September 2013, Edition
Dear Education Partner:
The 2013-14 school year has gotten off to a wonderful start thanks to our staff’s hard work and attention to detail. I have visited a number of schools and am pleased to report that our students are engaged in learning. They are already accustomed to the routines and procedures that will allow for maximum learning time.
Our district is also growing faster than we had expected. As of September 13, our enrollment stood at 67,368, which is an increase of 2,055 students from this time a year ago.
A year ago, the Aldine Education Foundation (AEF) was born and it recently held its second annual Donor Breakfast. Scott McClelland, president of H-E-B Houston and a local TV personality, delivered the keynote address. Scott stressed how imperative it is that we provide our students with the best education possible, so they are prepared to enter the workforce. He did an outstanding job and we appreciate him taking time away from his busy schedule to share his thoughts on the importance of education with us.
The breakfast was an uplifting event. We heard testimonials from AISD graduates who received AEF scholarships. All three said that without AEF’s assistance, they would not have realized their dreams of going to college.
We also heard from two of our teachers who received AEF teaching grants, Michaelann Kelley, an art teacher at Eisenhower High School, and Kathy Roach, a PE teacher at MacArthur Ninth Grade School. They thanked AEF for providing funding for their respective programs and also described the programs they instituted at their schools. Both said the grants helped their students learn the skills they will need for success beyond high school.
AEF co-presidents, Seth Sharr and Terry Williams, served as MC’s for the event and shared with the audience that AEF raised more than $752,000 in its first year for teacher grants, student scholarships and outside foundation donations for district initiatives.
We are proud of the Foundation’s first year accomplishments and look forward to providing more scholarships and grants to our students and staff. Individuals, businesses or corporations who would like to support the Aldine Education Foundation should call (281) 985-6078.
During the Sept. 17 Board of Education meeting, our Trustees decreased the 2013-14 tax rate by 2.25 cents. This year’s tax rate was set at $1.30 per $100 valuation, compared to the 2012-13 rate of $1.32 per $100 valuation. The decreased tax rate is good news for homeowners and business owners.
Trustees also canceled the regular November Board election during their Sept. 17 meeting. The election is not necessary because no one applied to run against incumbents in Positions 3 (Rose Avalos), 4 (Rick Ogden) or 5 (Steve Mead). The special called election for the Position 1 seat will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Jose Palacios, Jr. was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former Trustee Marine Jones. He will run against Patricia Ann Bourgeois for the position 1 seat.
Also during the Sept. 17 Board meeting, Dr. Pam Wells, executive director of Region 4, presented our Trustees with a plaque to recognize their selection as the Outstanding School Board of Region 4 and as one of five Honor Boards in the State of Texas. Our Board is in the running for Texas’ Outstanding School Board. The winner will be announced on Sept. 27 during the first general session of the TASA/TASB conference in Dallas.
Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you out in the community this year.
Wanda Bamberg Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
• Twenty-six Aldine ISD schools placed in the top 100 of the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Hill Intermediate School placed fifth in the world with 3,039,434 minutes read, while Odom Elementary School placed seventh with 2,771,182 minutes read and Rayford Road Intermediate School placed 12th with 2,183,113 minutes read. Aldine students read a total of 27,109,719 minutes during the summer.
• Comerica Bank recently donated $5,000 to Grantham Academy to provide school supplies for Grantham students.
• The Aldine ISD Police Department received a $119,461 grant from the Governor’s Criminal Justice program to purchase three new vehicles for the department.
• Carver High School senior Amber Scott will compete in the blind auditions of NBC’s The Voice. She will be competing with singers from across the country for one of the coaches’ spots that will be up for grabs when the blind auditions air on Channel 2. Good luck, Amber!
• Eisenhower High student Yeraldin Pineda placed third in a national essay contest sponsored by the Fleet Reserve Association during the summer. She received a “certificate of recognition” and a $1,000 check.
The Nation’s Best!
Jesus Hernandez, a member of the cross-country team at MacArthur High School, came to the aid of a fellow competitor during a meet at Klein Forest on Sept. 13, and thanks to his quick thinking, he may have saved a young man’s life. Jesus attended the meet at Klein Forest to cheer on his teammate. As he was watching the event, he noticed runner Kael Smith of Langham Creek High School had fallen on the course and appeared to be in distress. As other runners jumped over Kael, Jesus removed him from the track and called for assistance. Kael’s mother, Kelly Smith, said her son suffered severe heat exhaustion and dehydration during the race. Thanks to Jesus’ quick thinking, Kael received the medical attention he needed. Paramedics told Mrs. Smith that Kael was lucky Jesus came to his aid when he did because his pulse rate was at 170 and his body temperature was 102.8 20 minutes after he had fallen. Mrs. Smith said Kael is 100 percent healthy and she said can’t thank Jesus enough for coming to his aid. “I would hope that he would be recognized for what he did to help a fellow runner on an opposing team,” Mrs. Smith wrote in an email to MacArthur High School principal Dr. Kristin Craft. “I want to commend Jesus for his selfless and heroic act.” We too salute Jesus for his heroic act. Jesus is definitely one of the Nation’s Best!
Monday, Sept. 30
College Night, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 9
Aldine Coordinating Committee Meeting, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 9
Aldine Noon Optimist Golf Tournament, Newport Golf Course in Crosby, 10 a.m.
Monday, Oct. 14
Columbus Day Holiday (student holiday only)
Thursday, Oct. 17
Leadership Aldine, Board Room, 8 a.m.
Monday, Oct. 21
Board Study Session, Board Room, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Board Meeting, Board Room, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 24
Parent Advisory Meeting, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 7 p.m.