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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.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Five-Year-Old in the Running to Win School $30K

Gabby and her mom bond over new recipes.
Five-year-old Gabby Malkomes is a girl of few words, but her contagious smile says it all. The Martha Reid Leadership Academy student has Down Syndrome and lights up every time she helps her mother cook.

Thanks to her cooking skills and bubbly personality, Gabby now has the opportunity to win a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for her school.

Gabby’s mother entered the two of them in the nationwide Ben’s Beginners cooking photo contest, sponsored by Mars Food. The goal of the contest is to promote wholesome diets.

The judges recently picked their top 25 pictures, and the Malkomes family made the cut with a peanut butter rice flan.

“I created around eight recipes using their products, took pictures of Gabby and I cooking them together, and submitted them,” said Luciana Malkomes. “They received more than 500 entries.”

The picture was selected by judges and is up for public voting.
The top five winners will receive a $15,000 check and an additional $30,000 check to be used toward a cafeteria makeover for the child’s school. Winners are determined based on public votes, creativity, presentation of dish and appetite appeal.

“I'm really excited about this opportunity to win this huge prize for the school,” the mother continued.

Public voting is open now through Nov. 6. Grand prize winners will be announced in December.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Positive Messages Pop Up in Girls Bathrooms

Can't see the video? View it here.

With all the messages young girls are being exposed to about what it looks like to be beautiful, a Mansfield ISD principal took the initiative to ensure that girls on his campus know the true meaning of beauty.

Matthew Brown, principal of Donna Shepard Intermediate School, heard of a school that decorated positive messages inside of the girls bathrooms, and he decided that it would be a great thing to incorporate at his new campus as well.

“One of the first things that I thought about as I toured the building this summer was that we had an opportunity at our school for that kind of advertisement for our kids,” said Brown.

He posted the idea on the school’s Facebook page and was pleasantly surprised about how many parents wanted to help.

Moms gathered on campus to complete the project.
“There were a lot of moms interested in helping and volunteering,” said Tracie Whittler, a parent who took the lead on the project. “Having two young ladies myself, I just think any type of inspiration you can give them to be themselves and know that they’re beautiful is amazing.”

Whittler said parents have pitched in to buy supplies, print the material, cut the vinyl and mount the artwork. The decorations will be on display in the girls bathrooms and locker room on stall doors and mirrors.

Brown has two daughters of his own and said this project hits close to home for him.

“My whole goal in this was to look at what really makes our students beautiful,” Brown explained. “That’s in our values at MISD. We talk about being resilient and putting others first. That’s what I wanted our girls to see.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Student-Run Restaurant Reopens Oct. 17

Can't see the video? View it here.

There’s a reason why Savvy’s Bistro, located inside of Ben Barber Innovation Academy, is called food with educated taste. The restaurant is operated by high school students in the culinary arts program.

Savvy’s Bistro started more than ten years ago as a test kitchen for the aspiring chefs. Under the guidance of Chef Adair Smith, the eatery expanded to a place that is open to the public.

The restaurant will reopen for the 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

“My students have been preparing for this for a month-and-a-half, and they’re ready to go,” said the culinary teacher. “From the servers to the back of the house to the executive chefs, everybody’s ready to make sure we’re 100 percent on service and food.”

Savvy's Bistro also caters food for campus and district events.
New this year, patrons will get to enjoy a bigger and newly remodeled dining area. Another added feature is the ability to see students cook the food in an exhibition kitchen.

Students who work at Savvy's Bistro are certified ServSafe food handlers. They said it’s a great opportunity to experience the real world in a safe and nurturing environment.

“He doesn’t baby us. We make our mistakes, and we learn from them,” said Cecilia Harlen, senior at Frontier High School. “Instead of sitting in a classroom and watching videos on how to make something, we actually make it.”

Chef Smith said there are menu staples, but there are also new featured foods every two weeks. The featured foods on opening day will be spicy Cajun dishes.

“If you’re in the mood for some really tasty food, come on down to Savvy’s Bistro,” he added.

Savvy’s Bistro is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on school days. To view a menu and calendar, visit the restaurant’s webpage.