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Friday, December 8, 2017

MISD High School Students Unite to Help Hurricane-Devastated School District

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the shores of Texas in August, and the effects of the devastation will take years to mend.

Bloomington Independent School District is one of the communities that was hit hard by the storm. The area has 85 percent of its homes still damaged, and rebuilding has been a challenge—even for its schools.

When MISD high school students heard that Bloomington ISD students and their families were still struggling to recover, they decided to put their rivalries aside and join forces to make the holiday season a little more joyful.

“What we’re doing is raising this money to give back to the kids in time for the holidays so they can have the stuff they want,” said Dejardin Moffett, a junior at Timberview High School. “Their families may not be able to pay for the toys because it’s not a necessity.”

The community fundraiser was held Nov. 28 at El Primo's in Mansfield.
The students held a silent auction fundraiser and invited the community to come out and bid on several baskets full of goodies. Their goal was $10,000, but they ended up raising $15,000.

Other community members also pitched in so that Bloomington ISD students could have books, a gift card and a t-shirt.

“I know a book isn’t everything they want, but I hope they appreciate it,” said senior Sadie Johnson of Legacy High School. “I hope they feel loved, and I’m really excited.”

MISD staff and a few of the students will deliver the presents to Bloomington ISD on Dec. 13. Moffett said he hopes high school students all across the district will continue to unite for the greater good.

“We are MISD, meaning we are all one district,” he added. “Projects such as this are an example of #WeAreMISD because we’re all coming together and using our power, our great student leaders that we have at every school, and putting it together to do something great—not only for our community, but for other communities outside of us.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

MISD Elementary School Wins $30,000 Makeover

Martha Reid Leadership Academy is getting a hefty cafeteria makeover, and it’s all thanks to a peanut butter rice flan recipe.

As reported weeks ago, 5-year-old student Gabby and her mom, Luciana Malkomes, entered the nationwide Ben’s Beginners cooking photo contest.

The mother said Gabby loves helping her in the kitchen, and the contest was a perfect way to continue bonding with the chance of winning a monetary prize for her family and school.

Out of more than 500 photo entrees, the Malkomes family was picked as a top 25 finalist. The public then voted for their favorite picture. Winners were chosen based on number of votes, creativity, presentation of dish and appetite appeal.

“I received a call around Veterans Day that Gabby had won,” said Principal Rebecca Stephens. “We had to keep it a secret from them until today’s surprise presentation.”

Gabby and her mom taught students how to cook the winning recipe.
Luciana Malkomes thought she was going to a school assembly about cooking. Little did she know, she was the guest of honor for the big announcement.

“I still can’t believe it,” the mother said. “I’m really happy and thankful to God, Uncle Ben’s and Martha Reid for this opportunity. This is going to be a story [Gabby] keeps for the rest of her life.”

The winner of the contest wins $15,000. Another $30,000 is given to the school for a cafeteria makeover. School and district officials will work together to see what cafeteria upgrades would best meet the needs of students.

“We can’t wait to sit down and see how we can transform the cafeteria and encourage kids to try different and healthier options,” Stephens added.

The Ben’s Beginners contest first launched in 2011. The program’s goal is to encourage kids to cook and develop healthier eating habits.

Friday, December 1, 2017

MISD Counselors Take Holistic Approach to Help Students Succeed

Counselors at Mansfield ISD do more than just organize student schedules. They work with students so that they are set up for success academically, emotionally and socially.

From programs that ensure students are college and career ready to prevention and awareness programs, the counselors work to prepare students for their best future.

In fact, Mansfield ISD’s dual credit program is the largest in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with students receiving the opportunity to earn college credit, even an associate degree, while still in high school.

“All of us are attending to the whole child,” said Holly McCanlies, director of guidance and counseling. “There are counselors at each campus, and many people don’t know that we have student support counselors.”

Rowe said building positive relationships with students is key.
The six MISD support counselors are privately licensed therapists with the sole purpose of tending to student needs.

“Our society today has higher levels of anxiety and depression,” explained Cassandra Rowe, support counselor for the Timberview High School feeder pattern. “Whatever goes on in society we also see here at school, and so we are the people who respond.”

McCanlies said she is honored to be part of such an impactful department in the school district and appreciates the support she receives from staff and the community to help put students first.

“Counselors are striving daily to work with students and to impart skills that help them be resilient and help them have vision so that there are no obstacles once they leave Mansfield ISD,” she said.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Soldier’s Surprise Family Reunion

What started as a school assembly ended up being a surprise family reunion.

