CISD - Our Story Spring /Summer 2019

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Spring/Summer 2019

Letter from the

SUPERINTENDENT Brad Hunt Dear Coppell ISD Families, We are excited to bring another issue of the Coppell ISD “Our Story” magazine to our community. We received great feedback from our inaugural issue, and our second edition continues our commitment to inform and engage our community by sharing about the great things happening in the district. In this issue, we are pleased to continue to spotlight our Strategic Design Core Values. You can find out more about Great Teaching and how teachers are designing meaningful lessons to engage students in deep learning. You also will learn more about the “whys and hows” behind our use of technology in the classroom. Another story shares a Strategic Design update and more about our Redefining Success priority strategy. We feature one of our amazing volunteers, Sangeeta Bachani, whose dedicated service to the district personifies our Relationships and Engagement Values. We also feature our 2019 Distinguished Alumni, who we are so proud to recognize for the first time with this honor. Additional articles provide insight on safety and security within the district, highlight student athletics and fine arts achievements, put the spotlight on some of our behind-the-scenes staff and more. Once again, this magazine would not be possible without the generosity of our community and business partners, whose advertisements help fund this publication. We thank them for their support! As this magazine prints, we will be welcoming our newest students via Kindergarten Round-Ups. Concurrently, we are preparing for the May graduation ceremonies for Coppell High School and New Tech High @ Coppell. I look to the future with great hope as our newest students begin their CISD story, and as our graduates embark on the next chapter of their lives. Heading into the 2019-2020 school year, I am excited about the changes and opportunities ahead as we open our 11th elementary school — Canyon Ranch Elementary. Look for a sneak peak of this campus and meet its principal, Ashley Minton, on page 12. I am thankful each day for the opportunity to serve our amazing children, our exceptional educators and our engaged community, and to be part of “Our Story.”

Sincerely, Superintendent Coppell ISD Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •


Table of

CONTENTS 200 S. Denton Tap Road Coppell, TX 214-496-6000


PUBLISHERS Scott & Kelly Murray


EDITORS Jana Melton Steve Gamel Bobbi Byrne Emily Mitchell


3 Letter from the Superintendent

5 Get to Know Coppell ISD

5 Coppell ISD Board of Trustees

6 Strategic Design Update

10 Sangeeta Bachani: Why I Volunteer

by State for Teaching Excellence

21 Teacher of the Year Coppell ISD

22 CISD Staff Recognition

23 Behind the Scenes: Coppell ISD Staff Features

with CISD

11 Parent U: Important Issues & Topics

12 Canyon Ranch Elementary Prepares for August Opening

14 Technology in the Classroom Facilitates Enhanced Learning

Transition Services

26 Fine Arts Update

27 Distinguished Alumni Coppell ISD

28 You Matter: Spotlight on Core Values in Action

16 Great Teaching Leads to Deep Learning

17 Coppell Cowboys Logo is Trademarked

18 CISD Athletics News & Accolades

24 Intervention Services: Providing Assessment, Intervention &

for Our Families

20 New Tech’s Janelle Bence Recognized

30 CISD Welcomes Students Back-toSchool August 14

31 Road Trip Find It

Connect with CISD: Website: District announcements, upcoming dates and news stories are available at Links to each school’s website also are available at this site and these sites include specific key dates and links to each campus, including to teacher websites. The Parents page on the CISD website also has resources and tips for our families. District e-Newsletter: The CISD Informed Newsletter is delivered via email every other week. Issues & Concerns: As issues or concerns about your student arise, parents and guardians are encouraged to communicate with those individuals closest to the issue. Begin with the child’s teacher, then use campus resources such as a counselor, assistant principal and principal. Staff members in Coppell ISD want to partner with you and ask you to be inclusive of your campus personnel when seeking answers to your questions or sharing your concerns. CISD Child Find: Coppell ISD is obligated to identify and evaluate individuals from birth through 21 years of age who may have a suspected disability that results in a need for special education services. This includes concerns related to physical development, vision, hearing, speech/ communication, social-emotional, learning disabilities, Autism and delays in overall development, including daily living skills. Please call Intervention Services for Child Find concerns at 214-496-6955. Cover: Coppell Middle School East 8th grade student Abimil Philpus.


• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

CONTRIBUTORS Coppell ISD Adam Bennett Naveen Boppana Beth Robb Amanda Simpson Tammy Taylor ADVERTISING Kelly Murray PRODUCTION Art Director Lizeth Wallace Graphic Designers Alyson Modene Caroline Brock SUBMIT ARTICLE IDEAS Email to submit article ideas for future issues of this magazine. SOCIAL MEDIA

Published by Murray Media Group. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher or the Coppell Independent School District. Coppell ISD is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher and Coppell ISD. © 2019 Murray Media Group.

Get to


CISD CABINET • Back row, from left to right: Dr. Deana Dynis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning • Stephen McGilvray, Executive Director of Technology • Kit Pehl, Athletic Director • Brad Hunt, Superintendent • Cody Koontz, Principal Representative • Sid Grant, Associate Superintendent • Louis Macias, Executive Director of Facilities and Special Projects • Diana Sircar, Chief Financial Officer. Front row, from left to right: Kristen Streeter, Assistant Superintendent • Kelly Mires, Executive Director of Human Resources • Dr. Angie Applegate, Assistant Superintendent • Laura Flynn, Principal Representative.


he Board of Trustees consists of seven members elected by voters residing within the district’s boundaries. Trustees serve three-year terms without pay. School Board elections are held annually. Vacancies occurring after the election may be filled by appointment until the next election is conducted.

