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Inside NISD News & Info:

Band, Athletics, Community & More

+2011-2012 #4 Nov 12 - Nov 30


Independent School District

November 12 – November 30 Saturday November 12, 2011

‘BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE’ Veterans Day Parade to end week of ‘Honoring Those Who Served’ Photos by Andrew D. Brosig The Daily Sentinel BY ROBBIE GOODRICH

Today’s Veterans Day Parade will put the finishing touches on what’s been a week of “Honoring Those Who Served.” The Commemorative Air Force will fly over downtown Nacogdoches at 11 a.m. to kick off the parade, at which point, 1,111 red, white and blue helium balloons will be released. Attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. Flags will be handed out to the first 1,111 attendees. Honoring the contributions and sacrifices made by veterans of all wars as well as active-duty military has been the week-long focus, and that effort was further magnified Friday night at a veterans and military appreciation program at Hotel Fredonia. A U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 11 this year on the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, as well as a flag that flew over U.S. Forward Operating Base in Baghdad, Irag, on Sept. 11 were presented to local veteran organizations and the citizens of Nacogdoches County. A Texas flag that had flown over the Texas Capitol was also presented to the county’s citizens. The U.S. flag from the Capitol, provided by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, was presented to local veterans “in honor of their many sacrifices on behalf of this great nation and in grateful tribute to all those who make the world safer for democracy by valiantly serving in the

World War II veteran Leslie Stuggs, left, shares stories with Stephen F. Austin ROTC Cadet Codyo Gilham before the start of a Veterans Day Flag Dedication ceremony Friday at the Edward Jones offices on East Austin Street in Nacogdoches. Stuggs served as an electricians mate second class aboard the destroyer escort ship RSS Haverfield from 1945 through mid-1946, he said.

United States Armed Forces,” Melinda Kartye, Gohmert’s constituent services representative, read from a letter from the congressman, who could not attend the ceremony. The flag from Baghdad was provided by Major Ryan Rushton of Nacogdoches and presented by Lt. Col Todd Reichert, chairman of the military science department at Stephen F. Austin State University. The flag was sent to the local community “in appreciation for your unwavering support for all those in uniform, past and present, who have served our country when called, who sacrificed to protect the United States, ensuring the citizens of this great nation enjoy the greatest gift of all — their freedom,” Reichert read from a letter from Rushton. State Rep. Wayne Christian, presented the Texas flag, reading from a letter from Christian, “It’s been said that in war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” “That is a sentiment I have always carried with me,” Christian wrote.


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“It has shaped my deep and profound respect for the men and women of our great nation’s armed services.”

courage and bravery have never been in short supply in times of need in the United States of America.”

World War II veteran Clyde Hussey, a radio operator on the B-29 Superfortress “Horrible Monster,” was the program’s guest speaker, and he described service to one’s country as not just a duty, but an honor, and he spoke of Americans’ willingness make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Hussey said that as veterans are honored for their service, and as Veterans Day is observed, “we’re not glorifying war.” “There isn’t any glory in war,” he said. “We’re glorifying those individuals who are and have been in the past willing, when all else fails, to make personal sacrifice, up to and including ultimate sacrifice

Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel Marine Sgt. Ian Parrish salutes Stephen F. Austin ROTC Cadet Cody Gilham, left, during the singing of the National Anthem, part of a flag dedication ceremony Friday at the Edward Jones offices on East Austin Street in Nacogdoches. Parrish, a 2004 graduate of Nacogdoches High School, separated from the Marine Corps in April 2010 after serving two combat tours in Iraq in 2005 and 2007

Austin ROTC Cadets Billy Anderson, left, and Cody Gilham salute as Marine Sgt. Ian Parrish raises the flag during dedication ceremonies in honor of Veterans Day at the Edward Jones office on East Austin Street in Nacogdoches

of their life, to preserve the principles represented by our country and the way of life our country provides.

“It has been wisely said, that America will be the land of the free as long as it is the home of the brave,” Hussey said. “The bravest of the brave are represented by those we honor today ... those who responded to the fire of patriotism that was burning in their hearts ... those who were willing to set aside the comfortable life they were enjoying in order to serve their country ... those who responded because they recognized it was their duty as an American citizen ... those whose willingness cost them their life or left them impaired for life. “What we owe all of them is immeasurable,” he said. “Yet, what they did, is

Jerri Jones, district director for “Americans, who place life above everything else, have always been willing to risk death for the cause of liberty,” he said. “This, to me, seems to be the definition of courage and bravery, and


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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL Lady Dragons drop game


Nacogdoches struggled to find a rhythm in the third quarter, and Hardin-Jefferson extended its lead to 33-26 heading into the final frame.


Fontenot scored 12 points for the Lady Hawks to join Broussard in double figures.

Early-season games are a good chance to see what areas your team needs to improve on moving forward.

Nacogdoches outrebounded Hardin-Jefferson 40-24, thanks in large part to Page’s big night on the glass.

The Nacogdoches Lady Dragons will be able to look at the statistics and notice that free throws and turnovers held them back in a 42-39 setback to Hardin-Jefferson in high school girls’ basketball action Friday night at Dragon Coliseum.

Other scorers for the Lady Dragons were TyKejah Hall, 6; Johnson, 5; JaNessa Gaddis, 5; Hayter, 4; and Ji’Shidra Stegall, 4.

The Lady Dragons were 3-of-17 from the free-throw line — 1-of-12 in the second half — and they turned the ball over 34 times.

Nacogdoches (1-1) will host Huntington at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Despite those numbers, Nacogdoches still gave itself a chance to win the basketball game. Down 41-34 with less than 30 seconds to play, sophomore Emauzja Johnson hit a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 41-37. After Hardin-Jefferson’s Abreanna Fontenot hit the second of two free-throw attempts to make it 42-37 with 11 seconds left, the Lady Dragons quickly got the ball up the floor to Charity Page for the score to make it 42-39. Johnson then stole the inbound pass with time running out, but was unable to get out behind the 3point line before time expired. Page led Nacogdoches with 15 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks. The Lady Hawks were powered by Kesha Broussard’s 18 points — 12 in the second half. Hardin-Jefferson jumped out to an 8-0 lead as Broussard made two straight buckets, and Jasmine Smith followed with two of her own for her only 4 points of the contest. Nacogdoches responded with an 8-2 run and trailed 129 after the first quarter. The Lady Dragons opened the second quarter with an 80 run, thanks to a 3-pointer and a free throw made by freshman Ki’Undra Hayter. The Lady Hawks bounced back with a 10-2 spurt to end the half with a 22-19 lead.

Dustin Anderson/The Daily Sentinel NHS center Charity Page, 23, shoots inside the paint Friday night against Hardin-Jefferson in the Dragon Coliseum. The Lady Dragon’s started off slow but came back to tie the game in the first half.


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Sunday November 13, 2011

Parade honors veterans

Above: Secilia Tello, 4, watches and waits for the start of the annual Veterans Parade on Saturday in Nacogdoches. Left: Ned Chipley, tan jacket at right, and W.J. Canfield, right, watch the annual Veterans Parade on Saturday on East Main Street in Nacogdoches. Canfield is a World War II Navy veteran who was involved in several operations, including the Normandy invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. To see more photos from the Veterans Parade, visit us online at

Photos by Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel Hundreds of red, white and blue balloons float into the sky Saturday to mark the start of the annual Veterans Parade.

BROOKS-QUINN-JONES ELEMENTARY Janet Parker’s 2nd grade class at BQJ Elementary. Seated, from left, are Andrew Slowikowski, Jahivous Close, Jaqualen Davis, Samuel Gonzalez and Jason Hernandez. Kneeling, from left, are Ezra Constance, Kaylie Jasso, Austin Johnson, Tristan Russell and Heidi Soto. Standing, from left, are Alex Slowikowski, Samantha Garcia, Bryan Perez, A’mya Williams, Dylan Jones, Yasmeen Moore, Daniela Vasquez and Natalia Venegas.


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“It is a tremendous teaching tool,” says junior English teacher Nicole Ferrell. “It is awesome that the junior class and the school get to see students breathe life into the script.” Sophomore Kristin Liber, who plays villainess Abigail Williams, is proud and excited for opening night. “We’ve all been working so hard,” she says. “It will be marvelous to see our efforts rewarded.” Hope McLain, who plays John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, adds that “our cast crew is like family, and we can’t wait to tell our story to you.”

April Solomon’s 2nd grade class at BQJ Elementary. Seated, from left, are Sofia Contreras, Betzaida Barrios, Librado Sowell, Rosselin Sanchez, Johnathan Bean, and Sha’tyra Woodson. Kneeling, from left, Agustin Alvarez, Tyrus Edwards ,Lilmetra Lacy, Xitlali DeJesus, Yanaija Simon, Eduardo Pasillas, Conchas, and Lisbeth Solis. Standing, from left, are Michael Bedgood, Hailie Peterson, Pablo Morones, Justin Howard, Larry Skinner, Zaden Christian, Jose Recendez, Geovanny Toledo- Hernandez, and Jonathan Sanders.

The play runs for three nights only in the NHS Auditorium. House opens at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5, and all proceeds support the Theatre program. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

NHS Students bring life to classic ‘The Crucible’ Historical play runs from November 17 to 19 The Nacogdoches High School Theatre department is performing Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” on Thursday, Nov. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 19. The high school actors and backstage crew have been rehearsing since auditions in September and are eager to show a packed audience their hard work. “Acting is certainly hard,” says senior Michael Elliott, who plays the role of Proctor in the play. “Trying to get into the head of Proctor has been one of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced. It’s been stressful and demanding, but it is also the most emotionally rewarding show I’ve ever seen.”

NHS Theater presents “The Crucible.” Pictured, from left, standing are Trenton Birdwell, junior; Michael Elliott, senior; Erik Devalcourt, sophomore; and Brad Chaddick, junior. Standing, from left, are Marin Sandoz, freshman; Alicia Derr, sophmore; Kristen Liber, sophmore; and Hope McLain, junior.

“The Crucible” is read by the junior class in English 3, and Theatre teacher Victoria Perry wanted the students to be able to see the play come to life from the student actors that walk the halls beside them.


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Monday November 14, 2011

BREAKING NEWS AT MCMICHAEL MIDDLE SCHOOL Students hit the halls to find answers in hands-on broadcast journalism program


A group of McMichael Middle School students is getting in front of the camera as broadcast reporters for their campus. “It’s a lot of freedom, and it’s really fun,” said Ariel Morris, 13, who admitted she was nervous the first time she took out the camera. Fewer than 20 students make up the news team at the middle school.

