A former educator charged Pine Tree ISD teachers to be “disruptors of the status quo” during the district’s convocation Wednesday. Ken Williams taught and led Georgia and Maryland schools for nearly 20 years before he founded Unfold the Soul, a professional development organization that trains educators and entrepreneurs. Williams delivered the keynote speech during the ceremony in the Pine Tree Road auditorium. His presentation, “Disruptors or Defenders?” challenged Pine Tree teachers to dismiss labels such as “economically disadvantaged” and “English language learner” and teach material essential to students’ lives after high school. view article arw

Angleton ISD began the school year for teachers and staff this week by awarding $2,600 to almost a dozen employees for their exceptional performance. Administrators distributed $200 checks during the district’s convocation ceremony Monday to each of the nine teachers nominated by their peers last school year as the Campus Teacher of the Year for their respective schools. view article arw

As students return to class in Crosby ISD Thursday, the district says it may make some changes in an effort to make their campuses safer. Right now the district, which serves 6,000 students, has five school resource officers who are employees of Crosby ISD. The district says those officers will be visible at every campus each day. However, the district may add more officers. view article arw

A Northside ISD police officer was arrested Tuesday after he threatened a woman with a handgun, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. Leo Martinez, 48, faces a charge of terroristic threat. He was booked into the Bexar County Jail early Wednesday on a $5,000 bond and has since bailed out of jail, according to online records. view article arw

National school consultant John Draper encouraged Hallsville ISD staff and teachers during the district’s convocation Monday by dispersing several misconceptions about public education. Draper, with the National School Public Relations Association, uses his experience as a teacher and administrator to improve community relations in schools nationwide. When staff members speak positively about their schools, share success stories and dispel myths, people will value public education, he said during his keynote speech. view article arw

Craig Robinson is now the ARP ISD police chief and the only school resource officer for the department. It's a one-man operation right now. This has been in the works since April when the school board moved forward with plans to create the police force. view article arw

A Chapel Hill ISD teacher was arrested after he was found intoxicated on school property. According to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, 38-year-old Charles Applegate was arrested after he was allegedly found passed out and intoxicated in a vehicle parked in the Chapel Hill High School's parking lot, near the band hall. Applegate is a teacher at the school, according to the sheriff's office.  view article arw

An ex-vice principal in the Edgewood ISD was sentenced in court to six years in prison on Tuesday. Severo Campos, 45, was arrested in 2015 on a charge of indecency with a child by contact. Campos plead guilty in July after he admitted to having a relationship with a 14-year-old girl beginning in May 2015. view article arw

Aledo ISD Staff Convations

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Aledo ISD held a welcome convocation Tuesday morning to get staff members excited for the new school year.  view article arw

Bellevue ISD students will start the school year with a new principal. Cason Bennett's journey to that position began similarly to many of his students. Bennett attended the school district as a student while his father, Dennis Bennett, was a principal then superintendent. He said he never intended to follow in his father's footsteps. "When I was a high school student being a state trooper was the coolest thing when you become an adult and your priorities change," Bennett said. "You learn something for yourselves." view article arw

For Rhonda Peña, teaching isn’t a profession, it’s a calling. Peña was recently honored as the Region One Elementary Teacher of the Year. She has now been named one of six finalists for 2019 Texas Teacher of the Year.  She will be called for an interview on Sept. 13 in Austin, and the final selection will be made on Sept. 14. The awards program is facilitated by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). A 5th grade math teacher at Bryan Elementary School, Peña has been with the Mission Consolidated Independent School District for 25 years, and has been teaching for 28. She credits God and her family for her achievements so far. view article arw

Memorial High School journalism instructor Holly Hartman was named Secondary Teacher of the Year last evening during the Region 4 Education Service Center Teacher of the Year Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Joining her as Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year is Jeanna Pena of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. view article arw

A federal lawsuit says a Texas school district permitted a former teacher who had sexual contact with a student to be involved in school organizations and allowed her on district-owned property to watch sports games the student participated in. The lawsuit filed Friday by the student argues the Abbott Independent School District created a “hostile educational environment” for the student and engaged in behavior aimed to chill the reporting of harassment and misconduct. view article arw

I’m a public school teacher.  Am I any good at my job?  There are many ways to find out. You could look at how hard I work, how many hours I put in. You could look at the kinds of things I do in my classroom and examine if I’m adhering to best practices. You could look at how well I know my students and their families, how well I’m attempting to meet their needs.  Or you could just look at my students’ test scores and give me a passing or failing grade based on whether they pass or fail their assessments. view article arw

An Austin Independent School District bus driver is in jail accused of inappropriately touching a young girl on several occasions. According to an arrest affidavit, AISD police were dispatched to the Uphaus Early Childhood Center to investigate 57-year-old Cesar Maldonado on May 29. view article arw

This is a big week for a Mansfield ISD high school coach back on the field after battling cancer. Monday, Daniel Maberry was back coaching his high school team as a cancer survivor.   He was also back at UT Southwestern since receiving the news he is cancer-free. view article arw

Most Houston ISD teachers will receive modest salary raises in 2018-19 after district trustees rebuffed administrators’ proposal Thursday to freeze educator pay amid a budget crunch.  Trustees voted 5-4 to maintain the district’s current teacher salary plan, which will result in most educators receiving raises ranging from about $200 to $2,200 as a reward for completing an extra year in the classroom. A small percentage will not receive raises based on their level of experience. view article arw