Leigh Walker Place 1

Manish Sethi Place 2

Anthony Hill Place 3

Thom Hulme Place 4

David Caviness Place 5

Nichole Bentley Place 6

Tracy Fisher Place 7

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •






bout 18 months ago,

learners. Each individual

Coppell ISD began the

student at CISD brings

important work of defining the

with them talents, passions,

vision and roadmap for the district

and interests that we want to help

over the coming years. The initial work

them invest in, explore and celebrate.

resulted in the definition of the CISD

As such, we have created opportunities for

Core Values, as well as a re-defined Mission Statement: Working together, we are committed

internal campaign called “Cover Story,” where we honor educators and staff across

to creating profound learning

the district who are creating Values-driven

experiences for each child, while

stories, and then we share these with

nurturing meaningful relationships, to

our broader community. We have seen

positively impact our world.

inspiring examples of how our schools and

This year, CISD’s goals for our Strategic

administration are building relationships with

Design effort are focused on aligning our

our learners, how our business and parent

work to the Values, while also working with

communities are supporting our schools, and

the CISD community to tackle the areas of

a great number of examples of great teaching

opportunity identified in the initial phases of

being experienced by our learners every day.

this Strategic Design process. We determined

In addition, we have advanced our efforts

parents, students, educators and staff to help conceive potential strategies for solving the big, audacious goal of “elevating success beyond grades.” We are now working on specifically defining ideas we can start to pilot throughout the district. There won’t be just one, there will be many solutions, and we will continue to gather feedback, evaluate, and learn as we go. Over the coming year, we will continue to build advocacy for our Values and work with our community to make progress on

these goals with the feedback from our

to help ensure each individual’s contribution

stakeholders in mind, intentionally moving at

at CISD is valued. One of our priority

a measured pace while continuing to engage

strategies we sought out to solve, which

for, and what we want to be known for at

our community as we progress.

aligns with our Redefining Success Value, is:

Coppell ISD. We thank everyone for joining

One highlight over this past school year is our progress in storytelling and celebrating the ways in which our students, educators,

In what ways might we elevate measures of success beyond grades. While grades are important, they are only

our path to fully realizing what we stand

us on this Strategic Design journey and look forward to the coming months and years. Look for our progress through our stories,

campuses and broader CISD community are

one measure of learning. We at CISD do not

our social media channels, and at

living out our Values. We launched a new

believe grades alone equal success for our


• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •


CISD Continues to



ach day, Coppell ISD works to provide a safe environment This includes the hiring of retired Coppell School Resource for students, staff, families, and community visitors. Officer Rachael Freeman as the CISD Safety and This proactive approach, along with partnerships with Security Coordinator. “School safety and the Coppell Police Department, the Dallas County “Rachael brings to CISD more than 20 years of security continues to be our Sheriff’s Department, and Irving Police Department, top priority. In the the past experience as a police officer with the Coppell includes analyzing potential threats, performing year, CISD has made many campus safety audits, implementing and drilling Police Department, which includes nine years enhancements to to its safety the Standard Response Protocol, and conducting as a School Resource Officer at several CISD threat scenario training with CISD staff. and security efforts.” campuses,” said Jennifer Villines, Director of “School safety and security continues to be our - Superintendent Student and Staff Services.. “Her experience top priority,” said Superintendent Brad Hunt. “In the Brad Hunt and her heart for our students makes Rachael the past year, CISD has made many enhancements to to its safety and security efforts.”


• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

exceptionally qualified for this position.”

Freeman reminds the community that, as we continue to look out for each other and keep, “If you see something, say something,” in mind, CISD has an anonymous tip line available at or by calling 972-436-TIPS (8477). “School safety is about being aware, being prepared, and being alert,” Freeman said. “Working together with our community helps us all work toward a common goal of being safe and secure in schools.” ADDITIONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES IMPLEMENTED THIS SCHOOL YEAR INCLUDE: • Expanding the district’s crisis counseling team as part of our commitment to the social, emotional and mental health needs of our students; • Adding enhanced safety procedures at Coppell High School, which includes streamlining student entrances and exits, and providing a protected vestibule for the school’s receptionist; • Conducting additional Standard Response Protocol drills, which “train the brain” so that students and staff know what to do during any crisis, as outlined at srp.html;

• Offering a video Standard Response Protocol training for parents, which is available on the district’s Facebook page at;

• Investing in a safety and security app to streamline emergency plans and alerts for district buildings and staff; • Testing the “CISD Alert” emergency notification system twice each school year, which would send an email, phone call, and text message to our community in the event of an emergency in addition to posts on the CISD website and social media channels; • Purchasing security wands to check students for weapons at our secondary school campuses, as wands are cost effective and can be used anywhere, at any time, and without limitations;

• Partnering with the Coppell Police Department’s Teen Diversion Program for students who have received a referral for a minor alcohol, tobacco, or drug related offense; the Teen Diversion Program is a six week program designed for parents and students to receive prevention education and support; • Piloting the Play it Safe abuse prevention program curriculum at two campuses this spring, which provides children with information and practical skills to protect themselves by recognizing, reacting to, and reporting potentially dangerous situations;

• Enhancing security procedures at Buddy Echols Field and other district athletic venues; • Having our Safety and Security Design Committee continue to meet to enhance our safety and security efforts; • Continuing use of the Raptor check-in system to protect campuses from unauthorized access to schools, which determines the identity of any individual entering a school or accessing secure areas within the building using a driver’s license, passport, or other government ID; • Implementing Teen Intervene by Hazelden, which is a teen and parent education course offered for students who experience mild to moderate substance use that covers all drugs, but has a special focus on alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco;

• Offering “Flashing Lights: Creating Safe Interactions Between Citizens and Law Enforcement” course, which is a product of the Texas Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30) passed by the 85th Texas Legislature and defines the behavior and expectations of citizens and law enforcement during traffic interactions. We also have worked alongside CISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to provide presentations for our community on suicide prevention, drug trends, vaping, and the myths about marijuana and more. All of these presentations can be viewed on the Parent U playlist at Details about CISD safety and security can be found at

• Expanding the CISD School Resource Officer (SRO) partnership with the City of Irving to provide a SRO for the district’s two elementary schools in Irving;

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •



Why I Volunteer with CISD


upporting our campuses or joining a district committee offers many benefits to our students, as well as to those who volunteer or connect with us. We invited one of our volunteers, Sangeeta Bachani, to share more about her Coppell ISD experience. Which committees have you volunteered with at CISD? DEIC (District Education Improvement Committee), the Calendar Sub-committee, Facilities’ Naming Committee, Strategic Design, as well as campus and campus PTO efforts, including room mom, Hospitality, Community Night, Socials and Programs, and I’ve participated in iLead. Additionally, I volunteer with the Coppell ISD Education Foundation.

