Blazing A Trail
Celebrating Black History Month with two history-making Crowley ISD leaders
#CISDGameChangers Spring 2019
March 1 Online Screening Opens
Highlights PAGE 7 | TEACHING EXCELLENCE Pre-K teacher receives the Crystal Apple Teaching Award for Excellence in Early Education.
PAGE 9 | COOKING UP THE COMPETITION CTE culinary students heat up the Lone Star Chef Competition, prep for state finals in Houston.
PAGE 10 | BLAZING A TRAIL - PART 1 June W. Davis has been a trailblazer since being elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2003.
PAGE 12 | BLAZING A TRAIL - PART 2 Dr. Michael McFarland is leading a team of game changers to make Crowley ISD the top school district in Tarrant County.
PAGE 15 | BREAKING NEW GROUND The New B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center is set to open in Fall 2020.
PAGE 20 | AUTOMATIC ENTRY The University of North Texas announces guaranteed admission to top 20 percent graduates in Crowley ISD.
SHELTON 2013 Graduate
CRYSTAL 1991 Graduate GARRETT 2016 Graduate
PARKER CHS Senior
BRANT CHS Sophomore
Crowley ISD Board of Trustees June W. Davis, President Mia Hall, Vice President Lyndsae M. Benton, Secretary Gary Grassia, Assistant Secretary La Tonya Mayfield, Ph.D. Ryan Ray, J.D. Nedra Robinson Superintendent Michael D. McFarland, Ed.D. CISD Communications & Marketing Anthony Kirchner, Executive Director Jaime Handy, Director Megan Middleton, Multimedia Manager Matt Hoover, Webmaster/Digital Content Special thanks to Elisha Bury and Aramark
Crowley ISD Connections Design by CISD Communications Team Printing by MGM Printing Interested in Advertising? firstname.lastname@example.org Send your story ideas to email@example.com
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 3 5 8 14 18
McFarland Message Building The Future Ask CISD Kids Heartbeat Team #CISDGameChangers
If you find this icon inside the magazine, we have a video for that story on the CISD YouTube page!
ON THE COVER WINGS UP EAGLE SCOUTS
S.H. Crowley Intermediate teacher Crystal South is a Crowley High School graduate and Scoutmaster. All four of her sons are Eagle Scouts and have graduated or currently attend Crowley High School. According to the Scouts of America, only 4 percent of all scouts reach Eagle Scout distinction.
Superintendent Dr. Michael D. McFarland (left) and Crowley ISD Board of Trustees President June W. Davis
superintendent message from Dr. McFarland Spring is always an exciting time in schools. It also seems to be the busiest time of the year. Calendars are packed as we focus on the work still to be done and as we plan for the next school year. Starting in April, registration opens for families interested in Crowley ISD’s expanded prekindergarten programs that are helping 3- and 4-year-old students be bright from the start. And before we know it, our older students – and their proud parents – will be attending end-ofthe-year ceremonies and planning summer activities. We hope this edition of Crowley ISD Connections allows you to pause for a moment and reflect on the great work students and staff members have accomplished this school year. There is much to celebrate! I am very proud of everyone who participated in our Black History Quiz Bowl in February. This community event brought together families from across our district for an incredible day of learning about each other and the trailblazers who came before us. It is an honor for me to share part of my story, alongside our distinguished school board president, June W. Davis, who was the first African-American trustee in Crowley ISD. We also have a report on one of the biggest construction projects ever in Crowley ISD. Work on the new B.R. Johnson Career and Tech Center is underway and on schedule to open in the fall of 2020. Our current CTE will then become a fourth middle school to help accommodate for the growth in our district. Be sure to read about this, and the other rezoning and grade level restructuring changes, in our Building the Future Update. Thank you for supporting our schools,
Dr. Michael D. McFarland Superintendent, Crowley ISD
#CISDGameChangers Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 3
WEÊ¼VE GOT YOU COVERED Average Wait Time UNDER 5 minutes
PROUDLY SERVING CROWLEY ISD Enriching and Nourishing Lives For more information on school meals, visit the Child Nutrition website at www.crowleyisdtx.org/childnutrition
