2019-2020 GCCISD News Events
IMPACT ECHS Student Places at NHD
Madeleine Broussard stands with her project


Madeleine Broussard, a sophomore at IMPACT Early College High School during the 2019-2020 school year, placed seventh in the Senior Individual Performance Category at National History Day, which was held virtually this year. Her project was entitled, “The Catt in the Hat Breaks Barriers for the Rat.” Madeleine was under the direction of Steve Koester, director of educational technology.

IMPACT Student Selected for Smithsonian Documentary Showcase
Adam Kinder standing with Steve Koester


IMPACT Early College High School student Adam Kinder’s video was selected for the Smithsonian Documentary Showcase. With him is Steve Koester, director of educational technology, who mentors students competing in all levels of the competition.


IMPACT Student Selected for Smithsonian Documentary Showcase


By: Susan Passmore


IMPACT Early College High School student Adam Kinder recently placed second in the Senior Individual Documentary Film category at the virtual Texas History Day, and he received the World War I History Special Award at National History Day. His film, “To Hell and Back,” also received recognition from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).


Adam’s video was one of 35 documentaries produced by middle and high school students to be featured in an online showcase, which premiered Wednesday, June 17, and will stream online via the Smithsonian Learning Lab at s.si.edu/NHDShowcase2020 through Wednesday, June 24. Each 10-minute film was screened and selected by the NMAAHC and reflects the 2020 National History Day theme Breaking Barriers in History.


This is an incredible honor for these students and their Breaking Barriers in History films to have been selected by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and culture, a barrier-breaking institution in its own right,” said NHD executive director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Months and years from now, they will think back fondly on this week when their documentaries were viewed and experienced by people around the world visiting the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the documentary showcase.”

REL Principal Named TASSP Region 4 Secondary Principal of the Year
Joe Farnsworth

Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman


REL Principal Named TASSP Region 4 Secondary Principal of the Year


By: Susan Passmore


Dr. Joseph “Joe” Farnsworth, principal at Robert E. Lee High School, has been selected as the 2019-2020 Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) Region 4 Secondary Principal of the Year.


Farnsworth began his role as principal at REL in February 2016 and was honored as Goose Creek CISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year in April 2018. During his tenure, the school’s STEM Academy was designated as a Texas Education Agency (TEA) T-STEM Model Academy and achieved National Model Status from the National Career Academy Coalition. REL also was selected as an Apple Distinguished School (2019-2022) for the third time. For 2019, REL earned a state distinction in science to add to the six distinctions received since 2017 and an overall rating of “B” from TEA, increasing from a “C” the previous year. The campus received Partner of the Year with ExxonMobil BTEC East in 2019 through the Baytown Chamber of Commerce Partner-in-Education program.


“It makes me proud to serve a school system alongside such a colleague who takes his leadership role seriously enough to intricately measure and convey to all stakeholders the academic progress, all while having fun and developing relationships with each and every faculty member,” said Dr. Randal O’Brien, Goose Creek CISD superintendent. “His vision is relayed through his focus on the teacher leaders and administration to instill upon all staff the value that they bring to enhancing the lives of our students.”


Farnsworth, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate from Arizona State University, began his 20-year career in education as a secondary biology teacher/soccer and volleyball coach in Fort Worth ISD, moving to the position of assistant principal in 2005. He served as principal of Pima Junior High and Pima High School in Arizona from 2005-2008, taking on the role of superintendent for Pima Unified School District #6 from 2008-2011. Farnsworth served as Human Resources Director for Queen Creek Unified School District #95, also in Arizona, from 2011-2012 and as principal of Queen Creek High School from 2012-2016.


“I am extremely honored to be recognized for the wonderful progress we have made at Robert E. Lee High School, the flagship school of Goose Creek CISD,” Farnsworth said. “I will be accepting this honor on behalf of the Gander Community, our parents, students, and most importantly, our amazing teachers! I hope I can represent GCCISD and Region 4 with the utmost professionalism and bring to light what an amazing school I have the pleasure to work in each day.”


