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2018-2019 News and Information
REL Students Take Challenge Inspired by Columbine Victim
09/20/2018

 


Victor Barajas, Madison King, Lillian Campbell, Steven Smith, speaker Carnes, and Tiffany Joya.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

 


 


Carnes talking to Lillian Campbell

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

 


 


Carnes talking to Madison King

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

REL Students Take Challenge Inspired by Columbine Victim

 

By Beth Dombrowa

 

More than 20 years ago, a young, 13-year-old girl in Colorado traced her hand on her bedroom wall and wrote a prophetic message inside her drawing: “These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of peoples’ hearts.” Just a few years later, Rachel was the first student killed in the Columbine massacre, but her vision for spreading kindness has been shared with more than 24 million people worldwide, including students at Robert E. Lee High School.

 

Rachel’s Challenge programs transform school climates, leading to more positive interactions, a greater awareness of what it means to bully and be bullied and stronger interpersonal relationships between student peer groups, as well as between students and teachers – all of which lead to a safer school environment.

 

Rachel Scott was a prolific writer, frequently adding her thoughts to her personal diary. A diary was in her backpack the day she was killed; a bullet penetrated the book, leaving a hole that almost resembles an exclamation mark under the words Rachel had printed on the back cover: “I won’t be labeled as average.” Other journal entries included thoughts such as “Look for the good in others” and “I’m going to have an imprint on the world.” In an essay she wrote two months before her death for a class assignment entitled, “My Ethics: My Codes of Life” Rachel twice challenged the reader to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that could have a lasting, positive effect. Using her own words, the Scott family launched “Rachel’s Challenge” and more than 19 years after her death, Rachel’s words continue to inspire young people.

 

The Rachel’s Challenge program actually consists of five separate challenges that were outlined in the presentation to Lee students by Crista Carnes, a volunteer with the organization who travels throughout the country to deliver Rachel’s message.

 

Look For The Best In People

“Get rid of any prejudice you have of people who are different than you,” Carnes advised, before showing a video of Rachel’s younger brother, Craig, who was also at Columbine High School that day. Craig hid from the gunmen in the library, but was miraculously unharmed. However, he was crouched under a table with Isaiah Shoels and Matthew Kechter, both of whom were shot and killed. Shoels was one of the few black students at the school and before shooting him, the gunmen taunted him with racial slurs.

 

“Think about that,” Carnes told REL students. “The last words he heard in his life were hate-filled insults.”

 

Record Your Journey

Carnes encouraged students to keep diaries, like Rachel Scott.

 

“It keeps you focused and gives you a safe place to get stuff out. Dream big and write your goals down. And don’t you dare let anyone label you and don’t label yourself,” she said.

 

Choose Positive Influences

Rachel Scott wrote in her diaries about her desire to be friends with kids with special needs, new kids at school and students who were bullied. Carnes gave several examples of Rachel’s dedication to being a positive force in the lives of others, including sharing lunch with a brand-new student at school whose mother had recently passed away, and befriending – and encouraging others to befriend –a lonely fellow student with special needs.

 

Speak With Kindness

“There are people in this room right now who are going through things they will never talk about,” Carnes said. “If you’re not willing to speak to others with kindness, can you just agree to keep your mouth shut? Because words can hurt and words can heal.” She also emphasized the power of saying, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.”

 

Start Your Own Chain Reaction

Carnes asked the students to, within three days, approach the people they care most about and tell them how meaningful they are.

 

Later in the day, after all students had learned about Rachel’s Challenge, a group of student leaders representing several clubs and organizations, were trained to start a school chapter of a Friends of Rachel Club, receiving specialized instructions on how to keep the momentum – and Rachel Joy Scott’s life purpose – alive and well at Robert E. Lee High School.

 


Reach Out Walk 2018
09/10/2018

student throws graduation cap into air

 

Adult volunteers are needed for Goose Creek CISD’s annual Reach Out Walk which will be held on Saturday, September 22nd. The event is from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., beginning and ending at Ross S. Sterling High School.