Emergency Room Open 24/7 Urgent Care Open 7 am -8 pm Open 24/7 Emergency Room
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Building The Future Crowley ISD adjusts school zones and grade structure to prepare for district growth The Crowley ISD Board of Trustees approved a two-year plan for rezoning and restructuring schools to accommodate growth in our growing community. Three Crowley ISD schools are scheduled to open in the next two years: • June W. Davis Elementary School in Fall 2019 • A new B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center in Fall 2020 • The current career and technology building will be renovated into a fourth middle school in Fall 2020 As the district builds and plans for the future, CISD will adjust where some students go to school and which grade levels will be at each campus. This means two things - rezoning and restructuring. This two-year plan addresses four important factors: • Transitions for students • Convenience for families • School size • Academic performance
Find your attendance zone at crowleyisdtx.org/buildingthefuture
FALL 2019 ELEMENTARY Pre-K - 5th Kindergarten - 6th (11 campuses) (4 campuses)
MIDDLE 7th - 8th (3 campuses)
NINTH 9th (2 campuses)
HIGH 10th - 12th (2 campuses)
• All current elementary schools, plus the new elementary campus under construction, would become Pre-K through 5th grade campuses. • The four current intermediate schools would be transformed into Kindergarten through 6th grade campuses for one year. • Middle schools would remain the same with 7th and 8th grades. • High schools would remain unchanged.
ELEMENTARY Pre-K - 5th (15 campuses)
MIDDLE 6th - 8th (4 campuses)
NINTH 9th (2 campuses)
HIGH 10th - 12th (2 campuses)
• The intermediate schools would become Pre-K through 5th Grade elementary campuses.
• Our fourth middle school will open and all middle schools would become 6th through 8th grade campuses. • High schools would remain unchanged. Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 5
Teaching Excellence Pre-K teacher earns Crystal Apple Teaching Award for Excellence in Early Education Vasha Johnson, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Meadowcreek Elementary School, smiles on her way to work as she mentally prepares to lead engaging activities for her class of 4-year-old students as they begin to take the first steps in their educational journey. She can also smile because she was recently recognized for her hard work and dedication to her students. Johnson was one of 10 recipients in Tarrant County to be awarded the Crystal Apple Teaching Award for Excellence in Early Education from Child Care Associates. Johnson credits her co-teacher, Ms. Jalisa Spence, for helping provide an engaging educational environment for the district’s youngest learners. “They came and knocked on the door and surprised us,” Johnson said. “I was very excited for our class, because this is something we all earned together.” Whether they are singing songs or working in stations, she knows the early attention she gives her young learners will pay huge dividends in their future. “Early childhood is so important,” Johnson said. “It’s the foundation all students need from the start. At this age, the students are so innocent, moldable and eager to learn.” Crowley ISD emphasizes early childhood to give students a jumpstart on their education. Johnson believes that one of the most significant issues in education today is the critical need for social and emotional learning and character education.
“The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adults they will become,” Johnson said. “It is so important to invest in our early childhood programs, so we are able to maximize their future well-being.” The district expanded its Pre-K program for the 2018-19 school year, making it possible to educate 900 students this year. The district offers half-day Pre-K for 3-year-olds, full-day Pre-K for 4-year-olds and partners with Head Start to offer additional Pre-K services for both ages at a limited number of campuses. “It is truly an exciting time in Crowley ISD,” Dr. Helena Mosely, executive director of elementary education, said. “We have the opportunity to allow them to experience school two years before kindergarten. When we talk about being ‘kinder ready,’ we’re both talking about academically and socially. That’s a huge advantage for our students.”
