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Monroe City Schools’

STORY Fall 2017 - Volume I Issue 1


Perspectives from the Superintendent Most of us in the South learn at a young age that it’s bad manners to blow our own horn. However, who better to tell the story of the talented men and women who dedicate their lives to making our district the best it can be? Who else knows the stories of the students who overcome struggles or who set the bar in the classroom or break records on our playing fields? No one knows these stories better than we do. Thus, we present this first issue of what we hope will be a collaborative telling of the Monroe City Schools’ STORY. In this inaugural issue, I want to extend my personal gratitude to our community. Without the support of the parents and families, businesses, and organizations that make Monroe home, the nineteen schools, 1700 full- and part-time employees, and 8000 students that make up our district could not meet the requirements of education in 2017. Not only have we met those requirements, but in many cases we’ve exceeded them time and again. That’s because of you. In the last four and a half years alone, you supported a bond issue that has enabled us to update, expand, and improve our facilities. We’ve broken ground this summer and fall on projects across the city that will provide needed venues in which our students can create music, practice the importance of exercise and leisure, and develop skills that will propel them into the healthcare industry. Some of what our community has supported isn’t as visible as the rejuvenation of near-century old buildings, replacement of grass with turf, or construction of handicapped-accessible restrooms. Some of the improvements

STORY/Fall 1

we’ve enjoyed are in installation of advanced systems that allow school and district administrators to monitor campus activity, miles of cable and fibers that increase the speed and capacity of our Internet service, and energy-efficient HVAC systems. You’ve made certain that the students of Monroe access technologies and curricula equal to any in the nation, and we’re making certain every day that a qualified educator supervises each child’s pursuit of rigorous coursework. To that end, we’ve partnered with both ULM and Louisiana Tech to host teacher interns. Unlike educator preparation programs of the past that required minimal time teaching real students in real schools and even less time co-teaching with a proven educator, residency programs place pre-service interns in the classrooms of effective, veteran teachers for a full school year. This allows teachers to develop relationships with students, to experiment with the innovative strategies they’ve learned in college, and deepen their content knowledge. We’re also recognizing the growing demand for students to have experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that might serve as the catalyst for their interest in these fields of study (and careers) beyond K-12. Our partnership with CenturyLink, Cyber Innovations Center, and the City of Monroe has established Cyber Academies at all three high schools. Read more about this on pages 11-20. In our next issue, we’ll tell the story of other career paths we’re opening up for students. Never have there been greater demands on our teachers and students. You see it every day when your child comes home stressed about challenging assignments or spring state assessments. When your spouse comes home from teaching and has stacks of essays to grade or lesson plans to write, you see the effects of the ever-increasing standard for teaching and learning. We appreciate all of the people who work to make every day special in the life of a child’s education. We appreciate the support our community provides so that we are able to further our mission to provide excellence at every site. Mostly, we appreciate your putting your trust in us to build the future through every student we nurture. Enjoy Monroe City Schools’ STORY.


Monroe City Schools

Dr. Brent Vidrine Superintendent

School Board

Bishop Rodney McFarland, Sr. District V President Mrs. Victoria “Vickie” Dayton District I Vice President

Mrs. Jennifer Haneline District II Mr. William “Bill” Willson District III Mr. Daryll Berry District IV Mr. Brandon Johnson District VI Mrs. Brenda Shelling District VII Visit us on the Web http://www.mcschools.net

Monroe City Schools’ STORY is published three to four times a year on Monroe City Schools’ website. Monroe City Schools does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, or ethnic origin. Letters and inquiries should be addressed to: MCS STORY 2006 Tower Drive Monroe, LA 71201 story.magazine@mcschools.net

Groundbreaking Ceremonies Top: Carroll High School Medical Magnet Building, Center: Barkdull Faulk Gymnasium, Bottom: Carroll High School Performing Arts Center.

On the cover: Students at Wossman High School display their drone in the school’s courtyard. STEM--Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics--initiatives around the district create student enthusiasm and prepare them for the future workforce. *Special thanks to Kyle Gregory, retired librarian, for copy-editing this issue.