In addition to canvassing the halls for stories, the students attend pep rallies, games and other competitions. The experience has made the students think more about the professional path they’ll choose. “I want to be in the photography business, because I like taking pictures and editing them,” Ariel said. The experience has sparked the students’ curiosity. “It’s actually pretty fun,” said 12-year-old Addisen King. “You get to take pictures with people and interview them about some things that normally you wouldn’t ask.” I like to watch and see people’s reactions and their stories.” JEREMIAH MOSBY • 13-YEAR-OLD MCMICHAEL STUDENT

Every Monday, the group of seventhgraders air a 15minute segment about McMichael events, which includes interviews with teachers, coaches and students. Televisions in each classroom allow the broadcast to be viewed by students throughout the campus. The group has aired four segments, since it started a month ago. “It’s agenda time!” eighth-grade student journalists shout in unison Wednesday before listing the school’s announcements. After recording the announcements, the students break out in teams to search the halls for the latest news. Ariel pulled science teacher Marilyn Driskill from her class Wednesday to ask her about an upcoming robotics competition. Heather Stallworth, 12, held the camera steady.

Photos by Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel Journalism students Addisen King, 12, and Kaitlyn Wiggins, 13, shoot video as classmate Ariel Morris, 13, back to camera, conducts an interview Nov. 9 for an upcoming McMichael News broadcast at the McMichael Middle School in Nacogdoches.

“So, how’s it going with the robotics competition?” Ariel asked Driskill.


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broadcast, she added. One day, the students may begin to learn the workings of Final Cut Express, videoediting software used by many multimedia journalists. “One day, that’s going to be their future — doing all of that,” Keirsten said. “They’ve learned a whole lot using the cameras and the flip cams.” Keirsten is expanding the opportunity to all grade levels. “If eighth grade is going on a field trip, I’ll give them a video camera and they’ll take it with them where ever they go,” she said. Journalism instructor Kristin Morris, right, goes over an upcoming weeks events with her McMichael News students Nov. 9 as they plan their weekly broadcast at the school.

Even she joins in on the effort to capture the McMichael experience. “There’s a step team, they’ve been doing dances, and I’ll go to their practices after school and try to videotape them,” Keirsten said.

King and 12-year-old Brook Hargis said they look forward to participating in student media in high school.

Each semester, a new group of students will be enrolled in the journalism class.

Jeremiah Mosby, 13, said he looks forward to producing in-depth stories. “I like to watch and see people’s reactions and their stories,” Mosby said. At first, the aim of the class was to start a school newspaper, said Keirsten Morris, an English teacher at McMichael Middle School who launched the journalism class. “We switched it around, and it’s a whole lot better and easier,” Keirsten said. “We tried it, and it was such a hit.” The students are learning multimedia skills by using Kodak pocket video cameras to shoot interviews and Windows Movie Maker to edit and package the broadcast.

Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel Ariel Morris, 13, left, considers her next question while interviewing robotics club sponsor Marilyn Driskill in the hallway at McMichael Middle School on Nov. 9 in Nacogdoches.

“We pick the music that we want to play with it,” said Stallworth. The students also incorporate still photos in the


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Missing in action NHS graduate, Cpl. Bernard Pena, disappeared in WWII BY PEGGY JASSO Class of ’67 If you ever walk through the Alumni Plaza at Nacogdoches High School, you will see 26 names of men who once walked the halls of Nacogdoches High School, went to war, and never returned to their beloved homeland. This is the story of one of these Gold Star Veterans. Cpl. Bernard J. Pena was born on July 22, 1924 to John Peter Pena and Celestina “Lena” Cordova. He had two sisters, both nuns in the Dominican Order in Houston, Sister Emerita and Sister Celestine Pena, and one brother, Robert who also served in World War II.

New Guinea in 1944 telling about his last mission. The letter reads: “I do not know if you recognize my name or not. I was Bernard’s pilot. You no doubt wonder how I can be writing this. I was in the hospital the time he flew his last mission. You can rest assured, Mr. and Mrs. Pena, he was flying with a good pilot and it was not any mistake on the part of any of the crew which caused the accident. Sgt. Pena was as good an engineer as I’ve ever had the pleasure of flying with. He was well liked by his crew mates and fellow squadron members. The officers of the crew thought he was the tops in enlisted ranks and I myself do. Sgt Pena was always prompt in obeying any command and such seldom had to be given. He had initiative and when he saw a thing which needed attention to he did it.

Bernard graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1941 and entered the U. S.

Army Air Corps in November 1942 at the age of 18. He trained in Eagle Pass, Gulf Port, Ypsilanti, Laredo and Blythe as an armoredaerial gunner with the 64th Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bombardment Group. He had completed eight missions in the South Pacific for more that 44 hours prior to being killed. He was reporting missing in action after his plane was shot down on August 5, 1944 while on a combat mission somewhere north of New Guinea.

The B24 bomber shown above went down in Boela Bay, north of Australia on August 5, 1944. NHS graduate, Bernard Pena was on board. He is still listed as missing in action.

He was 20 years old. His parents were notified of his death in a telegram from the War Department on August 22. Approximately one month following Sgt. Pena having been reported missing in action, his parents received a letter from Thomas H. Sprott, written from

All the crew asked me to tell you they give you their deepest sympathy.” Sgt. Pena’s plane was on a bombing mission to Boela airdrome when it was hit and came down in Boela Bay. Boela Bay is located on Ceram Island just north of Australia. The B24 #42-110006 was named Blondes


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Away. After interrogating Japanese war criminals, RAAF Flight Lieutenant Boloher reported that the plane crashed at Sapala, and six or seven men were killed. The four that made it to shore were captured and taken to Ambon where they were executed at Galala on 30 Aug 1944. In another account of the crash, only one man was seen to bail out of the plane and was immediately killed. No one ever heard from Corporal Pena and he is still listed as “Missing in Action.” He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart Medal and has been memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines. On this Veterans Day, the Nacogdoches High School Alumni Association wishes to extend our gratitude to all the men who have served their county in a time of war. We salute each one of you this Veterans Day.


Riley Ray, 13, McMichael Middle, “Honoring Those Who Served” Essay winner.

Tuesday November 15, 2011

Born Learning Trail opens along Lanana Creek Activities keep young minds active as they walk the path BY ERIN MCKEON From the moment a child is born to the time the child grows into an adult, and even after, learning is a constant part of life. A baby realizes crying gets a diaper changed or food brought their way. Children begin to put words together and even form their own logic from what’s surrounding them.

Laura Malone, 13, McMichael Middle, “Honoring Those Who Served” Poetry contest winner.

It’s with those thoughts in mind that the Born Learning Trail has been placed at the Hoya Soccer Complex along a portion of the Lanana Creek Trail. A ribbon cutting on Monday finalized everything as the trail was ready for people to use and start their children’s education early. “The trail is set up for families to go through with their children, and each station has different ideas of things to do,” said Liz Vaughn, department chair of Elementary


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Education at Stephen F. Austin State University and one of the trail’s organizers. “They’re really simple kinds

materials, which are in Spanish and English, he said. In speaking with area educators, Ashcraft said getting the parents involved in their children’s education is part of the problem. “It could be possibly that parents are so busy or some parents might be intimidated by the homework a kid brings home,” he said. “This part of the trail is to generate that interaction between those parents and those kids.” Materials have been passed out at various events in the community letting people know about Born Learning, and that’s an effort that will keep going, Vaughn said. Another great thing about the Born Learning trail, Ashcraft said, is that collaboration throughout the city has made it possible. “We couldn’t have had that kind of money to go and purchase those materials. A connection at The Daily Sentinel led to Home Depot donating time and resources, too. We needed poles and the signs cut, and it’s all very well done,” Ashcraft said.

Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation employees Dana Murray, left, and Tommy Stanley Jr. use a power hole digger to set instructional signs for along the Born Living Trail at the city Soccer Complex on Thursday.of things like ‘Listen, what do you hear?’ and having children tune into that, to look at the trees and talk about them and how they feel.”

There are areas with things painted on the trail, for example a rectangle and a square that are different colors, next to a sign asking the child how they’re alike and how they’re different, Vaughn said. Born Learning is a national program pushed by United Way Worldwide, as it focuses on the areas of education, health and income, United Way CEO Gary Lee Ashcraft said.

The city of Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation Department went out with a team last week and set the poles in cement. Volunteers from The Daily Sentinel, as well as the SFA United Way group painted the stations on the sidewalks. “In a way, this will encourage people to use that park down there and with soccer games going on, a lot of times there is one kid playing soccer and two or three kids playing around and this could be a place for them to have fun and learn,” Ashcraft said. For information on Born Learning, visit www.BornLearning. org.

“The whole premise behind Born Learning is to encourage communication and interaction between parents and their young children,” he said. The program was made possible through a grant obtained by SFA to purchase the Born Learning


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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL Trade-off for the better Dragons feature new game that features quickness and depth BY BRANDON OGDEN In the 2010-11 basketball season, the Nacogdoches Dragons wanted to play in the half court. With center Tucker Briley anchoring the middle, the Dragons’ offense and defense was focused around the 6-5 senior. After Briley graduated, Nacogdoches head coach Chance Mays re-evaluated his roster and thought of how to help this year’s Dragons — whose tallest player is 6-2 — have the best chance at success. Mays has implemented a style predicated on full-court press defense, aggressive trapping and a quick-trigger offense.


Mason Proctor are the key returners, and all three will likely benefit from the faster style. Other team members are Quentin Lambert, Kenneth Caraway, Austin Wileford, Jeron Garret, Josh Robertson, Deundre Foster, Lakendrick Johnson, Demarcus Davis, D’ante Riggans, Kyle Winfield, Conner White, and Jamarian Page, all who will likely be asked to contribute. With lack of size, the Dragons will rely on strong perimeter play on both ends of the court. “We have 11 guys who can shoot 50 percent on 3pointers on any given night,” Mays said. “We need guys to do things that don’t show up on the stat sheets — deflect passes, dive for loose balls and things like that. I’ve been impressed with our effort in practice. If we play with high energy every game, we will have a chance to win.” Nacogdoches, which should compete for a playoff spot in a challenging District 14-4A, faces Longview at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Longview. The Dragons’ first home game is against Athens at 2 p.m. Nov. 22.

“Our whole dynamic has changed,” Mays said. “Our approach to the game, on offense and defense, is entirely different. We lost our anchor, but the trade-off is that we are a stronger team now.” The Dragons, who will suit out 15 players on varsity, will count on depth, which has to be a strong suit with an up-tempo style. “We expect everyone to be involved and active,” Mays said. “Our depth has to be our strength. When our opponents are tired near the end of games, that’s when we have to excel. “The three main things we talk about are hustle, intensity and heart. No matter if we win or lose, we want those attributes to be evident every game.”

