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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
July 27, 2011     Hays Free Press
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July 27, 2011

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HEALTHY BOOST Hays CISD WELL Clinic receives federal grant. - Page 1C + Hays Free Press = July 27, 2011 Page 3B BY JIM CULLEN It's a hot, sweaty July morn- ing and freshman recruits for the Lehman High School Naval Junior ROTC unit are try- ing hard to ignore the heat and concentrate on the commands being barked at them by their student cadet leaders. '~tten- SHUN! Present ARMS! Left face!...Right face!...Right face!" are thrown at them and most, fiat first a little hesitantly, do respond correctly. It's a learning situation and at first a cadre of experienced cadets takes pains to correct small flaws in the position, posture, and moves. Ultimately, the lesson turns into a game of an upbeat tempo of briskly- given commands and those who incorrectly flinch or turn are pulled from the ranks until a single winner stands alone- and accepts the laughing con- gratulations of his new peers. Roughly two dozen incom- ing freshmen took part in the summer orientation, some with their parents on hand to follow the relay of information and first-step training. It's a learning situation, alright- and, amazingl~ it's ushering in the fourth year of Lehman High School's Naval IROTC program. Hundreds of cadets have undergone the training under Lieutenant Command- er John Berry and Master Chief Petty Officer David Farrar. Predictably, hundreds more will follow. The program Berry and Farrar have put together is in some ways like its longer- established Hays High School counterpart, the Marine Corps Junior ROTC unit under Major David Hamil and Gunnery Sergeant Frederic Magare. Both units provide sharp focus on issues of character, leadership and citizenship, but, as with their respective high schools, both exhibit their own unique characteris- tics and activities. The sum- mer orientation training at Lehman provides a start point BY JIM CULLEN Four Hays CISD teachers are renewing a long-cherished tradi- tion this summer, the foursome enjoying the benefit of grants to attend intensive one-week semi- nars in American History at the Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Institute. Covering all of the ~na- jor expenses of the unique expe- rience, the grants have become a rcqg~in~ tr~di~jgtt 9[ ~llIOiiy by the San Marcos-based Texas Pioneer Foundation. This summer's participants in- cluded teachers Misty Kieffer and Linda Garza of Blanco Vista Ele- mentary, Ashley Snell of Carpen- ter Hill Elementary and AltyVrana of Chapa Middle School. The Wil- liamsburg experience- providing an intensive week of immersion into American history - brings together professional educators from across the nation. Descriptive materials from the institute indicate it was cre- ated "to encourage history edu- cation and make it engaging for students." Now in its 22nd year, the Teaching Institute prepares teachers to help students meet national and state history stan- dards through hands-on im- mersion experiences in colonial history. It also provides partici- pants with "interactive teaching Cadet leaders of the 2011-2012 Naval JROTC at Lehman High School line up to instruct weak. In its fourth year, the program anticipates 125 student cadet members. incoming freshman recruits Mfflff0 BY JIM ttl.BJ at a summer orientation last to review the first few years of that cadets"do what they do the Lobo NJROTC and look to better and better" speaks vol- its immediate future. We'll use a subsequent issue to examine the Hays MCJROTC legacy and its future. Having been with the Lobo NJROTC since its inception, Master Chief Farrar easily re- sponds to questions about the program, starting with what he and Berry see as its most significant markers- each year's enrollment. The Lobe program opened in the fall of 2008 with 94 student cadets and has grown at roughly a 10 percent rate each year since, anticipating 125 in uniform this year. As for significant accom- plishments, Farrar says the fact there's a focus on helping ca- dets excel in leadership skills umes. "Our drill teams do bet- and become better citizens. ter at competitions, requests for Annual activities include Lehman NIROTC Color Guards are at peak demand, our marks- manship program is 'hitting the mark' (one of our cadets took 2nd at a major competition last year), and our military ball has grown to the point where it's a major social event of the year for the cadets." Likely the unit's top goal this year is to be reco .