DEPARTMENTS TAX OFFICE
Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
By: Susan Passmore
Goose Creek CISD and the community recently came together in Town Square to celebrate the launching of the “Here, We Grow Giants,” video with entertainment from featured programs, food, photo opportunities and giveaways.
This was the second video produced for the district in partnership with the City of Baytown by Rick King and Kenneth Benitez of Southall 7 Creative, showcasing students, teachers, programs and opportunities in Goose Creek CISD. The first video, released at GCCISD’s Convocations in August, featured fine arts; soccer; Robotics; the History Fair competition; Culinary Arts and Welding at Stuart Career Tech High School; STEM at Robert E. Lee High School, recognized for the third time as an Apple Distinguished School; dual credit and advanced placement, technology and more.
Dr. Randal O’Brien, Goose Creek CISD’s superintendent, kicked off the Launch Party, welcoming guests and discussing how the “Here, We Grow Giants” campaign began. Kendall David, director of marketing for GCCISD, gave an overview of the video commercial.
“We will hear from a few of our very own Giants in the district,” David said. “You will hear how our district grows Giants through early literacy, on the football field and in STEM classes. You will learn about the incredible opportunities we have in Goose Creek, like career readiness at the Health Science Academy, teambuilding through athletics and even a therapy dog at Gentry Junior School.”
Representatives from the programs featured in the video talked about the ways they grow Giants. Coach Tim Finn, Robert E. Lee High School campus athletic director and head football coach, gave a shout out to his players and staff members as well as talked about the great work being done in athletics throughout the district, developing students mentally, physically and emotionally.
Tailis Oniwon, assistant principal at Lamar Elementary gave examples of how elementary schools grow Giants by engaging, inspiring and empowering students. She praised Mrs. Santoyo, Mrs. Batiste, Mrs. Garcia and Mrs. Blackledge for the relationships they build with student, impacting their lives and hearts.
The Ross S. Sterling Orchestra, under the direction of Camille Gates, performed “Viva la Vida.”
“Orchestra provides opportunities for students to achieve incredible things through competitions and performances at the local, regional and state level. We grow Giant work ethic, Giant passion and Giant love for music. Our orchestra gives the Giant opportunity to develop the whole child,” Gates said.
Principal Kathy Holland explained that at Gentry Junior they strive to provide students with a challenging classroom experience while encouraging participation in fine arts, extracurricular activities, athletics and career readiness experiences.
“We celebrate our students for their triumph in the classroom, on the field or court, in concert halls and on stage – and even for accomplishments made off campus,” Holland said.
The RSS Health Science Academy also was featured in the video, and Greg Smith, freshman Principles of Biomedical Science teacher, praised the academy for preparing students for futures in the healthcare industry.
“The students featured in this video are our future doctors, nurses, individuals that will make medical breakthroughs and care for us when we are sick . . . and that’s pretty cool,” said Smith.
Lori Alexander, director, announced the performance by the Sterling Stars Drill Team, accompanied by the RSS Band, also saying that she and Yoanna Isas, assistant director, agree that GCCISD grows giants.
“We are both proud Lee graduates and had a strong desire to continue the legacy of building giants through dance,” Alexander said. “Members learn the value of hard work and sacrifice. They are expected to be leaders in everything they do, whether in the classroom, on the performance floor or in the community.”
Heron Thomas, assistant principal at Highlands Junior School and a member of the Here, We Grow Giants Committee, gave an overview of the monthly Giant Student, Educator and Alumni awards. Nominations are accepted on the district’s website and honorees are presented with a plaque and a basket from Kelsey Seybold Clinic. Nancy Bonds, instructional specialist and also a member of the Here, We Grow Giants committee, recognized Giant Students of the Month for August – 2019 valedictorians Everett Crutchfield, Hannah Christensen, Ashlyn Bernshausen and Soham Datar; September – Armando Garcia; October - Morgan Gregory; November - Billy Haynes; December – Amira Lewis and January – Megan Fox.
Giant Educators of the Month recognized were August – 2019 Teachers of the Year Anna West and Angie Johnson; September – Misty Dolgner; October – Jeff Strobl; November – Alice Ricks; December – Amanda Majeed and January – Erin Stokes.
Erika Foster, director of the Goose Cree CISD Education Foundation, recognized the Giant Alumni of the Month, including August – Mayor Brandon Capetillo; September – Rabeeka Saif; October – Craig Contreras; November – Beatriz “Betty” Macias; December – Bob Hoskins and January – Charles Johnson.
The RSS Band, under the direction of Brad Comeaux, concluded the performances by the programs featured in the video with three numbers.
“Band students are part of something bigger than themselves here at Goose Creek. Band is a facet of the bigger picture which develops the whole child. The Sterling Band program is a Giant in its own right and will continue to grow Giants for years to come,” Comeaux said.
Matt Bolinger, executive director of strategic planning and innovation, thanked the programs involved in the video, the Here, We Grow Giants Committee and Southall 7 Creative, explaining that the video, produced in collaboration with the City of Baytown, strengthens the GCCISD brand, showcases programs and highlights giants in our schools and community.
After the viewing of the video, projected on a large screen by the stage, Agustin Loredo III, president of the Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees, wrapped up the program by telling about growing up in Baytown and about how important the teachers and community members were who made a difference in his life.
“I know that you, because you’re here and in this weather and in the cold, are doing that for our kids every day, but I’m going to give you a challenge. I want for you to do two things: #1, be conscious of the fact of what you’re doing, because it doesn’t matter if you’re a neighbor, uncle, aunt, a gentleman at the store holding the door open, it doesn’t matter, you have a part to give to the children of our community. The second thing I’m going to challenge you to do is to do a little bit more. And by a little bit more, I’m going to challenge you to invite your neighbors to talk to your community, to your social circles, to your churches about becoming a part of this community – to making a conscious decision to make an impact on young people’s lives,” Loredo said.
Spring Here, We Grow Giants Video
Launch Party Photos
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
P.O. Box 30 | Baytown, Texas 77522 | 281.420.4800
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