Farnsworth and wife Jenae have made Baytown their home. Three of their five children attend Goose Creek CISD schools, and the two oldest graduated from REL.

RSS Marine Corps Cadet Selected for U.S. Naval Academy’s STEM Summer Program
Cadet Burbage


RSS Marine Corps Cadet Selected for U.S. Naval Academy’s STEM Summer Program


By: Susan Passmore


Ross S. Sterling High School Marine Corps JROTC Cadet Staff Sergeant Adriana Burbage was selected in a nationwide process to attend the U.S. Naval Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Summer Program for this year.


The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), in collaboration with the military services, offers a series of week long STEM Engineering and Construction Camps for high school students who excel in math, science and technology courses and who are interested in pursuing these careers or related careers in college. Each camp has unique curriculum with challenging hands-on activities and mentors who are young engineers.


The selection was based on students entering 9th to 11th grades who show evidence of strong accomplishments inside and outside the classroom and strong overall academic performance.


Due to the COVID-19 virus, the on-campus course has changed to a virtual on-line program that still requires the same amount of effort to successfully perform during the challenging course.


Cadet Staff Sergeant Burbage is a sophomore at Ross S. Sterling High School for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year and will be a Marine Corps JROTC Platoon Sergeant for a Cadet Platoon. During her freshman year, she rose six (6) Cadet ranks to her current position and has received eight (8) Cadet awards to include the Outstanding Cadet Ribbon.

Message from Superintendent of Schools

June 3, 2020

Goose Creek CISD Families,


It is with sincere heartbreak that we send our condolences to the Floyd family and the many other black Americans who have suffered at the hands of systemic injustice. The cry for change must be heard as we move forward in order for our nation, our state and our local communities to heal and become all that they may become together.


We have watched the atrocities on our televisions and social media over and over again this past week, and if one thing has become clear, it is that we are divided as a nation. The first step toward becoming the one unified force we seek to become is to stop thinking about our response to a statement we may not agree with and simply step back and listen. 


The progress we have made with human rights as a nation in comparison to others is admirable, yet unacceptable, if we continue to have such tragic events continue to cycle to the surface.


As superintendent of a diverse school district serving 24,000 students, I know that Goose Creek CISD must address racism head on. Our students and our staff members deserve nothing less. Our community deserves nothing less. We must all speak up when we hear of an act of intolerance, especially in one of our schools, classrooms or facilities. We must confront the situation and immediately take action.


While our district has, through policy and training, attempted to celebrate our diversity and manage racial injustice, we must do more. I ask that you join me in showing others respect and just treatment so that we may be examples to our children, whose minds and hearts may someday not feel the burden of racial injustice.



Randal O'Brien Signature
  Randal O'Brien




3 de junio del 2020


Familias de Goose Creek CISD,

Con el corazón roto, enviamos nuestras condolencias a la familia Floyd y a muchos otros afroamericanos que han sufrido las injusticias sistémicas. El clamor por el cambio debe escucharse a medida que avanzamos para que nuestra nación, nuestro estado y nuestras comunidades locales sanen y se conviertan en todo lo que puedan llegar a ser juntos.

Hemos visto las atrocidades en nuestros televisores y redes sociales una y otra vez la semana pasada, y si una cosa ha quedado clara, es que estamos divididos como nación. El primer paso para convertirse en la única fuerza unificada en la que buscamos convertirnos es dejar de pensar en nuestra respuesta a una declaración con la que no estamos de acuerdo y simplemente dar un paso atrás y escuchar.

El progreso que hemos logrado con los derechos humanos como nación en comparación con otros es admirable, pero inaceptable, si continuamos teniendo eventos tan trágicos que continúan apareciendo en la superficie.

Como superintendente de un distrito escolar diverso que atiende a 24,000 estudiantes, sé que Goose Creek CISD debe abordar el racismo de frente. Nuestros estudiantes y los miembros de nuestro personal no merecen menos. Nuestra comunidad no merece nada menos. Todos debemos hablar cuando escuchamos sobre un acto de intolerancia, especialmente en una de nuestras escuelas, salón de clases o instalaciones. Debemos enfrentar la situación e inmediatamente tomar medidas.