Monroe City Scapes: STORY/Fall 3

Top: Barkdull Faulk Elementary celebrated its 96th birthday in high style; Center: Golden Apple Teacher Brittany Robinson accepts a check for Carver Elementary; Carver’s Back to School Bash included fire prevention tips from City of Monroe Fire Department; Bottom: This colorful flier enticed many to attend Carver’s Bash


Top: Students tend the garden at J. S. Clark Magnet Elementary; Aaarrrgh! Lexington’s Pirates line up for a quick photo during Read-a-Thon; Bottom: Pirates filled the halls at Lexington Elementary (even some teacher ones!) during Read-a-Thon

Images from Around the District


Top: Teachers participate in back-to-school professional development and monthly Teacher Learning Community; Center: Generation Ready, a consulting firm from New York, recognized Jerry Mayhall and Michael Price, the principal and assistant principal of Martin Luther King, Jr., Junior High School; The PTO at Cypress Point University gifted the school with a state of the art sound system; Bottom: the new crest and courtyard at Wossman; this mural cheerfully greets visitors to CPU--also a PTO donation.


Top: Wossman High School’s 2017 Homecoming coronation with the theme of “Za’Kiya in Wonderland” honored Queen Za’Kiya Simmons and her royal court; Center: Sallie Humble teachers celebrate; Bottom: Neville’s Beth Smith received her finalist award for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from Louisiana First Lady Donna Edwards and District 5 BESE representative Gary Jones in the Governor’s Mansion; Counselor Aletha Nelson and Assistant Principal Katrina Roberson chaperoned Carroll Junior High’s eighth-grade girls to #OurGirlsRock (see STEM p. 11)


Clockwise from top left: Dr. Brian Bush tends the garden with three of his star students at J. S. Clark Magnet Elementary School; Mrs. Jennifer Harris talks with students in the courtyard of Madison James Foster Elementary; Mrs. Mary DeWitt reviews a student’s data binder at Cypress Point University Elementary School; and Mrs. Lissa Dumas supervises the cafeteria on Halloween at Sallie Humble Elementary School. These four MCSchools’ leaders recently graduated from National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program.

STORY/Fall 7


Photograph courtesy of Robert Wright

Photograph courtesy of Keith Trigg

Top: Carroll High School’s 2017Homecoming Queen Chekala Jones and Her Court; Bottom: Carroll High School students in Mr. Hewitt Hall’s civics class discuss political cartoons, and Neville High School’s 2017 Homecoming Queen Kennedy Boston-Woods and Her Court


STORY/Fall 9


Photographs courtesy of Frank DeTiege

In Memoriam Mr. Roy Neal Shelling, Sr.


STORY/Fall 11


S T EM “Dr. Garb, what did I just do? Why did it do that?!?” D’Anthony Williams at Carroll asks when his Boe-Bot goes backward rather than forward. “What pin did you use? Is it 14 and 15?” Teacher Dina Garb responds as she assists another student with entering a line of code. One Boe-Bot spirals at her feet, another moves forward a few inches, then backward the same distance--a constant whir fills the classroom. Across town at Neville, another class of students programs writes code that will command the tiny buzzers on their Boe-Bots to play songs: The Star-Spangled Banner, Joy to the World, a Rolling Stones tune. “Can you program a harmony? What would I change on here to change harmonies?” eleventh-grader Henry Spann asks guest instructor Billy Allen. Allen, a software developer and quality assurance engineer for JDA Software, answers with something about limitations of equipment, which satisfies Spann. Allen, along with Robert Herron, a Chief Information Officer with ProTom International in Texas, has volunteered his time to assist the novice programmers. These industry professionals volunteer their time because of the passion they have for their work and the growing demand for employees in all avenues of technology. The teacher, Jennifer Etzel, appreciates the perspective industry professionals bring to her Cyber Literacy I class. Over at Wossman, Ortadius Brass’s students work in small groups on breaking code, designing “smart” houses, and programming Boe-Bots. Pick up a newspaper, a labor report, an educational digest and you’ll likely see at least one mention of STEM.

STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—has garnered attention in recent years due to a projected surge in the demand for workers in STEM-related occupations. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the number of mathematics- and computer-related occupations will increase as much as 41% by the year 2024. None of the the other 22 major occupation groups are projected to increase even half as much. In such a rapidly changing market, that means schools are tasked with preparing students for careers that may not even exist now. And, let’s face it, schools have their work cut out for them already with meeting the demands of reading, writing, and arithmetic, not to mention high-stakes, standardized testing, and exposure to arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities. It’s a lot to juggle, but Monroe City Schools has embraced the initiative with a little help from our friends. This year all three high schools—Carroll, Neville, and Wossman—embarked upon a project to begin Northeast Louisiana’s only Cyber Academies by enrolling students in the first course, Cyber Literacy I. Thanks to a partnership with CenturyLink, Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, IBM, and the City of Monroe, the first cohort of students began the hands-on introductory course that could pique student interest in STEM-related careers. Tim McIlveene, Manager of Economic Development at CenturyLink, says, “For once north Louisiana is leading the STEM charge— from Shreveport to Monroe. There are as many as 3000 technology jobs along the I-20 corridor with new companies coming in all the time.” He goes on to express how urgently companies want to hire Louisiana kids for Louisiana jobs. “Our kids can do this here,” he says. “They don’t have to go far away.” CenturyLink’s Vice President--Economic Development, Carrick Inabnett, agrees, “Monroe City Schools’ implementation of the Cyber Innovation Center’s STEM curriculum this Fall, in its high schools, is going to


bring about major, positive change for the students taking these STEM courses. Students who are ready to enter the job market after high school will have the educational background and training to test for a number of I/T certifications which lead to high-paying I/T jobs. Students going on to community college or college/university will be prepared for a number of educational pathways such as I/T, engineering, computer science and STEM teaching, to name a few.” Through the Cyber Academies, Monroe City Schools’ students have access to Cyber Innovations-trained teachers and a curriculum approved by the Department of Homeland Security. The lessons center around the use of Boe-Bots (Board of Education Robots designed for junior high, high school, and college robotics courses) and Parallax software that allow students to learn electronics, programming, and robotics simultaneously. The City of Monroe, recognizing the importance of this initiative for local students and our community, underwrote the cost of the Boe-Bots with a $25,000 grant. Stanley Atkins, a freshman at Wossman High School, says of Cyber Literacy I, “I signed up because I like programming. When I go to college, I want to get into technology and media. This class teaches me, gives me a start in what I’ll do in college.” His classmate fellow freshman, Reginald Christian, agrees in the value of the course, “I liked building the BOE-Bots because I want to be a mechanical engineer.” Carroll’s Cyber Literacy teacher, Dr. Garb, explains that the course requires problem-solving skills and lots of physical handiwork, which appeals to some students more than others. It’s easy to see in even one visit to the class what students like about it—some students work alone, programming their Boe-Bot, which they built from unassembled parts earlier this year, while others interact constantly. “Do I have to delete all of this?” one student asks two others in reference to the BASIC instructions he’d just typed into the Parallax software. “No, do NOT,” another answers, then quickly corrects himself, “Oh, yeah, you’ve got to delete all of that and start over.” Neville junior, Tristan Sheppard, says that he was a true beginner with no previous experience in robotics. He reports that already this year he’s learned how electricity works, how resistors work and how important it is to write specific directions that others can follow exactly. The sole female student in Carroll’s class, De’Aveon Williams says, “I didn’t know what it was when I signed up for Cyber Literacy. I just wanted to try something new. It’s cool.” Her classmate D’Anthony Williams continues, “I want to be a college basketball STORY/Fall 13


Cyber

Literacy I

‘


player, but if I can’t do that I want to be an engineer. I like to take things apart. I took my whole Xbox apart and put it back together.” Dr. Garb says that a few students were very unhappy with the course in the beginning weeks when the content was primarily learning the circuits. She said that when she took out the Boe-Bots for the students to build, things changed. The “bots” arrived in a box filled with clear plastic bags of nuts, bolts, something that looks like what must be tiny circuits, multi-colored cables... Dr. Garb recalls that some students had never assembled anything, had never used a screwdriver before they built their robot. During this visit just a few weeks after that initial assembly, students obviously had mastered fundamental concepts of building, programming, and troubleshooting simple robots. #OurGirlsRock However, educators, community leaders, and parents understand that the interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics doesn’t suddenly develop when a student steps onto a high school or college campus. Elementary schools and junior highs nurture children’s love for these content areas at every step along the way. To that point, Chase and the Monroe Chamber Foundation