 

The Reach Out Walk is an effort to get students to come back to school and to encourage others to become successful graduates. When a student fails to show up for class at the beginning of the school year or needs some guidance with respect to school work, volunteers go to the homes of these students and offer the encouragement and resources that they need in order to complete their high school education.

 

If you are interested in volunteering, please register here.


From Custodian to Classroom Aide
09/07/2018


Silvia Miranda-Villegas helps students Kendallyn Saucedo (left) and Andrew Rodriguez learn their shapes as she works as an instructional aide in Jennifer Owens’ classroom at Carver Elementary.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Silvia Miranda-Villegas helps students Kendallyn Saucedo (left) and Andrew Rodriguez learn their shapes as she works as an instructional aide in Jennifer Owens’ classroom at Carver Elementary.

 

From Custodian to Classroom Aide

 

By: Susan Passmore

 

 

Silvia Miranda-Villegas knew she could help students in the classroom at Carver Elementary, where she worked as a custodian, but she also knew she had to prove herself first.

 

“She came to me last fall and wanted to know if she got her No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Certificate (required of instructional aides) if I would consider letting her work with students in a classroom. I think it took a lot for her to get the courage to say something to me about it. She’s super nice and hardworking, so I told her to get it first and then come back,” said Bart Cobb, Carver principal.

 

Miranda-Villegas, who had stayed home with her children, Kimberly, a 2011 Goose Creek Memorial High School graduate and an Army veteran, and Christopher, a 2015 GCM graduate, both students at the University of St. Thomas, had just started working at Carver the year before. With support from her children and her husband Fredy, she decided to take the NCLB class at San Jacinto College, and she passed with flying colors.

 

“It had been so long since I’d been in high school, I wanted to take the class to refresh my brain before taking the test. My family was so proud of me,” Miranda-Villegas said.

 

Cobb offered Miranda-Villegas a substitute position in a classroom, which meant she would have to give up her custodial position, but he told her it wasn’t guaranteed to be a permanent position. She chose to take the opportunity, and by the last two weeks of the school year, she had worked herself into a position in the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) class.

 

“We asked for her,” said Jennifer Owens, PPCD teacher. “She’s amazing! She’s very patient, even with the most challenging students, and she’s able to keep that calm, low tone of voice with them.”

 

Miranda-Villegas could not be happier in her new role.

 

“At Carver, everyone is so nice. It’s a great place to work, and we’re like a family. I knew when I got here that this was ‘my place,’” she said.

 

Miranda-Villegas still likes to keep things clean in the classroom, but she’s pleased that she is now able to make a difference as an instructional aide.

 

“I see the needs of the little ones, and I love them and want to be someone they can trust. I want them to feel secure around me. There’s so much to teach them – colors, numbers, shapes, and even to use scissors,” she said.

 

Cobb feels that the positive classroom climate in the PPCD class helps the students succeed.

 

“They have the happiest team, and the three of them – Miranda Villegas, Owens and Sharon Robinson, another instructional aide – work like a well-oiled machine. They are three of the most caring individuals,” Cobb said.

 

Miranda-Villegas still plans to go back to school to improve her English skills, but for now, she is thankful to have fulfilled her goal of finding a way to further contribute to the success of her students at “her place.”


Guy Named TMEA Distinguished Administrator
09/05/2018

Gary Guy (middle), Highlands Junior School principal, is honored as a Texas Music Educators Association Distinguished Administrator at a recent meeting of the Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees. Nominated by Phillip Morgan, director of fine arts, for his commitment to the success of the fine arts programs at HJS, Guy is congratulated by Randal O’Brien (left), GCCISD superintendent, and Pete Pape, board president.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Gary Guy (middle), Highlands Junior School principal, is honored as a Texas Music Educators Association Distinguished Administrator at a recent meeting of the Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees. Nominated by Phillip Morgan, director of fine arts, for his commitment to the success of the fine arts programs at HJS, Guy is congratulated by Randal O’Brien (left), GCCISD superintendent, and Pete Pape, board president.

