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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Make-A-Wish Surprises Student with Dream Trip

If you ask 16-year-old Andrew Creel the one place in the world he’d like to visit, he’ll tell you with certainty that it’s London.

The Mansfield High School sophomore is intrigued with the castles, towers and other historic landmarks.

He never knew if he’d be able to make the trip across the pond, though, because traveling has become much harder.

“Andrew was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was 2,” explained Shana Creel, Andrew’s mother. “So over time, he loses his strength and ability to get around.”

Andrew (seated) posed with his parents and said
he can't wait to tour the Tower of London.
With the help of Make-A-Wish Foundation, Andrew’s dream was about to come true. The organization, which grants wishes to children with critical illnesses, coordinated with school officials and Andrew’s parents to hold a special surprise on campus.

When Andrew heard the news that he and his family would be leaving for London on Saturday, his eyes lit up in disbelief.

“Our hearts were in our throats just trying to keep it together without bawling—just to see how happy it has made him,” the mom described.

Make-A-Wish coordinators said these types of surprises make their job worthwhile, and making dreams come true is not just about magical moments.

“The wishes themselves are medically necessary,” said Make-A-Wish volunteer Dennis Baird. “The kids are responding to treatment better, the families are also responding and communities come together. We like to say that wishes aren’t just nice; they’re necessary.”

For the Creel family, it’s a trip they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

“This will more than likely be the last international trip that Andrew will be able to take,” said James Creel, Andrew’s dad, as he fought back tears. “It’ll be really special for us, and we thank Make-A-Wish for making this happen.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980. To date, more than 285,000 children in the United States and its territories have gotten their wish granted by the organization.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays from Mansfield ISD!

Mansfield ISD wishes you a very happy holiday and a happy new year.

People from various MISD schools and departments were asked what the holiday season means to them. View the video to hear their responses.

Friday, December 15, 2017

MISD Clubs Grooming Boys into Gentlemen

Chivalry isn’t dead, and staff at Mansfield ISD schools is making sure young males understand that.

Some MISD campuses host after-school clubs, like Men of Distinction, that are dedicated to transforming boys into gentlemen.

At D.P. Morris Elementary School, the boys actually meet during school hours to learn different lessons to present themselves well and treat others with respect.

The club, Men of Morris, meets every Friday morning for young males ages 8-10.

“They learn how integrity works and how to become a productive citizen, which is in line with the district’s vision,” said Cash Rountree, third-grade teacher and co-founder of Men of Morris.

The boys learned to give a firm handshake and keep eye contact.
Rountree and fellow teacher Matt Koceich wanted to start the club to teach the boys important life principles that will help them for years to come.

“Being a man is a very hard thing to do,” Rountree continued. “This is a right age where they can learn all of what it means to be a gentleman, and they can use what they learn to have a better future.”

Men of Morris is in its first year, and Rountree said he is starting to see a positive difference in the way the boys act with teachers and other students.

Third-grader Maxwell Miles said he can use the skills at home as well.

“I like learning how to be a man and a gentleman,” the 9-year-old said. “When you get older, you have to take care of yourself; and if you’re a nice person, you can get a job.”

Many Mansfield ISD elementary schools take part in different weekly clubs during the school day in an effort to get more students to take part in extra and co-curricular activities. For a list of all school clubs and activities, visit the MISD schools calendar.

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.