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July 14, 2010     Hays Free Press
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JiJ.~tlmnWlwl~ + i!!i Hays CISD school continues through - Page 1D supply drive summer. Hays Free Press • July 14, 2010 ree ress Page 3B COURTESY PHOTO Going Greek Three days after Silas Brown (back row, right, wearing hat) graduated with the Hays High School Class of 2010, he joined a number of his new classmates in the Harding University (Seamy, Arkansas) Honors Abroad program on a two-week tour of Greece and Turkey. The tour brought college credit for the course titled "The Mediterranean World," and included visits to a wide range of significant archeological sites, including this stop at the Parthenon in Athens. Levin and compete for regional recognition BY JIM CULLEN news@haysfreepress.com "ays CISD has long participat- ed in the Teacher of the Year program, with each campus annually choosing its honoree and a district committee selecting two from that pool to advance to regional com- petition. One of those two teachers advances as the district's ',Elementary Teacher of the Year," the other as the district's "Secondary Teacher of the Year." Suffice it to say, the pool of teachers from across the district-- there were 21 this year--is a cross section of recognized excellence. All of those educators, as well as an assistant principal of the year, were honored with a May luncheon by the Hays CISD Education Founda- tion. And the two advancing selec- tions, Hemphill Elementary School's Michelle Reid and Barton Middle School's Sara Salvitti Levin, enjoyed appreciative rounds of applause from their peers as their move to the next round of competition was an- nounced A parade of district administrators and Education Foundation board members brought the big news to their classrooms the day before the Teacher of the Year luncheon. As stu- dents in Levin's room realized what it was all about, reactions were posi- tive and unanimous. One approving student was heard to say, "She's like a room to me." The positive reaction was the same at Hemphill as Reid's principal, Palge Collier, sprung the surprise visit on the teacher and the joy of the moment was clearly shared by both with wide eyes, beaming smiles and a warm embrace. Surely, the district's record of sending strong representation to the Region 13 Teacher of the Year compe- tition remains intact with its offering of Reid and Levin, both of whom are now required to write essays ad- dressing a number of issues. Their responses will be considered by a Central Texas committee this sum- mer that will determine the two re- gional advancers to the state Teacher of the Year competition. Ultimately, each state advances candidates for national honors. In the meantime, both local honor- ees have had time to absorb the news PHOTO BY JIM CULLEN Hays CISD teachers Sara Salvitti Levin, left, and Michelle Reid are, respectively, the dis- trict's Secondary Teacher of the Year and Elementary Teacher of the Year, currently com- peting for the same honors on a regional level. Levin teaches at Barton Middle School and Reid is part of the Hemphill Elementary School faculty. of their district selection and search their minds and hearts for responses to the contest questions. Their re- sponses reveal a pair of committed educators who, as a local administra- tor once said, "exemplify the kind of teachers we have all across this district." Mlchelle Reid- HCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year A ten-year teacher, Michelle Reid serves as a reading interventionist at Hemphill Elementary, a position she's held for the past two years. She came to Hemphill in 2000 after a year at Kyle Elementary. Held in high regard by her fellow teachers, she's been recognized over the years for being "The Teacher Who Makes a Differ- ence" and for "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty." In comments Reid made for the professional biography portion of her regional application essay, she says that her promise to her students is for "a good conversation, a good book, and conversation about a good book." Describing her philosophy of learning, she writes of how she per- ceives students: "Each and every kid we encounter is worthy of our time. They possess all the potential in the world and need a teacher to treat them as the treasure they are by listening, and getting to know them as a learner and a per- son." Her assessment of today's educa- tion issues and trends is that schools "can research, restructure and plan trainings" to address the issues of low-performing schools, testing and bilingual education. "The govern- ment...can bring in new people, new ideas and make new plans," she says, but adds, "What doesn't change in education, or in a nation, is the popu- lation they serve." Changes start with families, she asserts. One of Reid's most emphatic be- liefs is that language and vocabulary development starts at home "and this foundation is critical to learning." She describes a former student who came to her only knowing five of the pictures on the alphabet chart. "Be- fore I