Back to School 2016
Right You Are
The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.
-- Ralph W. Sockman

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
-- Stacia Täuscher

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded.
-- Robert Brault

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
-- Walt Streightiff

You can lead from wherever you are on the organization chart. Leadership doesn' t come from the power of authority. It comes from the power of influence.
-- Susan Hardy Brooks

All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.
-- Martin H. Fischer

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
-- Alvin Toffler

Where is the student who needs you to give him that push to become the world's next neurosurgeon?
-- Mike Kuhrt, Back to School Rally 2016

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. 
-- Edward Everett
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Upcoming Events
August 22
First Day of School

Sept. 5 
Labor Day; No school

Sept. 13
Board of Trustees Work Session, Education Center, Noon

Sept. 19
Board of Trustees Meeting, Education Center, 6 p.m. 
 
Oct. 3  
WFISD Marching Festival, Memorial Stadium, 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. 
 
Oct. 6
Read 2 Learn Community Training, Education Center Room 302, Noon; Secondary Parent/Teacher Conferences
 
Oct. 11
Board of Trustees Work Session, Education Center, Noon
 
Oct. 17  
Board of Trustees Meeting, Education Center, 6 p.m.

Oct. 19 - 20
Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences 
 
Oct. 22  
UIL Region II West Zone Marching Contest, 
Memorial Stadium, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Oct. 26
Principal for a Day

Oct. 29
Teens Make a Difference Day 
 


Volunteer This Year
Make this the year you volunteer with Read2Learn! Its simple, 30-minute, once-a-week reading routine helps second-graders read on grade level. You are urgently needed! To volunteer, call January Jones, (940)235-1000, ext. 10019.

Superintendent's Spotlight
By Mike Kuhrt
Hello parents and WFISD staff,
What an awesome year we have ahead of us. We have many new things to be excited about this year. Let me hit a few highlights.

First of all, we are wrapping up some of our construction projects. We had good building weather for the middle school additions. You're going to be impressed with them. It's really phenomenal work done by Anthony Inman Construction Co.

We will host some community open houses on September 11 so you'll have an opportunity to come by and check them out. We have new sixth-grade wings at Barwise and McNiel, and we've done a lot of remodeling at Kirby.    Read full story.

A New Logo
It's still round. It still features a torch. But WFISD's bold new logo better reflects the district's bold new paths
 
You've seen the old WFISD logo for decades: the ombre blue circle, accented with a yellow torch and wreath. Its familiar crest has marked all district communications and materials for as long as anyone can remember.
 
By today's standards, its formality was an emblem of an era gone by. Communications Officer Ashley Thomas knew it wasn't the  best representation of the district. But what would be better?
 


Today she has an exciting new answer.  WFISD's new, board-approved district logo debuted quietly in June. Its bold navy arc encircles "WFISD," its blue torch and yellow flame. "Wichita Falls" is written across the top of the navy circle.
 
You'll begin to see it on district vehicles, communications, and materials. We asked Ms. Thomas about the new look. Read full story. 
 
More Than Just Food For Thought

F ood Service Director Denise Brown brought her cost-saving strategy to our school kitchens, and it has already reduced WFISD costs by 34 percent. That cost reduction will benefit children. Here's how.
 
Denise Brown isn't your typical Food Service Director. Her background is finance, not food.
 
But she was the perfect partner for the Food Service team already in place: Supervisor Lisa Lonsdale had 20+ years logged with WFISD and a bank of knowledge about food service regulations, guidelines, menu planning, and nutrient analysis. Benetta Johnson had 15 years experience as eligibility coordinator for school lunch applications.
 
Enter Ms. Brown. Her skill set is budgeting, finance, staffing and purchasing. It didn't take long before a budgeting transformation began.
 
WFISD Communications Specialist Ann Work Goodrich talked to Ms. Brown about our fascination with all things food, how she's saving the district money - and where that savings will benefit kids. 
Read full story.
News Headlines
See if you missed any of these news highlights
  • The district has hired 157  professionals this year. Many will staff  art, band, special education and CTE programs.
  • WFISD staff members received a general 3 percent pay increase for the new school year. The first-year teacher pay rose to $43,000, and the teacher salary scale for all other teachers was adjusted upward. 