Learn more about Crowley ISD’s Pre-K program and the eligibility requirements at www.crowleyisdtx.org/PreK
Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 7
K S A
DS I K D CIS Britton Albers
4th Grade, Jackie Carden Elementary
What are you good at?
Building with Legos
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Black, because itâ€™s classy
If you could go anywhere for spring break, where would you go?
Disney World or England
What has been the best thing about this school year?
I was able to go to a hockey game with my teacher
My friends and teachers really care about me and my grades
Black History Bowl
Best invention ever?
The first ever video game
What makes your school cool?
Our teacher is the best and she sometimes takes us to hockey games
What comes to mind with you think about spring?
Easter. Definitely Easter.
CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS | Spring 2019
8th Grade, Crowley Middle
9th Grade, Crowley Ninth Grade Campus
Cooking Up The Competition CTE culinary students heat up Lone Star Chef Competition, prep for state finals in Houston Written by Aramark dietitian Elisha Bury, RD, LD Ready to defend their state title from a year ago, culinary students from the B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center were fired up in the third annual Lone Star Chef Regional Competition to see which team would represent Crowley ISD at the state contest at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The state winners earn the state trophy and a $2,500 scholarship. In addition to a strict 30-minute time limit and nutrition requirements that limited saturated fat, salt and calories, the young chefs had to work in two of the three mystery ingredients introduced by Aramark Executive Chef Tessa Collins: black garlic sauce, kumquats and kale. “We chose these mystery ingredients because they were very diverse in terms of texture and flavor profiles,” Collins said. “These were also unique items the kids may not have worked with before.” Junior Ny’Evan Keeton returned to competition after helping CISD claim the state trophy last spring, alongside graduated seniors Arturo Gonzalez and Paola Raya. This year, Keeton joined two new teammates – seniors Daijah Andrews and Nicholas Bradden – to form Team Black Magic and a game plan to get back to the state championship. “My strategy is to work well with my team,” Keeton said as he sautéed shredded chicken. From the time the clock started ticking, Black Magic started communicating. After dividing the tasks, the trio stayed focused, constantly talking as they whipped up the Fiesta Bowl - a dish highlighted with grilled shredded chicken, rice, bell peppers and cilantro jalapeno ranch made from scratch that scored big points with the judges. Andrews created the spicy sauce, although she ran into a few problems. “It didn’t blend that well at first, but I let the blender go and it came out really smooth,” she said. Around 70 students are enrolled in the culinary program at B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center. Instructor Chef Zameika “Z” Williams was proud to see her students using their knife and food preparation skills during the competition. After time ran out and the judging panel was offered its first taste, the final scores were so close that two of the teams, Black Magic and the Kitchen Queens, were tied. After the judges took a harder look at the scores and deliberated, it was announced that Black Magic would advance to the state finals on March 29. Black Magic’s Fiesta Bowl will land on Crowley ISD’s high school menus this spring so students can enjoy the state-bound dish.
Senior Daijah Andrews of Team Black Magic adds the finishing touches to the regional winning dish, the Fiesta Bowl.