 


Great Start to Second Week of School
09/04/2018

Milton Rich, Jr. enjoys a book from the library station of Jennifer Owens’ classroom at Carver Elementary as he starts the second week of school.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Milton Rich, Jr. enjoys a book from the library station of Jennifer Owens’ classroom at Carver Elementary as he starts the second week of school.

 


CBJ Enjoys Breakfast With City Council Members
08/31/2018

Cedar Bayou Junior School’s faculty and staff enjoyed breakfast, provided by Baytown City Council Members (left) Charles Johnson and Laura Alvarado in honor of the three distinctions CBJ received on the STAAR for Post Secondary Readiness, Closing the Gaps and Academic Growth.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Cedar Bayou Junior School’s faculty and staff enjoyed breakfast, provided by Baytown City Council Members (left) Charles Johnson and Laura Alvarado in honor of the three distinctions CBJ received on the STAAR for Post Secondary Readiness, Closing the Gaps and Academic Growth.

 


 


Cedar Bayou Junior School’s Sherry Otahal (left), campus academic specialist, and Clark Haney, teacher, enjoy breakfast, provided by Baytown City Council Members Charles Johnson and Laura Alvarado, to celebrate the three STAAR distinctions CBJ received for Post Secondary Readiness, Closing the Gaps and Academic Growth.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Cedar Bayou Junior School’s Sherry Otahal (left), campus academic specialist, and Clark Haney, teacher, enjoy breakfast, provided by Baytown City Council Members Charles Johnson and Laura Alvarado, to celebrate the three STAAR distinctions CBJ received for Post Secondary Readiness, Closing the Gaps and Academic Growth.

 


Austin Elementary Student Qualifies for TCDA Elementary Honor Choir
08/29/2018


Jaylee Anderson (right) is congratulated by Carol Colvin (left), music teacher at Stephen F. Austin Elementary, and Professor Ruth Dwyer, state director/conductor, on qualifying for the 2018 Texas Choral Director’s Association Elementary Honor Choir.

Jaylee Anderson (right) is congratulated by Carol Colvin (left), music teacher at Stephen F. Austin Elementary, and Professor Ruth Dwyer, state director/conductor, on qualifying for the 2018 Texas Choral Director’s Association Elementary Honor Choir.

 

Austin Elementary Student Qualifies for TCDA Elementary Honor Choir

 

By: Susan Passmore

 

Stephen F. Austin Elementary music student Jaylee Anderson qualified as a member of the 2018 Texas Choral Director’s Association’s Elementary Honor Choir last month. The Texas Choral Directors Association selects the top 150 elementary voices in the state to comprise the choir, which consists of 4th-6th graders. To qualify for the state choir, elementary vocalists were chosen via online audition from over 800 entries.

 

Jaylee’s music teacher, Mrs. Carol Colvin, insists that her work ethic and musicality have a great deal to do with her success in this year’s state audition.

 

“Of all the students that I work with, Jaylee’s work ethic and preparedness coming into the audition, coupled with her vocal talent, made it a strong opportunity for her success. She has such a unique quality in her voice and was very self-motivated to make the choir. The bar for performance groups at TCDA continues to get higher each year, with this year being no exception.”

 

This year’s TCDA state convention was held in San Antonio and consisted of two days of rehearsing under the direction of Ruth Dwyer, director of education with the Indianapolis Children's Choir and artistic director of the Columbus Indiana Children's Choir. Congratulations to Jaylee, her supportive parents and her GCCISD Music Teacher, Mrs. Colvin, who all made the trip to San Antonio to hear the state performance.  Jaylee and Mrs. Colvin will be recognized by the GCCISD board of trustees on Tuesday evening, September 4, 2018, at 6:30pm.