#OurGirlsRock STORY/Fall 15


Girl Power


#OurGirlsRock recently treated almost 200 eighth-grade girls to #OurGirlsRock, an event conceived in an effort to inspire young women to flex their brain power, consider STEM-related pursuits, and support one another in their academic journeys. Morgan Buxton, Site Communications and Community Engagement at Chase, explains, “Eighth grade is a pivotal point in learning. Students are on the brink of making the decision to be engaged and try--or not.” When Sue Nicholson, CEO of Monroe Chamber of Commerce, approached Tonia Hilburn, Site Leader at Chase, with the idea to treat area girls to a screening of Hidden Figures, Tonia went to Chase Global Philanthropy with the idea. With their funding and the high energy of Chase’s Women’s Interactive Network (WIN) volunteers, the girls walked into Pecanland Mall on a blue carpet with music blaring and cameras flashing. Guest speakers, Chris Bartlett, Site Leader for IBM; Dr. Tonya Hunter, Founder of The Well Woman Center; and Dr. Jacqueline Johnson, West Monroe Campus Director for Louisiana Delta Community College; along with Chase’s Tonia Hilburn, provided a motivational panel discussion following the film, and the girls left the day with the idea that they could pursue careers historically dominated by their male counterparts. According to Tonia HIlburn in a press release, “This collaboration between Monroe City Schools, Chase, and the Monroe Chamber Foundation is grounded in the belief that each of these girls deserves to see what opportunity looks like. If they work hard and apply themselves, their reach extends to the stars.” De’Terrika Bynum, a Carroll Junior High School student, remains committed to her goal of becoming a police officer or firefighter, both of which require science and technology skills. She said of #OurGirls Rock, “It was a lot of fun. I learned that I can be anything that I want to be as long as I put my mind to it.” De’Terrika says that the

STORY/Fall 17


If I Had a Hammer

event opened her mind to possibilities in STEM professions, especially since she loves science. For Trinity Stevenson, an eighth-grader from Martin Luther King, Jr., Junior High School, the event resonated on several levels, “I learned that it’s okay to fail sometimes. Teamwork makes the dream work. Sometimes boys think we’re weak. We’re stronger than they think.” She wants to become a veterinarian, a science-heavy curriculum. When asked if they wanted to be involved in future events that emphasized career possibilities for women, both agreed that such opportunities helped them reason through the choices they had ahead. If I Had a Hammer In a three-year partnership with Louisiana Delta Community College, our junior high schools,


Carroll, Lee, and Martin Luther King, Jr., picked up their tools this year to pilot “If I Had a Hammer.” Students in the project will build a house to scale. What better way to illustrate the importance of mathematics— content that often feels abstract to adolescents—than to put it to use in construction? Facilitator Matt Dickerson says that the district will host a “build day” later in the year when students will complete construction. This approach to having students apply mathematics in a concrete product supports deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Building Foundations Elementary schools continue to adopt strategies to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math into students’ daily practice with computer and science laboratory experiences, school gardens, and play. According to Carver Elementary’s Tondra Brooks, for example, “Teachers work together to create and teach engineering design challenges that spark student interest and cultivate curiosity in STEM activities.” Likewise, J. S. Clark science lab teacher, Asia Brown, develops lab experiences that engage students in creative thinking and that require persistence. On the day we spoke with her, she’d just facilitated a class that worked with LEGOs. She says that at the elementary level, science focuses on building inquiry skills. “It’s easy for students to regurgitate facts. However, if I ask them to meet a performance expectation, to build something, for example, students must be persistent, use trial and error, take abstract concepts and make them concrete. That’s hard for students and you can’t teach that. You facilitate it. You create a safe environment that brings that out in students.” District Support