Aramark would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s expert panel of judges:
• Gary Grassia - CISD Board of Trustees Assistant Secretary and owner of Simply Fondue • Randy Reaves - CISD Executive Director of Non-Instructional Services • Dr. Pamela Berry, CISD Executive Director of Secondary Leadership • Stefani Allen, CISD Director of Social/Emotional Learning and Secondary Programming • Markeba Warfield, B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center Principal • Jeanna Ratnayake, Aramark district manager
Team Black Magic with instructor Chef Zameika “Z” Williams. Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 9
Blazing A Trail
June W. Davis - Crowley ISD School Board President
As the first African American to serve on the Crowley ISD Board of Trustees, June W. Davis has been a trailblazer since being elected in May 2003. She was named board secretary from 2005-2007, elected vice president in 2007 and served in that role until August 2010 when she was elected president. A veteran educator for more than 30 years, Davis believes education opens doors for students and can play an important role in their income-earning potential, helping break the cycle of poverty. To celebrate Black History Month, Crowley ISD Connections sat down with Davis to discuss her life experiences and her reaction to having a CISD school named in her honor. Tell us about what the world was like when you grew up and the struggles you went through as an African-American woman. Davis: “I did grow up during the Civil Rights struggle. I graduated high school in 1969 ... and those were some turbulent times — turbulent times. I went through the 11th grade in segregated schools. My senior year in high school, we integrated and we had to leave our school — Dunbar High School (in Texarkana) — and attend the other high school. So we didn’t have any identity in that school — just one year. So it made for a very interesting, interesting year. I was in the band from grade 7 through grade 12. When I was in eighth grade, I became an alternate majorette. I was a majorette my freshman, sophomore and junior year, and then we integrated in my senior year. The way things were handled at the other high school was the majorettes were selected the previous year. We didn’t know that, so we weren’t allowed to try out for being a majorette. So those of us who were majorettes at Dunbar High School had to just become regular band members, and we did. That’s one thing that really stood out, because we always thought it would have been a nice gesture if when they were trying out that previous year, knowing we were coming the next year, that we would have been given the opportunity to try out too, but for whatever reason that didn’t happen.
Davis was a member of the band and homecoming court as a senior in 1969.
The other thing I remember about my senior year is the nomination for homecoming queen. I was one of six nominees for homecoming queen. To just speak very frankly about it, the other five nominees were Anglo, and I was the only African American, which meant the population that voted for them was split five different ways. Mine all came to me, but I didn’t win. The numbers didn’t add up. But, again, it happened the way it happened.”
What was it like growing up during “Separate But Equal”? Davis: “I can remember growing up in Texarkana with colored water fountains and white water fountains. In one store in particular, I walked in with my mother, and I wasn’t too much older than my grandson — 7, 8, 9 years old and went to the white water fountain to get a drink, and I remember Davis, age 9 her pulling me away and saying I couldn’t, and I couldn’t understand why. And she showed me the sign, but still, I’m trying to figure this out … That was my real introduction then into “separate.” When we were in school, and it was always called separate but equal, but there was nothing equal about it … it was separate. The school we ended up going to upon integration, when they finished using the textbooks and they got new textbooks, we got the ones they were using, the ones that were no longer in adoption — the furniture, the same thing. When they got new furniture at their school, the old furniture was sent to us.” When did you join the school board and what milestone did that mark? Davis: “When I joined the Crowley ISD school board in 2003, I was the first African American — male or female — to be elected to the Crowley school board. That was to some viewed as a negative thing, and it was viewed to others as being very positive, showing the diversity in Crowley. I wasn’t a newcomer to Crowley when I ran. I had lived in Crowley about 10 years. It wasn’t that I moved to the district and sought to integrate. I had been the parent of a child in Crowley for all that time, so it was just a natural next step for me because I had been so involved. I was on the executive PTA board when she was in elementary school and on committees.
It’s funny when I think about it because at one point when she was in high school, there was a conversation about dress code. I remember the CPOC (Campus Performance Objectives Committee) at Crowley High School was struggling with how they were going to handle this dress code thing. I just asked if it would help if I went to speak before the school board ... so I did. I ended up going to speak before the school board about dress code. Little did I know that was going to be my future.” Discuss what it was like to be the first African American on the school board. Davis: “When I considered running, it was to give back. But it was viewed differently by some in the community, and there was concern for my safety at different times, especially the first few years, so much so that I had to have a police escort to my car because of some of the things that were happening. I had one citizen so upset after one board meeting that he came, and I was still sitting at the table, and he pounded his fists on the table in front of me, blaming me for things that were going on in Crowley now — that being the additional African-American families moving to the district. He said that was my fault. You know, while I love taking credit where credit is due, but I can’t take the credit for that. He gave me way too much credit. I don’t know if I’d describe those early years as turbulent, but they were definitely uncomfortable — very, very uncomfortable. When I became a board member, I knew a lot of staff. They couldn’t have been nicer, and really they became my support system when I was doing anything in Crowley ISD. They knew me, they knew my heart, they knew what was going on. And they just kind of held me up through those times.” What does it mean to you that the new elementary school in Crowley ISD will bear your name? Davis: “The night it happened I was filled with emotion. It’s a real honor. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my fellow board members and people in the community thought this would be a nice thing to do. I am eternally grateful.