An Easy Way to Help Us
DonorsChoose.org provides an easy way to help classrooms now

When Zundy Elementary teacher Miranda Schroeder decided she needed new flexible classroom seating, she wrote up a request and posted it on a special website that caters to teachers' needs.
 
So far, 10 people have donated toward her goal of $1,348. The site lists how many students will benefit (110), how much more money is still needed ($716), how often this teacher has made a request (this is her first), and the deadline for funding (Oct. 14, 2016).
 
Her request is one of 12 WFISD projects listed on the popular DonorsChoose.org website. Each one represents one teacher's specific need.
 
This might be the perfect way for you to kick off the new school year: Fund a school project that interests you.  
 

All School Days Lengthened
For 2016-2017, school start times and dismissal times got a makeover
 
The dismissal bell will ring a few minutes later at WFISD schools this year. 
 
 

Why I Decided to Leave My Marketing Position and Teach High School  
 

Husband Josh, son Hudson, 4, and Tandy Roberts
Ever thought about switching from industry to the classroom? Tandy Roberts did. Now she brings her marketing expertise to WFISD high school students
 
 
Career training is more important than ever in WFISD schools, which means one thing: The community's expertise is needed in the classroom like never before. For some, that presents an opportunity. A professional who wants to step outside the corporate world and bring his or her skills to the classroom will find opportunities like never before.
 
 
That was the case for Tandy Roberts. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, focusing specifically on marketing. For more than six years, she used her skills as a marketing manager for a local doctor's office.
 
Then, in August 2015, she left the business world behind and accepted a job with the Wichita Falls Independent School District as a teacher for its marketing classes. She taught fashion, sports and entertainment marketing at Rider High School and Wichita Falls High School.
 
What prompted her career change and how did it go? Tandy talked to WFISD Communications Specialist Ann Work Goodrich about her exit from the business world and her first year of teaching.  To  read more, click here.  

How Two Hispanic Brothers Aced High School  
...even though their parents never went further than sixth grade

McKenzie, Maria, and Westly Garcia
When Westly and McKenzie Garcia began their high school careers at Wichita Falls High School, they decided that their parents' lack of schooling didn't have to define their own high school careers.
 
And they didn't let it. Westly graduated fourth in his Class of 2013 and went on to attend the prestigious Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine on a generous scholarship. McKenzie is headed into his senior year at Old High, currently ranked No. 1 in his Class of 2017 with a 4.95 GPA. The Times Record News awarded him a bronze star in its STAR Student Awards contest in May, highlighting him as an exceptional junior at WFHS.
 
The boys' parents are from Mexico. Their mother, Maria, went as far as the sixth grade in Mexico. Now she works as a custodian at the WFISD Education Center. She speaks broken English. Their father, Anacleto, never went beyond third grade before coming to America. He learned English and became an American citizen. He works construction.
 
So how did this immigrant family produce not just one high-achieving scholar, but two? Communication Specialist Ann Work Goodrich invited Westly, McKenzie and their mother, Maria, to explain.   To  read more, click here.  


Here's Something for the "You Never Know What Kids Will Come Up With" File
If you're tempted to downplay the abilities and creativity of children -- your own or those in your classroom -- watch this video of Chicago 8th grader Jack Aiella giving his graduation speech at Thomas Middle School in the voices of four presidential hopefuls -- Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders -- and President Barack Obama.

  To watch , click here.


GASP! Did They Really Do THAT?
Cancel school so kids can attend the circus? Refuse to permit newly married teachers to continue teaching?  Ban electricity use from school buildings at night to save money? Are you kidding?
 
What a difference a century makes. Those decisions and more are recorded in Wichita Falls school board minutes from January 1911 to April 1934. See what else happened before you were born. To read more,  click here. 
Employees in the News 
Congratulations to Anthony Newberry, Michelle Wood, and Gary Cunningham

Hirshi High School math teacher Anthony Newberry was awarded the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching in Middle School and High School. He was honored for his outstanding work in motivating students in mathematics through participation in one of the MAA AMC competitions. The award came with a $500 stipend.
 
CTE Coordinator Michelle Wood received the Tom Natale Leadership Excellence Award from Leadership Wichita Falls 2016.
 
Carrigan Career Center welding teacher Gary Cunningham was named Region 9 Secondary Teacher of the Year, making him tops in 37 districts in the regional competition. Mr. Cunningham was awarded the WFISD Secondary Teacher of the Year title in May.