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Father and Son Legends


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From the Publisher

It’s amazing what and how people learn. Whether in elementary, middle, high school, or upper level education, learning can be so different. What children are learning now is so much more advanced than what we learned when I was in school years ago. I loved going to school every day. When I was in second grade, I had a bicycle wreck one afternoon that hurt my foot badly. I had to stay home for a week to allow it to heal. It was horrible! I begged every day to go back. My mom would pack my lunch and have it ready to go just in case the doctor told me I could return. And I would cry every day he said no. Eventually I was allowed to return, which that was a very exciting day for me. I have always loved learning – and that has taken on many forms. I went back to college in my 30’s, getting both my bachelor and master degrees from Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and loved every minute of it. Even though I traveled a lot with my job, I still maintained a 4.0 and soaked it up. I would have loved to get my doctorate, but unfortunately family kept me grounded here. I wouldn’t have given that up for anything. Learning can come in so many different ways. I have re-invented myself over the years several times. I started working in the paper mills when I was in my 20’s. In my late 20’s, I decided to go to work for attorneys. Over the years, I suppose I loved torturing myself with taking tests – going back to my school days – and became a Certified Legal Assistant, Civil Litigation Specialist, a Certified Court Reporter in both Arkansas and Texas. I am sure many of you remember those days, but probably more of you never knew I had ever done that. I loved legal work for a long time – getting to learn about new things every day according to what lawsuit we were working on. I soaked it all in. Eventually I decided to return to get my degrees and choose a different path. Working for myself has been something I loved since my court reporting days. Having a magazine is a learning experience all of its own. New people, new topics, new learning curves. I try to keep up with technical changes, although sometimes Alyssa, our editor, is the only one who can teach me what I need to know! She is my angel in disguise! As everyone returns to school this year, remember to enjoy it and soak in as much as you can. You never know what you may need in the future. There are times I remember little things I never thought I would use, but here we are. Be thoughtful of others. You never know what someone may be going through. Be kind. Help others. What you get and learn in return will stay with you forever. May God bless you and yours…

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Mission - LEISD will provide an instructional environment where all students will develop essential academic, career, and social skills for a lifetime of learning. Our students will become responsible, contributing, and highly productive citizens in a diverse and changing world. Vision - Liberty-Eylau ISD’s vision is to be a world class school focused on high academic achievement in a safe environment where students reach maximum potential.


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Father and Son Legends

By: Anne Granado


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Rick and Zach Fowler A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1


Rick played baseball through high school, junior college, and East Central University. When he graduated, he got a job as a salesman, but then he was hired at Arkansas High under Bill Reed where he assisted Coach Warren. The next year, he was hired at his alma mater to coach baseball. “What I like about baseball is that it’s similar to life where failure occurs at a natural pace,” Rick says. “Playing the game and overcoming adversity has helped me overcome the trials and tribulations of life.” Rick met his wife Judy in college. They’ve been married for 38 years now. “Judy is the rock for both Zach and I. She has been there during the good years and the not so good years,” Rick says. “Zach is an only child. My wife has seven sisters and a brother, and I had two brothers and a sister. So we decided to just spoil one child.”

When a highly respected and influential

coach retires from the game, the fans and players always hope that the coach is passing the torch to someone who is prepared and determined to keep up the winning tradition. Head baseball coach, Rick Fowler, coached the Liberty Eylau Leopards to their first state championship in 2006 and a return to state in 2007. In the 27 years that he coached there, Rick built a program from the ground up that was rooted in discipline, hard work, and responsibility. When he retired from coaching in 2007, it was hard to walk away from a program that had become such an integral part of his life. But, little did he know, his only son, Zach, would pick up the torch and take the position of head coach in 2016. “To have Zach as the head baseball coach at LE is truly amazing. I just never thought that things would align for that to happen,” Rick says, “My wife, Judy, had him at a baseball game when he was just three days old. He grew up around the game, and I’m proud of him for carrying on the tradition. Zach is my favorite player, and now, he’s my favorite coach.” Rick grew up on South State Line, and he attended Liberty Eylau his whole life. He picked up a Pete Rose #8 bat when he was 10-years-old and never looked back. “When I was in the 9th grade, I decided I wanted to be a coach. My friends may have struggled to decide on a career, but I never waivered,” Rick says. “I wanted to influence people the way that my coaches had influenced me.”


As Rick mentioned previously, Zach was at the ball field from the time he was only three days old. Rick taught his son to play by hitting a ball with a tennis racquet and having young Zach run, get the ball, and then throw it back. Not only did Zach have to return the ball, he had to throw it where Rick could easily hit it with the racquet without having to get up. “I was so tired from coaching all day, but I could sit there for hours and hit the ball for him to go get,” Rick says. “This technique actually practices quite a lot of skills, and Zach uses it with his students even now.” Zach grew up in the Liberty Eylau school system, and he is a proud graduate of Liberty Eylau High School. In all those years, he cannot remember a time when he wasn’t playing baseball. “In seventh or eighth grade, I really was not a very good athlete yet. I was pretty lazy and just average. But my dad would always say to me, ‘Every day you don’t do something, someone else is.’ One day those words just clicked for me, and I started working a lot harder after that,” Zach says. Zach was drawn to baseball, not solely due to his father’s passion for the sport, but because of the complex nature of the game. He says that it takes years to develop the skills to be good at it. “It takes so much time to grow into a good baseball player. Baseball is also one of the best sports at teaching you how to control what you can control and not to worry about things that are out of your control,” Zach says. “You are going to fail a lot in this game. You do not have to enjoy failure but you do have to learn how to deal with it and keep moving. I think that is one of the most important life lessons that baseball can teach young people if they are willing to learn. It is also the reason I love to coach it at the high school level.”