Courtesy photo/Anthony Key Members of the Nacogdoches Dragon basketball team. The Dragons open the season at 7:30 tonight against Longview in Longview.

The Dragons, who went 14-19 last season, return seven players. Seniors Keundre Pleasant and Tre Colston and junior


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Wednesday November 16, 2011

NHS to host college fair

Nacogdoches’ physical defensive presence, led in most part by speedy guard Emauzja Johnson, forced Huntington into 12 first-half turnovers.

Nacogdoches High School will host their annual college fair from 3 until 4:30 p.m. in the 9th grade gymnasium.

Johnson, who finished with 9 points and 6 steals, led the Lady Dragons on a 7-0 run to begin the second half to give Nacogdoches its largest lead of the game at 28-14.

Students will have an opportunity to speak with representatives from more than 40 colleges, universities and military agencies. Representatives will have informational packets, brochures and admission applications, as well as information on financial aid, available for distribution. For more information, contact April Grady, 936-564-2466 ext. 2159.

“The run we made in the second half gave us momentum going down the stretch,” Stigall said. If we can continue to work on our pressure defense and get better at it, we will be well prepared when district roles around.”

Getting defensive

Lady Dragons overpower Huntington

Nacogdoches’ versatility on both ends of the floor had the Lady Devilettes on high alert throughout the game. Alex Mayfield and Ji’Shidra Stegall shot solid from the field, both scoring 6 points during Nacogdoches’ offensive spree late. Ki’Audra Hayter and Ty’Kejah Hall also added 4 points, each. Hall also had 9 rebounds.

BY TRAVIS TURNER Sports Correspondent Nacogdoches head girls basketball coach Deatrick Stigall has stressed defense as key to having early success in her team’s young season. The Lady Dragons (2-1) wasted no time establishing that mentality in a 51-26 win over Huntington Tuesday at Dragon Coliseum. Charity Page scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds, and Janessa Gaddis added 10 points and six rebounds to lead Nacogdoches in a collective defensive effort. Huntington, who entered the match-up undefeated, struggled to score against a much more physical Nacogdoches squad. The Lady Dragons held Huntington (2-1) to just two points in the third quarter and outscored the Lady Devilettes 30-12 in the second half. “We like to play a fast and up tempo defense,” Stigall said. “We have stressed that notion in the preseason and every day in practice. We feel like if we can make the other team play our style of ball, it plays to our advantage.”

The Lady Dragons finished 14-of-24 from the black stripe. Huntington made an offensive run in the game’s last two minutes. Clair Nerren, who led the Lady Devilettes with 12 points, scored seven of her points in the final frame. But it was unable to overcome the large Nacogdoches lead. Also scoring for Huntington was Danielle Box and Rachel Davis with 4 points each. Nacogdoches JV 21, Huntington JV 16 — C’Najai Newsome led Nacogdoches’ JV squad with 7 points. Other scorers for the Lady Dragons were Diamond Woodson, 6; Jasmine Williams, 4; and Chelsea Garrette 4. Nacogdoches Freshmen 31, Huntington Freshmen 19 — Brittney Bailey led the Lady Dragon freshmen squad with 9 points. Other scorers for the Lady Dragons were Montrika Willis, 6; Rachel Scott, 4; and Monica Paro, 4.


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on-one with students and another may offer financial assistance. Organizations can adopt a particular campus, grade level or the entire school district. There are opportunities for individuals and groups to participate. Employees can donate school supplies or become a mentor, tutor, lunch buddy or guest speaker. For example, in 2009, long before the Adopt-a-School program had a name, Fredonia Hill Baptist Church adopted Fredonia Elementary and gave each child a jacket for Christmas. For several years, the First Christian Church has adopted TJR Elementary and members of the congregation have given students a self-confidence boost by helping them with reading and math. Recently, Etech adopted the Martin Educational Center and plans to paint several classrooms. Dustin Anderson/The Daily Sentinel Nacogdoches forward Ty’Kejah Hall, 50, fights for a loose ball against Huntington guard Claire Nerren, 10, Tuesday night in the Dragon Coliseum.

For more information on the program, contact Marty Prince

100 years of Dragon football Rick Still remembers NHS


Adopt-A-School program launched The Nacogdoches Independent School District has launched an Adopt-A-School program to provide schools and local businesses the opportunity to build longlasting relationships that serve and support students. The Adopt-A-School Community Partnerships Program promotes greater business and community involvement by engaging industry, civic and faith-based organizations in the leadership of schools and the education of students. Along with a feeling of good-will, participating organizations will receive a sign to display in their business and a tax deductible receipt for financial or inkind donations. A sign will also be placed in the adopted school recognizing the organization as an official AdoptA-School Partner. Adopt-A-School does not require financial support from the partner organization and each partnership is unique. One partner organization may have time to spend one-

BY RICK STILL Class of ’65 In 1911, our president was William H.Taft, the 1st Chevrolet automobile was produced, IBM was incorporated, and some guy named Orville Wright actually flew a glider in the air for 9 minutes and 45 seconds (world’s record). Oh, and Nacogdoches High School also played its first and only football game that year. Several years ago Florence Patton, a former NISD trustee, gave me some old memorabilia from the Ruth Halderman estate. Contained in that box of goodies was a NHS year book named “The Pine Burr” volume 1, number 1, dated 1910, the first ever NHS Annual. I donated this artifact to the NHS Alumni Association where it justifiably belongs. While reading that publication, it mentioned the very first attempt at organizing a football team. The article stated “but after four weeks practice, during which the majority of the boys stuck to the training, interest began to slacken; the boys finally decided to give it up for that


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fall. There is not any reason at all why we should not have a first-class eleven next season. There are boys in our school strong enough to compete with the best, and we have a full outfit of uniforms. However, we predict that next fall the populace will be astounded at the interest taken, and also at the bunch of gladiators who will defend the school colors to the last ditch.” Well, the next season was 1911, and the records indicate that only one game was played, and it ended in a tie game (0-0). We do not know the opponent. In 1912 we did not field a team, but from 1913-1931 (19 seasons) NHS only had three losing seasons. No games were played in 1918, probably because the First World War (Great War) took all the young men to that European conflict, including guys who would have coached our team. This time frame includes the first NHS District Championship team of 1917 with a 6-1 record. Captain of the team was Langston Nelson, who later became a medical doctor and delivered me and all four of my brothers. The NHS football program fell upon hard times for the next 20 years 1932-52, which consisted of only three winning seasons; the district champions of 1939 (6-5), the team of 1941 (5-4), and the district champions of 1942 (7-2-1). Dutch Bremgarten coached the 1939 team, and Bryan Schley coached the 1941 and 42 teams. Our football revival began with the arrival of Coach Gean B. Hale and L.H. Mathews in 1952. From 1953-73 (21 seasons) the NHS Dragon football program had only two losing seasons while compiling 132 wins, 74 losses and 5 ties. Coach Gordon Brown led the Dragons the last four of those years (1970-73). Collectively, these three coaches won five of the nine district championships in NHS school history; 1962, 65, 66, 69 and 71. During the 1960s under coaches Hale and Mathews, NHS won 70 percent of their games, easily the winningest decade in NHS football history. From 1974-2004 (31 seasons) the Dragon football program had only four winning seasons. Coach Sam Shield’s 1977 (6-4) team, coach Steve McCarty’s 1982 district championship (10-2) team, coach Bob French’s 1986 (6-4) team, and his 1992 area championship team


(10-2-1). Coach Bill Harper arrived in 2005, and coached through the 2009 season, with three winning teams; 2005 (6-4), 2006 (6-5), and 2008 (6-4). Not counting tie ball games, coach J. Pat Green’s 1921 (6-1-1), 1922 (41), 1923 (6-2) teams had the highest three consecutive years winning percentage at 80 percent. Coach Gean Hale’s 1962 (9-0-1), 1963 (6-4), 1964 (6-3-1) was second at 75 percent. NHS had two decades of winning football teams 1920-29, 53-24-5 (68 percent) and 1960-69, 7030-2 (70 percent). NHS has certainly had its ups and downs with their football program, but we proudly have had two extended periods of consistent success; 19 seasons (1913-31) and 21 seasons (1953-73) totaling 40 years of the first Century of Dragon football. The purpose of the Nacogdoches High School Alumni Association is to promote fellowship of former students and to promote the general welfare of the school, including but not limited to, the awarding of scholarships to qualified applicants, who will use such funds to further their education at any accredited college, university, or vocational school of their choice. For information regarding the NHSAA, please call 936-462-1403 or visit our website at

Contributed photo Rick Still, former member of the Nacogdoches High School Dragon’s Football team.


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Thursday November 17, 2011

Board to discuss drug screening program Introduction of magnet schools also will be discussed at meeting BY ROBBIE GOODRICH

A potential drug screening program for students will be discussed at tonight’s meeting of the Nacogdoches ISD board of education, which gets under way at 6 p.m. “Many schools have found that students need a reason to say ‘no’ to drugs,” said NISD Communications Director Marty Prince, “and when you implement a program like this, it provides that for students. It gives them a reason to make the right choice — the choice we want them to make.” Tonight’s proposal will show the research that’s been conducted and examples of other schools’ programs, Prince said. “The implementation would be for all UIL activities,” she said, “so that would be band or debate or any extracurricular activity — not just sports.” Introduction of the Nacogdoches ISD elementary magnet schools for the 2011-12 school year will also be among the agenda items. Carpenter Elementary will be a math/science technology campus, Nettie Marshall Elementary will be a dual language campus, and Thomas J. Rusk Elementary will be a fine arts campus. The presentation will focus on the magnet schools concept, structure of the program, timeline/application process and budget considerations. “Those schools will be giving presentations,” Prince said. “We’re looking at that for next year. “These are home campuses,” she said. “Students who are in their regular attendance zones will be attending those campuses, However, students from across the district will have an opportunity to apply these positions, so depending on the number of students who apply for each magnet school will be the number we can

actually switch.” For example, if 20 students from Carpenter apply to go to another school and are accepted, that will leave 20 slots at Carpenter that can be filled by students who are more interested in math/science technology. “It’s an opportunity to provide focused instruction on things that students are very interested in,” she said. “Sometimes having a focus allows students in our contemporary era of new technology to be inspired by what they are learning.” Some changes are proposed to the policy that addresses class ranking. “The most important thing to note is that it would not affect any of the students that are currently at the high school,” Prince said. “It would affect the incoming freshmen and grow with them.” Because Nacogdoches High School has a growing number of students who graduate early or who are taking dual language or distance education courses that might be weighted differently, there are questions that arise, such as can a three-year graduate displace a fouryear graduate in the Top 10 in rankings. “That’s not something Nacogdoches has had to worry much about in the past, but this is a new age,” Prince said. “We’re really encouraging these kids to get these college credits.” The proposal is to do away with just the Top 10 and put in place “honor graduates.” “We are looking for 10, but should an individual be a threeyear graduate, they would not displace that other student,” Prince said. “They would share that ranking. So there could be two No. 2s or two No. 3s.” Prince said a committee comprised of parents, teachers and administrators “worked very hard” on the proposal, which reflects “many hours of discussion.” The board will also consider rescheduling the February and March board meetings, cast their votes for candidates for the Nacogdoches County Central Appraisal District board of directors, and adding the law


