One for the Record Books

December 2015

Thanya Montemayor

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Sam Houston State University Library School Student and Shimotsu Elementary Teacher

I am proud to say that I was born in the Rio Grande Valley although I didn’t get to stick around for very long. My father joined the Air Force when I was two years old. We lived in San Antonio, TX, Biloxi, Mississippi and Wiesbaden, Germany before finally returning to McAllen after his retirement. I graduated from the Teacher Academy in Edinburg (now known as BETA) and received my BA in Psychology from St. Mary's University in San Antonio. I have been working at Shimotsu Elementary since my graduation in 2007. I had the pleasure of helping to open the school, and I have been a 4th grade math teacher ever since. I am currently owned by two very silly Chihuahuas and a sweet Dalmatian I rescued from Palm Valley Animal Center. Some of my hobbies include book club (The Bookshelf Babes), playing softball with the city of McAllen (Smokin' Gunz), taking my dog to the dog park, karaoke, listening to Adele's new single on repeat for hours, traveling, and attending Cowboys, Spurs and Texas Rangers games. I am currently working on my Masters degree which is long overdue. I chose Library Science because it merges my love of working with kids and my love of books.

What fairy tale character are you most like and why?

It’s really hard to choose a character because the versions of fairy tales we know now differ very greatly from their original versions. Since most of the original stories are dark and disturbing, I'll stick to modern interpretations. When I'm really tired (especially in the morning), I want to be Sleeping Beauty. Can you tell I'm not a morning person? My love of books and my fascination with having a library like the one in the movie leads me to Belle. I hope to live up to her character. She's spunky, spirited, and has a good heart.

If you could only have one book available to you for the next 5 years, what book would that be?

EASY! Pride and Prejudice. I read it every year around Christmas time since I was in high school. I love all the characters and the drama. The pomp and circumstance. Mr. Darcy! That's all I have to say about that.

What author, living or dead, would you like to meet?

I would like to meet J.R.R. Tolkien. The man came up with a whole universe with languages, creatures, and rules. I would love to talk to him about his inspirations. I'm sure he would have a lot of awesome things to say.

Is there a book that you would like to see turned into a movie?

I would love to see Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein made into a mini series. I think it is too amazing of a book to cut down into a movie. I really grok this book!

Librarians Attend UTech Making a Difference Conference @ Region One

Janie Flores, Darvin Koenig, Nicole Cruz, and Samantha Silva meet George Couros on Thursday, November 19th. Mr. Couros is a sought after motivational speaker, he has worked with groups all over North America, as well as done extensive work in Australia. These groups include Senior Executives, school administrators, educators, parents, as well as students. He has facilitated workshops as well as been a keynote for large conferences. All district librarians were invited to attend the UTech Making A Difference Conference free of charge as a result of the SISD participation in the MEGAByte Training last year.
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#OurVoice: George Couros at TEDxBurnsvilleED

BL Gray Library Perfect Setting for District Librarian Meeting

Sally Hartman, BL Gray Junior High Librarian, created the perfect setting for the November District Librarian Meeting. She decorated her library with a harvest and fall theme. Each librarian is holding an autographed copy of a book by an author who presented at the McAllen Book Festival on Saturday, November 7th.
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MasterMinds Check for PHS Library

The Pioneer Masterminds Team, directed by Dianne Butcher, beat out the McAllen High School Masterminds on November 1, 2015. The weekly academic quiz competitions are produced by KRGV Channel 5 News. Teams compete on such subjects as history, math, English, current events, art and music. KRGV donates $100 to the winning team’s library to replenish its resources. Robert Underhill, MasterMinds team member and library office aide, presents Mrs. Flores with the $100 check.
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Shimotsu Pumpkin Decorating Contest

We had every shelf in the library lined with pumpkins on October 30. Student Council sponsored a pumpkin decorating contest and many students participated. Pictured below are two of the creative designs, Fly Guy and Mike.

Mike from Monsters Inc.

