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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.