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firm of Karczewski & Bradshaw as approved attorneys for district use. Board members will be updated on HVAC installation at the E.J. Campbell District Support Center. The board will hear first readings on a number of other proposed policy revisions, including investments, construction, employment practices, student discipline, selection of instructional materials, student welfare and other issues. Most of the revisions are in the form of language changes. The superintendent will address early college high school and pre-K through fifth grade standardized dress in his report to the board. The board will also hear reports on benchmark testing, transportation and a potential drug-screening program. Following the recognition of Susan Makatura, who was selected as the 2011 Region 7 Advocate of the Year by the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented, and of George Neal, who was selected by Edwards Risk Management as the NISD Bus Driver of the Year, board member will go into closed session to discuss employment and resignations. Friday November 18, 2011

Board discusses UIL drug testing Hayes: Testing helps students say ‘no’ BY MEAGAN O’TOOLE-PITTS The Nacogdoches ISD board of trustees discussed the implementation of a drug screening program for students at Thursday’s meeting. Drug testing would give students an incentive to say no to drugs, said NISD Superintendent Fred Hayes. “I think a lot of our kids are looking for a reason to say ‘No,’ but the peer pressure just overwhelms them,” Hayes said. Students at Nacogdoches High School who participate in UIL activities, including band, debate and sports, will be tested beginning next school year.

“It’s to help those students who need help, to identify them and make sure that we get them the proper treatment and things that they need to better themselves and succeed,” said Mason Moses, NISD policy specialist. The policy, which will mandate which drugs students will be tested for and the consequences for testing positive, has yet to be written. “The initial screening would be of all 1,000 students and then it will be randomly throughout the year,” Hayes said. Before the screenings commence, district leaders will host informational sessions to answers questions from parents. “Once this policy is crafted, we’ll hold multiple meetings at the high school with parents,” Moses said. “We want to make sure that they’re comfortable with what we’re putting forward.” Because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, districts may only drug test those participating in extracurricular activites, Hayes said. The district will be responsible for the cost of drug testing, which is $25 per test, he said. Principals from Carpenter Elementary, Nettie Marshall Elementary and Thomas J. Rusk Elementary presented their plans for transforming the campuses into magnet schools. Carpenter Elementary will transition into a math/technology magnet school for the 2012- 2013 school year. “Twenty-first century parents and students are demanding more,” said Carpenter Elementary Principal Lynn Harris. “They want choices that support student interests. They want good schools that have high standards and ensure that young people attending those schools will be competitive in the world market. Magnet schools support the rigor and relevance of those dreams.”


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At a cost of $280,000, learning tools such as iPads, Promethium boards and smart tables will be added to the campus. Nettie Marshall Elementary will become a dual language magnet school. “Or goals are to have high linguistic proficiency in two languages, high academic proficiency in both content areas and create a positive cross-cultural attitudes and biculturalists,” said Nettie Marshall Elementary Principal Shelton Jones. National research shows that students enrolled in a two-way dual language program show continued acceleration for learning, Jones said. The campus will follow the Gómez & Gómez Dual Language Enrichment (DLE) Model, which was used by 447 elementary schools statewide last year. “This model aims to fully close that achievement gap we experience in Nacogdoches ISD,” he told the board. “With this model, we believe we’ll be able to close that gap and provide stronger students from elementary into middle school and high school.” Thomas J. Rusk will become a fine arts magnet school, offering classes in art, dance, drama, music and physical education. One of the goals for the campus is increased “community involvement of parents, businesses, artists and cultural leaders,” said Thomas J. Rusk Principal Malinda Lindsey.


their class rank calculation — that will be included in the class rank calculation.” The policy affects freshmen entering high school next school year. The board also rescheduled the February and March board meetings, cast their votes for Lisa Mize and T.D. Howarth for the Nacogdoches County Central Appraisal District board of directors, added the law firm of Karczewski & Bradshaw as approved attorneys for district use, and approved an update on an HVAC installation at the E.J. Campbell District Support Center. The board also approved first readings on several policy revisions, including investments, construction, employment practices, student discipline, selection of instructional materials, student welfare and other issues.

NISD ‘Way of the Dragon’ to be adapted to television BY MEAGAN O’TOOLE-PITTS Coach Dennis Parker, volunteer football coach at Nacogdoches High School who has spent 30 years in education, is adapting “The Way of the Dragon,” character education curriculum, for television. NISDtv’s Reggie Hudson and Parker are producing a series of character education videos.

Two additional teachers will be hired and small renovations will be made to the campus to make a music room.

Each video brings one of the lessons from the curriculum to classrooms anywhere, Parker said.

Board members approved a policy addressing class ranking.

“There’s a friend of mine in Michigan who runs a Beyond the Scoreboard and he gets on and watches the lessons,” he said. “If you’ve got internet, you can access it.”

“The district shall include in the calculation of class rank the grades of all high school credit courses, regardless of when the credit was earned, unless otherwise excluded,” Moses said. “So if an 8th grader is taking PreAP Algebra 1 — in the past that has not been included in

Sharing teaching tools isn’t new to Parker. In 1994 in San Antonio, Parker developed “Changing Lives,” an all-encompassing curriculum of nearly 100


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lessons which focus on responsibility, character, attitude, self-image, goal-setting and leadership. Soon after, the curriculum spread to Minnesota, Georgia and Washington states. “The curriculum has caught on in the north and northwest,” Parker said. ‘It’s used by about 2,000 schools across the United States, the Philippines and Alaska.” The curriculum is now available for purchase to educators everywhere.


Nacogdoches led 13-9 after the first quarter. Longview took a 32-31 lead at halftime and led 44-42 after the third quarter. The Dragons were on fire to open the fourth quarter, but had to hold off a late Longview rally to pick up the victory. The Dragons forced 39 turnovers in their first game playing their new fast-paced style, using their pressure defense to wear down the Lobos. Nacogdoches will have its home opener against Athens at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Dragon Coliseum.

“The Way of the Dragon” curriculum is focused on attitude. “The word ‘educate’ is a Latin word that means ‘to pull out,’ so character education is really the truth,” Parker said. “You don’t teach anybody character. Everybody has character. You have honesty within you.” The curriculum is aimed at helping students to develop the character they have within them, he said. To view the character education videos for free, visit NISDtv at Both curricula are copyrighted.


Dragons play Central today BY BRANDON OGDEN

Saturday November 19, 2011

Dragons outlast Bulldogs

Nacogdoches scores 80 points to pick up road win BY BRANDON OGDEN POLLOK — There is no shot clock in high school basketball in Texas. Even if there was, one wouldn’t have been needed in Friday night’s boys’ basketball contest between Nacogdoches and Central. The action was back-and-forth throughout the contest as the Dragons held off the Bulldogs for an 80-73 victory.

The Nacogdoches Dragons will look to move to 2-0 on the young high school basketball season when they travel to Pollok to take on Central for a 5:30 p.m. tip today. The Dragons picked up an impressive 71-70 win over Longview in their season opener Tuesday night.

“We know teams can sprint with us, but the key is being able to run the marathon,” Nacogdoches coach Chance Mays said. “One of the main things we talk about are heartbreaker plays. We may give up some runs, but we have to counter with big plays and runs of our own to deflate our opponents.”

Dante Riggins scored 19 points to lead Nacogdoches. Tre Colston had 17 points and six rebounds. Demarcus Davis also pulled down six boards. Kyle Winfield hit four 3pointers to score 12 points. The Dragons hit 10 total shots from beyond the arc.

One of those plays Friday night was a 3-pointer by Kyle Winfield with 38 seconds left to put the Nacogdoches lead at 79-68 after Central had used a 6-1 run to try to make a late rally.


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“We know each game is going to be a battle,” Mays said. “This is a hostile environment and was a great road test for us.” Kiwi Pleasant led the Dragons with 18 points. Austin Wileford had 17 points — 14 in the second half — with five 3-pointers. The Dragons hit 11 3-pointers as a team. Chance Garrett led Central (1-1) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Kaleb Boles had 12 points off the bench. Chase Ponson also had 12 points, and sophomore Tanner Garner scored 11 points to go along with his 11 assists. Dakota Chetham added 8 points and had 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Dragons scoreless for nearly four minutes. But once again, the Nacogdoches offense found its rhythm and scored 19 points in the final 4 ½ minutes to close the game. Other scorers for Central were Montana Branscum, 7; Wesley Metts, 4; and Colton Boles, 2. Tre Colston had 12 points for Nacogdoches, and Mason Proctor had 11 points and six steals for the Dragons, who forced 32 turnovers by the Bulldogs. Other scorers for Nacogdoches were Dre Foster, 6; Winfield, 3; Jeron Garrett, 3; JR Robertson, 3; Lakendrick Johnson, 3; Conner White, 2; and Demarcus Davis, 2. Nacogdoches (2-0) will host Athens at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the home opener.

HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS Nac edges Diboll, 38-36 BY CODY L. HAVARD Sports Correspondent

Andy Adams/The Lufkin News Nacogdoches’ Dante Riggins, left, and Central’s Tanner Garner dive for a loose ball Friday night in Pollok.

Central started the game with a 4-0 lead and kept Nacogdoches scoreless for more than three minutes. Once the Dragons started scoring, though, they didn’t stop. Nacogdoches went on a 9-0 run and led 14-11 after the first quarter. The Dragons built a 30-19 lead in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs cut it to 35-30 at the break. Nacogdoches ended the third quarter on a 13-5 spurt to lead 61-45. The Bulldogs refused to go away, starting the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and holding the

DIBOLL — Nacogdoches’ Charity Page put back a missed shot at the buzzer as the Lady Dragons escaped with a 38-36 win over the Diboll Ladyjacks in non-district action at Lumberjack Gym Friday night. The Lady Dragons trailed by three points in the final minute before Ty’Kejah Hall nailed a clutch three with 41 seconds left to knot the game at 36. Nacogdoches got the ball back in the closing seconds, missing one shot before Page saved the game for the Lady Dragons and spoiled the Ladyjacks’ chance for a win over a 4A team. No Lady Dragon player reached double digits although Emauzja Johnson and Janessa Gaddis each scored 8 points for Nacogdoches. Meanwhile, Diboll’s Niya Bryant led all scorers with 10 points, six rebounds and six blocks.