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In high school, Zach was coached by Rick. “It could get a little rocky at times because I was the one he made an example of the most. Probably because he knew I could take it,” Zach says. “But our years together were also awesome. We won a lot of games and had a lot of fun.” As a coach, Rick felt that he was teaching Zach and the whole team about discipline, a lesson that he feels was successful, especially with the fact that Zach is now the head coach himself. “Discipline is tough, and if you play baseball, you know how much failure happens. You have to have discipline to overcome those obstacles. It’s all about how you react,” Rick says. “Zach and I both love the game and know how it can help young people be exceptional citizens. We have always gotten along, even when discipline was part of our relationship. Even now, we often discuss the strategy of the game and how to help players improve.” Zach was pitching in 2006 when the Liberty Eylau Leopards won their first state championship. He was even awarded the Most Valuable Player award after the game. Then, in 2007, he was on the team when LE made their second bid for state but lost in the finals. Even though the team didn’t bring home a second state win, Zach learned a lot from that season. “I want to brag on my dad a little bit here because I know that he won’t say anything, but he basically built the program from scratch in the years he was coaching there,” Zach says. “I learned so much playing for him, and it affects the way I approach my coaching method today.” In 2007, life changed for the Fowler family. Rick retired from coaching and took a principal position for the next several years. He retired from the Texas education system in 2013. After that, he took an assistant principal position at Ashdown High School. “I still miss coaching,” Rick says. “I just don’t miss the practices, even though Zach reminds me that those are the main part. However, because of Zach,

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I still get to go out there if he asks me, and I rarely miss a game. I plan on being there this year, too.” Also in 2007, Zach graduated from Liberty Eylau and started playing baseball for Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He was then drafted by the Baltimore Orioles organization and played professionally from 20112014. “I was lucky enough to get drafted into a professional organization, and I learned a lot from the experience,” Zach says. “One of my biggest accomplishments was a 20 inning scoreless streak, but the best part of playing was really just getting to know my teammates and making memories with them,” Zach says. “The experience of traveling, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and building lifelong friends is what I will remember most.” Once Zach was released by the Orioles in 2014, Rick’s 1988 assistant coach, Steve Wells, had just taken over as the athletic director/head football coach at Liberty-Eylau. He hired Zach as an assistant baseball coach as well as middle school football coach to get him started teaching and coaching. “Zach would sub for me while he played in the minors,” Rick says. “After seeing him work with the kids, Wells and I talked about how Zach had that ‘knack’ for coaching. He just knew how to deal with kids and how to build relationships with them.” In 2016, Zach became the head baseball coach. His two assistant coaches, Ricky Rushing and Cody Engstrom, also played for Rick. “Over the years, I’ve really gotten the opportunity to realize how great of a baseball coach he was. I played for a lot of coaches at different levels and that made me appreciate his greatness. You start to realize that just because a guy coaches at the college or professional level, it doesn’t make him a great coach,” Zach says. “My dad may be the best I have ever seen at dealing with individuals, maxing out their abilities, and getting them to play the game the right way. He basically built this LE


program and that is why this past season’s success and seeing our program get back to being respected across the state was such a rewarding experience for myself and the assistant coaches.” Though the father and son have some differences in their coaching styles and methods, they agree on many of the foundational principles. For Zach, the mark of a great coach starts with consistency and discipline. To him, the coach has to be consistent, not just with how he handles people, but also in arriving on time, being reliable, and taking care of the little details. “You also have to care about the people you are coaching and make sure you build relationships with them,” Zach says, “Athletics is really secondary to the previous two qualities. Once you get the first part done, then the players will listen to you and work for you.” Rick says that he might have said the same thing as Zach when he was coaching, but looking back, he realizes that building relationships was the most important part of being a coach. “We still have players who come back over to our house that are 35 or 40 years old now. Or, I see them in the store, and they say, ‘Hey coach! How are you doing?’” Rick says. “The players always remind me of something that I said to them. I don’t always remember saying it, but they do, and it made a difference. In the moment you may not always know what impact you are having, but years later, building those relationships is what is the most meaningful.” Zach and the assistant coaches at LE teach their team four key words as the foundation for the program. The first word is sacrifice, which encourages students to give up something for the team. The second word is competition. The coaching staff wants the team to enjoy competing and learn from it. The third word is excellence, which reminds