For over six months, the 2020 Vision Long Range Planning Committee spent time establishing needs within the Canyon Independent School District. This includes new schools the district may need in the near future, renovations to existing campuses and technology upgrades. "Every school will now have access to more Chromebooks, and because of that, our needs for more bandwidth increase every year," said Vision's Long Range Planning Committee Co-Chair Casey Bradshaw.  view article arw

At a special meeting of the Aledo ISD board of trustees Friday Morning, a motion to hire additional teachers and maintain five budgeted emergency positions for the district was approved unanimously. "As you know we're a fast-growing district and our student population is increasing rapidly and what we are experiencing this year is much more than typical growth at this time," Aledo ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn said at the meeting.   view article arw

The Gadsden Independent School District is hiring for 40 teacher positions in the district. GISD received about $40,000 from the New Mexico Public Education Department, said GISD superintendent Travis Dempsey. view article arw

A former Stinnett School District employee is behind bars after an alleged relationship with a student. Hutchinson County Sheriff's Office received a tip of a possible inappropriate relationship between a student and a school district employee. view article arw

A Mansfield ISD art teacher suspended last fall after at least one parent complained that she had discussed her sexual orientation with students has returned to the classroom — but at a different school in the district. Stacy Bailey, 32, will teach art at Lake Ridge High School for the 2018-19 school year. She began at Lake Ridge Monday and will teach grades nine through 12, district officials said Friday. Classes begin August 15. view article arw

Be strong for your students. Be their champions, inspire them to become champions, support them both in and out of school. That seemed to be the core message of Harlingen school district administrators and the guest speaker yesterday at the HCISD 2018 – 2019 Kickoff. view article arw

Average teacher pay in Texas lags more than $6,000 below the national average and about 20 percent below pay in Texas for other jobs demanding comparable education and expertise. Over the past 15 years, teacher pay in Texas has stagnated, and adjusted for inflation, teachers’ average pay actually has declined 2.7 percent since 2010. Meanwhile, pensions have been eroded by inflation, and both active and retired teachers and support personnel are seeing their compensation further eroded by dramatically rising health-care costs. This situation is creating a financial disincentive for quality employees to enter or remain in education. view article arw

Board members for Ore City ISD hired new elementary administrators during a special meeting this week. Trustees approved elementary Principal Chad Miller’s recommendations to hire an assistant principal and a dean of student services under 11-month contracts. The board also hired Dale Ann Mizell as an assistant principal at Ore City Elementary. Mizell comes to Ore City from Hallsville ISD, where she taught for 25 years, she said.  view article arw

More than a thousand new Dallas ISD teachers were welcomed at the annual New Teacher Academy on Wednesday. The event took place inside the Music Hall at Fair Park. New teachers spent the entire day checking out information booths, different vendors, and hearing from various guest speakers. view article arw

New details have been revealed about a woman who survived a car crash in Canada that killed two of her family members. The woman is a teacher with Pearland Independent School District. view article arw

The state needs a dynamic way to boost teacher pay so Texas can recruit and retain the best educators. But Texas leaders have fumbled on exactly what to do and how to get there. On Wednesday, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath once again pointed to Dallas as a model to follow, saying two key DISD efforts have turned around struggling schools by getting the most talented teachers to them — namely by paying them more. view article arw

Paying quality teachers significantly more could go a long way in recruiting top college graduates and retaining educators at the state’s neediest campuses, Education Commissioner Mike Morath told Texas lawmakers Wednesday.  But Morath proposed an approach — paying some teachers more based on their performance — that was panned by teacher union representatives if tied to student test scores. Morath said pay is the No. 1 reason why top college graduates are not becoming teachers.  “We know we have to love on those who love on our kids,” Morath told the House Committee on Public Education. “We know the teacher is the single most important … factor that impacts student outcomes.” view article arw

Frisco ISD is adding 44 positions to its guidance and counseling department for the 2018-19 school year to provide counselors with more time to address student mental health needs. The added positions are part of an effort to be proactive rather than reactive, Guidance and Counseling Director Stephanie Cook said. view article arw

As some schools in the San Antonio area prepare to begin classes in less than a week, many districts are still searching for job candidates to fill dozens of positions. The 19 school districts in and around Bexar County advertised nearly 1,100 open positions heading into the school year, 276 of which were available to teachers or substitute teachers. view article arw

Houston ISD trustees are expected to vote Thursday on whether to freeze teacher salaries or mandate a modest pay increase that could result in budget cuts elsewhere in the district. The vote pits some HISD trustees and educators, who are advocating for teacher raises, against district administrators, who have said HISD cannot afford pay increases after cutting millions from the 2018-19 budget. view article arw

For the second year in a row and the seventh time in the past ten years, a Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) teacher has been named a Teacher of the Year by the Region One Education Service Center (ESC). During a special banquet honoring 49 teachers of the year from throughout the Region One area, officials announced Rhonda Peña as this year’s Region One Elementary Teacher of the Year. view article arw

Superintendent Tom Crowe recommended to the Ector County Independent School District Board of Trustees at Tuesday night’s work study session that teacher retention bonuses be absorbed into their salaries. The district offers $3,000 in retention bonuses with half given at Christmas and the other half at the end of the year, Crowe said. But the bonus doesn’t go toward teacher retirement and would add $2,070 a year for teachers, Crowe said. No decision was made on the item because it was a work study session. view article arw

Many school districts in McLennan County like Midway, Connally and Lorena are fully staffed with teachers, but Waco ISD still has a few positions to fill before the start of the upcoming school year. Just last month, there were more than 60 open teaching positions at Waco ISD. After a few job fairs, that number has dwindled down to just seven. Elaine Botello is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources with Waco ISD. She said they aren't worried about the vacancies since the numbers are comparable to what they experienced last summer. view article arw