It really motivates volunteers like me to provide further input and participate in these committees and programs. My favorite memory by far was serving as the Chair for Community Night at Valley Ranch Elementary (VRE). It was my last year at VRE, and I had decided to do something to give back to the school. We welcomed 1,200 people in attendance and raised record-breaking funds for the school. It was an amazing night with performers, games, food, amazing raffle prizes, and local business sponsors. Everyone had smiles and it was a memorable night! Thanks to Mrs. Arterbery for this opportunity! What would you tell your friends and others in the CISD community about why they should participate on a committee and/ or volunteer with the district? I volunteer because there is a need and our campuses and district appreciate it. I also volunteer because our kids watch us, and it becomes a matter of pride for them. Volunteering at CISD helps you to learn about the system and better understand what, how, and why things happen. I appreciate having the opportunity to get to provide input on important decisions and get to know more people. It’s a great way to give back to your community and enrich yourself. Overall, I feel like an educated consumer at CISD, and that administrators at CISD are transparent and listening. For more opportunities about how to “chip in” with CISD, please visit

“I appreciate having the opportunity to get to provide input on important decisions and get to know more people.”

What is your favorite memory or proudest accomplishment serving and volunteering with CISD? One of my favorites are the socials at CMS East, where the kids come to school over certain Friday evenings through the year for two hours of fun with their buddies in a safe environment. It makes for a super fun evening for middle schoolers. The students’ smiles, screams, and dancealongs make it a memorable event at East EVERY time! With the Strategic Design Core Values workshop, we were given the task of brainstorming what would become the four Core Values of CISD. It gives me joy to say those workshops turned out to be very valuable and the best use of our time. What we did in those hours came to life when CISD adopted them into the system! 10

• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

PARENT U Important Issues & Topics for Our Families P

artnering with our families to best

includes ongoing CISD communication

support our students is a Coppell ISD

and updates on a variety of topics through

Calvert, Assistant United States Attorney

priority, which is why we launched Parent

multiple channels, including parent emails,

Northern District of Texas.

University (Parent U) a few years ago. Parent

the district Informed e-newsletter, as well

Videos of all of these presentations can

U focuses on developing, designing, and

as through in-person events, videos, and

be found at the district’s YouTube channel —

delivering information and tools to our parent

Facebook Live.

community throughout the year, with a focus

This school year, Parent U has focused on

• Drugs and the Opioid Epidemic by Rick

For 2019-2020, Parent U will continue to

on social, emotional and physical health.

drug and alcohol abuse education and the

address these and other issues important

Information about the curriculum and how to

mental health of our students. Examples of

to our community.

extend learning at home helps families with

recent Parent U topics and speakers this

key transition periods during K-12 grades, as

year include:

well as informing on important topics such

• Emerging Alcohol + Drug Trends, led

as drug and alcohol abuse education, school

by Tamara Keller, Drug Enforcement

safety, and digital citizenship.

Administration Forensic Chemist;

We share Parent U topics in a variety of formats and venues. This includes Parent Toolkit, a one-stop resource developed for parents with information about almost every

• Suicide Awareness talks to both students and parents by mental health expert Jeff Yalden; • Exploring the Myths of Alcohol, Drugs,

aspect of a child’s development available

and Vaping by Dr. Harold C. Urschel, Chief

at Parent U also

Medical Strategist for Enterhealth; and

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •



Prepares for August Opening


• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

hough Canyon Ranch Elementary doesn’t open until August 2019, plans are already in place to welcome the new staff and students to this new facility in Valley Ranch. Principal Ashley Minton comes to Canyon Ranch with experience as the Assistant Principal of Richard J. Lee Elementary, as well as an educator and instructional coach in CISD for the last 11 years. Mary Myles French, current Valley Ranch Assistant Principal, also will transfer to Canyon Ranch as its assistant principal. There also will be many familiar faces for students and parents as they walk in the doors the first time, as nearly half of Canyon Ranch’s educators will transfer from Pinkerton, Lakeside, Valley Ranch, and Richard J. Lee Elementary schools. Minton and her staff have met with students transferring to the new campus, and they have selected the school’s logo, school colors, and mascot – the coyotes. The administrative team and educators are collaborating to plan for the upcoming year, integrating the district's Core Values and the school's instructional focus on experiences that promote deeper learning. In addition, classes will be organized in a “house” structure, similar to Richard J. Lee, with K-2 and 3-5 classes engaging in learning together. Learn more at

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •



CLASSROOM Facilitates Enhanced Learning


oday’s students are digital experts, as they have grown up with the use of technology and devices woven into their lives. In the classroom, technology is more than using iPads for

educational “games,” coursework, and homework. It is another teaching tool that facilitates interaction between a teacher and a learner. “Learning is about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, critical thinking, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity,” said Dr. Angie Applegate, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Using technology is a crucial component of this concept.”


• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

Technology is a critical teaching tool with

administrators, parents and students.