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The Ladyjacks looked to be in control of the game early on as they led 11-4 after a quarter and extended that lead to 18-12 with 1:23 left in the half when Bryant put back a missed shot. But Nacogdoches closed the quarter with a flurry, scoring the final 7 points in a 1:10 stretch. Qi’Audra Hatyer and Ji’Shidra Stegall started the run with jumpers and Gaddis hit a three to give the Lady Dragons a 19-18 lead at halftime.

McMichael 7th Grade Gold

Nacogdoches started the third quarter on a 6-2 run, taking a 25-20 lead midway through the period. Diboll eventually trimmed that margin to 27-26 on a Kayla Deason layup with six seconds remaining. Nacogdoches led 33-30 with 5:07 left before Diboll used a 6-0 run, with Bryant scoring four of those points, to go up 36-33 with a minute left. But Nacogdoches made the plays down the stretch to hand Diboll the loss. Other scorers for Nacogdoches were Page and Hall (6), Alex Mayfield and Hayter (4) and Stegall (2).

The McMichael Middle School seventh-grade football Gold team went 5-2 to take third place in the District 14-4A “A” Division. Sitting, from left, are Cade Johnson, Haydyn Hendricks, Gebronze Pleasant, Juan Mercardo, Jakevin Tolbert, Satraven Henry, Jonathon Bahena, Tyler Hall, Phillip Jones and Coach James Adams. Standing, from left, are Coach Gary Perdue, Ryland Roach, Sean Slowikowski, De’Vaunte Johnson, Antondre Smith, Ben Gibbs, Austin Litten, Jack Bryant, Mikah Murphy, Khaleb Henderson, Odiyicee Latan, Victor Acosta and Coach Omar Chavira.

Other scorers for Diboll were Lexxus Hamilton (9), Cristen Simmons (7), Deason (6) and Karah Phipps and Paige James (2). The Nacogdoches junior varsity team defeated Diboll 42-22. Jasmine Williams led the team with 13 points. Chelsea Garrette and ZaKasha Grigsby finished with 8 points. The Nacogdoches Freshmen team defeated Diboll 24-12. Lyric Smith led the Lady Dragons with 8 points and Victoria Davis had 6 points.


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Lareonte Allen.

McMichael 7th Grade Black The McMichael Middle School seventh-grade football Black team went 5-1 to win the District 144A “B” Division. Bottom row, from left, are Datraveus Cumby, Clayton Dewitt, Ja’marion Davis, Keke Tutt and Jordan Roberson. Middle row, from left, are Parker Elliott, Tyler Dill, Ja’Quaylin Session, Avery Vargas, Kiave Glover, Jaylon Douglas, Antowain Holcomb, Gabriel Percella and Michael Brucks. Top row, from left, are Coach Gary Perdue, Jacob Tobar, Abriam Hernandez, William Timmons, Alfred Gipson, Javen Patton, Jose Soto, Joshua Norman, Chartavious Trotty, Braden McShan, Coach James Adams and Coach Omar Chavira.

Middle row, from left, are Francisco Martinez, Kerry Rivera, Marcos Santoyo, Oscar Delatorre, Robert Gordon, Cole Brewton, Nick Shofner, Colton Cox, Ben Irwin, Deveyn Vallery, Trent Seaman, Alex Gregory and Davis Pierce. Top row, from left, are Coach Gary Perdue, Bradley Deking, Xavier Cruz, Luther Berry, Kevin Ramirez, Darion Williams, Damion Yarbrough, Rudy Garcia, Taylor Sanders, Gunnar Smith, Riley Perry, Marlon McDonald, Kyle Consford, Coach James Adams, and Coach Omar Chavira. Sunday November 20, 2011

Burmese students adapting to change Learning English at forefront of goals BY ERIN MCKEON Learning English is the main goal for Stevy Al, Khin Thuzar and Tee Reh, Nacogdoches High School students who have come here from Burma. And while the transition hasn’t been necessarily easy, the three say life in America is a better life from the ones they led in the jungle. “We lived in the jungle, and everything is different in the U.S.,” Reh said. “The houses and apartments are different, the beds and bedrooms, the food, the cars, the ... just everything.” NHS teacher Inosencia Mc-Clendon said many of the Burmese students have adapted well, are making friends and are working to learn English.

McMichael 8th Grade The McMichael Middle School eighth-grade football team went 6-0 to win the District 14-4A “B” Division. Bottom row, from left, are Tydaylon Edwards, Alan Arrequin, Timothy Branton, Dennis Garcia, Tristan Moreland, Damion Garner, Carl Schulker, Jared Reinen, Christopher Carey and

“They bring me a book and say, ‘This is what I’m trying to write, can you help me with this word?’” she said. “They are very protective of each other and take care of each other. “The students who are here, from what I can see is, they take their parents to the stores and they interpret for


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their parents now. That’s really neat to see,” McClendon said. Pilgrim’s Pride Community Liaison Beh Reh said the Nacogdoches newcomers are adjusting well and are steadily bringing their families to the community. “More and more families are in the community right now,” he said. “We have 40 to 45 families in the community in maybe four apartment complexes.”

Hiring at Pilgrim’s continues year-round because of turnover and there could always be more Burmese refugees coming in, he said. The large-scale hiring of Burmese refugees has been scaled back recently, but could kick up again next year.

For the families, the jobs at Pilgrim’s Pride are a gift and one they’re happy to have. Depending on the department Pilgrim’s employees work in, they’re working anywhere from 32 to 40-plus hours, but the more the better, Beh Reh said. “I think number one for them is the job here, number two is a good community and we have many new resources with the school and the churches,” Beh Reh said. The kids love to play sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball and study English in many ways, Stevy Al said.

Teacher Inosencia McClendon monitors students working on computerized language lessons at Nacogdoches High School. The students, all children of Burmese refugee families, currently spend their school days learning to communicate with fellow students and teachers, McClendon said. Andrew D. Brosig The Daily Sentinel

Stevy said he studies, goes to school, does homework and is honing his English skills by listening to music, watching movies and cartoons. His favorite is hip hop music.

“We are trying to get ready for next year and the next group coming up,” Beh Reh said. “We

at least need another 100 for next Above, lit primarily by the bluish light of a computer monitor, Nwe Mo, 17, works There are between 125 year. The thing is on a lesson Tuesday during an English as a Second Language class for Burmese and 150 Burmese people students at Nacogdoches High School. whoever is coming working at Pilgrim’s here, we are not Pride and could be even more coming next year, said guaranteed they will stay with us forever, so people will John Thomasson, Pilgrim’s human resources manager. come and go.” The temporary boarding house which opened as the first refugees came to town in February “It’s going very well,” he said. “I’m delighted with the continues to have about 50 people in it still who are way people in the community are opening their hearts looking for more permanent homes, he said. to new people coming into town here. Really the best side of everyone has been coming out.” “We will have it for at least another six months or even a year,” Beh Reh said. “It depends on the progress we Photos by Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel


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make, the people and the availability of housing in the community.”


We were not alone in our desire to honor them as witnessed by the participation of many individuals, churches and other organizations. Special thanks to Susan Reents and staff at Hotel Fredonia, Austin Bank, BancorpSouth, Citizen’s 1st Bank, Commercial Bank of Texas, First Bank & Trust, Regions Bank, Woodland Hills Golf Club, General Tool & Supply, Party ‘N Things, Walmart, Pizza Hut University Drive, The Timbretones, SFASU ROTC, Rebecca Lanham’s Audio-Video Production Class at Nacogdoches High, Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors, MaryAnn Derby, Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, City of Nacogdoches, Robbie Goodrich and The Daily Sentinel, and many veterans and other volunteers too numerous to mention.

The student’s drive to learn impressed their teacher, Inosencia McClendon, she said. Right, Inosencia McClendon, left, works with Oo Meh, 16, a child of Burmese refugees, during an English as a Second Language class on Tuesday at Nacogdoches High School. The students, some of whom had limited English skills at the start of the school year, have advanced by leaps and bounds as the adjust to their new home, McClendon said.

Appreciation extended “Thank you” seems inadequate in expressing appreciation to everyone who helped honor our veterans recently. “Honoring Those Who Served” originated with a desire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to participate in a meaningful community service project. It was an easy choice as we considered the sacrifice and service of the men and women of Nacogdoches and across our country. The opportunities and freedoms we enjoy were fought for and defended in ways, places, and conditions we can scarcely imagine. They are truly the heroes among us that we often forget, partly because they humbly deflect the spotlight, attention, and honor they deserve.

We had a goal to help young people gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the service of our veterans and military. Youth groups marched in the parade, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts retired dozens of flags (over 200 were collected from the community), students participated in poster, essay, and poetry contests, assemblies, wrote hundreds of appreciation notes, decorated boxes, made floral arrangements, prepared gift bags, aired balloons, distributed flags, enjoyed patriotic games and movies, donated items for troops, and joined others in visits to approximately 80 veterans in nursing homes. If participation in these activities results in a greater respect and appreciation for our veterans and leads us to become better citizens by following their example of service, then true honor will be given to our veterans. Finally, to our veterans and active-duty military and their families — we thank you! Karen Rushton on behalf of “Honoring Those Who Served” and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


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added two new energy-efficient buses with the help of a grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The two new 77-passenger buses are equipped with Cummins ISB turbo diesel engines, which meet the latest 2010 EPA emission requirements and save on fuel costs.

Nacogdoches ISD members of the Texas American Federation of Teachers and other teachers recently completed a Professional Development and Appraisal System workshop led by Texas AFT Educational Issues Director Ana Pomar. From left, are Shawn Lucena (McMichael), Joy Mosby (Carpenter), Daniel Vogt (Martin Center), Texas AFT Educational Issues Director Ana Pomar, Debbie McClanahan (TJR), Teri Choate (McMichael MS), Amy Matter (TJR), Teresa Garcia (TJR), Bryan Matzke (TJR), Sonia Wallace (TJR), Frank Paul (Martin Center), Nola Schmidt (NHS), Kristin Wright (NHS) and Lydia Harber (NHS) Tuesday November 22, 2011

“Our fuel cost overall has stabilized and the cost of fuel right now is only about $3.14 per gallon,” said NISD Transportation Director Loy Walker. Fuel costs are important to monitor because NISD buses carry more than 3,000 students each school day, Walker said. However, new school buses are needed primarily to ensure safety, Green said. A heart-wrenching reminder of the importance of bus safety is Wednesday’s accident in China in which 18 kindergarten students were killed, he said. “They were in a bus that was supposed to hold 15 students, but they had 62 kids on that bus,” Green said.