Sgt. 1st Class Ed Rosado deployed to Kuwait in March. His sons thought he’d be returning home the day before Thanksgiving, but the homecoming came a week in advance.

The U.S. Army soldier has one son at Imogene Gideon Elementary School and another at Timberview High School. School administrators helped the family come up with a way to surprise the boys at one location.

“We had an assembly, and I invited Timberview High School’s JROTC cadets over to present the colors,” said Shanee Charles, principal of Gideon Elementary. “We invite Timberview students over here all the time for different events, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary.”

The assembly featured people in or wanting to be in the military, and the students had the opportunity to ask questions.

The Rosado family is grateful to be together for the holidays.
Toward the end of the event, a video played of Rosado sending greetings from overseas. To the crowd’s surprise, he was standing right there in the back of the cafeteria.

“As soon as I saw his face, I knew it was unbelievable. I was excited,” said Janmanuel Rosado, fourth-grader at Gideon Elementary. “It was like the best day of my life.”

“I tried to hold back the tears, but I couldn’t help it,” said Timberview senior Jose Rosado, who was recently accepted into the U.S. Air Force. “Without my dad, I wouldn’t be here.”

Many in the crowd were in tears to see the family’s reunion. The father said he is grateful to the Mansfield ISD teachers who look out for his sons while he’s away and for everyone coming together to make the assembly happen.

“Being able to surprise my kids is amazing,” the 19-year serviceman explained. “It’s indescribable.”

Rosado said it’s always a wonderful feeling to be able to return to his wife and children so that he can be a part of the daily routines once again.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Serving Those Who Have Served Our Country: Veterans Day 2017

A veteran of the U.S. Army, and parent of a Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary School student, fought back tears as he was describing his favorite part of the school’s Veterans Day program.

“I don’t want to be emotional about it, but that’s how I feel when I see those kids out there singing and saying ‘thank you,’” said Nana Atkens.

Sheppard Elementary School’s event featured boy scouts escorting veterans to their seats of honor, the singing of patriotic songs, photo shoots and a breakfast.

Librarian Sharon Prince helped coordinate the day’s program. She said it was the least she could do for those who have dedicated their lives for our freedom.

Veterans lined the hallways and were thanked by students.
“We just want them to understand how much we appreciate them because they have been out in the trenches and taking care of us to help keep us safe,” Prince explained.

The campus Veterans Day program is just one of many events happening around Mansfield ISD to show a token of appreciation to the nation’s heroes. Community veterans were invited to attend so that students and staff could personally thank them.

Atkens said he could definitely feel the love.

“That means a lot,” he added. “Veterans Day just means a lot to me.”

The week’s events were a precursor to a major Veterans Day parade that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11. MISD will be taking part in the City of Mansfield’s inaugural Veterans Day Parade at 10 a.m.

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets from each traditional high school will be participating along with the Legacy High School and Mansfield High School bands.

Although actions and words may never be enough to repay the sacrifices paid by our nation’s veterans, Mansfield ISD is proud to honor the men and women who have spent their lives serving us.

Friday, November 3, 2017

MISD Program Fosters Appreciation for the Arts

Not everyone has the means to see world-renowned performances of music, dance, and theatre and art. That’s why the Mansfield ISD Fine Arts Department brings those special acts into the district, and it’s absolutely free for students.

The Center Arts Program began as a fourth-grade tradition. Each year, the students would dress up and take a field trip to see a symphony perform. The response was so great that Fine Arts administrators knew they had to expand it.

“Students loved the acts we brought in, so now different professional performances are available to second-graders through eighth-graders,” said Dr. Chuck Roe, assistant fine arts director. “We have all kinds of organizations come in like the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Symphony Arlington, Texas Ballet Theatre, and so much more.”
Students visit the MISD Center to watch professional classical acts.

The Center Arts Program has since added more components for the benefit of students and the community. Local artists are featured in various gallery residencies throughout the year, and area high schools are invited to take part in project-based competitions.

The latest addition to the program has been securing Grammy-nominated artists to perform at the MISD Center for the Performing Arts. MISD students are the opening act.

“It exposes students of all ages to many genres of music,” said Jeanne Cassidy, sales and marketing coordinator for the MISD Center for the Performing Arts. “My hope is that this program will continue to grow and these kids will be able to create memories that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The next big act coming to the MISD Center for the Performing Arts is Amos Lee. He performs Saturday, Dec. 2. Tickets are on sale now.