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GISD planning for 2030
by Bill Clough
Jul 24, 2016 | 13 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Clough photo.GISD Superintendent supervises a session of the district's Strtegic Planning Committee last Thursday in the district board room.
Bill Clough photo.GISD Superintendent supervises a session of the district's Strtegic Planning Committee last Thursday in the district board room.
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GOLIAD – Twenty people — 14 women, six men — sitting at five tables on a late Thursday afternoon are trying to define where the Goliad Independent School District (GISD) should be in 15 years. Among them are parents, teachers, principals, directors of curriculum and maintenance, athletic directors, a sheriff, a city administrator and a pastor. “When you think about it,” says GISD Superintendent Dave Plymale, “this year’s kindergarten student will belong to the high school class of 2030.” Preparing the district to meet the challenges of the next 13 years is the target of the Strategic Planning Committee — membership usually around 30 — meeting for the third time. The group, directed but not necessarily controlled by Plymale, is guided by a 40-page document developed by the Visioning Institute — created by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Leadership Center — titled “Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas.” The document is nothing less than a Declaration of Independence from what the institute sees is an educational system that is not working. “The core business of schools is to provide engaging, appropriate experiences for students so that they learn and are able to apply their knowledge in ways that will enrich their lives” the introduction reads. “Unfortunately, the present bureaucratic structure has taken away that focus and replaced it with a system based on compliance, coercion and fear. If proper focus is to be restored, the system must be transformed...” The planning committee is charged with just that — which is why its lifespan is open ended. Among its tasks this evening: generating a profile of a GISD high school graduate, defining the role of a teacher and composing a GISD missions statement. At one table is Roger Whitehead, sitting beside Goliad County Judge Pat Calhoun. “We need to let students know that it’s all right to fail,” Whitehead says. “Once they fail, they learn how the system works, and they improve.” Similar conversations were underway at each table. “What do you see as the role of the teacher?” Plymale asks the group. Whitehead is quick to answer: “There’s too much emphasis on taking the STAAR test.” His sentiment matches that of the institution’s document. “Students become expert test takers but cannot retain or apply what they ‘know’ in a context other than the test environment...creativity, problem solving and teamwork are stifled.” That teamwork is evident at the various tangles, however. City Administrator Gilbert Hernandez and Sheriff Kirby Brumby are in deep conversation with Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mona Foust. Plymale walks to the table, joins in the conversation and then reminds the committee to switch to the next topic. “Don’t forget there’s drinks and pizza,” he adds. Later, again acting as timekeeper, Plymale says “Five minutes. We’re then going to start sharing.” Brumby takes the initiative. “We’ll go first.” Subsequent discussions touch on technology. “Today’s students believe that anything they see on the internet is true,” someone says. “To keep students fully engaged, schools must adapt to this new and rapidly changing environment,” the institution’s document notes, noting that schools “must embrace the potential of new technologies and make optimum use of the digital devices and connections that are prevalent today to make learning vibrant and stimulating...” Significantly, Plymale actively uses a Twitter account. He announced the selection of a new high school principal on Twitter. “But, mostly I use it for professional development,” he says. Plymale turns to the table where former superintendent Christy Paulsgrove shares a table with Brandon Huber. He is the GISD board president, but on the sign-in sheet simply said “board member.” “Read your mission statement,” he says. “Build champions,” Paulsgrove replies. Plymale then turns to another table. “And yours?” “Create a collaborative, dynamic and energetic atmosphere to foster learning where students gain the skills necessary to...” “TOO LONG!” Paulsgrove interrupts. The room erupts in laughter. A poignant statement by Goliad High School graduate Zachary Garcia gives pause. “When you are an 18-year-old senior in high school, you still have to raise your hand and ask permission to go to the restroom. A few months later, in college — you’re still 18 — if you need to go to the restroom you just get up and go.” At the session’s end, five tables have produced documents that Plymale says will be condensed for the next session, Aug. 4. Huber, who normally defers to Plymale, thanks all those who took the time to attend. The institution’s independence statement notes “the school district’s role has been relegated to one of compliance, and the local community has been denied the opportunity to make the more important decisions and choices regarding the education of the children and youth who live there.” Huber, aware that the committee is trying to address that situation, tells the group “You will help to put GISD over the top.”
