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Education in the Crossroads, a year in review

By Carolina Astrain
Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.


2013 Classroom resolutions

"We're going to continue to strive for continuous improvements for our students, providing support, building on resources for our staff. We are committed to having an increase in student achievement and success. We're going to be better off in 2013 than we were in 2012." - Robert Jaklich, Victoria Independent School District superintendent

"I'm going to need at least 15 more bus drivers to properly fill my routes for next year." - Angie Sherman, director of transportation for VISD

"As with any day of the year, I am constantly researching ways to inspire my students to recognize the importance of their education. I think about what I can do to minimize disruptions and keep my classroom material relevant and interesting. Finally, I want to be more personal with my students by finding a way to balance authority with being relatable." - Jeremy Green, elementary school music teacher for VISD

"I hope to keep the energy and enthusiasm that I have had this first half of the year at my new campus, love where I work, the staff I work with, and all my students. Come on 2013, we're ready for you. Wildcat pride!" - DeNeal Svatek Payne, cheer coach at Howell Middle School

Now that the 2012 fall semester is behind us, it's time for educators to start thinking about what they want to achieve in the new year.

Let's take a look back at what campuses in the Crossroads have undergone this past year.

January

The University of Houston-Victoria's School of Education earns recognition by the Texas Education Agency after its students average a passing rate of 90 percent and receive a rating of "Accredited" under the Accountability System for Educator Preparation.

Invista announces its investment of $500,000 to its wetlands project. The Wetland Environmental Science Education Encounter offers VISD students the chance to experience science and nature outside of the classroom.

February

Victoria College announces plans to purchase a warehouse at 1404 N. Liberty St. to house training for employees hired to work at the new Caterpillar hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility.

The Victoria school board rejects a proposal that would have helped Pedcar Investments earn tax credits for an affordable housing complex in the 5300 block of John Stockbauer Drive.

Superintendent Bob Moore announces his departure from VISD after six years of service.

Thirty-two Austwell-Tivoli Junior High School students boycott school lunch on Feb. 14, after learning about the term in history class.

Cuero Independent School District Superintendent Henry Lind is not granted a contract extension by the district's school board. His contract runs through the 2014 school year.

March

The Victoria school board votes to exempt companies from paying taxes on freeport goods, which come into and leave the state within 175 days.

Invista, Berry Plastics, Valerus Compression Services and Dragon Rig Sales and Service agree to pay the first year of free-port taxes to cover any of the school's lost revenue.

James Wick became the fifth Hallettsville High School student in the last decade to take grand champion honors in the commercial steer feeding and management contest at the Houston Livestock Show.

During spring break, Patti Welder Magnet Middle School offers STAAR test tutoring in lieu of the first round of examinations.

April

Victoria school district joins a list of more than 340 school districts backing a resolution against the state's over reliance on standardized testing.

VISD director of the Fine Arts Center, Jay Lester, announces his departure.

The passing of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act sets an annual increase in lunch rates by 10 cents until district rates equal the federal reimbursement rate for free meals. After 2012's increase, secondary school lunch prices were about 16 cents below the federal reimbursement rate. Elementary charges were 56 cents below that rate. About 65 percent of students in VISD are qualified for free or reduced lunch in 2011.

May

Victoria school district names Robert Jaklich the sole finalist in the running for superintendent.

Victoria County voters approve a $22 million general obligation bond for the construction of Victoria College's Emerging Technology Center.

Ashley Furniture donates lobby furniture to UHV's Jaguar Hall dormitory.

Goliad High School agriculture teacher Trey Psencik dies in a car wreck. Psencik was known for his restoration projects and work with ag-mechanics students.

June

Victoria school district hires 82 new teachers and promotes several positions within the district.

Three El Campo High School graduates sign to play football at Rice University.

July

St. Joseph High School tears down a donated O'Connor house to build a new fine arts building named after STJ alum David Pozzi.

A VISD school bus carrying members of the Victoria West High School Legacy Drill Team becomes stuck in mud en route to New Braunfels.

August

The Victoria school board approves a .05 point boost in grade point average multipliers for students taking advanced courses. The change is set to start with high school freshmen of the 2013-14 fall semester.

September

Victoria College hires maritime history expert Eric Ray as the new curator at the Museum of the Coastal Bend.

VISD approves the application for a Maximum Class Size Waiver to expand kindergarten through fourth grade classroom capacity to 24 students per teacher.

UHV ranks third in the nation for student enrollment growth by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

October

GetEducated.com ranks two UHV Master of Business Administration degrees as some of the most affordable in the country for the third time since 2008.

VISD investigates a complaint filed by three parents regarding the conduct of a Rowland Magnet Elementary School physical education substitute teacher with their children.

November

VISD and the Gulf Bend Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center strike a partnership to integrate services at Torres Elementary School and Patti Welder Magnet Middle School.

Victoria College receives $325,000 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for tuition, services and faculty for its Workforce and Continuing Education programs.

December

UHV holds its largest graduation ceremony in the school's history.

A 16-year-old Cuero High School student is arrested Monday after threatening violence at the school.

A Victoria West High School parent organizes a local prayer service for victims of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.

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