Si bien nuestro distrito, a través de políticas y capacitación, ha intentado celebrar la diversidad y manejar la injusticia racial, debemos hacer más. Les pido que nos unamos en mostrar a los demás respeto y trato justo para que podamos ser ejemplos para nuestros hijos, cuyas mentes y corazones pueden algún día no sentir la carga de la injusticia racial.



Randal O'Brien Signature
  Randal O'Brien


Please join us in welcoming Andrea Zepeda to Horace Mann JS
Horace Mann JS Principal, Andrea Zepeda

P-EBT Application Open

This letter is intended for families with:

·       Children who received SNAP food benefits for March 2020

·       Children who are certified for free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-20 Texas school year

·       Children who attend a school that offers free meals to all students (Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2)

If you do not meet at least one of these criteria, you are not eligible for the benefits described below.





Dear Parent or Guardian,

Your household may be eligible to receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to buy food. P-EBT is for children 5-18 years old who received SNAP food benefits for the month of March 2020 and children up to 21 years old who are certified for free or reduced-price meals at school in Texas during the 2019-20 school year. Children that attend a school that offers free meals to all students (Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2) are also eligible.

The online application for P-EBT is now open. Please review the criteria to see if you need to apply to receive these benefits. The application link is provided below.

Do I need to apply for P-EBT?

Families that DID NOT get SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020

·       Yes, you will need to apply.

·       Fill out an application here: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT

·       The application is open until June 30, 2020.

·       If you do not currently get SNAP benefits and your child is approved for P-EBT, you will be mailed a P-EBT card loaded with benefits.

Families that DID get SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020

·       You do not need to apply for children ages 5-18. Benefits were loaded onto your existing SNAP card by May 22.

·       If you have children under 5 and/or between the ages of 19 and 21, you will need to fill out an application for those children. Fill out an application here: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT

·       If you get SNAP benefits and your child is approved for P-EBT, we will put funds on your current Lone Star Card.

P-EBT is a one-time benefit for families issued through an EBT card (like a debit card). Families receive up to $285 per eligible child. You will have one year from the date the benefits were issued to use your P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits are non-transferrable.

If you need help filling out the P-EBT application, please contact is 833-613-6220. For more information, please visit hhs.texas.gov/PEBT or call 833-613-6220.




Esta carta está dirigida a familias con:

·       Niños que recibieron beneficios de alimentos del Programa Asistencial de Nutrición Suplementaria (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés) para marzo de 2020

·       Niños que estén certificados para recibir comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido en Texas durante el año escolar 2019-20

·       Niños que asisten a una escuela que ofrece comidas gratuitas a todos los estudiantes (Disposición de Elegibilidad de la Comunidad o Disposición 2)

Si no cumple con al menos uno de estos criterios, no es elegible para los beneficios que se describen
a continuación.

Estimado/a padre, madre o tutor:

Su hogar puede ser elegible para recibir los beneficios de la Transferencia Electrónica de Beneficios por Pandemia (P-EBT, por sus siglas en inglés) para comprar alimentos. La P-EBT es para niños de 5 a 18 años que recibieron beneficios de alimentos del SNAP para el mes de marzo de 2020 y para niños de hasta
21 años que estén certificados para recibir comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido en la escuela en Texas durante el año escolar 2019-20. También son elegibles los niños que asisten a una escuela que ofrece comidas gratuitas a todos los estudiantes (Disposición de Elegibilidad de la Comunidad o Disposición 2).

Se encuentra disponible la solicitud en línea de la P-EBT. Revise los criterios para saber si necesita presentar una solicitud para recibir estos beneficios. A continuación se encuentra el enlace a la solicitud.

¿Necesito presentar una solicitud para la P-EBT?

Las familias que NO recibieron beneficios del SNAP para el mes de marzo de 2020

·       Sí, necesitará presentar una solicitud.