students to practice greatness, even in the small things. The fourth and final word is toughness. “Adversity is going to hit you, and it’s all about how you respond,” Zach says. “It’s really pretty much the same culture my dad instilled at LE, but we just tried to recreate it with a new group of kids who didn’t know what it was like. I probably differ in many ways from my dad, but the way I deal with kids is very similar.” Rick believes that athletic programs that teach principles like the ones Zach is instilling in his students grow good world citizens. “Those kids may not always play ball, but if they learn these core beliefs, they will be able to go out into the world, compete with the best, learn from their failure, and be disciplined enough to keep trying,” Rick says. “I am so proud of the way Zach handles adversity in coaching. I was a fireball, and Zach is pretty laid back. I think his experience in pro ball and the different aspects of it has made him much calmer in dealing with all the negatives that happen in the course of a ball game.” In the 2021 season, Zach and the assistant coaches helped lead the team to the district championship, which they won against Pleasant Grove. However, in their first regional finals appearance since 2007, they lost against Pleasant Grove. Pleasant Grove went on to win the state championship. “It’s just hard being that close and not going all the way,” Zach says. “It wasn’t that we lacked effort. It wasn’t that we played horrible. We had a good time, but coming up a couple of plays short hurts.” Rick knows that feeling. “It burns in your heart after you lose like that,” Rick says. “But, in baseball, you will have the opportunity to make those plays again.” Zach and the team are already working hard for the upcoming season. “We are working hard at LE right now,

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even in the summer. We are going to field, throw, hit and run bases every single day. UIL allows us an hour a day, so we take advantage of our sports specific time,” Zach says. “ To be a good baseball player, you have to be relentless. It takes a lot of time to build up the skills needed in baseball. In football, you can be fast and strong and do well, but in baseball, there are so many skills within each game that each player needs. You don’t always see progress overnight; some skills take years to build.” Rick says that a good baseball player is athletic and smart. “You have to be smart enough to know what your limits are, and you’ve got to make a decision in a 10th of a second. There are so many games within the game,” Rick says. “You get about 120 pitches a game, and in every pitch there is a game within the game. With our students, we used to play the ‘what if’ game with them constantly: ‘What if the ball hits here?’ “What if the player does this?’ ‘What if the batter does this?’ Baseball is an aggressive thinking game.” Zach says that he knows that the coaching team pushes their kids hard, but the parents at LE have been nothing but supportive. “We have been blessed with great parents who are positive and just are glad that we are invested in their kids, that we coach them hard, and that the kids will reap the discipline that comes from that,” Zach says. “We had a third baseman who could not field a baseball properly. There is no telling how many balls I hit to him, and he finally got it. It finally clicked. It took four months of repetition and practice to get to that point.” Zach is just grateful to the groups of kids he’s been able to coach, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to get the program back to the winning tradition that LE was known for when his father was there. “My goals for the program include making consistent trips to Austin for the state tournament and winning a state championship,” Zach says. “Off the field, we want to continue growing kids and helping them be successful.”

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As Zach and the team prepare for the year, he is also preparing to become a dad for the first time. His wife, April, is pregnant and will deliver their son, Brooks Ray Fowler, this month. “I know this baby is going to change our world,” Rick says. “My wife, Judy, has already retired so that she can be home to keep the baby when needed!” As the third generation of Fowler men joins the family, Rick jokes about getting out his racquet and ball to help Brooks learn the game. Zach seems to agree. “In my life, I’ve been able to be around a lot of other coaches, and I am probably a product of a little bit of every coach I ever played for. But, my dad is the best coach I’ve ever been around,” Zach says. “My dad is the most influential man 619 East 6th Street in my life. I also Texarkana, AR 71854 know he has played that same role for 870-772-8622 many other young men that did not • Functional Medicine • Nutrirional Therapy have a father figure • Bio-identical • Infertility to count on. He Hormone Therapy • Fibromyalgia • Cancer, Hepatitis and • Weight Loss has taught me a lot Cardiovascular Support • Addiction more than baseball, • Thyroid Support • Back and Neck Pain and I know that Brooks will learn so much from him, too.” Rick Fowler was recently inducted into the Fox Sports Texarkana Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Rick!

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Through the adversity we faced, we powered through and had an awesome year of success.

Kristen Giles is starting her second year at Pleasant Grove High School, this year as the principal. However, this is her 28th year in the Pleasant Grove Independent School District, which shows her devotion to the students, teachers, staff, and parents of the PGISD community. “Pleasant Grove is unique because of its culture. We have built a STATE OF MIND culture in everything we do,” Kristen says. “We impress upon our staff and students to have that mindset in everything they do in school and life. PG is blessed with great community support and involvement. We are not just a school; we are family.” Though she started off in college as an accounting major, Kristen quickly realized that she did not want to crunch numbers everyday and education seemed the logical choice for her. She loved school and as a high school athlete, she loved being a part of a team. “As I furthered my education, in college we would go to schools to observe teaching. When I entered the classroom for the first time and interacted with the teacher and students, it was so cool. I fell in love with teaching children and seeing the smiles on their faces,” Kristen says. “I love being able 020