It’s still kind of surreal. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what it really means. I know it’s an awesome responsibility, and it’s a responsibility that I take on wholeheartedly. I can’t say thank you enough.” What do you think when you see the building being constructed? Davis: “It is awe inspiring. I just can’t describe it. I remember when we went and broke ground on that hill (in May 2018) and now to see what has become of that groundbreaking … it is a magnificent building. I have to say too that I am so, so proud to have Mr. (Kevin) Hunt as the principal at June W. Davis Elementary. That’s very, very exciting to me. I have tremendous respect for Mr. Hunt, and I am very excited about what he will do with the students at June W. Davis Elementary. Because like all of the other schools in the district, we have high expectations for all of our students, for all of our campuses, and that one will be no exception.”
June W. Davis Elementary School will open Fall 2019.
Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 11
Blazing A Trail
Dr. Michael D. McFarland - Crowley ISD Superintendent In his second year as superintendent, Dr. Michael McFarland is leading a team of game changers to make Crowley ISD the top school district in Tarrant County. His childhood in Jasper, Texas inspired him to become an administrator who provides equal opportunities for all students. Dr. McFarland is the first African-American superintendent in Crowley ISD and was recently named president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). We talked with him about why Black History Month is important for everyone. Where were you raised, and what was your community like at that time? McFarland: “I was raised in Jasper, Texas. People have heard about Jasper, but it was not that place. The Jasper that I know was a loving community. We had strong support, a great school system. I do remember that we did have a divided system. We had a situation where in school we were all connected, we had a great time — but outside of school, we had different activities for different groups of students. Growing up, it’s just the way it is. You don’t really know there’s any different. You go to church with one group of friends. We played in a baseball league — the Lone Star League, and we loved it. We had a great time. But there was also a Jasper Youth League, and we noticed, of course, that it was separate. The older you got, the more you realized it didn’t really have to be that way. We could have been all been playing together. As I got older and was able to go to Baylor, I was able to connect with folks from all races and all ethnicities, and I realized that we have more in common than what we have that’s different.”
Talk about growing up after integration and the effects that lingered from “separate but equal” laws. McFarland: “To be honest with you, I didn’t realize that what we had was any different than what anyone else had. My family and our community circled around and made sure we received everything that we needed. As I got older, I began to see systemic things that were done and maybe by people who didn’t have the right intentions or maybe they just didn’t know. What I wanted to do was I wanted to get in a position to be able to start changing some of those. It really takes me back to this — we are walking in the street and a police officer comes and says, ‘You all need to get out of the street, boys.’ And we were like, there are no sidewalks, so you want us to walk over here in the dirt or the mud? But we got up there and went on. But then you start noticing, where are the sidewalks? Why is it that in my parks we don’t have anything, and it looks rundown, but I go to the other parks and they have all the slides and everything. If you grow up with all those signals, you either become angry, or you internalize it as I’m inferior, I’m not as valuable, or you decide you want to get in a position to do something about it. For me, my experience, that motivated me to get in a position to do something about it.”
When some hear about Jasper, Texas, they are reminded of the 1998 hate crime that happened there. How did that event impact you? McFarland: “When it happened, my initial reaction was to defend Jasper because Jasper was a common East Texas town. We had problems, but I didn’t believe we were what was being reported. I still believe it could happen anywhere, but I now know that my initial response was because I had been conditioned over time. That incident forced me to start thinking about my thoughts. I love Jasper, but there were some things that were probably not right, but I just didn’t recognize it. The older you get, you start to see systemic, by design, separate policies … I believe Jasper was a product of Jim Crow laws that had been in place for quite a while.” 12 CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS | Spring 2019
McFarland (left) grew up playing sports in the small East Texas community of Jasper.
