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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 15, 2017     Hays Free Press
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February 15, 2017

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. + I BUZZ ON BEES ~.~i~ i local apiarists look ahead as bees named endangered. - Page 1C Hays Free Press February 15, 2017 Page 3B Community unites to crowdfund Braille computer BY LESLY DE LEON Success for Hays High alum- nus Michael Espinoza is often a key press away. Espinoza, a 26-year-old Buda resident who has been blind since birth, utilizes a specialized Braille computer that's essential for his job and passions. But when community mem- bers discovered the essential device was deteriorating, they turned to each other to answer the call. Earlier this month, various community members united to help Espinoza obtain a new Braille computer. Espinoza's close friend, Kelsey Ross, posted a crowdftmding site Feb. 6, throughYouCaring to raise $6,600 for his new com- puter. By Tuesday morning, people had donated over $3,000, almost half the goal. "I had no words," Espinoza said. "I completely lacked works to describe how that felt." In only one week, 58 people donated a total of $5,210 to Es- pinoza's crowdfunding site. Ross said one individual donated $3,000. "I'm very encouraged by the response," Ross said. "It's en- lightening to see people coming together and helping each other out. Sometimes we need to give help, sometimes we need to ask for and accept help." Espinoza graduated from Southwestern University with an English degree in 2013 and published his first novel in 2015. He is currently a writing tutor at Austin Community College and maintains aYouTube channel and writing website, from community members who are helping crowd fund anew comPuter for him. For alisisrea g, writing " " and editing, Espinoza uses a BraiUeNote, produced by Hu- manWare. "With his computer, Michael has successfully gotten a job, written a book, maintained a blog and YouTube channel and interacted with content he otherwise wouldn't be able to access," said Jessica Espinoza Glasebrook, Espinoza's sister. Braille computer is prob- ably the single most important thing he owns," Ross said. "Without it, he can't do his job, let alone his hobbies, or keep up with friends and family. His in- dependence and privacy would be greatly diminished." With the new and more mod- em BrailleNote Touch, a device with HumanWare software and Google technology, Espinoza said he can accomplish much more. The device has a Braille screen and an LED screen, which would allow sighted people to see what Espinoza is feeling in Braille. "My current job depends on me being able to read quickly, efficiently and accurately," Es- pinoza said. "I'm an avid writer and reader so having a Braille device is essential." Espinoza said this device PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHAEL ESPINOZA Hays High alumnus and Buda resident Michael Espinoza (left) poses with a friend in front of a concert stage. Espi- noza, who is blind and has used a specialized Braille computer to assist with his job and passions, is receiving help able condition that impacts his optic nerves. Despite this, Espi- noza has found success in life and hopes to continue doing so. Due to the kindness of com- munity members who donated and shared the site, Espinoza will be able to maintain his cur- rent job, and focus on writing and publishing his next book. "With this new device, so much more should be at my "A Braille computer is probably the single most important thing he owns Without it, he can't do his job, let alone his hobbies, or keep up with friends and family. His independence and privacy would be greatly diminished." - Kelsey Ross fingertips, both figuratively and literally," Espinoza said. To express his gratitude, Espinoza said everyone who donated might receive a special mention on the dedication page of his next book or will be thanked in some way. "I feel completely blown away," Espinoza said. "It just blows my mind away that people are that giving." would allow him to easily share feedback with his students and make writing, editing and formatting his next book more accessible. "It's just all-around a better device for work, for indepen- dence, and for technological efficiency and effectiveness," Espinoza said. Espinoza has been blind since birth due to an untreat- Three educators at Hays High School were recognized for their incorporation of the educational technique "Effective Questioning" into their classroom instruction. Those three educators, Kara Hopkins, Lisa Cone and Joanna Farr Tegtmeyer, were honored in front of their second period classes with celebratory balloons and badges given by Instructional Strategist Lacye Matejowsky and Instructional Coaches Sharee Partain, Cynthia Julian, and Timothy Garrison, as well as Hays High principal, David Pierce. PHOTO COURTESY HAYS CISD BY MOSES LEOS III Hays CISD voters will decide whether or not a $250 million bond spread across two propositions will move forward May 6. By a unanimous 7-0 vote, the Hays CISD board of trustees approved ballot language for an election order to place the bond on the ballot. Voters will decide on two new elementary schools and one new high school campus within Proposition 1, which to- tals just over $189 mflllion. Proposition 2 will harbor roughly $61 million that will go toward Career and Technology Education (CTE) facility upgrades and a baseball and softball complex at Hays High. On Feb. 6, the board capped the bond at $250 million, which was a $15 million reduction from a recommendation from the district's growth impact committee. PROPOSED MAY 2017 HAYS CISD BOND $250,000,000 PROPOSITION 1 $189,850,000 High school 3 $122,000,000 Elementary school 14 $33,925,000 Elementary school 15 $33,925,000 PROPOSITION 2 $60,150,000 District wide improvements $9,413,479 Transportation facility $16,062,000 Technology, infrastructure upgrades $1,012,200 Roofing and HVAC replacements $9,304,921 Lehman High Auto Technology building $3,127,000 Library upgrades $978,000 Security/surveillance $300,000 Music building replacement at Hays High $8,480,000 Hays High vetednadan technology facility $550,000 Lehman High veterinadan technology facility $1,764,400 Hays High auto technology expansion $100,000 Hays High broadcasting studio remodel $650,000 Lehman High broadcasting studio $590,000 Hays and Lehman High STEM equipment $236,000 Bleachers, lights and scoreboard at Dahlstrom Middle School $454,000 Books for libraries $822,000 Bleachers, lights and scoreboard at Wallace Middle SChool $473,000 Bleachers and press box at Lehman High $345,000 Hays High culinary arts addition $1,888,000 Hays High baseball/ softball complex $3,600,000 + ( Ii i i