to play a part in students’ education and their future. I have worked on elementary, middle and high school campuses, and what has meant the most to me is when I feel like I have made a difference in a student’s life.” As a principal, Kristen helped her students and staff last year adapt to Covid protocols and safety measures, which were taken very seriously. They had the hallways set up as one-way traffic lanes. Teachers greeted students with hand sanitizer in the hallway before they entered the classroom. Teachers also disinfected their desks and room between each class period. “Our cafeteria looked like a large classroom. We took all the tables out and replaced them with a student desk spaced 6 ft apart. We went to four lunches to make the lunch population smaller,” Kristen says. “Also, all students and staff wore masks each day. I am very

proud of our teachers and how they adapted to Learning Live from home so that our remote learners did not miss out on instruction time.” Kristen noticed that even though their athletic events were cut down on capacity last year, Pleasant Grove still had community and family attendance. Also, their theater students were even able to participate in a community play in the fall. “Overall, I feel that Pleasant Grove was best in state during Covid, even through all the protocols and remote learning. We were able to achieve great things this year in all departments,” Kristen says. “Through the adversity we faced, A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

we powered through and had an awesome year of success.” In spite of the challenges of COVID, the PG high school CTE program, which offers certifications in a majority of areas, was ranked #11 in the Lone Star Cup last year. The PGHS football team is ranked #5 in pre-season, the fine arts program continues to win national and state competitions, and PG won the Academic District UIL Championship last year. “We look forward to providing a world-class education and experience to our students every year. Pleasant Grove has opportunities for all students to learn and achieve at high levels,” Kristen says. “The exciting thing is, I think Pleasant Grove High School is just getting started!” Kristen wishes the community knew the time and planning the staff put into making remote learning a success. They had very little

time to adapt, but their staff was solution driven to find the best ways to support their students. “I am so proud of our administration and staff for all the hard work and dedication to our students and their learning this year. In the spring when we were sent home, our teachers worked on lessons and packets for our students to pick up each week or they were doing digital lessons. They met with their classes on Google Classroom and interacted with our students,” Kristen says. “Ensuring high levels of learning for all students is our mission at PGISD, and even through a pandemic, our teachers worked very hard to make sure our students did not fall behind.” Looking ahead to the upcoming school year, Kristen says that Pleasant Grove High School will continue to ensure high levels of learning for all students. “We will have to remain flexible in

understanding what ‘normal’ looks like, but we will prioritize a safe learning environment for our students,” Kristen says. “We do plan for events to be at full capacity this year.” One event that Kristen is most excited about this fall is the annual Watermelon Supper, where they introduce the fall sports teams and come together to celebrate the end of summer and a new year. “We did not come together last year for the Watermelon Supper, but we will be able to host this event again this year. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. August 10, 2021,” Kristen says. “We love this time of our community because students and staff come together to kick off the school year. Our cheerleaders, drill team, and band, will be back in action. We hope the community will join us!”

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Many of the reasons I love school so much are all the things that bring us together as a school and community. I can’t wait to do all those things together again that create and sustain school pride.

Matt Endsley grew up in Atlanta, Texas, and he is returning to the area as the new Red Lick Middle School Principal after spending seven years as a high school principal in Plano, Texas. “As a new principal coming into a school that just went through a year that COVID affected so drastically, I am focused on learning the traditions and experiences that make Red Lick ISD so special,” Matt says. “My plan is to implement those traditions and experiences and continue building upon the tradition of excellence.” Growing up, Matt loved going to school. He was always involved and had a tremendous amount of pride as an Atlanta Rabbit. “I looked up to many of my teachers and coaches. My high school baseball coach, Coach Randy Raley, was particularly influential to me as a young man. He worked hard, was successful, and had fun doing it,” Matt says. “I always thought that coaching was something I would want to do, too.” Matt says that he was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to play college baseball, and when he had to declare a major, he decided he wanted to coach if his dream of playing pro baseball didn’t work out. “Fortunately for me, that dream didn’t pan out, which led me to my beautiful wife, Holly, and the most rewarding career in education,” Matt says. 022

Matt’s first job in education was as a science teacher and assistant baseball coach at Plano Senior High School. “The story from there has been one only God could write and is still writing,” Matt says. One of the reasons why Matt and his family moved back to this area was because of what he learned from experiencing the pandemic. “COVID also helped me reflect on my own personal philosophy of life. I fully realized the importance of family and strong relationships. This prompted our move back to Northeast Texas to be close to family,” Matt says. “When everything else gets taken away from you, your family is still there. Our daughters deserve to grow up like my wife and I both did, and it was time to prove it!” Matt was drawn to Red Lick ISD because of its size and tradition of excellence. “Being a small school comes with so many advantages. Relationships are strong and teamwork is paramount,” Matt says. “Everyone wears many hats, and that

creates a unique bond amongst the staff that translates directly to student success. The tradition of excellence also comes from the strong foundation of parents in our community.” This spring, Matt sent a survey to the staff to learn more about Red Lick Middle School. One of the questions he asked was, “What makes our parents so special?” The overwhelming consensus was that the parents care about their child’s education, volunteer their time, trust the teachers, and hold their kids accountable. “My jaw hit the floor as I read the responses! I remember our superintendent, Brandon Dennard, saying to me, ‘School in Red Lick is the way school should be; it’s the way you probably remember school was when you were growing up,’” Matt A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

says. “Those words were powerful. Our parents are every educator’s dream; we have the model schoolparent partnership.”

to keep students connected, engaged, and full of pride,” Matt says. “We had to be more creative than ever as educators.”