One of the greatest benefits for

many benefits to enhancing teaching and

The committee is responsible for developing

technology in the classroom is student

learning. These include enhancing student

the four-year plan that guides the district’s

workforce readiness.

engagement, improving knowledge retention,

use of technology.

encouraging individual learning, facilitating

“Students who use technology in the

“We cover everything from hardware

classroom today will be more adapted

collaboration, and developing lifelong digital

to network access and infrastructure to

to using it in the future,” Garvey said.

citizenship and technology skills.

anti-cheating measures, to ensuring we have

“Technology use promotes necessary work

the tools and supports ready to facilitate

skills like critical thinking, independent

instruction and give learners the opportunity

learning at the highest level within the

research, and cross-platform readiness,

to connect with each other, both in and

district,” said Stephen McGilvray, Executive

alongside the proficiencies necessary for

outside of the classroom,” said Nancy Garvey,

Director of Technology.

success in the digital workforce.”

“Technology is used to transform

Director of Digital Learning. “Students can

The committee is set to present its

use technology to learn at their own pace

2019-2023 plan to the CISD Board of

and learn the content that they need to

Trustees later this spring.

Learn more at digitallearning.

focus on, while allowing teachers to perform assessments and deliver relevant curriculum in innovative and dynamic ways.” According to Garvey, there are several common myths and misconceptions about the use of technology in teaching at CISD. “We take a balanced approach, and our learners are not on technology 24/7 in classrooms,” she said. “There are still books, pencils, paper, and teacher-to-student and student-to-student interactions.” Parents also play an important role in their child’s use of technology as a learning tool. All parents have a Schoology account, separate from their child’s account, to track class assignments, projects, and progress. Digital portfolios via the district’s Bulb platform allow students to showcase video, audio and other snapshots of their learning. The parent Home Access Center (HAC) account tracks assignments and grades, though the district doesn’t recommend checking grades daily. Parents can access these applications at “Knowing more about their child’s use of technology allows for connections at home to take place and for parents to engage in their

ONLINE SAFETY TIPS Online safety and the use of technology go hand-in-hand. CISD offers the following online safety tips: • Have your children use their school-issued or personal devices in a public area of the house. • Most social media sites require users be at least 13 to have an account. Don’t let younger children pretend to be older to use social media and ensure profiles are private. • Have your children show you their social media profiles. Ask to see their friends’ profiles. • Treat your children’s online activities like you do their offline ones. Ask questions about what they do, who their friends are and if they have made any new friends. • Set clear rules you can all agree on regarding what your children are allowed to do online. Make sure you decide if your children are allowed to post photos of themselves and open accounts without your permission. • Have your children tell you if they ever see anything online that makes them uncomfortable or scared. Make sure they understand you won’t blame them. • Visit for additional online safety resources.

child’s learning journey,” Garvey said. As technology evolves, CISD is planning for the future with its Long Range Plan for Technology Committee of teachers,

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •



he topic of education is highly debated among our state legislators, as well as around the dining room table in homes across our community. Educators, principals and school administrators are grappling with the implementation of best practices that lead to deep learning for all students. The educators and administrators of Coppell ISD have created and implemented a tool to guide the great teaching and deep learning in our schools. The CISD Learning Framework is a dynamic document that incorporates the elements of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) and provides specificity regarding the learning environment, curriculum, learning design, and assessment. LEARNING DESIGN BEGINS WITH THESE PLC QUESTIONS: • What do we expect our learners to learn? • How will we know they have learned it? • What will we do if they have not learned it? • What will we do if they already know it? “Learners have an innate sense of curiosity and wonder,” said Dr. Deana Dynis, CISD Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. “They dream, imagine and create. CISD educators capitalize on this natural curiosity, and design lessons to enhance learning based on these concepts.” For example, each elementary campus has a program of choice incorporated into 16

• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

their schedules, such as “WIN (What I Need) Time” at Mockingbird and Wilson Elementary schools. This time allows teachers from all grades and disciplines, including librarians and specials teachers, to give students what they need on a consistent basis. According to Dr. Dynis, educators in all levels of the district facilitate constructivist and inquiry-based learning experiences. Constructivist teaching is based on the belief that learning occurs as students are actively involved making meaning and knowledge construction, instead of passively receiving information. Achieved by intentional design, these learning experiences can be the bridge between a learner’s prior understanding and new ideas. Inquiry-based learning experiences allow learners to collaborate, communicate, model, investigate, and reflect as they develop an understanding of big ideas. When students can make a meaningful personal connection, they invest in their own learning. “Educators realize learners bring a diverse set of experiences with them to the classroom,” Dr. Dynis said. “We design

lessons that incorporate and build on those prior experiences.” She adds, “Learners are not blank slates. Giving them the opportunity to collaborate and share their understanding of a learning experience assists everyone in the room to learn at a deep level. Different ideas and points of view are encouraged. Our educators are trained to facilitate those exchanges to encourage deeper learning for all.” The district’s emphasis on Professional Learning supports educators in developing strategies to help all learners find success. Personalized lesson design provides a structure to guide each child as they develop a deep understanding of the content. Customized instruction is based on the four questions of a Professional Learning Community, allowing educators to meet learners where they are. “Realizing that success can be different for everyone, an educator’s task is to help each student achieve their personal best,” Dr. Dynis said.



he Coppell ISD community is proud to wear the CISD brand. One element of our brand is the beloved Coppell Cowboys star logo. In an effort to protect the use of the logo, Coppell ISD has trademarked the logo and introduced a license agreement, inclusive with updated branding guidelines, for any organization, business, team or individual interested in using the logo on merchandise, clothing and other approved items. Additionally, effective June 2019, for-profit businesses and organizations must pay an annual fee for use. For additional details and more information, please contact the Communications & Community Engagement Department at CISD by email to: Go Coppell Cowboys and Cowgirls!

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •


News & Accolades

CISD ATHLETICS Girls Wrestling Finishes 2nd at State Championship The Cowgirls wrestling team finished second at the 2019 UIL 6A State Championship. The team was led by senior Khushi Khandelwal and sophomore Devin Patton. Both recorded fourth place individual finishes while junior Brooke Massaviol placed fifth. The Cowgirls placed in the top three at the state championships for the second straight season – taking third in 2018.




• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

Coppell Special Olympics Coppell Special Olympics provides training and competition year-round in a variety of sports for children and adults with disabilities. Sports include aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, soccer, track and field, and volleyball. For more information and competition dates visit

Two Swimmers Represent Coppell at State Championship Juniors Johan Pretorius (boys swimming) and Aurelie Migault (girls swimming) represented Coppell High School at the 2019 UIL 6A State Championship. Pretorius advanced to the big stage for the second straight season and competed in the 100 backstroke. He finished 10th overall with a time of 0:51.54. Migault swam in the 100 breaststroke and placed 13th with a time of 1:06.29.

Girls Soccer Wins Third Straight District Championship The Coppell High School Girls Soccer team cruised through their district schedule with a perfect 14-0 record to capture their third straight District Championship. The Cowgirls advanced to Regional quarterfinals and finished with an impressive 26-2-1 overall record. Their success didn’t go unnoticed, as numerous athletes earned postseason honors. Junior Lauren Kellett was named District MVP, while junior Katie Odum was selected Defensive Player of the Year and sophomore Jocelyn Alonzo earned Utility Player of the Year honor. Seniors Ryley Andrews, Rebecca Watley, Addison Ramirez and Micayla Weathers, juniors Haley Roberson and Montse Lomeli and freshman Michelle Pak, along with Alonzo, Kellett and Odum were all named to the First Team All-District. Junior Alyssa Roemer, sophomores Maya Ozymy and Addison Martin, and freshman Bailey Peek earned Second Team All-District honors. Head coach Ryan Dunlevy also was named District Coach of the Year.

Boys Basketball Wins District The Coppell High School boys basketball team captured the 2018-19 6-6A District Championship after posting a 12-2 record against their district opponents. The Cowboys finished with a 23-13 overall record and advanced to the area championship. CHS was led by senior Tariq Aman, who was named the District MVP. Other contributors include senior Carter Kryzak (1st Team All-District), junior Adam Moussa (2nd Team All-District), junior Dan Igrisan (All-District Honorable Mention), and freshman Anthony Black (All-District Honorable Mention). First year head coach Clint Schnell also was named District Coach of the Year.

New Athletic Director Kit Pehl Our new CISD Athletic Director is a familiar face, as Kit Pehl, the Assistant Athletic Director since 2016, is replacing Joe McBride, who returned to coaching football at McKinney Boyd. “I am grateful for this opportunity to lead the athletics efforts for the district that I am proud to call home,” Pehl said. “Our coaches are committed to doing what’s best for our kids, and I look forward to continuing to work with these inspiring individuals who help children be the best they can be in sports, academics and in life.” Pehl served as the CHS Head Boys Basketball Coach and Assistant AD on a part-time basis for two years and transitioned to full time Assistant AD in March of 2018. His many CISD accolades include being named the 2016 District 7-6A Coach of the Year, and he is a 2015 CISD GEM (Great Educators Matter) recipient. Pehl came to CHS in 2012 following nine seasons at Keller Central, where he was the District 7-5A Coach of the Year and led the team to its first-ever District Championship in 2012. Pehl received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Baylor University. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Coppell and have two children in the district.

For More Information for CISD Athletics Visit WWW.COPPELLATHLETICS.NET

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •




RECOGNIZED BY STATE for Teaching Excellence


ur stories are important. Our stories at Coppell ISD are about learning,

“I was also amazed that the occasion of me receiving this award is now part of the

risk-taking, and navigating new roles and

Congressional Record for the First Session of

identities. Our stories are about our diverse

the 116th Congress,” said Bence.

communities, passions, and inquiries. We share our district stories, as widely as possible, because it could encourage others to share their own. One of these great stories comes from New Tech High @ Coppell Facilitator Janelle Bence, whose engagement of students goes above and beyond the four walls of her classroom. These efforts recently were recognized at the state-level, where Bence received the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award. This award is given to

For Bence, this recognition furthers her drive to develop her students’ curiosity, resilience, and mindfulness, which is part of the culture at New Tech High @ Coppell. “We are a different type of school,” said New Tech Principal Steffany Batik. “As part of our culture, learners and facilitators are invited to serve wider communities, not only through deeds but also through learning. Educators and learners go out as a united campus to do community service across the Metroplex.” “I am proud to be a

educators who demonstrate

teacher here, because there

excellence in teaching by

truly is so much incredibly

Humanities Texas, the state

meaningful learning

affiliate of the National

happening both at New Tech

Endowment for the Humanities

and across CISD,” Bence

and one of 56 state and

said. “To have the respect

jurisdictional humanities

and encouragement from my

councils in the U.S. “Winning an award like this helps draw attention to the amazing work and thinking of my learners, and it helps recognize the innovation happening at New Tech,” Bence said. “It also reminds people of the many excellent options across Texas Public Schools.” Bence also believes that winning this award is another opportunity for people who may not know what happens in today’s classrooms to take a closer look at public school learning. Bence is astounded that out of more than

peers and leaders propels me to continue to share our story.” She added, “It is just a thing we do. It’s a part of our culture. We share our practice. We share our stories. That doesn’t happen everywhere. It’s what makes us so special.” Bence represents how CISD educators invest in our learners and community, which in return helps all involved learn and flourish. “My students and my colleagues keep me challenged and inspired,” Bence said. “I am thankful for my job; I love it.” CISD is #CISDproud of Janelle Bence and

700 nominated educators, she was one of

all of our educators who teach our children

the 16 to win this award.

and serve our community each day.


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“My students and my colleagues keep me challenged and inspired.”

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •




very year, Coppell ISD celebrates employees for their years of service in the district. Awards are given in five-year increments. This year we are #CISDProud to have one teacher marking 35 years, two achieving 30 years and four celebrating 25 years with the district, as part of our many milestone service recognitions.

