/11 attacks and the first responders who sacrificed their lives to save others but it’s also about service to the community.

The following Patriot Day events have been announced:

North Side High School, 7:50 a.m.

Dunbar High, 8 a.m.

Trimble Tech High, 8:30 a.m.

Polytechnic High, 8 a.m.

Paschal High, 10:10 a.m.

Eastern Hills High, 9:15 a.m.

Diamond Hill-Jarvis High, 8 a.m. at the flagpole

Carter-Riverside High, 7:45 a.m. in front of the school

South Hills High, 8 a.m. at the flagpole

Southwest High, 8: 45 a.m.

Benbrook High, 8:15 a.m.

O.D. Wyatt High, 8:45 a.m.

Western Hills High, 9 a.m.

The District’s JROTC and JCC programs have held Patriot Day events since 2002.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15)

The nation will observe Hispanic Heritage Month September 15, 2018-October 15, 2018 and celebrate the significant contributions of Hispanic Americans.

Fort Worth ISD encourages you to join the celebration.

Post your photos of celebratory events on social media, using the hashtags #FWISD and #HispanicHeritageMonth– and tagging @FortWorth_ISD on Twitter and @FortWorthISD on Facebook and Instagram. We'll share as many photos as we can on our District platforms!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

I am currently an employee. I applied for the medical insurance only for myself and kids because I cannot afford to pay for all the family. it is the amount that I get paid each month. Is there any premium that is affordable for employees like me who don't get paid as much other employees? My paycheck will go almost towards insurance. If you could, help so that we can afford insurance for all my family.

Office Assistant

Dear Office Assistant,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Max Ates, senior officer of payroll, benefits and risk management, and he had this response to the question: “Fort Worth ISD works hard to provide the best policies at the lowest cost possible. Health coverage is expensive. All health coverage offered through the District is provided through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). Unfortunately, the addition of spouses is the most costly as related to health coverage. This is true in most businesses, whether it is a public or private entity. Most coverages are less expensive if one spouse covers themselves and the children, while the other spouse covers only themselves.”

Thank you, Mr. Ates for your response, and thank you, Office Assistant for your question.


Direct your questions to Inside@fwisd.org and put the words “Ask Elsie” in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.

Board of Education Announces 3 New Administration Appointments

The Fort Worth ISD has announced executive director appointments to the Office of Innovation, Federal Programs and Equity and Excellence division.

In a recent unanimous 7-0 vote by the Board of Education, the District named Susan Hernandez executive director for the Office of Innovation; Mirgitt Crespo, executive director of federal programs and Mia Hall to the newly created executive director of Equity and Excellence position.

Pictured from left are Susan Hernandez, Mirgitt Crespo and Mia Hall

“We are very excited to appoint three individuals who are dynamic leaders,” said Superintendent Ken P. Scribner, following the board’s August 7 vote.

Mrs. Hernandez comes to the District from Dallas ISD. Her background includes experience as an elementary and secondary principal and central office administrator. She will support secondary schools that report to the Office of Innovation, according to Dr. Scribner.

""I am so excited to join a wonderful group of educators in Ft. Worth ISD," Mrs. Hernandez said. "Everyone in our District has great passion for ensuring our students have obtained their highest levels of success. It is a thrill to support the Innovation and Transformation principals and to work with amazing visionary leaders and colleagues."

Mrs. Crespo has been with the District more than a decade. She supervises federal programs, and the finance and program oversight of federal programs totaling more than $56 million.

“She is very well respected in our organization, and given our increasing title dollars, we think it appropriate to appoint her to this position,” Dr. Scribner said.

Mrs. Crespo said she is both “humbled and grateful for the support” she’s received over the years to get to this point in her career.

“I have always worked hard for my principals, my schools and my students. They are my why,” she said. “I feel committed that FWISD students receive a high-quality education that prepares them for success, and that is what keeps me centered and energized to do my job the best I can.”

Mrs. Hall has been with Fort Worth ISD 16 years. In her new role, she will supervise the District’s adult education program, Eastside Alliance Community Partnerships and the Southeast Community Outreach Center, formerly the Historic Stop Six Initiative.

“We’re excited that Mrs. Hall will be taking this new responsibility,” Dr. Scribner said.

Following the board’s vote Mrs. Hall thanked the board and superintendent for the honor and vote of confidence.

“I look forward to the work ahead and the successes ahead,” she said.

Retired FWISD Band, Orchestra Director Passes Away

The Fort Worth ISD extends its condolences to the family and loved ones of Mrs. LeoNora Dellece Prince Gilliam, a retired band and orchestra director of the District.

Mrs. Gilliam, who taught more than 30 years for FWISD, died August 28. She was 79, according to a Star-Telegram obituary.

Her funeral service was held Wednesday, September 5.

Mrs. Gilliam joined the District in the 1960s. Throughout her career, she worked at I.M. Terrell High School -- her alma mater – McLean, Meadowbrook and Daggett middle schools.

“She delighted in observing her students’ accomplishments as they gained personal achievements with their often times challenging musical pieces. She served as the voice of encouragement for children whether in or out of the classroom,” according to an announcement sent by her daughter-in-law Shawnette Gilliam, special education department chair at Trimble Tech High School. “She was frequently requested by parents to teach piano lessons to eager children in her home. Mrs. Gilliam has left a lasting legacy that will continue to flourish through the children she influenced throughout her career.”

Mrs. Gilliam earned a bachelor’s degree in music at Lincoln University in Missouri and a master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University.

She leaves to cherish her memory her husband of more than 50 years, two children, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.


A special thank you to Kroger and the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, which recently donated school supplies to Fort Worth ISD.

Pictured are the supply donations made at Sam Rosen Elementary by Federal Medical Center, Carswell and supplies presented at Cesar Chavez Elementary by Kroger. Cesar Chavez was one of 55 Fort Worth ISD schools that received school supply donations from Kroger.

Pictured on the left is Sam Rosen Elementary School and on the right, Cesar Chavez Elementary.

Campus Back to School events, August 7- September 28

Website Training for Web managers, Friday, August 24- Friday, September 28

Professional Learning Opportunities in September

Voly Training, September 5- November 9

National Grandparents Day, Sunday, September 9

Education Go Get It Week, September 10-14

Patriot Day, Tuesday, September 11

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, September 11

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15 (Send photos of events hosted at your campus to Inside@fwisd.org)

Billy W. Sills Lecture Series: “Nancy 'Mame' Russell: Charlie's Muse and Love," Saturday, September 15

Trinity Trash Bash, Saturday, September 15

Constitution Week, September 17-23

Constitution Day, September 18

College Night 2018, Monday, September 17

Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, September 25

Last day to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election, Tuesday, October 9

Join O.D. Wyatt HS for the First Cowtown High School BBQ regional competition, October 19-20

Save the Date: Fort Worth Technology Conference Coming January 2019

Share your story ideas, successes, calendar items, photos, questions and feedback with us at Inside@FWISD.org. Check the Inside FWISD blog, www.fwisd.org/insidefwisd, regularly updated throughout the week with additional content and features.

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