As Matt looks forward to his first year as the Red Lick Middle School Principal, he is excited about returning to some semblance of normalcy. “The old saying, ‘You don’t know what you have till it’s gone’ stood out to me last year. I love school, and that’s why I got into the profession,” Matt says. “Many of the reasons I love school so much are all the things that bring us together as a school and community. I can’t wait to do all those things together again that create and sustain school pride.”

One goal that Matt wants to achieve this year is to make sure Redlick has a battery of valid measurements of current levels of understanding and performance. “The STAAR test will never be the only piece of data we use to make learning plans for our students,” Matt says. “Many experts predict a level of learning loss due to COVID. However, we’re not just going to take their word for it, we’re going to find out exactly where each student is so that we can execute learning plans to help get them to where they need to be.”

Last year, traditional school culture activities such as pep rallies, school dances, homecoming parades, and open house were all cancelled. “We already know that school culture is a significant predictor of student engagement and student success. With that being taken away from students, it became a challenging year

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Years ago, Matt would start each school year by challenging himself to create a personal vision statement followed by a plan to make that vision actionable. “A few years ago, I stopped my annual challenge because I felt strongly that I had finally arrived at my personal vision statement for

education, which is ‘Happy, healthy students and staff waking up excited to change the world….at school…. today!’ So many times we work with students and innocently have them think about who they will be and what they will do ‘when they grow up.’ We concentrate so much on their future self, which is obviously important, without focusing enough on the here and now,” Matt says. “Great humans now will continue to be great humans when they grow up.” Going through the COVID pandemic only helped validate Matt’s personal vision for education, and he’s looking forward to a year filled with possibilities to help teach and grow a new group of students. “We must continue to focus on the physical and emotional health and safety of each student while staying hyper-focused on ensuring they are learning the standards in a way that translates into real-world application,” Matt says. “Every second counts with our students.”



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We gave them the tools and some self-paced video lessons, and they ran with it. Our teachers are amazing.

Lee Ann Corbin loves working at Redwater ISD because they are a small district providing a large number of opportunities. “We believe in a wellrounded education based on traditional values to prepare our students for the future while providing the scaffolding to develop the skills they need now,” Lee Ann says. “There is something for everyone at Redwater so that school becomes not just a place you go, but also a place where you belong. As a teacher and former principal, I saw firsthand how Redwater students are easily plugged in and welcomed to the Dragon family.” Lee Ann says that she didn’t find her career in education; it found her. She was a sophomore accounting major at Texas Tech University when she realized she wasn’t going to find joy in that type of work. During the summer months, she had a job with her hometown’s parks and recreation department and was assigned to work the programs offered to neighborhood children. “I discovered working with kids was very rewarding, and it inspired me to change my major. My student teaching experience affirmed that I had made the right decision,” Lee Ann says. “I was one of the first college students at Texas Tech to complete my student teaching in computer programming, and I had a phenomenal supervising teacher who helped me realize that teaching is both a calling and a vocation.” 026

Though she is originally from Fort Worth, Lee Ann has been at Redwater ISD for 12 years. She was a high school teacher, assistant principal, and campus principal. Then, in 2017, she became the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and in October of 2020 was promoted to Assistant Superintendent. “I would not be in my current position without the support of Dr. Kelly Burns,” Lee Ann says. “She selected me for a central administration position, and I have benefitted from her leadership, particularly in the area of growth mindset.” From a central administration perspective, Lee Ann is excited that their faculty and staff will be able to host a true “Meet the Teacher Night,” and that they will be able to meet as a district for fellowship, collaboration, and professional development throughout the school year. “We use #teamredwater on our social media and district communications because we have a team mentality about everything we do. We grew weary of web conferencing, so it is going to feel

like old times when we can be back together, face to face, in August for in-service,” Lee Ann says. “On both a professional and personal level, I am excited to see faces without masks!” This past year at Redwater, the pandemic added a layer of planning and protocol to every aspect of school operations. Lee Ann says that they were intentionally proactive in their return to school plan, and their parents and community were cooperative and understanding. “As we went through the year, we had to keep COVID-19 protocols in mind as we continually planned or responded to new scenarios. It is difficult to tell parents they can’t eat lunch with their child or attend a music concert in person,” Lee Ann says. “We had to close physical doors to campuses, but we did our best to keep A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

a virtual window open so our parents and community could see the events, activities, and exceptional learning taking place in spite of the pandemic.” However, something positive that came from the pandemic was Redwater ISD’s decision to fully implement a 1:1 technology device initiative. They provided iPads or Chromebooks to all students, PK-12. Another positive was that it shed light on the importance of teachers. “In education, it is commonly accepted that the teacher is the most important factor in the learning process. That is why we spend time and money developing this precious asset. I think the pandemic made the world outside of education realize how important the teacher is to student learning,” Lee Ann says. “It’s not the technology, the instructional materials, or the classroom itself; it’s the human factor that supplies the greatest impact. That’s what we have going on at Redwater ISD.” Throughout the year, Lee Ann was impressed with how well their teachers took on the challenges of the year.