Building Foundations

The focus on STEM begins with teachers who understand its importance and from district support of infrastructure and training required to promote innovation. Serena White, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, spends hours in pursuit of grant opportunities, professional development activities, and high quality instructional materials. Her efforts to build STEM programming recently resulted in her nomination for the Ada Lovelace Award Celebrating Women in Technology. Likewise, Darren Ducote, Director of Management Information Systems, works to keep the district’s infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of increased teacher and student use of hardware and software, as well as purchasing hardware built for education. In his seven years in the district, he and the MIS/Instructional Technology team have moved the network capacity tenfold up to 1Gigabyte with ability to scale up to 10 GB if necessary. That’s never been necessary. He and the eleven technologists keep approximately 10,000 devices and the Wide Area Network at the ready for instruction, assessment, and administrative activities. With the assistance of Jodie Moorhead, Instructional Tech-

STORY/Fall 19


nology Facilitator, the district is moving into a Google Chrome environment. Recent purchases of Chromebooks reinforce that direction. Ducote says that the Google platform is user-friendly and designed around modern operating system architecture which is cloud based. He believes this provides students the exposure to systems that will continue long into the future. As a graduate of Louisiana Tech in Computer Information Systems, Ducote agrees that K-12 education should embrace opportunities to experience multiple aspects of technology since almost every profession relies more and more upon technologies. “Technology is a tool that gives people the ability to do their jobs,” he says. “The whole backbone is the infrastructure—communicating—that’s what makes technologies work.” Moving Forward Serena White, school-based staff, and partners are developing courses and options district schools will offer next year and beyond. With the work of dedicated educators partnering with industry and the community, STEM fields are well within students’ reach.

Top: Instructional Technology’s LaMario Moy, Lisa Coleman, Clint Hutson, Martha Johnson, Jodie Moorhead, Valerie Brown, Moses Perkins, Jr., Richard Smith, Kyle Horstman, William Moore, Aletha Alston, and Darren Ducote; Bottom: Serena White, nominee for Ada Lovelace Award, and Tim McIlveene, CenturyLink’s Manager for Economic Development


Simply t Ericka Kelly 1st Grade Teacher Barkdull Faulk “All students can learn!” The highlight of Ms. Kelly’s day is seeing her students’ faces and helping them learn.

KaTonja Jenkins Curriculum Coordinator Berg Jones “Your choices decide your future; choose wisely.” What does Ms. Jenkins love? Walking the halls and seeing/hearing the students in the classrooms actively participating in the lessons and activities.

Every school has them...oh, you know the type, those amaz-

ing people who make each day special with their morning chirpiness and afternoon pats on the back. Those people who never look like they’re working because their faces show that they genuinely relish whatever task (or person) is before them, the ones who get excited about making bulletin boards or using a new font for the “Please Sign Papers” folders, the men and women who keep Lysol and hand sanitizer at the ready so that they and their students stay healthy through flu season. Our classrooms, cafeterias, offices, and school buses teem with these people. Many of them go

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c m E= STORY/Fall 21

about their routines quietly, no hustle and bustle or moaning and groaning (i.e. why does he call a faculty meeting when he could send us an email?! If someone knocks on that door one more time... Uhhh, I’ve said that 100 times and they still missed it!) Not that these people are saints--we all have our moments! But most of the adults who devote their lives to serving students and their families do it out of a deep mission to make the world a better place one student at a time. School districts are part of the proverbial village that it takes to raise a child. Administrators, board members, teachers, paraprofessionals, school food service technicians, maintenance and facilities specialists, administrative professionals, coaches, and sponsors


the Best partner with parents, caregivers, community business people and residents to foster an environment that challenges each student to become more than even we can imagine...

the children at their schools, nurturing a love for learning, watching them discover new ideas. It didn’t matter if the person was building supervisor, junior high social studies, or high school secretary; the people pictured on these pages expressed a passion for what they do and with whom they do it. If you don’t see the person at your school--or your child’s school--the bus driver who reminds your student to do homework each night or the cafeteria worker who knows your child’s food allergies better than you do, don’t worry. Each issue we’ll honor outstanding Monroe City Schools’ employees, the men and women who are our most respected colleagues and protectors of our most valued assets--our students.