Why is Black History Month important to celebrate and reflect on? McFarland: “When I think about Black History, I think about a quote that says that a man without knowledge of his history or past origin is like a tree without roots. So when we talk about Black History, it’s important for us to make sure that we create activities that help kids build awareness of Black History, an awareness of African Americans that have come before them.
In November, McFarland was elected president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).
You are president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. What is NABSE and why is it important? McFarland: “NABSE is a great organization. We have teachers and principals, community people, pastors and other folks who are concerned about education. NABSE is called the National Alliance of Black School Educators, but its focus is on improving educational outcomes for all students, but particularly those students of African descent and addressing the needs of educators who are in that environment. We have educators from all ethnicities, all races. We are an inclusive organization. The reality is we have to have as many voices at the table who are concerned about education of all students, in particular African-American students, in order for us to move the needle on inequities that we know exist. How I got connected to NABSE was through TABSE (Texas Alliance of Black School Educators). At that time, I was in my second year teaching, and I had this department chair — Ms. (Connie) Isabell (now a Crowley ISD deputy superintendent). She said, ‘Hey, I have this conference coming up, and you ought to go.’
If we are exposing kids in the right way to AfricanAmerican history and Black History, then what they will realize is that they have overcomers in their history, in their heritage, that they have folks who exhibited quite a bit of pride and persistence in the face of adversity. It’s so important what we show kids. Before at Baylor when I thought about Black History, I remember a picture in a book of a slave being hung. I can still see it to this day. Because that’s what we talked about during Black History Month was slavery. Now, we want kids to remember, we want them to know, who Paul Robeson is and Laurence Dunbar and all these other folks who were intellects, and Marcus Garvey, and all these people who talked about being proud of who you are – not hating someone else, but being proud of who you are. That’s why I believe Black History is so important. It gives us a chance to affirm the inherent dignity and worth of all of our students and especially those students who are not oftentimes highlighted in a positive way.”
A former standout Baylor Bear football player, McFarland now serves on the Baylor University Board of Regents.
It was the first time I went to a conference and I saw people who looked like me that were Doctor this and Doctor that, and they were in key positions in the school district. They were assistant superintendents and they were at the podium giving speeches, and they were deputy superintendents and one was an associate commissioner. These were positive African Americans that were educators that were really impressive to me, and I was like wow, I can do that.”
Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 13
The Crowley ISD Heartbeat Team Award recognizes employees who display heart as they go above and beyond their job description, inspiring other employees through their extraordinary work ethic. Heartbeat Team Award winners are nominated only by other district employees. A winner is selected monthly throughout the school year. The monthly Heartbeat Team Award winner receives $50 cash courtesy of EECU, a free meal from Aladdin Cafe and is recognized at a Crowley ISD Board of Trustees meeting.
ANDREA COKER FOURTH GRADE TEACHER BESS RACE ELEMENTARY
“Everything she does starts from what she knows students can do, and what they are able to do, and then she never stops believing it.” - Holly Anderson, Bess Race Principal
YOLANDA GREEN INSTRUCTIONAL AIDE CROWLEY LEARNING CENTER
“A lot of our kids don’t have someone at home that believes in them... She’s always there to breathe life.” - Candace Tuck, CLC Counselor
14 CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS | Spring 2019
MARTIN MORELOS FACILITY INSPECTION TECH CISD MAINTENANCE
“If we are talking about servant leadership, Martin exudes it. He’s constantly available for the campuses, his coworkers, our students and community members.” - Jarvis Walker, CISD Maintenance Director
DONNA HEIM PARENT LIAISON CISD SPECIAL EDUCATION
“I believe she embodies the spirit of Crowley ISD. She’s truly a game changer. She’s always thinking of how she can make it better for parents.” - Ruby Batiste, Chief of Special Education
Sights and sounds from the groundbreaking ceremony on the Crowley ISD YouTube Channel.