~ed as a "Distinguished Unit, setth~_ g it apart from the other roughly 60 Texas high school units. "The cadets are highly motivated and super dedi- cated toward achieving this award," Farrar says. As noted, community service through programs such as Adopt a Highway, Habitat for Human- ity, and service in park and river clean-ups. Admim'strators see the positive results. Lobe Princi- pal Don Rnisinger has been quoted as saying he wished his entire school could run like an NJROTC unit. Assistant Principal Marty Martinez says that he's noticed "the longer students are in ROTC, the more their self-confidence grows, along with the respect they gain from their peers and teachers alike." Proudly crediting school, district, and community sup- port as"outstanding", Farrar says that he and Berry have the mission of "outgrowing" their current facilities. To- ward that end, what's the new school year bringing? "We'll be attending as many drill competitions as possible, add- ing to our community service, visiting a military base and the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, enjoying an Army-Navy game party, and the annual military ball and unit picnic," Farrar says with sager anticipation. About 125 ~mval cadets, no doubt, look to the start of school with that same degree of eagerness. techniques and skills to become mentor teachers who can assist their peers and other educators to develop active learning class- rooms and make history exciting for their students." Kieffer, Garza, Snell and Vrana received extensive background information on colonial history from the first English settlement at Jamestown to the American Revolution. They enjoyed meet- ings with historians and histori- cal re-enactors, dove-tailed with 18th century event re-enact- ments. The local teachers shared teaching strategies to improve in- struction, raise literacy levels and enhance thinking skills. As with other Hays CISD teachers who have attended the institute, the foursome will conduct local in- service training sessions to share their experiences and develop lesson plans to be shared with fu- ture participants. The Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Institute began, ac- cording to its materials, in 1990 with 44 fifth-grade teachers, all from California. The breadth of the program's nationwide im- pact is reflected in the fact that more than 6,600 teachers from 49 states and three foreign countries have participated in the institute since its inception. For more in- formation on the program, visit ing/tchchi.tfm. COURTESY PHOTO Chapa Middle School teacher Aity Vrana's smil,e reflects the fun she and a classmate were enjoying at Colonial Williamsburg this summer as they shared a first-hand lesson on how colonial Americans stomped clay in the preparation of bricks. It was all part of the Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Institute's unique summer experience, enjoyed once again, this year by four Hays CISD teachers, courtesy of the Texas Pioneer Foundation. HClSO online advised. Online registration is available right now for all Hays CISD returning students for the 2011-2012 school year. The system is designed to help parents by cutting down on long waits in line to fill out forms. The district indicates the process "will not eliminate all paper- work, (but) it will definite- ly quicken the registration process." All pre-registering par- ents receive a "FASTPASS" to quickly move through the paperwork tables at their designated campuses on back-to-school day or night. For parents needing computer access, school computer labs will be available to the public dur- ing regular campus hours starting August 1. Addi- tionally, those computer labs will be available for special assistance on "late" Thursday (10 a.m.-7 p.m.), August 4, and "early" Friday (7 a.m.-4 p.m.), August 5. To begin on- line registration, visit the district's website home- page at www.hayscisd. net/and click on the red box tiffed "Student Regis- tration." The district has established an email help address at registration@ New-to-the-district students must register in person at the appropriate campus. The necessary enrollment forms may be downloaded - and details of required information are available - at www. istration. Bye Oak Live Oak Academy, Hays CISD's recently redesigned alternative high school, has a few openings left for the fall semester. If your student is at least a sophomore, enjoys work- ing independently, might like a smalJer, peaceful school environment, and is interested in preparing for further education after graduation, visit www. for information and a down- loadable application. Prin- cipal Julie Rulsinger says "We welcome your inter- est!" and offers her email,, for questions. Cougar Camp Ghopa Middle Sch001', sixth annual Cougar Camp for incoming sixth-graders is set for the morning of Friday, August 5. The Chapa staff and Cougar upper classmen annually help the ",incoming class learn the' ins and outs" of middle school life, offering critical information about the structure of the day, the layout of the campus, school pride, available activities, and handbook details. It's all done in a fun way, it's free and snacks are provided. Additional information and a registra- tion form can be found at http://hayscisd.rlet/Chapa. cfrn. For more informa- tion, email Leah Cochran at or call 557-5380. See SCHOOL BRIEFS, pg. 4B NOW OPEN IN KYLE! 121 Hall Professional Circle across from Rum Cree~, behind i The Pelm Cafe and Domino's Oizz.aI (Sl=) =m-1 3 Store Educational resources, supplies & decorations - Pre K & Up! Arts & crafts, # items and MORE! Teachers. 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