35 YEARS “Since 1984, I have called Coppell my home and Coppell High School the most amazing place to work. I was hired to teach Practical Writing, UIL Debate and Speech. That small 2A high school is quite different from the school it is today. I have watched CHS through its growth to 6A, and had the honor to teach many students in AP English III and IV. Many of these young men and women have grown up, gone to college, and then returned to Coppell with their young families to give them a wonderful education in CISD. Several of my former students are now teachers in the district, own businesses in town, and even serve on the school board! I am often asked ‘are you still teaching?’ My reply is yes, as long as they will keep me! Thank you, Coppell for this awesome opportunity.” — Kim Pearce, CHS AP English IV and AP Coordinator

30 YEARS “I am happy to have spent the majority of my professional career in CISD. Mr. Vern Edin, former principal at CMS West, was an inspirational mentor, and it is my goal to honor his legacy by continuing to build positive relationships within the CISD community and provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences for CISD students.” — Diane de Waal, CHS – AP Human Geography/AP US History “The 30 years I’ve been in education have all been at Austin Elementary under strong leadership and with committed educators. Our district mission statement about working together to create profound learning experiences and nurturing relationships is lived out daily by our staff. I continue to learn, grow and remain excited about my role in education because of their dedication. I’ve loved watching Coppell change and grow in many ways over the years and have always appreciated the incredible community support for CISD.” — Janell Thach, Austin Elementary 1st grade teacher

25 YEARS Congratulations to our 25-year service recognition recipients: Shannon Edwards, Principal at Denton Creek Elementary; Jennie Clemett, Speech Therapist with Intervention Services; Kyle Dutton, History teacher at CHS; and Lynn Hevron, Librarian at CHS. 22

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Coppell ISD Staff Features

DONNA JOHNSON, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT FOR THE DIRECTORS OF CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND FINE ARTS, AND STUDENT AND STAFF SERVICES First hired in 1996, Donna Johnson served as Administrative Assistant for the Intervention Services Department. She became the Campus Secretary of the original Lee Elementary from 2003-2009 and moved to Denton Creek Elementary when Lee closed to be renovated into New Tech High @ Coppell. In 2012, she transitioned to a curriculum department Administrative Assistant, serving in several content areas and programs since. Like many, working for the school district provided a way for Johnson to keep a similar schedule as her son when he was in school. Now that he is an adult, it is the relationships she has built with coworkers over the years that keeps her here. “The friends I've made in the 23 years of being here are like family to me. It’s the relationships with people that last,” Johnson said.

SHAFI MAJIDI, CUSTODIAN AT NEW TECH HIGH @ COPPELL The Coppell ISD community lost a beloved and valued member of our team this past November, when longtime custodial staff member, Shafi Majidi, lost his battle with cancer. Majidi began working in the district in 1993 and was the founding daytime custodian at New Tech High @ Coppell. “Though his job title was custodian, he was much more than that to the learners and faculty of New Tech. Shafi was a father or grandfather figure to many and set the standard for leadership through service,” said Steffany Batik, New Tech High @ Coppell Principal. “He wove himself beautifully into the fabric of the campus. He knew the name of every student and staff member, made connections with people, and made a point to check on individuals throughout the day,” former New Tech Principal Dr. Deana Dynis added. “The day Shafi passed, the world became a smaller place; he is greatly missed!” To watch more about Shafi Majidi’s CISD Story, visit

STAR PRIMERA, FOOD SERVICE MANAGER AT TOWN CENTER ELEMENTARY For Estrella “Star” Primera, serving in the cafeteria at Town Center Elementary is about her loving the kids and seeing them grow and thrive, especially in sports. “I love being part of our kids lunchtime, which for many is the best part of their day,” said Primera, who has worked for CISD for about 25 years. Primera loves sports, especially the Dallas Stars. She encourages her “little munchkins” to pursue sports, as she shares stories about her former students who are athletes in high school, where she also works as a ticket taker for most CHS sporting events. “When I take tickets, former students recognize me, which is great,” Primera said. “I love to see them and cheer for them.” When she is cheering for her former students, she will be asked, “Which one is your child?” “I answer, all of them.” Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •


INTERVENTION SERVICES: Providing Assessment, Intervention & Transition Services


oppell ISD is committed to ensuring high-level learning opportunities to learners of all ages entitled to special education through the provision of personalized supports and services. Special education begins with an initial evaluation of a learner and continues through specially designed instruction and transition planning. CHILD FIND AND OTHER ASSESSMENTS CISD identifies and evaluates individuals from birth through 21 years of age who may have a suspected disability that results in a functional or academic need for special education or related services. This includes concerns related to physical development, vision, hearing, speech/ communication, social/emotional/behavioral, cognitive/daily living skills and educational/ developmental performance. Educational disability conditions in Texas include: auditory impairment, autism, deaf-blindness,


• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, noncategorical early childhood, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment. If the learner continues to experience difficulty in the general education classroom after the provision of intervention, the child is referred for an evaluation. The school district, parent, or others may initiate this request. A Full Individual and Initial Evaluation is conducted to determine the presence of an educational disability condition and need for special education services. ADMISSION REVIEW AND DISMISSAL COMMITTEE (ARD) An Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee collaboratively determines learner eligibility, programming, and placement following the initial evaluation and annually

thereafter for those eligible for special education services. The ARD committee, including the parent, administrator, evaluation staff, teachers, and others familiar with the student’s needs, will make decisions concerning the individualized education program for each student. We value and encourage parent involvement in recognition that parents are the best advocates for their children, our learners. CONTINUUM OF SERVICES Coppell ISD provides a continuum of services for learners who are eligible for special education. Services are designed for the successful implementation of each learner’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) in the least restrictive environment. The IEP outlines the specially designed instruction a learner with disabilities receives as a result of his or her disability. Special Education services are provided on all campuses in CISD with special programs provided at centralized locations within the district. TRANSITION SERVICES Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that promotes movement to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, integrated employment, independent living, and community involvement. In CISD, learners in special education gain independence and employability skills by participating in college and career readiness and work-based learning opportunities at businesses such as Whataburger, Big Lots and Metrocrest. Learn more at interventionservices or for Child Find questions call (214) 496-6955.