“Teachers did everything they could to keep their students safe, and I think the entire world was impressed to see teachers pivot in a matter of days to remote learning in the spring of 2020. Then in the fall of 2020 our Redwater teachers pivoted again to teach both face to face and online because we didn’t have the staff to do otherwise,” Lee Ann says. “We gave them the tools and some self-paced video lessons, and they ran with it. Our teachers are amazing.” Looking forward to the fall semester, Lee Ann says that the district is returning to normal pre-COVID operations while providing equitable learning experiences that will address learning loss due to the pandemic. “Our district will be using newly released federal funds to purchase high quality instructional materials and assessment programs that will help us identify when and what students need to be at grade level,” Lee Ann says.

refillable water stations in place of water fountains, and sanitize touch points throughout the day. Activities like field trips, guest speakers, and pep rallies will be back in place, and masks will be optional. They are also increasing their health services staff by adding an LVN. Their three-person team of nurses will be actively monitoring to keep them informed and prepared to make changes as needed throughout the school year. “I want our community to know that we always put students first no matter what. Pandemic or no pandemic, the decisions we make are based on what is best for students,” Lee Ann says. “The difficulties of operating during a pandemic went amazingly well because of the support of parents and community and the cooperation of our students. The combination of our school culture, students, teachers, support staff, and administrative team make Redwater the best place to work and go to school.”

Redwater will also continue to encourage hand hygiene, provide



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Covid caused many challenges last year. I believe Covid showcased the amazing educators in Texarkana

Todd Marshall got into education because he wanted to invest in the lives of students. Like many educators, he recognizes that throughout his life, different individuals have invested in him, providing him guidance and experiences that shaped who he is today. “I know God placed these people in my life as He orchestrated my steps, and I pray that He will use me to do the same for others,” Todd says. Todd’s educational philosophy has changed over the past two decades as his professional and personal experiences have influenced the way he perceives various aspects of learning and life. “Becoming a dad of twins myself has definitely had a powerful influence on my shift in philosophy. However, the center of my philosophy that never shifted is the value that must be placed on building relationships,” Todd says. “This has been influenced by the work of Lev 030

Vygotsky, child psychologist, who asserted that learning is relational, and that language/ conversation is central to the relational aspects of learning.” The recent pandemic strengthened the intensity of the relational aspect of Todd’s educational philosophy. “It refocused me to be mindful not to build surface level relationships, but to slow down and see students and staff as whole, complex, and empathetic human beings,” Todd says. “Although much was accomplished this year in the classrooms, on the stage, courts, and fields, it was by far the high levels of trust, the bonds, and the relationships that took us through the unknown and uncharted territory of navigating the school

year of Covid. I believe all the academic and extra-curricular success was a byproduct of the high levels of trust we all had to place in one another to make things happen in the safest environment possible.” Todd recently took a position that is bringing him back to Texarkana ISD as the Director of CTE and STEM, and he is looking forward to the upcoming school year. He is grateful that students will be able to experience the learning and social aspects A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

of school that were affected when more Covid regulations were in place. However, many innovative strategies were implemented instructionally to ensure learning for students during the pandemic, and some of these strategies will continue to be used because they meet the needs of students. “Covid caused many challenges last year. I believe Covid showcased the amazing educators in Texarkana,” Todd says. “When facing the challenges of Covid, the teachers’ expertise and genuine care for students were able to be showcased on full display.”

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5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FIRST DAY 1. Let your child know what his schedule will be like. Tell him what time school begins and ends each day. 2. Ask your child about her feelings -- both the excitement and the concerns -- about starting school. 3. Visit the school with your child to see his new classroom and meet his new teacher before school officially starts. 4. Point out the positive aspects of starting school. It will be fun and she can make new friends. 5. Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will be there to help resolve them.


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NOMINATIONS BEGIN NOW! Administrative / Regulatory Law Appellate Practice


Ever been in need of a lawyer and not sure where to start looking? We want to help! Texarkana’s 2021 Top Lawyers will be nominated by you, our readers! Prior to voting, we will confirm that each lawyer is in good standing with the local bar association. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of outstanding lawyers that can be used as a resource for those searching for legal counsel. Now is your chance to tell us who you think should be Texarkana’s Top Lawyer by category, Top Distinguished Lawyer, Top Young Lawyer, and Top Lawyer overall!

Banking and Finance Law Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Commercial Litigation Corporate Law Criminal Defense: Non White-Collar Criminal Defense: White-Collar DUI/DWI Defense Employment Law Family Law Health Care Law Insurance Law Labor Law Mediation Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs


August 1-31, 2021 If you are a lawyer, we kindly ask that you do not nominate yourself.


October 1-31, 2021 Celebrate!

December 1, 2021

Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs Real Estate Law Trusts and Estates Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers Texarkana’s Top Distinguished Lawyer (Lawyers that have been practicing for at least 40 years)

Texarkana’s Top Lawyer Texarkana’s Top Young Lawyers (Must be under 40 years of age for Top Young Lawyer) A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1


Back to School


Some great brands to come see!