 

 


Former Crime Stoppers Board Members Receive Service Appreciation Awards
08/29/2018

Randy Casey (right), Baytown Crime Stoppers Board chair, presents service appreciation awards to retired board members  (from left) Clint Johnson, Judy Barrow and Byron Jones. Johnson is a former Baytown police officer, Crime Stoppers coordinator and board member/chair, and he was recognized for 16 years of service to the Baytown Crime Stoppers Board. Barrow served for 18 years on the Baytown Crime Stoppers Board and held the positions of chair, vice chair and secretary during her tenure. Jones served as the BPD Chief of Police and was a Crime Stoppers coordinator and later a board member for eight years.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Randy Casey (right), Baytown Crime Stoppers Board chair, presents service appreciation awards to retired board members (from left) Clint Johnson, Judy Barrow and Byron Jones. Johnson is a former Baytown police officer, Crime Stoppers coordinator and board member/chair, and he was recognized for 16 years of service to the Baytown Crime Stoppers Board. Barrow served for 18 years on the Baytown Crime Stoppers Board and held the positions of chair, vice chair and secretary during her tenure. Jones served as the BPD Chief of Police and was a Crime Stoppers coordinator and later a board member for eight years.

First Day of School Photos
08/27/2018

Haylee Cobb (left) and Quessia Trujillo, freshmen at Robert E. Lee High School, wait in the Band Hall for the bell to ring on the first day of school.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Haylee Cobb (left) and Quessia Trujillo, freshmen at Robert E. Lee High School, wait in the Band Hall for the bell to ring on the first day of school.

 


 


Alylin and Malillany Navarro get ready to go to pre-kindergarten at Carver Elementary on the first day of school.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Alylin and Malillany Navarro get ready to go to pre-kindergarten at Carver Elementary on the first day of school.

 

 



Students from Rashida Bellard-Frank’s kindergarten class at B.P. Hopper Primary School proudly show that they are the Class of 2031.
Pictured are (front, from left) Dominic Poitras, Deaven Kambitsch, Aiden Ibarra, (back from left) Lexi Newton, Brooklyn Griffith and Luke Grubbs.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Students from Rashida Bellard-Frank’s kindergarten class at B.P. Hopper Primary School proudly show that they are the Class of 2031. Pictured are (front, from left) Dominic Poitras, Deaven Kambitsch, Aiden Ibarra, (back from left) Lexi Newton, Brooklyn Griffith and Luke Grubbs.

 

 

 


Manuela Verastegui (left) from Nutrition Services at Carver Elementary gives Miranda Jimenez, third grade, her breakfast on the first day of school.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Manuela Verastegui (left) from Nutrition Services at Carver Elementary gives Miranda Jimenez, third grade, her breakfast on the first day of school.

 


 


Lisa Geiger (left), security officer at Robert E. Lee High School, helps Luis Munguia find his homeroom.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Lisa Geiger (left), security officer at Robert E. Lee High School, helps Luis Munguia find his homeroom.

 


 


Halie Johnican waits to enroll in Pre-K on the first day of school at Carver Elementary.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Halie Johnican waits to enroll in Pre-K on the first day of school at Carver Elementary.

 


 


San Jacinto Elementary kindergartner Honor Morris colors her “My First Day of Kindergarten” Crown in Mrs. Grothe’s classroom.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

San Jacinto Elementary kindergartner Honor Morris colors her “My First Day of Kindergarten” Crown in Mrs. Grothe’s classroom.

 



Chance Brasuel, 11th grade, and Felicity Brasuel, ninth grade, wait to register on the first day of school at Goose Creek Memorial High School.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Chance Brasuel, 11th grade, and Felicity Brasuel, ninth grade, wait to register on the first day of school at Goose Creek Memorial High School.

 


 


Jesse High in Mrs. Homas’ first-grade class at San Jacinto Elementary, takes a break from his work.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Jesse High in Mrs. Homas’ first-grade class at San Jacinto Elementary, takes a break from his work.

