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Parents meet teachers at open house (video)

By Carolina Astrain
Sept. 8, 2012 at 4:08 a.m.

Students, from left, Bryan Rivera, Austin Montez, Kristy Montez and Blake Montez check out videos on YouTube during the open house at Patti Welder Middle School on Tuesday.

OPEN HOUSE DATES

Tuesday: O'Connor, Shields, F.W. Gross, Schorlemmer, Torres, Aloe, Howell, Dudley, Smith

Thursday: CTI

Sept. 17: Victoria East, Victoria West

Sept. 18: Liberty, Stroman, William Wood

Sept. 20: Hopkins, Guadalupe, Rowland

Sept. 25: DeLeon, Chandler

The Garcias went from booth to booth Tuesday afternoon at Patti Welder Middle School's Open House.

The tattooed and sleeveless father watched his daughter Lauren as she jotted down her name on an email list.

"Education is the No. 1 thing," Eddie Garcia said. "I got married at a young age and that made school difficult for me."

As a single father raising two daughters, Garcia said coming to events like these is an important part of parenting.

"I know a lot of people don't even know who their kids' teachers are," the father said.

Patti Welder Middle School has an all new administrative staff this year.

Assistant Principal Dawn Marone said their goal is to make it clear that parents are more than welcome to seek services and guidance at the school.

Community organizations including the Victoria Civil Air Patrol, Victoria College and others filled the gymnasium.

"We wanted to be able to have them all in one place," Marone said. "A lot of the times, they don't know what the community has to offer."

On their way to Lauren's classes, the skip in the 12-year-old student's walk increased with each step.

"Look, Dad," exclaimed Lauren as she showed him her pet plant in her biology class.

"How is she doing?" said Garcia to one of his daughter's teachers. "You've got my number, right?"

Debra Peña, who teaches English writing to seventh-graders, said she likes it when parents ask what their children are learning.

"The goal at open house is to get the parents involved and the community to know what kind of instruction goes on," Peña said. "It's also good to know whether or not the kids have access to the Internet at home."

This year, Lauren is enrolled in advanced placement classes, something that her father said can be a little bit of a challenge at times.

"She kind of teaches me, so we both learn," Garcia said. "I gotta have her back."

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