2801 Robin Lane | Texarkana, Texas (903) 832-6951 036

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Your Contributions Make A Difference! Adore to Restore the Ace of Clubs House!

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Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth. CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854

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Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth. CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854


IS THE TIME TO BUY With low interest rates and a variety of loan programs available, now is the time to escape the summer heat and cool off in a new home. If you’re ready to begin the homebuying journey, I’m happy to be your guide!

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Branch Manager | Sr. Loan Officer NMLS #209270 | 3101 Kennedy Lane, Suite 200 Texarkana, TX 75503 © 2021 SWBC. All rights reserved. Loans are subject to credit and property approval. Other restrictions and conditions may apply. Programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice. Rates are subject to change daily. Corporate office located at 9311 San Pedro Avenue, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78216. SWBC Mortgage Corporation, NMLS #9741 ( 1060-A4314 01/21


A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

Suzie TK Snippets By: Suzie Tyler

Let’s Go Fishing! Besides being an interview guru, Mike Brower is a fishing expert. Every fisherman I know has a whopper of a story to tell. Each one will try to “out whop” the other! My fishing story is one they can’t top! Ha Ha My first fishing experience was in a boat with my daddy and Grandpa Bud and one I never forgot. He was a perfectionist. He unloaded the boat and checked it fifty-eleven times to make sure every little iota was in place. He made me wear a life jacket, which made me feel awkward and clumsy. How could I fish and relax wearing that? They wanted complete silence, and I made too much noise for them. I did not have an abundance of patience and became bored waiting for the fish to bite and was ready to go home! When Odis and I dated in 1958, he wanted to take me fishing. I pushed my dull fishing outing to the back of my mind and loved being with him whatever we were doing. Not being fond of the live worms that wiggled, I let Odis put them on the hook for me. I did not know that when the red and white bobber bobbled, it was a sign of a nibble, and I needed to yank the line to hook the fish. The fish gobbled up my bait, and I only fed them. I learned that I am a better observer than a participant, and Odis realized fishing was not my thing. When I met the boys fifteen years later, they excitedly told me about their fishing experiences. I told them my story about their dad taking me when I was not too much older than they. They laughed as I explained, “He never asked me to go fishing again.” From AGAINST ALL ODDS, We Found The Perfect Love Copyright ©2021 Suzie Tyler Currently available on Amazon as an eBook. Hope your summer has been great doing whatever you enjoy!! Follow SuzieTK Snippets on Facebook, Word Press, and Blogger.

A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1


Drug Take Back Initiative Operation Medicine Cabinet The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is proud to partner with Texarkana Emergency Center in an effort to remove unused and out of date prescription medicines from your homes. •It is important to know that law enforcement is only interested in the removal of unused and/or outdated medications from the homes of our citizens. •It matters not whose name is on the prescription, by whom it was prescribed, where it was prescribed, or where you reside. •We stress that it makes no difference if you live in Texas or Arkansas. •We take back all medications, no questions asked. You can remove the label if you desire but it’s not necessary. •We ask that you do not deposit needles (sharps), inhalers, medication from businesses or clinics, ointments, lotions, liquids, aerosol cans, hydrogen peroxide, or thermometers. One box has been placed behind the Bi State Justice Building at 100 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Arkansas and another outside the Texarkana Emergency Center, 4646 Cowhorn Creek Rd., Texarkana, Texas. These boxes are regularly checked and the contents are immediately packaged for destruction. If you would like to personally drop your medications off to law enforcement, you can at the Miller County Sheriff’s Office on East Street and Bi State Justice Building in Texarkana.

Next National Take Back Day October 23, 2021 8am - 12pm at Texarkana Emergency Center & Hospital

You can learn more about this program by visiting or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back. FIND US ON 0 4 4646 0 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503 | 903.838.8000

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Support Your Long-Term Plan Throughout the Summer RETIREMENT AND LONGEVITY Summer 2021 market closures • Sept. 6: Labor Day

Dates to remember

• June 15: The deadline for U.S. citizens abroad to file tax returns. Second quarter estimated tax payments are also due, if required. • July 1: Parents and students might want to make note of deadlines for scholarships and paid internships in July. • Aug. 5: Observe Information Security Day – update your passwords for all online accounts to keep your personal information secure. • Sept. 15: Third quarter estimated tax payments are due. Things to do Register with Check your earnings history for accuracy and review your expected benefits – doing this regularly should ward off error. If you’re close to retirement age, discuss with your advisor when and how you should file to maximize household benefits. Safeguard your estate: Check the beneficiaries of your IRAs, insurance policies, trusts and any other accounts, and update information that is no longer relevant. Ensure your plan protects you and your family in the case of an unexpected event. Call a family huddle: Legacy planning is more than sharing wealth. It also includes passing down family values and history to the next generation. Host a family meeting to have an open conversation about the traditions that can A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

help create a living legacy.

Update your professional team: Speak with your advisor about major life changes you’ve experienced and how your financial plan could be affected. These changes include marriages, births, deaths, divorces, a sudden windfall and more.

financial focus

Mark your calendar with important tax deadlines and market closures. Schedule some time to review your Social Security benefits, insurance needs and online privacy settings.