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •


F I N EUpdate A RTS 2019 ALL STATE CHOIR STUDENTS Congratulations to the high school students who made the All-State Choir for 2019: Karvi Bhatnaga for mixed choir; Arezue Shakeri for treble choir; and Evan Barnes for tenor-bass choir.

CMS WEST JUNIOR THESPIANS ADVANCE TO INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION Four CMS Theatre students received a “Superior” rating at the Texas Junior Thespians Festival, advancing to the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska: Aria Juma for her costume designs; Mehak Lohiya for her costume construction; and Reagann Stolar and Nysa Lilani for their performance in duet acting. 26

• COPPELL ISD OUR STORY • Spring/Summer 2019

CISD ARTISTS RECEIVE STATE ACCOLADES Jaserah Chowdhury from CHS9 was chosen as the high school and overall TEXAS Flag Design Contest winner for Youth Art Month by the National Art Education Association. Jiali Jaddangi, a 7th grader at CMSW, also was chosen to be the Youth Art Month Middle School Flag Design Contest winner by the association. As of the statewide Youth Art Month celebration, the artwork of CHS student Sarah Bayanmunkh, CMS East student Shrayes Gunna, CMS West student Maya Hanebuth, and CHS9 student Minjeong Kim was displayed at the Texas Capitol throughout March. Also, the artwork of CHS9 students Jaserah Chowdhury, Hima Patel, Tulsi Patel, Dhurgashee Venugopal, and Ollie Wang was showcased at the 2019 State Visual Arts Scholastic Event in April in San Marcos.

2019 ALL STATE BAND PERFORMERS These high school performers are: Trevor Holmes, trumpet, 1st chair — Symphony Orchestra; Ethan Garrett, tenor sax, 2nd chair — Symphonic Band; Jacqueline Palmer, oboe, 3rd chair — Symphony Orchestra; Zain Zaidi, trumpet, 12th chair — Symphonic Band; Isabel Goodwin, contrabassoon — Philharmonic Orchestra; Seungmin Chun, clarinet, 13th chair — Symphonic Band; Andrew Tao, percussion, 2nd chair — Symphonic Band; and Seunghyun Chun, clarinet, 6th chair — Concert Band.


his year, Coppell ISD introduced the Distinguished Alumni Award to recognize individuals who have attended Coppell High School (including those from Victory Place @ Coppell) or New Tech High @ Coppell, are outstanding leaders in their field and committed to service within their communities. We are excited to honor four individuals this year who embody these characteristics. Please join us in congratulating these well-deserved recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2019!

DR. TORAL PATEL Dr. Patel is an Assistant Professor in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Neurological Surgery where she specializes in brain tumor surgery. Her impressive credentials include an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, medical degree at UT Southwestern Medical School with an internship in general surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Chief Resident in neurological surgery. She received training in neurosurgical oncology through a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center before returning to UT Southwestern as a faculty member in 2014. Although her resume, numerous awards, and skill rival any in her field, the reason she was nominated for the award is due to the kindness and genuine care she shows to her patients. Dr. Patel takes time to get to know her patients and their families.

JACOB SCHICK Jacob Schick is a retired US Marine Corporal, now Executive Director of the non-profit 22Kill Organization. He suffered life-threatening injuries including brain trauma and loss of one leg from being hit by an IED while serving in Iraq. His experience and the lengthy physical recovery led to deep depression and a reliance on painkillers. Schick now works to provide support for veterans like himself. The 22Kill organization is dedicated to suicide prevention and mental wellness among veterans. Having experienced it himself, Schick knows how veterans have suffered physically, mentally, and emotionally. 22Kill is named from suicide data in 2012, from the Department of Veteran Affairs, that reports 22 veterans take their own lives every day. Schick reports that 29 of his personal friends have taken their own lives, and his mission is to support and provide resources for the veteran community.

PETE WILSON Wheelice (Pete) Wilson Jr. was honored as the first Mr. CHS – the first valedictorian of Coppell High School – graduating in 1965. Born and raised in Coppell, Wilson dedicated his life to education and fine arts in Coppell ISD where he taught for 36 years and directed the theater department at Coppell High School. At the same time, Wilson has been and continues to serve the City of Coppell. As a founding member of Theatre Coppell, he served as its Artistic Director for many years. In addition, Wilson has been heavily involved in the Coppell Arts Council and Coppell Historical Society. He has gathered and archived thousands of photos and written papers documenting the town’s history. He has helped to preserve Old Town Coppell and was instrumental in the creation of Heritage Park.

CLAY PHILLIPS Clay Phillips was the valedictorian and graduated from Coppell High School in 1978 where he was involved in many different organizations including musical theatre and basketball. Phillips began a career in public service in 1981 as an EMT/Firefighter, and later became Fire Chief in Addison. From there, he served as Fire Chief, Deputy City Manager and then City Manager of Coppell from 2008 to 2017. Serving Coppell for 26 years, Phillips facilitated a number of cooperative regional efforts including the North Texas Emergency Communications Center. He led many projects over the years that resulted in major improvements to the city’s parks, facilities, and infrastructure. Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •



Spotlight on C ore Values in Action

GREAT TEACHING: SCIENCE DIRECTOR DR. LINDA COOK RETIRING We value great teaching because we believe it is key to deep learning.


hen Director of Science Dr. Linda Cook retires in June after 36 years in CISD, she will leave a legacy of hands-on, inquiry-based science teaching and learning in the district. Dr. Cook is passionate about teaching science through inquiry and believes engaging children in questioning and wondering about their world fosters a lifelong love of learning. She began teaching middle school science in CISD in 1983 before moving to lead the district’s science curriculum efforts. During her 15 years as the Director of Science, teachers have embraced a variety of inquirybased approaches such as Project-Based, Problem-Based and Challenge-Based Learning, Students With Inquiring Minds Are Scientists (S.W.I.M.A.S.) and the 5E Model. “I have had an amazing journey in CISD, working alongside inspiring leaders who taught me to always work toward excellence with a focus on learning rather than simply on testing,” Dr. Cook said. “I have enjoyed the curiosity and sense of wonder in students, as well as their sense of humor. I especially love hearing from former students, many of whom now have careers in science or education.” Superintendent Brad Hunt said, “When I think of Great Teaching, Dr. Cook immediately comes to mind as simply the best example of what this embodies in CISD. Not only does she model great teaching here daily, but also at the state and national level. I appreciate her intelligence, leadership and guidance of our teachers and students, and her service and commitment to the district. She will be greatly missed.”