·       Complete una solicitud aquí: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT

·       La solicitud está disponible hasta el 30 de junio de 2020.

·       Si actualmente no recibe beneficios del SNAP y su hijo recibe la aprobación para la P-EBT, se le enviará por correo una tarjeta de P-EBT cargada de beneficios. 

Las familias que SÍ recibieron beneficios del SNAP para el mes de marzo de 2020

·       No necesita presentar una solicitud para los niños de 5 a 18 años. Los beneficios se cargaron en su tarjeta del SNAP existente antes del 22 de mayo.

·       Si tiene hijos menores de 5 años o entre 19 y 21 años, necesitará completar una solicitud para esos niños. Complete una solicitud aquí: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT

·       Si recibe beneficios del SNAP y su hijo recibe la aprobación para la P-EBT, pondremos los fondos en su tarjeta Lone Star actual.

La P-EBT es un beneficio único para familias emitido a través de una tarjeta de EBT (como una tarjeta de débito). Las familias reciben hasta $285 por cada niño elegible. A partir de la fecha en que se emitieron los beneficios, tendrá un año para usar sus beneficios de la P-EBT. Los beneficios de la P-EBT no son transferibles.

Si necesita ayuda para completar la solicitud de la P-EBT, llame al 833-613-6220. Para obtener más información, visite hhs.texas.gov/PEBT o llame al 833-613-6220.


Goose Creek CISD Develops the Whole Child
Lamar Sun Shades


Lamar Elementary’s sunshade structure, presented to the campus for its efforts of educating students and promoting sun safe practices, protects students from the harmful rays of the sun while using the playground equipment.



Impact gift basket


Students at IMPACT Early College High School received giveaways during the Sun Safety Poster contest.



Goose Creek CISD Develops the Whole Child


By: Priscilla D. Garza


Goose Creek CISD (GCCISD) mission’s statement “Developing the Whole Child” is illustrated in many ways across the district including nonconventional ways where we show our commitment to the overall well-being of our students.


In 2017, GCCISD partnered with Be Well™ Baytown, an initiative of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center sponsored by ExxonMobil, to promote health and wellness across the district. Healthy eating and physical activity are important in the development of our students and were the first two areas GCCISD addressed by implementing CATCH® (Coordinated Approach to Child Health). Coordinated School Health Programs such as CATCH help schools create and sustain an environment that promotes healthy lifestyles. For the last two years, all K-8 schools have been implementing the program and have encouraged healthy behaviors across the school community. Due to the implementation of CATCH, students have reported an increase in physical activity and healthy food consumption. In addition, GCCISD has been able to connect with families by hosting CATCH Family Nights which focus on promoting health and wellness.


As CATCH continued to be implemented, GCCISD integrated another healthy habit by incorporating sun safe practices across the district. In 2018, B.P. Hopper Primary was selected as a pilot school to integrate sun safety into the curriculum and everyday practices. Their efforts were so successful they were featured in the local news and received sunshades for the play areas supported by Be Well Baytown.


In 2018-2019 school year, more schools incorporated sun safety year-round per the district-wide sun safety policy. One principal stated, “It [sun safety] has been a positive experience and we will continue to grow in our sun safety experience.” Not only did the students learn about the importance of protecting their skin and eyes from the sun, our staff did as well.


Since then, five schools have been recognized for their efforts of educating students and promoting sun safe practices across the school community: Alamo Elementary, Lamar Elementary, Cedar Bayou Jr., IMPACT ECHS, and Point Alternative. These schools have received sunshades supported by Be Well Baytown which were installed in May. Currently school efforts in sun safety for the 2019-2020 school year are being assessed, and later this summer we will announce the schools that will be awarded sunshades.


While COVID-19 has interrupted many planned activities for the spring semester, our schools have continued to put students first including their health and overall wellbeing. GCCISD will continue to implement programs with the support of Be Well Baytown and we will grow our efforts to address additional health topics. Our success in developing the whole child is made possible by the dedication of our teachers, staff, and our strong partnerships with local organizations.