Test Tomorrow We asked school and district leaders to think about the people on their campuses who epitomize that ideal, the people who don’t think of what they do as “above and beyond” because it’s what they do. We asked each honoree two questions: First, what phrase, motto, or saying is your trademark? the thing students will fondly think of when they look back at having been in your class? We all remember that third grade reading teacher who always, always said from behind the glasses perched at the very end of her nose, “You cannot, but you may,” when we asked, “Can I go to the bathroom?” or the cafeteria manager who quipped, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Then, we asked, what is the highlight of your work day? Their mottos varied in wording but were surprisingly similar in sentiment. Likewise, the highlights of their work days expressed a love for getting to know

Homework: Chp. 3 pages 76-91

LaPashen Robinson 3rd Grade Math Teacher Berg Jones

“If at first you don’t succeed, TRY AGAIN!” Watching her small groups in action is what Ms. Robinson anticipates each day. She thinks it’s exciting to listen to them share ideas, discuss solutions or alternatives and take it upon themselves to make sure that everyone is involved.


Kay Benjamin 7th Grade ELA Teacher Carroll Junior

“In life we all have choices---make good ones today.” The highlight of Ms. Benjamin’s day is when her students (particularly those who have been labeled as ‘problem students’) are engaged in the lesson and participating in class.

Brian Scholes 7th Grade Teacher Social Studies Carroll Junior “OK!” Mr. Scholes’ sees each day’s highlight as getting to do something he’s dreamed of doing since he was a student himself, knowing that he can positivly impact student’s lives in and out of the classroom.

“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

Tondra Brooks 5th/6th Grade Teacher Science Carver The highlight of each day is seeing her students eager and excited about learning something new. STORY/Fall 23


Vickie Gibson Special Services Paraprofessional Carver “If it wasn’t for His grace and mercy...” The highlight of each day for Ms. Gibson is in making at least one child a day feel special.

Vickie Harris 2nd Grade Paraprofessional Clara Hall “Life is your message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring.” The highlight of Ms. Harris’ day is to teach with wisdom and love and to see joy in the eyes of the students. This enables students to utilize the acquired knowledge not only in the school setting but also in the home and community as well.

“What is done in love, is done well.”

Shuntaye Wilson 2nd Grade Teacher ELA/Writing Clara Hall

The highlight of Ms. Wilson’s day is connecting with the students in the hallways, playground, and, of course, in the classroom. Building a positive relationship with students before they even step a foot in the classroom has been a major motivational tool. “They try so very hard to please me, and I just love them for that.”


“It is the work that makes the difference. Prove the impossible. Never give up!”

Darlene Brown 6th Grade Teacher Math and Science J. S. Clark Magnet

And what is the highlight of Ms. Brown’s school day? Those “Aha” moments!

Sandy Moore Computer Operator J. S. Clark Magnet “I’ll get you some ice.” For Ms. Moore, the highlight of any day is when former students return to visit. To see how they have grown, matured, and the success that they have made with their life is always a blessing.

Matthias Drewry 4th Grade Teacher Science & Social Studies Cypress Point University “GRIT means don’t quit!” His daily highlight is greeting each class as they enter the room. He loves shaking hands, getting hugs, giving compliments, smiles. This moment sets the tone to have a great day.

STORY/Fall 25


“You got that right!”

Paris Williams 1st Grade Teacher Cypress Point University Ms. Williams’ favorite part of the day is greeting her students when they enter her classroom.

LaQuindra Zeigler 4th Grade ELA Teacher Jefferson Upper “It’s OK to be wrong; it’s not OK to not try!” Assisting in the educational and emotional growth of students is the highlight of Ms. Zeigler’s work . “...knowing that I had some small part to play in my students successfully acquiring a particular skill in class and making good decisions in life” brings this honoree satisfaction!

Jesse Flunder

8th Grade ELA Teacher Lee

The highlight of each day for Mr. Flunder is learning something new about his students. Getting to know students helps establish positive relationships which cultivates an atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect.


Kim Foster

Inclusion Teacher Lee “Yes, Sir.” “Yes, Ma’am.”

Ms. Foster addresses her students as “sir” and “ma’am” as a show of respect. She says that respect is not something one can put an age on. Respect is earned at every age. She wants to remind them to respect themselves, but also respect others and to boost their self-esteem by validating their importance.

Shannon Guy Pre-K Paraprofessional Lexington “Every morning is a new box of crayons!” Ms. Guy loves art, music, and storytelling best each day. She believes that creativity and kindness are essential for a successful future as individuals and as a whole society.