Mind the college deadlines: Many colleges and universities have registration and tuition payment deadlines in the summer months. If you have a 529 plan, make sure to discuss qualified expenses and payment plans with your advisor. Review insurance needs: Periodically assess and update coverage to ensure proper protection, especially if you’ve experienced any major life events in the past 12 months.

Enjoy wide-open spaces: When it comes to summer vacation, Americans are gravitating toward nature travel. That’s the scoop on 2021 from Trafalgar, which has seen an uptick in bookings for tours of national parks. Travelers are also looking to stay in nontraditional spaces such as treehouses and domes, an Airbnb survey shows. Talk to your advisor to make sure you don't miss any important financial planning dates in the coming months.

Raymond James financial advisors do not render legal or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional regarding legal or tax advice. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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Fish Tales with Mike Brower Names Have Changed I was watching Bassmasters last weekend and could not help but think about how the “best ever” names have changed and how the next guy took over the mantle of the “best ever.” I thought about back in the 80’s when some guys like Clunn, Brauer, and Van Dam were touted as the best bass fishermen ever, then the 70’s when Bill Dance and Roland Martin held that title.

Pets Are bund les of love wrapped in fur.

It seems that every couple of years some new guy or guys take the title until a newer guy comes along. It even happens at the local level. Guys who were unbeatable became beatable. The new guys came around and the circle continued round and round. I guess what I am getting at is what I said back then -- “everyone is beatable at the right moment and there is always someone better than the best.” Look at now. All the names I have mentioned above are not “the best” anymore. They were and still are good, but don’t command the limelight. It’s like life. Everyone has a turn at the spotlight and then they need to just move away and let others take their turn. Yes, bass fishing is a sport for all ages, but the younger you are the better you will soon be because of the ones that came before you and then moved away from the spotlight. This nostalgia moment brought to you by “Damn that Hurts.” When everything on your body hurts, try Damn that Hurts and you will feel better…..maybe. 042


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Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth. CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854 043

AUGUST 2021 August 4TH • VenusFREEZE Event

Come & learn about ALL our Venus Concept Treatments & machines & what they can do for you while beating this August HEAT with the Venus FREEZE! Event will be held at The Beauty & Wellness Center. 6:30pm - 8:00pm.

August 5th -7TH • Hope Watermelon Festival

Hot August days and cool, sweet watermelons go together for nearly every festival activity imaginable. Live music, food, outdoor sports, antique engines and cars, arts and crafts and more happened here since the 1920s. Find more information at

August 5th • Temple Memorial Pediatric Center Annual Drawdown & Casino Night

Join us Thursday August 5th at 6pm, starting with a delicious dinner prepared by Pops Place, beverages, and casino tables! Tickets are $100 (admits 2 people) with a chance to win $5,000. Tickets are limited, we only sell 150!

August 10TH • Texas Consitutional Carry Event

Essential firearms and self-defense laws related to constitutional carry: Constitutional carry requirements, Where you can constitutional carry, Constitutional carry traps, and more. The event will be held at First Baptist Church Wake Village, 820 Wake Ave., Wake Village, TX 75501 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

August 18th - 21th • Pioneer Days Festival, New Boston, TX

T&P Trail Head Park Pavilion and Festival Grounds. There will be arts and craft vendors, food vendors, concerts Thursday, Friday and Saturday ( Free Admission), Johnson Brothers Carnival - Wednesday - Saturday. Pioneer Days Festival is proud to welcome John Schneider in concert Saturday night at 8:30pm at the T&P Trail Head Park Pavilion. (free admission).

August 21ST • 2021 Bridal Expo

Be able to plan a whole wedding with all the wonderful venders. Presented by Crossties, 324 E Broad St, Texarkana, AR 71854 044

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A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1


Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Local Rescues




Passion For Pooches


Boxer Rescue of Texarkana



Texarkana Animal League

HUNTER & COWBOY Muttley Crew


The Animal Care & Adoption Center of Texarkana, Arkansas is located at 203 Harrison, Texarkana, AR, 71854. For more information, call 870.773.6388, or visit: www. or AdoptionTXK. Please note, all dogs adopted from this shelter MUST be spayed or neutered. Spays cost $89-$104, neuters are $76-$92 depending on the weight of the dog. We also have SPONSORED dogs and cats! This means someone has already paid for their vetting! Come see who’s waiting! We are always in need of caring, capable volunteers to assist in with duties at the center, adoption events, fund-raising activities and more. Open Monday-Friday 11AM 5PM; Saturday 11AM - 2PM.


A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

Tracy Spradlin Broker 903-748-2477

Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771

Pam Hollingsworth Realtor 903-277-1222

John Trubia Realtor 817-701-8402


Now Servicing the Dallas Fort Worth Area!

Amber Howeth Administrative Assistant 903-223-0710

Brenda Elrod Property Manager 903-559-1511

Stephanie Barthel Property Manager 903-559-1511 A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 | 0 47


A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 1

Profile for ALT Magazine

August 2021 ALT Magazine  

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