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REDEFINING SUCCESS: CMS WEST 7TH GRADER ETHAN REBELLO We value each individual's contribution because success can be different for everyone.


or Ethan Rebello, success means overcoming obstacles and demonstrating courage to find his voice. Ethan has a speech impediment that makes speaking in front of a crowd a challenge. This didn’t stop the CMS West 7th grader from being elected the student Speaker of the House, representing his fellow Youth and Government students statewide. Just as his counterpart, Rep. Dennis Bonnen, Ethan had to solicit votes from his student peers statewide to become Speaker of the House. He also spoke at the House Chamber at the Texas Capitol, as well as in front of an audience of hundreds representing the state. Achieving this when speech doesn’t come easy shows grit, determination and resilience, and is a true example of Redefining Success.

ENGAGEMENT: NEW TECH JUNIOR SIKYRA CASTLE We value collective engagement that positively impacts our children and our world.


ngaging with local businesses and community organizations comes naturally for New Tech High @ Coppell junior Sikyra Castle. These engagement activities include working with Men’s Warehouse to share a Dress for Success seminar and working with 15 area businesses and organizations such as Trusted ER Coppell, Wize Academy, and Pinstack for a DECA student business organization Career Fair at the Coppell Public Library last fall. It should then come as no surprise that Sikyra was elected as the 2019-2020 Texas DECA President during the February DECA state competition. Because of her work in engaging the community, Sikyra is making a positive impact on her fellow students, the community and, as the future DECA state president, our nation and the world.

RELATIONSHIPS: AUSTIN ELEMENTARY TEACHER LAUREN REAVES 5TH GRADE CLASS We value authentic relationships. When we invest in each other we learn and flourish.


uilding relationships is part of the CISD DNA. We want students to leave the classroom knowing they are valued, nurtured, and believed in as they face their future. Austin Elementary 5th grade teacher Lauren Reaves is one example of how a teacher and her students showcase the Relationship Core Value. During class circle time each day, Reaves chooses one student to sit in the middle of the circle. Other students then share what they like about the selected student. This time is dedicated to share compliments, affirmation, and to build up classmates one student at a time. “This has become one of the most important parts of our day. The best moment is seeing the smile it brings to the child being honored,” Reaves said.

Spring/Summer 2019 • COPPELL ISD OUR STORY •


CISD Welcomes Students


oppell ISD is excited to welcome our students back-to-school for the 2019-2020 school year on Wednesday, August 14. Visit backtoschool for resources and information, including details on schedule pick ups for the high schools and middle schools as well as elementary school Meet the Teacher nights. BACK-TO-SCHOOL CHECKLIST & LINKS • Returning Student Enrollment via online PowerSchool Registration, formerly known as InfoSnap. Emails will be sent to parents to complete. (Early July 2019) • Address Verification. Check your school’s website for details. (Late July/August 2019) • Instructions for enrolling a student new to CISD who moves in the summer are available at enrollment. (Summer 2019) • Bus Pass Registration at www.coppellisd. com/bus. (Late July, approximately 2 weeks before school) • School Supplies Information available at your School’s PTO/PTSO website. (Late May-August 2019) • Setting up your child’s school lunch account, see lunch menus and learn about applying for Free and Reduced Price Meals at childnutrition. (Late July/August 2019)


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• See CISD’s Immunization Requirements at • Learn how CISD and your school communicates with parents at www. PLANNING AHEAD: 2019-2020 SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND EARLY RELEASE DATES School will not be held the following dates for the 2019-2020 school year. Visit for details. Please note that if CISD closes due to inclement weather, then one or both of the designated Bad Weather Days may be used. • Sept. 2 Labor Day • Oct. 11 Professional Development Day (No School) • Oct. 14 Holiday • Nov. 25-29 Thanksgiving Holiday Break • Dec. 20 Early Release Day • Dec. 23-Jan. 3 Winter Break • Jan. 20 Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday • Feb. 14 Professional Development Day (No School) • Feb. 17 Bad Weather Day • March 9-13 Spring Break

• April 10 Bad Weather Day • April 13 Professional Development Day (No School) • May 21 Last Day of School/ Early Release Day Look for the 2020-2021 CISD Calendar to be announced by the district in early 2020.

Road Trip


eed something to do during your road trip? Here is a game just for you! As you are on your road trip, look for the items on the check list and check them off as you find it.

Police Car with Lights On

Person Singing in Car

Horse Trailer with Horse Inside

Man Wearing a Hat

Driver Picking Nose (Ew!)

Funny Bumper Sticker

Stick Figure Family Sticker


Baseball Field

Swing Set

Bridge Over Water

Orange Construction Barrel


Cloud Shaped Like Animal

Bird on a Wire

Green Roof

Animal Shaped Like Cloud

Texas Flag on Car

Picnic Table

Old Tire on Side of Road


Detour Sign

Water Tower

Rusty Pickup Truck



Rooftop Luggage Carrier

Church Steeple

Semi with 2 Trailers


Hard Hat


Person Taking a Selfie


Swimming Pool

Yellow Sports Car

Billboard with Picture of Food

Letter Q

Man with Beard Riding Motorcycle

“Wash Me” Written on Vehicle

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