Lunchtime is the highlight of Ms. McLaurin’s day when she sits with her students and everyone is happy and talking about random things. She enjoys getting to know her students.

April McLaurin 2nd Grade Teacher Lexington

“There are no babies in second grade. We are big kids, and you can do it if you try!”

STORY/Fall 27


Ms. Carter chalks up seeing her students interact with the cafeteria staff as the highlight of her day. “They always try to mimic the way I speak to the staff.”

Kimberly Carter 5th Grade Math Teacher Madison James Foster “When you leave my classroom, you represent me and you represent me well.”

“I love every moment of every day that I’m at work.”

Eddie Wilhite Support Staff Madison James Foster Mr. Wilhite was honored as the 2016-2017 Support Staff member of the year at Madison James Foster!

Matt Dickerson

Career Tech Ed Facilitator Neville High School “Feel good about it?”

Coach Dickerson loves when his students who have had little to no background in welding are succeeding in the shop. Each student wants to show what he has done that day, competing among themselves on who has the best welds. “This is great for an education environment, students pushing students!!”


Beth Smith Math Teacher Neville

“Don’t be afraid. You have your ‘Handy Dandy’ to help you out!”(Referring to their calculator and problems with big numbers, decimals, negatives and the dreaded fractions.) The highlight of the work day is seeing her kids, over the course of the year, two years, and even sometimes three years, grow mathematically and as young adults.

Mike Davis Building Supervisor Sallie Humble “My most memorable moment was when I was promoted to building supervisor. I have been an employee at Sallie Humble for many years, and this was an honor for me. I take pride in our school.” Mr. Davis was 2016-17 Support Staff member of the year.

Shannon Embanato 3rd Grade ELA Teacher Sallie Humble “When I have a moment to connect with a child on a non-educational level,” is the highlight of Ms. Embanato’s day. Followed closely by “seeing a child’s pride soar in the classroom! I love those ‘aha’ moments!” STORY/Fall 29


Donna Grimes Administrative Assistant Wossman “Hey, Boo Boo.” Nothing pleases Ms. Grimes more than when she sees a kid smile and tell her that he or she made a good grade in a class. “It makes it all worthwhile!”

Tongia Reed Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair Wossman “I want you to be great!” According to Ms. Reed, “When a student gets what I’m teaching or talking about, when the lightbulb comes on—that’s the highlight of my day.”


19 STORY’s

for Fall 2017

Flip t h ro u g h t h e s e p a g e s to s e e a fe w the st u d en t s w ho m a k e o u r s c h o o ls g r e a t pla ces t o t each a n d le a r n ! T h is is s u e ’s top sch o l ars rev e a l th e ir fa v e s c h o o l m emo ry. ( lis t ed a l p h a b e ti c a l l y b y s c h o o l n am e) STORY/Fall 31


LATRON DANIELS

Second Grade Barkdull Faulk “I love using my math data binder to track my progress.” From the looks of this photo, Latron has a lot of progress to track! Latron is the son of Latron Daniels, Sr.

JULIAN EARL

Sixth Grade Carver “Last year at Carver, I had fun at May Day. We had jumpers and played football. I enjoyed the jumpers. My favorite sport is football, so I was looking forward to May Day.” Julian is the son of Roshawn Earl.

MICHELLE JENEA BROWN

Eighth Grade Carroll Junior High An honors student, Michelle’s favorite memory of CJHS is being named this year’s Miss Carroll Junior High School! Her parents are Angel Richard and Michael Winn.

JAYDEN BUCKLEY

Second Grade Clara Hall “I like school because I get to be a leader. And, I like P.E.!” This leader at Clara Hall is the son of Sheila Buckley.


MADISON CHERRY

Sixth Grade J. S. Clark Magnet “I’ll never ever forget in Mrs. LaSuzzo’s class, we had Corduroy the teddy bear. Every day she would pick a student to get to take Corduroy home.” Madison’s pre-k memory is one of many fond moments at Clark. Her parents are Alford and Tamika Cherry.