Board to consider $1.5M bus plan

The NISD transportation department has been commended for their dedication to safety, he said, and upping the standards will further ensure safety.


Buses that will be considered for replacement are those that are 15 years old or older, have a mileage of 175,000 or greater and require repair costs of $10,000 or more per year. Also, buses that present safety issues, such as those with excessive rust or ongoing electrical problems, meet replacement requirements.

Safety, environment included in benefits

The Nacogdoches ISD board of trustees will soon consider a plan to spend $1.5 million on new school buses for next year. “The average age of our fleet is 10.5 years,” Mike Green, NISD associate superintendent of business and operations, told the board. “We have three buses from 1993, about 18 years old. We have 32 buses that are 15 years old.” Goals for the bus replacement plan are optimum student safety, environmental benefits and reduced maintenance and operation costs, Green said. Earlier this month, the NISD transportation department

“Currently, we have 43 buses, which is 56 percent (of the fleet), are under that criteria — they’re alright,” Green said. “But right now we have 34 buses, or 44 percent, that actually exceed the criteria. We have 12 buses that have an average mileage of 227,000 miles. That’s a lot of miles.” The district owes more than $205,000 for buses purchased in 2006. The replacement plan includes paying off that indebtedness and using the remaining $1.29 million to purchase ten to twelve new buses for


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to the Nacogdoches Jr. Forum members who provide volunteer support to deliver the supplies.

next year. “In the audit, we set aside $4 million as a part of our assigned fund balance,” Green said. “$1.5 million was set aside for transportation and we want to go ahead and utilize that assigned fund balance of $1.5 million.” The board will consider the plan in a future meeting, Green said. Green said all the new buses will have air conditioning and the transportation department is researching the possibility of purchasing buses with alternative fuel systems. “This is only going to get us through one year,” Green said. “We will have a plan to get us through several more years.” The transportation department hopes to draft a 2024 plan in the next few months, he said. Wenesday November 23, 2011 Project SOS deemed success Thank you! Thank you! Project SOS considers the 2011 supply drive a big success. School supplies make such a difference to our students. The organizers and volunteers of Project SOS wish to extend a huge “thank you” to everyone who donated to the 2011 drive. A very strong effort was made for the children of Nacogdoches County. About $8800 has been donated plus boxes and boxes of needed supplies. The project is overseen by Greater East Texas Community Action Program so that 100 percent of donations are used for supplies. Supplies are provided directly to school campuses who place them in the hands of their needy students. According to Karen Swenson, co-chair, this is a tough year. School counselors and staff let us know families are continuing to be hit hard by the economy as well as the drought.” The Nacogdoches County businesses and individuals heard the need and responded. To everyone who sent in a donation or brought supplies please know your efforts helped a child in the local schools. Special thanks

Thank you to the student volunteers from various schools who helped solicit donations for “Fill the Bus.” Thanks also to SFASU student athletes whose contribution helped our second wave effort. We also want to thank our media friends at The Daily Sentinel and KTRE for all your support of the 2011 drive. To everyone who supported Project SOS, the youth of Nacogdoches county are impacted by your generosity. Greater East Texas Community Action Program

Pleasant ending

Late shot helps Dragons edge Athens in overtime BY BRANDON OGDEN Kiwi Pleasant scored 28 points for the Nacogdoches Dragons Tuesday afternoon. But none were bigger than the final two. In a tied game with the clock winding down in overtime, Pleasant got the ball at the top of the key to help the Dragons get the final shot. He dribbled into the paint and put up a shot that fell through the net with 2 seconds left to give the Dragons an 81-79 win over Athens in a non-district basketball contest at Dragon Coliseum. The Hornets had time for one last play, but Tre Colston picked off the inbound pass to seal the victory. “That’s holiday basketball,” Nacogdoches Chance Mays said after the game. “That’s a regional final team. They are very athletic and fast. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we hit timely shots.” This is the Dragons’ third win in their first three games, all by a total margin of 10 points. Unlike the first two games where Nacogdoches built a lead and had to hold on, the Dragons had to rally from behind Tuesday.


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“We had to claw back,” Mays said. “Once we got into overtime, though, the kids were smiling. We practice these situations every day, and they were up to the challenge.”

Davis had 11 points to join Pleasant in double figures for Nacogdoches. The pesky Hornets answered Davis’ triple with a three from Anthony Sanders, and a bucket from Anthony Taylor gave Athens a 70-65 lead with 1:48 to play. Four straight points from Pleasant cut the score to 70-69. After Patrick Clark made one free throw, Tre Colston rebounded the ball and came down the court to knock down a 3-pointer to give the Dragons a 72-71 lead. Terrance Behan, who led Athens with 27 points and 14 rebounds, drew a foul and knocked down both free throws to help Athens regain the lead at 73-72 with 38 seconds left. Athens then drew a charge to gain possession, but a travel on Zach Basher, followed on a technical foul called on him, sent Pleasant to the line and gave the Dragons the ball. Pleasant made one free throw, and Nacogdoches held for the final shot, but Kyle Winfield’s attempt missed to send the game to overtime.

Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel

Getting the game to overtime wasn’t easy, though.

In overtime, Athens made two free throws to take a quick lead. A layup by D’Ante Riggans and two free throws from Pleasant held the Dragons jump back ahead 77-75. With a 79-76 Nacogdoches lead, Behan nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 79. The Dragons held for the final shot to set up Pleasant’s gamewinning heroics.

After the Dragons held a 17-11 lead after the first quarter — ending on a 15-3 run — the Hornets had a big second quarter to take a 33-29 lead into the break.

“The kids learned that no lead is safe for an opponent,” Mays said. “If we play hard the entire game, we will have an opportunity to win.”

Athens built its lead to 11 points — 47-36 — late in the quarter, but a 3-pointer by Austin Willeford and a layup by Jeron Garrett helped the Dragons cut the score to 4741 after three quarters.

Taylor had 17 points for Athens, followed by Sanders with 13 points, and Basher had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who turned the ball over 34 times.

Despite going 5-of-37 on 3-pointers in the first three quarters and falling behind on the scoreboard, the Dragons stuck to their game plan, and it paid dividends in the fourth quarter.

Willeford had 8 points for the Dragons. Colston had 7 points, 11 rebounds and six steals, and Mason Proctor had 6 points and eight rebounds.

Nacogdoches junior forward Mason Proctor, center, goes down hard as he pushes the ball away from an Athens player and into the hands of teammate Josh Robertson during the first half of the Dragons’ home opener Tuesday at Dragon Coliseum.

With Nacogdoches down 56-52, Demarcus Davis hit 3pointers on consecutive possessions to cut the score to 59-58. When Athens pushed the lead to 65-62, Davis responded with another 3-pointer to tie the game.

Other scorers for the Dragons were Riggans, 6; Garrett, 6; LaKendrick Johnson, 5; Winfield, 3; and Dre Foster, 1. Nacogdoches (3-0) will host Lindale at 7 p.m. Nov. 29.


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Key People in Education

Dr. Alan B. Sowards: SFA education professor believes in supporting teachers in their efforts Editor’s note: This is the seventh installment of a series of articles profiling the seven members of the NISD board of trustees. “Key People in Education” is produced through a partnership with the Nacogdoches High School Alumni Association and The Daily Sentinel. BY AUSTIN KING

With 39 years of experience in the education system, Dr. Alan B. Sowards is using his knowledge to serve Nacogdoches ISD as a member of the board of trustees. “The reason I ran for school board is because I believe we should support and praise our teachers for the jobs they do with our children,” said Sowards.


He made his return to Nacogdoches in 1995. Since then, he has served as professor in the SFA department of elementary education. “Expecting and inviting more parental involvement in our schools is paramount,” said Sowards. “If what we have tried in the past hasn’t worked, then we must try something else. We have to build trust between the parents and school personnel. Parents must feel welcome in our schools and encouraged to participate.” Sowards is married to wife, Susan, and they have four children. Hanna, 19, has graduated from NHS. Their other children, Hunter, Thomas and James all attend NISD schools. In addition to the NISD board of trustees, Sowards is a member of the Texas Energy Education Development Project, Texas Association for Environmental Education, Texas Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, Texas Committee for Environmental Quality Education and the Friends of Millard’s Crossing Historic Village advisory board.

Having grown up in Dallas, Sowards moved to Nacogdoches to attend SFA in 1969. He graduated from SFA with his bachelor of science in biology in 1973.

Sowards has had several articles published and has received many honors. ——— To honor the leadership efforts of “Key People in Education,” Gound Chevrolet has made an annual contribution to the Nacogdoches High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. The NHSAA is a 501 (c) 3 organization.

In 1980, he received his master’s of arts in teaching in environmental science from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Membership is open to all people interested in supporting student scholarships and honoring the pride and history of Nacogdoches High School.

He earned his doctorate in education in 2000 at Texas A&M University Commerce.


Sowards was elected to the board in May.

“In my discussions with teachers and parents in NISD, I believe that respecting and supporting teacher’s involvement in the decisions of education instruction in the classroom is essential,” said Sowards. “Teacher ownership is one of the key elements in providing academic excellence. We should do everything possible to help them succeed in classrooms.” Sowards has taught and supervised in many school districts in Texas.

Oasis Spalon owner remembers NHS BY CARLA REDFIELD NHSAA director, Class of ’79 In 1975, I entered the hallowed halls of the Chamberlain Building as a freshman at Nacogdoches High School. The next four years were filled with many fond memories as well as trials and tribulations that most high school students experience. Back in the ’70s, NHS had great pep rallies and


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homecoming parades; our freshman class float won first place. We had an outstanding class of graduates in 1979, and our class will go down in history as the last class to graduate from the Chamberlain Building. Some of my fondest memories include standing at the Martin Building and in front of the high school with a group of friends; pep rallies, football and basketball games, Methodist church dances after football games, getting to park in front of the school, homecomings, cheerleading saddle oxfords that killed your feet until you got them broken in, getting my driver’s license, cruising through the Sonic and getting to eat off campus! Another memory that stands out for me was riding to school with my brother, Ken, and talking on the CB radio to find out if any parking spots were left. Some activities that I was involved in besides cheerleading and drill team were Student Council, Class Officer, Debate Team, HOCT and Thespian Club. Diane Proctor, who taught the Health Occupation class, taught me so much. She was kind and sensitive to students needs. As a senior HOCT student, I worked at Memorial Hospital as a lab tech. Having that knowledge helped me obtain a job working at Medical Center Professional Lab while in college. As far as being a member of the International Thespian Club, being in drama for almost four years was the ultimate as far as memories go. Drama was my favorite class, and I have so many great memories of plays that we performed. As I mentioned, Diane Proctor was one of my favorite teachers, as well as Nelda Hammett and Gene Tomlin. Mrs. Hammett always made me feel I could do anything. I was in her Advanced English class and wondered if I would pass and I did due to her way of helping. Mr. Tomlin was one of the most interesting teachers I had. He was very creative, and I enjoyed watching the Greek mythology films. I still have the book that he published of all of the poems and writings that he had us do.


