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Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012



George West, Beeville ISDs form classroom consortium By Bill Clough

Special to the Progress

BEEVILLE — Author Horace Greeley advised young people to go west, but the George West Independent School District is suggesting the opposite. Through a newly created cooperative effort, GWISD high school welding, math and physics students this fall will take some courses from Beeville Independent School District instructors. GWISD welding students will take their classes in Beeville; math and physics students will be taught via a video conference with a Beeville teacher. Superintendents of


both districts are keen on the idea. “There’s such a push to save money after the reduction in state funding,” says BISD Superintendent Dr. Sue Thomas. “This is one way to do it.” For Ty Sparks, superintendent at GWISD, the program with BISD

solves what is becoming a continuing problem: finding teachers with sparse housing in an oil boom. The George West system will pay BISD a nominal fee, Thomas says, but explains that the amount is far below the cost of hiring a teacher. Welding classes will be at BISD. “You can’t teach welding over a video conference,” Thomas notes. Sparks intends to have his welding instructor accompany the George West students when they attend class. “We might even team up for contests,” he says. But Thomas is quick to point out that in the exchange program, the students will be able to maintain their own high

Community Shorts Cadena benefit

An account has been opened at First National Bank of George West for Daniel Cadena who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Donations may be made to “Daniel Cadena Benefit.” All donations are appreciated and will be used to cover the cost of medical and related expenses.

Cavallin benefit

Mandy Rodriguez Cavallin of George West has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. For those wishing to donate, an account has been set up as “Amanda Cavallin Benefit” at First National Bank for her medical expenses.

Time for ‘Our Town’

Be a part of history – attend the first play produced in the Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre in George West. “Our Town” is Thornton Wilder’s masterpiece which depicts an immortal tale of small town morality. Tickets are $10 and may be reserved for Aug. 3 or 4 by calling 492-9233. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Come support our local talent.

Summer reading contest

The LOC Libraries in both George West and Three Rivers will be holding a Summer Reading Contest. The contest runs

from June 1-Aug. 4 and any library patron in good standing is eligible to participate. For rules and to enter, see either library or visit them on Facebook at for updates and a list of prizes.

Story Time

The LOC Library in Three Rivers will be having Story Time at 11:30 a.m. every Thursday at the library. Any child who is not in school is welcome to attend with a parent/ guardian. For more information, call 361-786-3037 or visit liveoakcountylibraries for updates.

Reflections and Anticipation

To commemorate the centennial of Three Rivers in 2013, the Chamber of Commerce is publishing “Reflections and Anticipation,” a hardback book on the history of Three Rivers. Pre-orders are now being taken to determine the number of books to order. The books are $30 each, and must be pre-paid with your order. To reserve a copy, contact the Chamber of Commerce office at 361-785-4330. In addition, pre-order forms have been placed in several businesses in town, and can be mailed to the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1648, Three Rivers, TX 78071. Books will be available toward the end of January

school identities. The idea of the teaching exchange stems from a consortium of principles she formed while working in Aransas Pass. The current program is the result of a conversation a few weeks ago between Thomas and Sparks. Thomas hopes the exchange is just the beginning. “I’d like to work with George West students to take dual credit hours,” Thomas says, who also wants to see the program expanded to include additional districts such as Sinton. She says that a few years ago, she made similar offers to school districts in Pettus and Skidmore, but they showed no interest.


To illustrate another benefit from such an exchange, Thomas cites the possibility of a teacher not having enough students to fill a full day of classes. Adding students from another district might make a difference. “You always want the kids to have the best opportunities,” Sparks emphasizes.

“The more you can do for the kids, the better,” Thomas adds. Teaching by video conference isn’t anything new for GWISD. Sparks says some of his students have taken courses from a teacher in Three Rivers. “It’s a good idea, as long as you have a good connection, enough bandwidth and a teacher who knows how to teach over video.” The districts plan to conduct a test within the next week. If the test is successful, Sparks plans to take video-conference teaching a step further. “We will record the sessions,” he says, “and put them on our website as podcasts.”

Adoption meetings to be held in South Texas 2013 and, if requested, will be shipped for out of town orders.

Helmer benefit

A benefit for Ronnie Helmer with plate sale donation $7; to-go plates or enjoy your meal under the trees and enjoy the music. Market Day booths are available starting at 8 a.m.-2 p.m., call the museum if interested in reserving a booth. It’s a good way to clean out your closet. Bring your own table and chairs. A silent auction will be set up starting at noon until 2 p.m. The Clegg organization will conduct the auction for the benefit, they are accepting gifts. Both the benefit and Market Days will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11, starting at 8 a.m.

Historical marker workshop

The public is invited to attend the Official Texas Historical Marker Workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Jourdanton Community Center, 1101 Campbell Ave., Jourdanton. The free workshop, hosted by the THC staff and members of the Atascosa CHC, is open the public. An RSVP is required for participation. Email sarah. or call 512-463-5853 to reserve your space.

The public is invited to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) adoption information meetings being held throughout South Texas. Anyone who is interested in learning more about becoming an adoptive family is invited to attend the free public information session. The meetings will consist of a presentation along with a question & answer session with a regional recruiter. Representatives from several South Texas Child Placing Agencies will also be on hand to present information on becoming an adoptive parent. As of this summer, there are 364 children in the South Texas region and 6,300 children statewide who are legally free for adoption. The closest meeting will be held in Nueces County, Corpus Christi, on Monday, Aug. 13,

Presentation starts at 6 p.m. at the Northwest Library 3202 McKinzie Road, Corpus Christi. For more information contact: Nueces County Adoption Recruiter Cornelia Munoz-Garza at 361-8787539. Basic requirements for prospective adoptive parents may be single or married and must: • Be at least 21 years of age, financially stable, and responsible mature adults; • Complete an application (staff will assist you, if you prefer); • Share information regarding their background and lifestyle; • Provide relative and non-relative references; • Show proof of marriage and/or divorce (if applicable); • Agree to a home study, which includes visits with all household members;

• Allow staff to complete a criminal history background check and an abuse/neglect check on all adults in the household, and • Attend free training to learn about issues of abused and neglected children. The training provides an opportunity for the family and DFPS to assess whether foster care or adoption is best for the family. The family may withdraw from the meetings at any time. There is no charge for the meetings. Foster/adoptive parents generally train together. DFPS Region 11 is comprised of the following South Texas counties: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kennedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Webb, Willacy, Zapata.