School district convocation revs teachers, staff for new learning communities

  • EDUCATION FOUNDATION GRANT RECIPIENTSThe Education Foundation Grants for Great Ideas winners were announced at the convocation. The grants are awarded to teachers for unique ideas that will have an impact on schools. More than $13,000 in grant money was ...

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  • EDUCATION FOUNDATION GRANT RECIPIENTSThe Education Foundation Grants for Great Ideas winners were announced at the convocation. The grants are awarded to teachers for unique ideas that will have an impact on schools. More than $13,000 in grant money was announced Wednesday morning. Listed are the winners:

    YOU Are a Piece of the Puzzle!: Torres Elementary School - $2,500

    Applicants: Susan S. Wheeler, Sherry Gorsuch, Slate Srubar, Janie Sanchez.

    The Big Canyon Balloon: Shields Elementary School - $1,250

    Applicants: Melissa Flyger, Heather Mascorro, Melinda Supak

    Jammin' to Performance - Creative Concert Preparation: Victoria East and West High Schools - $1,000

    Applicant: Donald A. Tharp

    Teaching the Invisible Curriculum: Rowland Elementary School - $2,500

    Applicants: Grace Hammack, Tawnia Groll, Cassidy Olson, Kristine King

    Contigo Si Puedo (With You I Can): Chandler Elementary and Victoria East High schools - $2,000

    Applicants: Felix Perez, Carla Schaefer

    Reaching 25: Victoria West High School - $2,494

    Applicant: Larry Rodriquez

    Time Warp in Big Canyon - It's Elementary: O'Connor Magnet Elementary School - $1,250

    Applicants: Pam Motl, Tammy Bertling, Amanda Tomas, James Garcia

Victoria school district Superintendent Bob Moore's baseball hat said it all: "WE," a combination of the new East and West learning communities' initials.

"We're forming a team. It's called the 'WE Team,'" he said, fitting the hat on his head as he addressed the district during its annual convocation Wednesday morning.

The initials were joined in the middle with a "V" for Victoria.

The convocation at the Faith Family Church auditorium was a sea of red and black and split between the Victoria school district's East and West learning communities. This is the first year for the communities to be established, and the hope is to create stable school feeder-patterns for students from elementary to high school.

Teachers and staff screamed hysterically, blew air horns and waved school banners to show off their pride.

Moore's lips quivered with emotion as he addressed the crowd.

"There's so much to be excited about," he said, his hand clasped in front of his mouth.

Moore highlighted the district's recognized state rating, increased teacher salaries and the opening of the new schools during his speech.

Administrators and Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corps. boasted how the new schools were a primary influence on Caterpillar Inc. choosing to build in Victoria.

"They need a world-class employee base and they believe you can provide that for them," Fowler said.

High school cheerleaders and music groups from both schools performed fight songs and chanted for their communities.

Many in the crowd were excited about the restructuring in the district.

"There's more vision," said Harriet Becker, a counselor at Chandler Elementary School, who wore a "blinged" East learning community shirt with glued-on plastic diamonds to show her spirit. "I know the energy level's higher because when things are new, you just feel good ... There's just a change of attitude with the students and the staff."

Jennifer Young, a teacher at Rowland Elementary School, also said the restructuring will bring a positive change.

"It was wonderful, but you know we're still all one old big professional learning community and we're all here for the kids," said "We're all in it together."