Being a former teacher, I know that a teacher can either make or break a student. Throughout my years of teaching I always tried to live by that motto, don’t break, make! My hardest subject in high school was math. Math was just not kind to me. After graduating from NHS, I went to Tyler Junior College. I made new friends and had wonderful experiences as an Apache Belle. As a Belle, we traveled to Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and we danced for President Carter in the White House Rose Garden. We also danced at several Dallas Cowboy games and traveled to Florida for the Gator Bowl halftime entertainment. Of course, the “stressful” time was getting ready to perform at our rival game against Kilgore and the Kilgore Rangerettes. I graduated from SFASU in 1983 and immediately began to work on my Master’s degree in Speech Pathology. I graduated in August of 1984 and had one year of teaching under my belt. I taught in the areas of speech therapy, early childhood, special education and regular education. My favorite class was in Houston in a private school teaching second grade, and thanks to Facebook, one of my favorite students found me, and I was able to attend her wedding last summer. I also enjoyed my time teaching for Houston ISD where I was also able to help with the drama department at Fondren Middle School. The students performed “Grease,” and I was in charge of choreography which I really enjoyed. It was like going back to high school to my days of being in drama. I returned to Nacogdoches in 1982 where I was a fulltime mom to my son, James. When he started to school, I decided to try substitute teaching. Don Wyatt hired me to start the Adaptive Behavior Unit at Fredonia School. I finished my last several years of teaching at the elementary school that I attended as a child and my mom taught at for 28 years. At this time in my life, I was also working part time for


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KLSB Region 19 News doing the weekend weather forecast. I also worked for Norman Johnson of “Norman’s Nacogdoches” and later he created a show for me called ‘Carla’s Corner.”


In 2002 my son, James, was entering high school and my daughter, Cawren, was starting preschool, so I thought it was time for me to start another career. That’s when I attended Star Cosmetology School to get my cosmetology license. I graduated in 2003 and in 2004 opened my own business known as The Oasis Spalon. I am about to begin my eighth year of business and am grateful for the support of Nacogdoches.

Program for high school juniors

I have had the privilege to be involved with the NHSAA for many years and currently am on my second go round being on the Board.

Club accepting applications for leadership awards event

The Fredonia Rotary Club is accepting applications from high school juniors for the Jan. 6-8, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event in Woodlake. Eight local students will be selected to attend the leadership development program. An application may be obtained by calling Rayanne Schmid, editor and publisher of The Daily Sentinel, at 558-3200 or by emailing her at

I have always been a part of the scholarship area and have watched how NHSAA has grown throughout the years. I remember the first year one scholarship was awarded and this May, NHSAA awarded more than 67 $1,000 scholarships to deserving students.

All applications must be received by Tuesday, Nov. 29.

My family are members of the NHSAA and thanks to my mom, Joan Johnson, we all have bricks located in the Brick Plaza on the NHS campus. My mom has also been on the Board and we have a scholarship set up in memory of my dad, Jerry K. Johnson. Throughout the years we have awarded many outstanding students their scholarships.

Rotary will have succeeded in its mission when graduates of RYLA improve the quality of their respective environments and organizations.

If you are interested in becoming involved with the NHSAA, your help would be appreciated and we welcome new members.

RYLA is highly regarded as an intensive and energizing program, which is open to any high school junior interested in producing extraordinary results in an organization while also developing a commitment to lead with a high level of integrity.

Left, Carla Redfield now. Right, Redfield during her time at NHS.

The Mission of RYLA is to offer the highest quality, stateof- the art leadership program focused on high school juniors.

The District 5910 RYLA has graduated more than 1,200 young people from more than 50 different high schools across Deep East and Southeast Texas.

The RYLA Conference is conducted each January by Rotarians of Rotary District 5910. The camp will be at the Pineywoods Baptist Encampment, located on US Hwy 287 in Woodlake; five miles east of Groveton and 12 miles west of Corrigan. The facility includes airconditioned housing, dining facilities, meeting rooms, and many acres of forest/wildlife areas.


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Applications must be completed and returned to the Fredonia Rotary Club before Tuesday, Nov. 29. They can be dropped by the Sentinel Office, 4920 Colonial Drive, Nacogdoches, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or faxed to 560-4267 Saturday November 26, 2011

EDUCATION Class-size waivers increase threefold Schools seeing effects of cuts AUSTIN (AP) — State figures show a more than threefold increase in just one year in the number of elementary schools allowed to exceed class-size limits in Texas, one of the most visible signs of the big education funding cuts that the Legislature passed to balance the budget, a newspaper reported Friday. Figures obtained by The Dallas Morning News show that state officials allowed cash-strapped public school districts to exceed the 22-student limit in 6,988 classrooms from kindergarten through fourth grade, up from 2,238 a year ago. Larger classes are a fact of life this year at 1,360 campuses, nearly 30 percent of all elementary schools in the state. More than 150,000 students are directly affected. “We are clearly seeing the impact of the budget cuts this year,” said Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, which approved the vast majority of class size waivers sought. “School districts can save some money in the short term by increasing their class sizes, and that is what many have felt compelled to do.” Ratcliffe said there are also reports of larger classes in other grades, but that school districts are not required to get permission to put more students in classes in grades five through 12. Most districts cited financial hardship, a new category of exemption that was approved along with the funding cuts. While state funding cuts were taking effect, lower property tax revenue also was a factor, the newspaper reported.

Critics of the class size law sought changes from the Legislature this year that would have allowed more students in elementary classes to save money. They contend that a few more students per class won’t harm learning. A report from Comptroller Susan Combs estimated school districts and the state could save $558 million a year by switching to an “average” class size of 22 students — or up to 25 per class. The Texas State Teachers Association said the surge in class size exemptions “represents a serious erosion of educational quality standards” in the public schools. Ratcliffe said most districts are adding no more than a few students per class, although districts are not restricted on how many students they can add once they get a state waiver. They also do not have to report those increases. Lawmakers backed away from a change in the class size requirement in the face of fierce opposition from teachers and Democrats, but they opened the door to the new financial hardship exception when they slashed education funding by $2 billion a year over the next two years. An additional $1.4 billion in state grants also was eliminated in the new budget, as lawmakers sought to close a huge revenue shortfall without raising taxes. School districts saw their funding cut by an average of 3.3 percent this year, and many districts — including Dallas and several others in North Texas — face decreases of up to 8.6 percent next year. When he signed the legislation that included the funding decreases last summer, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he and lawmakers “followed the direction laid out by voters . and balanced our budget by prioritizing and reducing spending without raising taxes.” The class size exemptions are good for one year, and districts will have to reapply for the 2012-13 school year. With many districts facing even larger funding reductions next year, the number of classrooms with more than 22 students is expected to increase.


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Tuesday November 29, 2011

Lessons before school

‘Terrible Twos’ really just a time for learning Editor’s note: This is the second installment of “Lessons before school,” a series of articles detailing early childhood learning from birth to age 5. BY MEAGAN O’TOOLE-PITTS By age 2, a toddler has a vocabulary of 900 words and speaks in three-to-five-word sentences. The word used most often: “No.” Welcome to the “Terrible Twos.” “Two-year-olds are unique, and they are beginning to form their own personalities, test limits and learn that they are their own person,” said Lori Harkness, director of the Early Childhood Laboratory at Stephen F. Austin State University. Between ages 2 and 3, a toddler begins to realize that he or she is an independent person from his or her parents, according to Born Learning, a campaign by the United Way of America, the Ad Council, Families and Work Institute and Civitas. Toddlers will assert their independence by opposing much of what their parents want or expect from them. Their protests come in the form of temper tantrums, the Terrible Twos’ claim to fame.

Meagan O’Toole-Pitts/The Daily Sentinel Two-year-olds Kyas Flanagan (left) and Tylandria Lampkin play a touch-screen computer game at Head Start on Monday.

But what some might see as a meaningless fit is actually a learning experience, Harkness said. “It is an exciting time is a child’s life,” she said. “Their language explodes, and as a result, some see that as argumentative. This ‘talk’ is extremely important to their development. Learning to use words instead of hitting or biting, at this age, is very important.” Sometimes a 2-year-old just wants acknowledgement, Harkness said. “Sometimes, a child needs to know that you understand he or she is angry, and that is enough,” she said. “Other times, you may have to say to the child that you know they are angry, and when they can calm down, you will help them with whatever the issue is. Sometimes a child just needs some time alone to calm down.” Between the ages of 24 and 36 months, toddlers are learning to make sense of the world around them by playing pretend.


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Pretending to talk on the phone or driving a toy car are a part of the learning process, according to Born Learning.

“They know how to use iPhones, iPads and swipe credit cards at the grocery store.”

“Pretending is an important part of development as well,” Harkness said. “This is practice as well as copying what they have seen or heard.”

At age 3, toddlers should have limited exposure to media watching, which includes TV, computers and video games.

According to Born Learning, this type of play should be encouraged by helping toddlers to create imaginative games and find new ways to use toys — blocks can be flyings cars or zoo animals. Two-year-olds, who are curious by nature, speak and sing loudly to figure out how to communicate appropriately, Head Start education specialist Judy Hamilton.

One to two hours a day is more than enough, according to Born Learning.

“They are testing the environment,” Hamilton said.

“Screen time for 2-and 3-year-olds should be very limited,” Harkness said. “However, some exposure is good, and there are many games and programs that can help children enhance their learning.”

“They are listening to their own voices to experiment with sound and space. With most of the two-year-olds there is no barrier for sound — it never gets too loud.” Toddlers also learn from singing along to music, she said. “Research shows that music helps with rhythm, pattern and language,” Hamilton said. “It triggers different areas in the brain so that it helps children when they’re developing reading skills and math skills.” Two-year-olds are holistic learners, meaning that they learn using all of their senses, Hamilton said. “When you introduce a book to a child, they may listen to the story and touch the book to feel the texture of the pages,” she said. Reading should be an everyday activity. Parents should engage toddlers in storytelling by asking questions, pointing to words as they’re read, offering materials to scribble, draw or pretend to write on, and encouraging him or her to identify letters and their sounds, according to Born Learning.

Head Start teacher Diane Wise reads a pop-up book to ZyKeira Chancy, 2, on Monday. Meagan O’Toole-Pitts The Daily Sentinel

Computer activities are also encouraged, Harkness said. “Computers play a big part of today’s society — 2-and 3year-olds are no different,” she said.