Breaking New Ground The new B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center is set to open Fall 2020
The Crowley ISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland, city council members and a crowd of staff and community members broke ground on the new B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center on Dec. 14. “This is an exciting day for our school district as we break ground on our new CTE center,” McFarland said. “We are building the future in Crowley ISD as we continue to see tremendous growth in our community.” The new campus will host 13 career and technical programs of study for students from both Crowley ISD high schools, as well as the Crowley Collegiate Academy, Global Prep Academy and dual credit courses. It will be located south of the Sewell Agricultural Science Center at 1800 W. Cleburne Crowley Road. Building Facts • 210,000 square feet with approximately 130 teaching spaces • Sustainable features including geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient reflective roof and solar panels • The $72.9 million project is being funded by the Crowley ISD capital bond program. • Multiple collaboration areas, including centralized learning staircase
Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 15
FROM FROMTHE THE COMMUNITY COMMUNITY FOR FOR
Lauren Brown, AIA,NCARB, NCARB,LEED LEEDAP APBD+C, BD+C,VLK VLKPrincipal Principal Lauren Brown, AIA, Erjon Troqe,VLK VLKProject ProjectDesigner Designer Erjon Troqe,
VLK Architects’latest latestproject projectisisamong amongthe themost mostcritical criticalfor forCrowley Crowley VLK Architects’ ISD.The TheCareer CareerTechnology TechnologyEducation Education Center Center and and Collegiate Collegiate ISD. Academywill willbe bea anew newcornerstone cornerstonefor for Crowley Crowley to to meet meet the the Academy education and workforce training demands of a growing, thriving education and workforce training demands of a growing, thriving community. community. Crowley ISD challengedVLK VLKtotowork workwith withthe thecommunity communityto todesign design Crowley ISD challenged an effective solution to meet current and future needs. From an effective solution to meet current and future needs. From the outset, the Center and Academy was designed to provide the outset, the Center and Academy was designed to provide bothstudents studentsand andthe thegreater greatercommunity community with with an an innovative innovative both environment for learning. Utilizing VLK Architects’ design environment for learning. Utilizing VLK Architects’ design engagementtool, tool,VLK VLK| LAUNCH®, | LAUNCH®,students, students,parents, parents,community community engagement members, and administrators collaboratively worked to create create members, and administrators collaboratively worked to the initial design concept of this facility. Designed to provide the initial design concept of this facility. Designed to provide uniquefluidity fluidityofofspace, space,the thecampus campus will will foster foster collaborative collaborative unique learning, easy transition of indoor/outdoor activity, and flexibility. learning, easy transition of indoor/outdoor activity, and flexibility. Engrainedthroughout throughout the the facility, facility, sustainable sustainable elements elements and and Engrained information technology will enhance the learning experience. A information technology will enhance the learning experience. A 16 CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS | Spring 2019
strong and openness openness strong sense sense of transparency and will that welcomes welcomes will offer offer students students an ideal forum that collaboration. All of these elements collaboration. elements combine combine to deliver deliver aa first class learning experience to experience that that on par par with with a facility for higher education isis on education or or research. research. In addition addition to the high school curriculum, In curriculum, the the Center will will offer amenities and vocational Center vocational programs serving serving the community programs community including including a gymnasium, board room, and continuing a gymnasium, continuing education programs programs in in cosmetology, cosmetology, barbering, education barbering, restaurant and and food food service, service, and restaurant and automotive. automotive. The central central courtyard courtyard is is designed The designed to to serve serve as as an outdoor learning venue. an outdoor learning venue. VLK Architects Architects is is the the eighth eighth largest largest educational VLK educational architecture firm in the U.S., providing architecture firm in the U.S., providing Texas Texas public public school school districts with with an an extensive extensive knowledge knowledge of districts of school school design. design. Through our our processes processes of of VLK VLK || CURATION® Through CURATION® and and VLK | LAUNCH® we are helping school districts redefine VLK | LAUNCH® we are helping school districts redefine the educational architecture design process by facilitating the educational architecture design process by facilitating a collaborative process that engages communities, a collaborative process that engages communities, students, parents, and staff to deliver buildings that students, parents, and staff to deliver buildings that exceed expectations and enhance teaching and learning. exceed expectations and enhance teaching and learning.