KAITLYN A’KIRA NICHOLSON

Sixth Grade Cypress Point This Beta Club member and Million Word Reader says, “My favorite memory was when I met Teoné C’Mon Winston.” Deunquenette Jones and Quasean Nicholson are her parents. STORY/Fall 33

ZAIRE RIVERS

Sixth Grade J. S. Clark Magnet Zaire remembers 100.1 The Beat at Clark after testing last year. “We danced, talked, and sang. We even had a dance circle. Every time 100.1 comes to school, I always have a lot of fun.” Zaire is the daughter of Freddy and Sylvia Rivers.

TEONÉ WINSTON

Sixth Grade Cypress Point Teoné, 2018 Beta Club President, believes that being awarded 2017 Cypress Point Student of the Year is her fondest memory of school. She is the daughter of Tyronza Davis and Remond Winston.


ZAMAYA CARTER

Sixth Grade Jefferson Upper “I love learning new things and being challenged by my teachers.” Bet Zamaya also loves being this year’s Student of the Year at Jefferson! She is the daughter of Leonisha Carter and Cory Straughter.

DENIM NELSON

Second Grade Lexington “My favorite memory is all of my teachers and I will miss them. In pre-k, I met all of my best friends.” He liked dressing up as Dr. Seuss also! Shemetra and Derrick Nelson are Denim’s parents.

KINSLEA JOHNSON

Second Grade Lexington “My favorite memory is when we played puppets in Ms. Maddox’s class and when we made slime with Mrs. Rachal.” Kinslea’s parents are Katie and Chad Johnson.

KAMRON JOHNSON

Sixth Grade Madison James Foster “When I won Student of the Year (2016-17), it made me feel happy and proud. I got a chance to go to a ceremony at ULM. I was excited because I received two plaques.” His parents are Latoya and Rubin Johnson.


DRAYLON WILSON

Second Grade Madison James Foster “When I was a reindeer in the Christmas program it made me very happy. We practiced every day until the day of the show.” This honoree is the son of Shelia Williams and Derrick Wilson, Sr.

JAKYRA WILLIAMS

Twelfth Grade Neville Jakyra Williams, president of the 2018 senior class,says, “My favorite memory at Neville High School is recieving $50 for earning the distinction of AP Scholar.” Jakyra’s parents are Dianna and Jimmy Williams. STORY/Fall 35

LUCY SARTOR

Twelfth Grade Neville Student Body President Lucy fondly remembers first day of senior year, dressing up for pep rallies, creating bonds with teachers, and winning the “Watch Me Whip” danceoff sophomore year. She is daughter of Sue and Walter Sartor.

AIDEN ELLIOTT

Sixth Grade Sallie Humble “My most memorable moment is when I was elected Vice President of our Junior Beta Club. I was honored to be selected, and this also made my parents very proud of me.” Those proud parents are Talitha and Courtney Elliott.


LILLY JOYCE

Sixth Grade Sallie Humble Lilly recalls, “My teachers asked me to stay after class one day. I thought I was in trouble! Instead, my teachers gave me a big gift basket to take to St. Jude Children’s Hospital where my sister was receiving treatment.” Kathryn and Jeff Joyce are her parents.

ZAKIYA SIMMONS

Twelfth Grade Wossman “This year’s Senior Bonfire. It was the first time that we’ve had an event like this at school,” says Zakiya of her favorite school memory. Her parents are Tory Doyle and Kevin Simmons.

JARVIS ROBERSON

Twelfth Grade Wossman Jarvis’ favorite high school memory is simple: “Playing football.” A Wildcats’ wide receiver, Jarvis is the son of Kenya Roberson.


It’s All in the Details Top Row: Minnie Ruffin, Carroll Junior, Madison James Foster; Middle Row: Neville, Barkdull Faulk, Sallie Humble; Bottom Row: Wossman, J. S. Clark, Cypress Point

How well do you know your school? Can you identify these Monroe City schools from the pictured building detail? The fall flowers are from across the city.

Monroe City Schools' STORY Volume I Issue 1  

STORY is the quarterly, digital magazine published by Monroe City Schools in Monroe, Louisiana.

Monroe City Schools' STORY Volume I Issue 1  

STORY is the quarterly, digital magazine published by Monroe City Schools in Monroe, Louisiana.

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