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Wednesday November 30, 2011

She helped us to know that nothing is too hard. Nothing’ LATONIA THOMAS • KENTACIOUS HAGGERTY’S MOTHER

‘She never gave up’ Friends, family say goodbye to TJR student BY MEAGAN O’TOOLE-PITTS

“The very day that we found out that she had cancer, she had this devastating diagnosis, it hurt us more than it hurt her,” Thomas said. “When we told her she did not cry. She did not complain. She was ready to face it.” Even as a young child, Kentacious had wisdom to share, she said. “The positive thing that we have gotten is that life is full of ups, it’s full of downs and it’s not about what you have,” Thomas said. “It’s what you have mentally and using it to help somebody else. She helped us to grow as a family. us to believe. She helped us to know that nothing is too hard. Nothing.”

Kentacious. “The meaning of her name is purity,” said Latonia Thomas, Kentacious Haggerty’s mother. “She is known for her affectionate ways.” On May 25, 2010, then-8-yearold Kentacious, a spirited young girl who attended Thomas J. Rusk Elementary, experienced the first symptoms of cancer. After administering an MRI and a CAT scan at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, doctors found a malignant tumor, known as glioblastoma multiforme, in Kentacious’ brain. After a long, harrowing fight, which included radiation treatment, Kentacious died Nov. 23.

Daily Sentinel file photo Kentacious Haggerty, 8, hugs her mother, Latonia Thomas, with her father, Earl Sexton, standing behind, on July 23, 2010, as they recall what they went through after finding out Kentacious had brain cancer. First diagnosed in May 2010 with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumor, Kentacious died Nov. 23.

She was very willing. She never gave up. She kept hope.”

Kentacious’ family visited Houston twice a month for her treatments, which kept money tight for the Nacogdoches family of six. But the community came to their aid, by donating and contributing to TJR-hosted garage sale fundraisers.

Kentacious inspired everyone around her to be brave, she said.

And Kentacious was so appreciative of the outpouring of support, Thomas said.

“She was a strong little girl,” Thomas said. “She really was.


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“She loved it,” she said. “She loved the crowd because she’s a people person. She loved seeing new faces. She was ready for that.” Heroes for Children, Adam’s Angels and Candlelighters at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston also assisted her family financially. Making a Mark, which encourages children to express themselves through artwork, hung Kentacious’ lollipop drawing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, where it still hangs today. Kentacious leaves behind a 12-year-old brother, a 10yearold sister and a 3-year-old brother. “As a big sister, she was very protective of her brother. Very protective. She always wanted to have him do things the right way. What she knew, she wanted to teach to him,” Thomas said. “And as a little sister, she allowed her older brother and sister to take control and to let them teach her and to let them show her how to do things.”


During her short life, Kentacious touched many lives, Thomas said. “She never worried about how her body physically changed going through whatever it was that she was going through. She never complained. She never stopped living,” Thomas said. “She taught us so much. As young as she was, she taught us how to live, to keep hope alive. She was truly a special kid.” Visitation will be Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Sadler Chapel, 200 South Shawnee St. Donations or flowers for Kentacious’ family can be dropped off at Thomas J. Rusk Elementary, 411 North Mound St.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL ’Doches drops thriller

Kentacious had a love for education, said TJR teacher Teddy Farley.

Lindale hands NHS first loss to season BY BRANDON OGDEN

“She was a wonderful student, hardworking, smart and so loving,” Farley said.

Jordan Van De Kop scored 46 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to help the Lindale Eagles hand the Nacogdoches Dragons their first loss of the season 6762 in high school boys’ basketball action Tuesday night at Dragon Coliseum.

“She loved school. Even on bad days, she never missed an assignment and she never complained about being sick.” TJR Principal Malinda Lindsey said she is an unforgettable person. “Her spirit was buoyant and her joy was contagious,” Lindsey said. “I will never forget her smile — it could light up any room. She lived life with passion, confidence and maturity well beyond her years and was an inspiration to everyone.” Kentacious’ loss is felt throughout Nacogdoches ISD and the community, said NISD Communication Director Marty Prince. “Kentacious will be missed by us all and our thoughts are with her family at this very sad time,” Prince said.

The Dragons have used an up-tempo offense and pressure defense to propel their 3-0 start. The Eagles found a way to slow the pace and utilize Van De Kop against the much-smaller Dragons. “He’s a good player,” Nacogdoches head coach Chance Mays said. “I didn’t think we adapted well. Our bigs are still not big enough, which means we have to do the little things. This was a good test for us and a good learning experience.: Despite Van De Kop’s big performance, the Dragons made it a one-possession game in the final seconds. Austin Willeford hit a 3pointer for Nacogdoches to cut the Lindale lead to 64-60 with 49 seconds left. Demarcus Davis then recorded a steal, but a turnover by the Dragons gave the ball back to Lindale.


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After Van De Kop hit a free throw, Tre Colston drove to the bucket and put in a layup to make it 65-62. The Dragons nearly stole the inbound pass, but Josiah Johnson controlled the ball and nailed two free throws to seal the victory for the Eagles. “They are really fundamental,” Mays said. “They are ranked for a reason.”


dished out five assists. Nacogdoches will play Thursday in the Hudson Tournament. The Nacogdoches JV picked up a 23-16 win over Daingerfield.

Lindale, a regional semfinalist in Class 3A last season, is currently ranked No. 21 in the state. The opening quarter was an even battle with five ties and seven lead changes, ending in a 14-14 tie. Johnson provided Van De Kop with some assistance in the second quarter, scoring 7 of his 12 points to help Lindale take a 33-32 lead at the break. Kiwi Pleasant led Nacogdoches 22 points. Lindale increased its lead to 38-32 in the third quarter, but the Dragons responded with an 8-0 run with six points in the run by Willeford, who finished with 14 points in the contest. Van De Kop then went on a 7-1 spurt by himself to give the Eagles a 45-41 lead entering the final frame. Lindale led by as many as 11 points — 56-45 — with 5:20 to go in the game, but an 11-3 run by the Dragons helped make it a 3-point game before Pleasant picked up his fifth foul for the Dragons. Free throws down the stretch helped Lindale escape with the road win. Other scorers for the Dragons (3-1) were Colston, 6; Jeron Garrett, 6; Lakendrick Johnson, 5; D’Ante Riggins, 3; Mason Proctor, 3; and Davis, 3. Nacogdoches will face Jasper in the first round of the Huntington Tournament at noon Thursday in Huntington. Nacogdoches girls 58, Daingerfield 24 — Charity Page had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Dragons to the road victory Tuesday night.

Andrew D. Brosig/The Daily Sentinel Austin Willeford (21) pops a layup over the fingertips of a Lindale defender during the first half Tuesday at Nacogdoches High School.

Other scorers for Nacogdoches were Ji’Shidra Stegall, 9; Ki’Audra Hayter, 8; Ashley Bishop, 8; and Emauzja Johnson, 2. Stegall had six rebounds, and Johnson


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MARK JOHNSON: NHS CLASS OF ’80 BY JUDGE CAM COX Class of ’80 Mark Johnson, a 1980 graduate of NHS, attended his 30th Class Reunion in the fall of 2010. The 30th reunion is somewhat different from other reunions. You see a lot more gray hair or no hair at all. You typically see one classmate who stands out. It can be for a myriad of reasons, but there is usually one. The one who stood out the most at our 30th was Mark “Squally” Johnson. Mark made an impression on us because of his energy, joy and peace that he shared with everyone. His joy was not because of some great job or financial achievement. It was from something more, much more. Mark worked for Texas Power and Light through the 1980s until the early 1990s in the TP&L building on North Street. After TP&L was bought out he went to work doing what millions of young boys dream about. He went to work for the railroad. Southern Pacific hired Mark and he went through their “brakeman” training in Illinois. He was later promoted to conductor. During this time he met his wife Tammy. In 1997 Mark and Tammy moved to Longview for a new position covering a large swath of the Piney Woods. In the summer of 1999 he was promoted to engineer. From 2003 until 2007 he worked for INO Therapeutics, a company owned by the husband of actress Glenn Close. In 1998, the company won the Nobel Prize in medicine for the drug it manufactures used to assist premature babies with respiratory problems. While working for INO, Mark began having some health concerns. From mid to late 2006, he experienced fatigue and loss of appetite which lead to him lose 80 pounds.


It had taken 14 months to reach this point and up until then, Tammy had been his “rock” upon whom he relied. This devastated her. The minute the doctor said, “Mark you have stage 4 terminal cancer,” “I felt God’s peace that transcends all understanding,” Mark said before. Although a Christian for 11 years prior, he prayed, “God, I don’t have a testimony. I’ve seen what you are doing through others, but not through me. I have been an ineffective Christian, but I want to be used for your kingdom.” The Lord spoke to him, “You have not, because you ask not. Are you ready for what I am going to give you?” From that day he has been “on fire” for God. When he visits with people his common refrain is, “Do you know Jesus? If “no,” then let me tell you about him. If “yes”, then what are you doing for him?” His cancer is the most aggressive, most painful, and the fastest growing. It has a four percent survival rate. “The doctors gave me six months to live, but God has given me four years and counting,” Mark said. “I am thankful for the years God has given me to work for Him. Every morning I wake up and ask, “God, who do you have for me today?” Every meeting He allows for me is by divine appointment.” Mark makes no bones about his battle and his faith. “You give the devil an inch, and he will take a mile; but give me a crack and I’ll make the Grand Canyon!” he said. He loves to share his three favorite Bible verses with people. They are 2nd Corinthians 4:8-12, 4:16-18, and 5:1. While limited space for this article prohibits the entire recitation of the verses, they show that our temporary human bodies and the trouble that comes with them are no comparison to the eternal glory that awaits us in heaven.

Medical tests were run to diagnose his condition. Everything came back normal. After seeing a myriad of doctors, he wound up at Tulane University Hospital and was seen by heads of the Gastroenterology departments at Tulane and LSU.

Mark puts it best when he says, “I’m in a win-win situation. As long as I’m here, there’s someone God wants me to tell about Christ. If he calls me home, then I’ll be home.”

In April 2007, the doctors found a mass on Mark’s pancreas, but more tests and exploratory surgery showed the same results, nothing. June 11, 2007, was Mark and Tammy’s 10th wedding anniversary. It was also the day that a doctor at M.D. Anderson told him that the mass on his pancreas was cancer. He had six to eight months to live.

Mark’s parents, James M.and Susie (Thrash) Johnson, live in Nacogdoches. Mark’s sister, Michelle Webb (1982), and his daughter, Lauren Johnson (2005) are also graduates of NHS.



NISD NEWS: Volume 4  

Nacogdoches ISD in the News