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Making your funeral plans
by Kevin Mackey
Jul 24, 2016 | 4 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bonnie was 84, and she felt is was time to make her funeral plans. She knew a little about it because she had buried three husbands in her life. She picked out songs, and she picked out who she wanted involved in the service. When it came time to do the services, some adjustments had to be made to her plans. You see, several things had happened in the 13 years since she had made those plans because Bonnie lived to celebrate her 97th birthday on July the Fourth, just a few days before her passing, and a week before her plans would be carried out. I knew Bonnie then and had known her for a few years. She had chosen me to preach at her funeral, and as I write this, I am preparing to keep that request and honor. Not all on Bonnie’s list would find themselves able to do as she had planned. In reality, Bonnie had started her plans for her funeral some 88 years or more before. She was married, her first marriage, and had been going to church when she decided to respond to the gospel call and be baptized into Christ, washing away her sins (Acts 22:16). From then on, she lived a life faithful in Christ, knowing the Lord’s promise (Rev. 2:10). In that faithful Christian life, she worked to share with loved ones and strangers alike the hope she had in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). When I moved to Branson, she was excited to hear my family and I came from Texas, and one of the first things she wanted to know was, “Do you know how to play Forty-Two?” Of course, we did. She found it hard to find enough up there to get a game together, and Sallie and I added two more with whom she could play. Over time, first Amanda and then Katie, would begin to learn to play so we would go the her home to play a game or two to make her happy. She talked about the Texas preachers she had known over the years with whom she had become close friends playing the game, wanting to know if I knew those men. I would have to tell her I had heard of most of them, but I was too young to have met most of them, they having passed away when I was a youth. In those years she made many friends and helped to teach several about Christ. One of those friends I would get the privilege to baptize, and later travel with Bonnie to Kansas to bury him. Another friend she made was baptized just before I moved there. I would miss deer hunting a few years later because Bonnie, who had charge of his memorial service, set it on the opening day of deer season. I mentioned as I started this that I would honor her plans now, but not everyone would. It is not because they would no longer want to, it is because she attended their funeral service instead of them taking a part in hers. You see we can plan, but no matter how well we plan, we have to remember we are not in complete charge of things, including our own lives. Sister Bonnie Wilson, if she knew you, and if she loved you, would want you to become a Christian and live as a Christian and die as a Christian. If Bonnie didn’t know you, she would still want that for you. Just as does her Lord, she would want none to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). This week, won’t you consider your future, no matter how far or how close the grave may seem, and plan for eternity with God. Can we help you with those plans, this week?
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Lance Standley
Lance Standley
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Standley hired as new baseball coach
by Rudy Rivera
Jul 24, 2016 | 30 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lance Standley
Lance Standley
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Lance Standley has been hired as the new head baseball coach for the Gregory-Portland Wildcats. Standley also will serve as an assistant football coach. The Howard Payne University and Lamar High School (Arlington) graduate has 263 career wins in his 19 years as a head coach, which includes one trip to the Class A state tournament. He has been named Coach of the Year four times. Standley coached at Woodville High School last year, and also had stints at Longview Pine Tree, Lake Worth High School, Beeville, Lampasas and High Island. His wife, Sherryl, of 18 years, is an elementary school teacher. They have three daughters – Ella, 15, Tatum, 13, and Farah, 9.
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Pouring on the fun: Boys and Girls Club hosts water days for youths
by Jason Collins
Jul 24, 2016 | 115 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Community donations made Friday’s water days at the Boys and Girls Club here possible. About 80 youngsters came to the event to play on the inflatable slide, the slip and slide and toss water balloons.
Community donations made Friday’s water days at the Boys and Girls Club here possible. About 80 youngsters came to the event to play on the inflatable slide, the slip and slide and toss water balloons.
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The youngsters slid, scampered, ducked and dodged as they played in the water outside the Boys and Girls Club Friday. Donations from area businesses made this day in the water possible, said John Corkill, Boys and Girls Club executive director. “We had about 80 kids throughout the day coming and going. I think it went very well,” Corkill said. “For the amount of things we had, it was a perfect number. “Kids weren’t having to wait in line. “You want as many kids as possible, but you also want to make sure and provide things for them to do.” There was an inflatable water slide, a slip and slide and water balloon toss. “K-Bob’s donated 100 hot dogs and hamburgers to the event,” Corkill said. “The kids were ecstatic about that. “MGM Real Estate donated watermelons. “Cricket Wireless donated the water balloons. They were able to donate the water balloons that you attach to the hoses and fill up 20 at a time. “They were instrumental in keeping the day running and going. You cannot say enough about how much these businesses are willing to do for us and the youth of this county.” Not all areas are as blessed with donation as Beeville though. The Taft Boys and Girls Club, which is also run by Corkill, is suffering with a lack of funding. The outcome is that they will have to close down there for two weeks, according to the Mathis News. Corkill pleaded with the residents of that community to help out and get their programs back. Several hundred children depend on the club’s activities to keep them engaged and watched over this summer, he said. Activities there will resume on July 27. “We’re going to be reintroducing our youth football league in the fall. What we really need is community support and involvement,” he told that newspaper. “We’re having difficulty being able to draw in that support. What we’re doing for these kids is going to have widespread effects on their lives.” Corkill said the reason Beeville has been so fortunate with donations is because of the club’s history here. “The great thing is about this club is so many have come through it,” he said. “It is a club that has been here since the late ’70s. “We have kids whose folks have been through this club.” These parents remember their youths spent at the club. “They had a good experience with the work we do,” Corkill said. And that history includes NAS Chase Field when the base was open. “The military families would play at this Boys and Girls Club,” Corkill said. “We had as second location at the military housing area. “When the base closed, it closed down as well.” The Taft club isn’t as fortunate as Beeville, but they aren’t the only place hurting for donations either. Just recently a plea went out from the Beeville Vineyard for donations. Lupe Sánchez, executive director, pleaded with the community that, unless donations were received soon, the nonprofit might have to shut down until grants or donations are received. Fortunately, an estimated $3,000 came in after last week’s plea. Still, they were forced to suspend the program to assist people with their utilities and rental assistance for August. More is needed to keep the Vineyard up and running. Sanchez remains hopeful the community and businesses will back them financially to keep the doors open and the programs, like rental, medical and utility assistance running.
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