could teach her to read, I taught her words for the pictures, then the letters and sounds...the following year she never stopped talking! I LOVE that!" Sara Salvitti Levin- HCISD Second- ary Teacher of the Year Sara Salvitti Levin just completed her eighth year of teaching, seven of those at Barton Middle School. For the past three years she's taught sixth grade language arts, includ- ing extended classes this past year. She's served in a number of leader- ship roles on her campus, including sharing department chair duties this past year. She has been a UIL sponsor for the past three years, was National Junior Honor Society sponsor last year, and is an active member of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. The opening statement of Levin's professional biography reveals her strong career motivation: "There is this moment. You look across the room and it's present. Like a strike of lightning, quick and bright and gone. It is a connection, a surge of understanding bringing light, excitement, and power into the room for the briefest of moments. It is why I do this job. For the lightning storm." Levin writes. She goes on to describe other reasons she does what she does, but she comes back to that lightning, saying it's one of the rea- sons she considers herself "lucky." "I am present when that happens. When students learn, when lightning strikes. I am front and center watch- ing the beautiful show. They are all bright and shiny bolts of lightning, all of them." Levin's outlook on the state of American education is amply spelled out in her essays, but her closing thoughts on a call to the general public especially bear heeding: "To the general public, I would ask them to join us on the front lines. Despite the frustrations that surround educa- tion, I would want to instill trust in those who work hard to educate our youth, and try to rebuild their faith back into the education system. Th.at way we could rebuild this system together, making it better, with the most important interests at heart, our students." Avoid the rush for vaccinations BY JULIE JEROME Special to the Hays Free Press Texas law requires students in Texas schools to be immu- nized against certain vaccine- preventable diseases. The Department of State Health Services is stressing the im- portance of getting required vaccines as soon as possible to avoid the back-to-school rush that occurs every year in August. The following is a list of the required vaccines for students who will attend a Texas school in the 2010 - 2011 school year. It includes new requirements that were added to kindergar- ten and seventh grade in 2009. Please be aware that students without the required immuni- zations or a valid exemption will not be allowed to attend school. Vaccine requirements for students entering kindergarten through 12~ grade: • 3-5 doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DtaP/DTP/DT/'I'd) • 3-4 doses of polio • 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) • 3 doses of hepatitis B • 1-2 doses of varicella • 1 booster dose of tetanus, diph- theria and pertussis (Tdap) after the last close of tetanus-diphthe- ria-containing vaccine. Additional vaccine requirements for students entering kindergar- ten, first grade, seventh grade and eighth grade: • 2 doses of hepatitis A for stu- dents entering K-1st grade • 2 doses of varicella for students entering K-lSt and 7th-8th • 1 booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) for students entering 7th grade if at least five years have passed since the last dose of tetanus-diphthe- ria-containing vaccine • 1 dose of meningococcal for students entering 7"-8• grade More information about school vaccine requirements is available on the Immuniza- tion Branch website at www. immunizetexas.com (click on the "School and Childcare" link) and through your school nurse. SCHOOL BRIEFS Pre-K regislraUon The final days of sum- mer Pre-K registration for the 2010-2011 school year are scheduled through this Friday at Simon Middle School. Held at Hemphill Elementary and Tom Green Elementary, the district's half-day Pre-K program is for four-year-old students meeting eligibility criteria that include: qualify for flee or reduced lunch, limited English proficien- cy, parent is on active military duty;, or child is in foster care. Students maybe registered at any time, but designated lLmes, based on child's last name, are recommended to cut down on walt time. The remaining schedule includes Thursday, July 15, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. for S-Z and Friday, July 16, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. for open registration. To register, a birth certificate, immunization mcold, Social Se- curry card or state ID and proof of residence will be requited. New student registration for the district's elemen~ middle and high school students is set for July 26-27 during regular school hours. Parents unsure about See SCHOOL BRIEFS, pg. 4B +- LAW OFFICE OF .... Family Law Mediator • Collaborative Law Attorney (512) 312-090~ 906 Canyonwren Drive Buda. 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