 



Brycen Gardiner gets off the bus and heads into Travis Elementary for his first day of kindergarten.

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman

 

Brycen Gardiner gets off the bus and heads into Travis Elementary for his first day of kindergarten.

 


 


Richard Clem, Goose Creek CISD Board member, greets Maliah Poullard, kindergartner, on her first day of school at Travis Elementary.

Photo by Carrie Passmore

 

Richard Clem, Goose Creek CISD Board member, greets Maliah Poullard, kindergartner, on her first day of school at Travis Elementary.

 


New Principal at Bowie Elementary
08/27/2018

New James Bowie Elementary principal Regina Sims (back middle) enjoys the first day of school for 2018-19 with (front, from left) Bianney Davila, first grade; Emma Castillo, kindergarten; Jacob Ruiz, kindergarten; (back, from left) Alexa Lozano, fifth grade; Sims and Luis Lozano, fourth grade.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

New James Bowie Elementary principal Regina Sims (back middle) enjoys the first day of school for 2018-19 with (front, from left) Bianney Davila, first grade; Emma Castillo, kindergarten; Jacob Ruiz, kindergarten; (back, from left) Alexa Lozano, fifth grade; Sims and Luis Lozano, fourth grade.

 


HMJ and Ashbel Smith New Principals
08/27/2018

Christie Speights (second from right), new principal at Horace Mann Junior School, greets students on the first day of school.
Pictured are (from left) eighth-graders Kadence Morse, Isaac Hunter and Hannah Fudge-Adams.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Christie Speights (second from right), new principal at Horace Mann Junior School, greets students on the first day of school. Pictured are (from left) eighth-graders Kadence Morse, Isaac Hunter and Hannah Fudge-Adams.

 


 


Katherine Cruz (in back), new principal at Ashbel Smith Elementary, and (from left) Nayeli Sierra, third grade; Nevaeh Garcia, fourth grade; and Adalynn Arredondo, kindergarten, plan to have a good first day of school.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Katherine Cruz (in back), new principal at Ashbel Smith Elementary, and (from left) Nayeli Sierra, third grade; Nevaeh Garcia, fourth grade; and Adalynn Arredondo, kindergarten, plan to have a good first day of school.

 


GCCISD To Name Press Box After Jim Finley
08/27/2018

The Jim Finley Press Box at Stallworth Stadium

Goose Creek CISD will honor Jim Finley by naming the press box at Stallworth Stadium after the iconic local journalist at a dedication ceremony at the stadium on Friday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m.

 

After starting his award-winning newspaper career in July 1962 at The Brazosport Facts, followed by stops at The Bay City Daily Tribune and The Victoria Advocate, Finley was hired by Baytown Sun Publisher Fred Hartman in May of 1969. Except for a period when Jim worked as a district administrative assistant for U.S. Rep. Jack Fields, his career has been focused in Baytown.

 

During his career, Finley has earned numerous writing awards for his work in contests sponsored by The Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Texas Press Association. In his Baytown career, Jim has witnessed hundreds of games from the Stallworth Stadium press box and has worked more games there than any other reporter. In fact, he covered the very first game played at Stallworth Stadium on Friday Sept. 11, 1970, when Robert E. Lee beat Spring Branch, 27-3. Finley remains a fixture in the press box at Goose Creek CISD football games to this day.

 

Outside of sports, Jim’s proudest moment came when he chaired the Kiwanis Club of Baytown committee responsible for building the Kiwanis War Memorial, which stands in Bicentennial Park displaying the names of more than 100 casualties of various wars.

 

A group of former mayors, coaches, district administrators and co-workers of Finley formed to make the recommendation to the district that the press box be officially named The Jim Finley Press Box at Stallworth Stadium in recognition of Finley’s accomplishments and presence in the community.

 

The public is invited to attend the dedication of the Jim Finley Press Box at Stallworth Stadium. Please enter through Gate 1.