“We started the [charette] process about 8 months ago. We got students, parents, and the community together to offer their perspective on what a new careerthe technology should like, and what “We started [charette]center process aboutlook 8 months ago. We can got prepare students, these children forcommunity the future.together What’s most exciting that we’veon gone from parents, and the to offer their is perspective what the design stage to now, center we’re building the future.” a new career technology should look like, and what can prepare Dr. Michael McFarland these children for the future. What’s most exciting is that we’ve gone from Crowley ISD Superintendent the design stage to now, we’re building the future.” Dr. Michael McFarland Crowley ISD Superintendent
Spring 2019 | CROWLEY ISD CONNECTIONS 17
Follow Crowley ISD on social media to see photos and learn more about the fun activities and achievements on our campuses.
LEFT: Sycamore Elementary students visited the Young Chef’s Academy to learn about healthy cooking practices (washing, aprons, etc.), connected math and cooking, and enjoyed lunch at a restaurant to practice Superstar table etiquette. BELOW: Students with autism spent the day learning with police officers and “Be Safe the Movie.”
ABOVE: One student from every intermediate, middle and high school campus makes up the Superintendent’s Roundtable, as CISD plans for the future and discuss ways to make schools even better. RIGHT: The North Crowley High School basketball program clinched its 17th district title in 19 seasons, finishing the regular season 32-3 overall and 16-0 in district play. The Panthers also claimed the program’s 600th victory in program history this season.
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ABOVE: Students from Crowley and North Crowley high schools came together on stage in The Addams Family musical.
LEFT: Houston, weâ€™ve solved the problem! B.R. Johnson Career & Tech Center students traveled to Texas Southern University to get hands-on experiences at the crime scene lab at the TSU Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs.
RIGHT: Oakmont Elementary students and staff had fun celebrating the 100th day of school by dressing like they were 100 years old.
LEFT: Crowley ISD had a great family reunion as retired educators returned to campus to enjoy breakfast with Crowley ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael D. McFarland and learn more about the future of the district.
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Automatic Entry The University of North Texas offers guaranteed admission to top 20 percent graduates Thanks to a new partnership with the University of North Texas, Crowley ISD juniors ranked in the top 20 percent of their class will receive guaranteed admission into the university. Through the Eagle Advantage program, UNT is also offering a $1,000 scholarship for one student from each high school. “Crowley ISD is committed to opportunities for our students to attend college,” said Annette Duvall, CISD director of college and career readiness. “The partnership with the University of North Texas opens up the avenue for students to have automatic admission to a first-rate university. UNT is a highly desired destination for many CISD students as their next step and we are very excited about our new partnership.” Crowley and North Crowley high schools announced the news to students with a bang, hosting pep rallies with help from the Mean Green. UNT boosted the atmosphere with band members, cheerleaders, drill team and Scrappy, the Eagle mascot. Principals at each campus sat down in a signing day-type ceremony to accept the agreement.
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The University of North Texas announced the agreement with pep rallies at both Crowley ISD high schools.
CISD’s College, Career and Military Readiness department provides support throughout high school on college applications, FAFSA completion and helping students navigate the path to their future. Current juniors who meet the requirements of the program can learn more at www.unt.edu/eagleadvantage. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.