Student iPad Announcement
08/24/2018

iPad distribution dates


High school students iPad distribution will begin soon!

 

If you owe an iPad related charge from a previous school year, your parent/guardian selected NO on the iPad Loan Agreement in online registration, OR your online registration has not been completed, you WILL NOT receive an iPad on your campus distribution day.

 

In order to receive an iPad on your campus distribution day, you must complete the following by 3:30 p.m. Friday, September 7th :

  • Pay all iPad related charges to your grade level secretary OR return missing items to the CTS.

  • Mark YES on the iPad Loan Agreement in online registration.

  • Complete ALL sections of the online registration.

GCCISD Kicks off 100th Anniversary at Three Back-to-School Convocations
08/23/2018

Harlem Elementary staff with Betty Baca (far left), principal, prepares for the annual convocation at Goose Creek Memorial High School and for the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Harlem Elementary staff with Betty Baca (far left), principal, prepares for the annual convocation at Goose Creek Memorial High School and for the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

 


 


Randal O’Brien, Goose Creek CISD superintendent, welcomes faculty and staff members to the 2018-2019 school year at the recent back-to-school convocations, kicking off the 100th anniversary of the district.

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Randal O’Brien, Goose Creek CISD superintendent, welcomes faculty and staff members to the 2018-2019 school year at the recent back-to-school convocations, kicking off the 100th anniversary of the district.

 


 


Liz Murray, a young woman who overcame tremendous obstacles, including homelessness, to graduate from Harvard, speaks to Goose Creek CISD faculty and staff members at the three back-to-school convocations.
Murray’s life and her journey from homeless to Harvard is chronicled in “Breaking Night.”

Photo by Mima Trujillo

 

Liz Murray, a young woman who overcame tremendous obstacles, including homelessness, to graduate from Harvard, speaks to Goose Creek CISD faculty and staff members at the three back-to-school convocations. Murray’s life and her journey from homeless to Harvard is chronicled in “Breaking Night.”

 


 


Choir members from Goose Creek CISD high schools rap at the recent convocations during the opening musical number, “One Hundred Years of Class,” lyrics and music by Phillip Morgan and transcribed by Kevin Coward and Michael Grauvogl.
Band, orchestra, choir, drill team and theatre students along with their directors from Goose Creek Memorial, Ross S. Sterling and Robert E. Lee high schools combined to kick off the 100th anniversary of Goose Creek CISD.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Choir members from Goose Creek CISD high schools rap at the recent convocations during the opening musical number, “One Hundred Years of Class,” lyrics and music by Phillip Morgan and transcribed by Kevin Coward and Michael Grauvogl. Band, orchestra, choir, drill team and theatre students along with their directors from Goose Creek Memorial, Ross S. Sterling and Robert E. Lee high schools combined to kick off the 100th anniversary of Goose Creek CISD.

 


 


Robert E. Lee High School faculty and staff members charge into the recent back-to-school convocation, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Goose Creek CISD and the 90th anniversary of REL.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Robert E. Lee High School faculty and staff members charge into the recent back-to-school convocation, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Goose Creek CISD and the 90th anniversary of REL.

 


 


Combined theatre, drill team, orchestra, band and choir students from Goose Creek Memorial, Robert E. Lee and Ross S. Sterling High Schools wow the audience with a lively musical number, “One Hundred Years of Class,” lyrics and music by Phillip Morgan and transcribed by Kevin Coward and Michael Grauvogle. The opening number of the three convocations honored the 100th anniversary of Goose Creek CISD.

Photo by Susan Passmore

 

Combined theatre, drill team, orchestra, band and choir students from Goose Creek Memorial, Robert E. Lee and Ross S. Sterling High Schools wow the audience with a lively musical number, “One Hundred Years of Class,” lyrics and music by Phillip Morgan and transcribed by Kevin Coward and Michael Grauvogle. The opening number of the three convocations honored the 100th anniversary of Goose Creek CISD.

 


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