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Fly Guy

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Book Bites by Samantha Silva, O Garza Elementary Librarian

Astrid is a 12 year old girl who doesn’t quite fit in with the other girls in her school. Even her best friend, Nicole, seems to not get Astrid like she used to. When Astrid decides she’d like to join a roller derby summer camp she tries to get Nicole to join, but is devastated when Nicole would rather learn ballet dances over derby moves. Astrid decides she can’t tell her mom about Nicole bailing on her, because then her mom won’t let her go to the derby camp. Astrid decides to continue letting her mom think that Nicole is going to roller derby camp, and does her best to learn and practice. Roller derby is a lot tougher to learn then Astrid expects. Keeping up with the older girls feels almost impossible, and keeping her mom in the dark feels even worse. Soon Astrid finds it difficult to balance the toughness of derby life, the loss of her best friend, and the looming threat of middle school. She almost decides to give up, but then all her hard work starts to pay off.

This graphic novel not only teaches the reader about roller derby, but it also wonderfully captures what it’s like to find yourself growing apart from your friends. Jameson’s artwork is simple and beautiful with full color illustrations. Roller Girl is also a part of the Texas Bluebonnet Awards for 2016-2017.

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Youth Creative Writing Winners

Seven Sharyland High School students placed in the McAllen Book Festival Writing Competition. More than 380 entries were received from students across Hidalgo County. Six SHS students earned Honorable Mention and one student was recognized as a top three winner. The students enter a poem or prose piece on the theme, "The Scariest Time in My Life." Students were encouraged to participate by SHS librarian Nicole Cruz and English teachers.
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Jane Schaffer Writing Method Workshop Hosted at SNJH Library

On Tuesday, November 16, ELA teachers attended a full day training on the Jane Schaffer Writing Method. The library provided the perfect location for this professional development session.

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Some Books Are Worth Melting For

Emilio Savinon poses next to Olaf at the SHS Library. Emilio was one of the weekly "Caught Reading" winners. He was caught reading Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Emilio won a gift card to Barnes & Noble.
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Sargent Marrero Receives Letters for Troops

Over 800 letters were written to the Troops during Veterans Day at Pioneer High School.

Students were able to write a letter of thanks during their 4th block class on Wednesday, November 11th. Sgt. Marrero distributed them among 6 deployed units on Monday, November 16th.

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RD Martinez New Furniture

Students enjoy the new library comfy seats at the RD Martinez Elementary library.
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Wernecke Faculty Recognized in Veteran's Day Speech

Librarian Patricia Ramos and former PE Coach Ronnie Guerra were honored to be recipients of praise from former student. Francisco is now attending college. He is pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
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Google Expeditions Brings Virtual Reality Into Actuality At Sharyland High School

The opportunity provided by Google for Education allowed for over a two dozen teachers to be trained in Google Expeditions with over fifty classes and an estimated 1,000 students taking an expedition throughout the day. The Google Expeditions Pioneer Pilot Program visit was organized and coordinated for Sharyland High School by Mrs. Nicole Cruz, Sharyland I.S.D. District and Sharyland High School Librarian and Mr. Robert Barbosa, Sharyland High School Social Studies Teacher and Co-Department Chair.

The visit was also made possible through the support and assistance of Dr. Robert O’Connor, Mrs. Carolyn Mendiola, Mr. David Culberson, Ms. Athit Farias, Mr. George Culberson, Ms. Tisha Dalhlberg, and Mrs. Virginia Pena.

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Giving Thanks

SNJH had the annual Thanksgiving Luncheon in the library.

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Rapid Review by Darvin Koenig, SNJH Librarian

Opposing armies in trenches taking turns singing Christmas Carols may sound like something you would only read about in a work of fiction, but, in fact, it took place in December 1914. Truce by two-time Newberry Honor book author Jim Murphy is the miraculous story of hundreds of thousands of soldiers defying direct orders in order to engage in a joint celebration of Christmas during the first year of World War I. With the use of primary sources such as soldiers’ journals and photographs Murphy tells this amazing story with great detail. Just in time for the Christmas season, I am betting that many will want to add the reading of this book to their annual traditions!

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Rattlers are Readers at RD Martinez Elementary

Razz the Rattler visits the RD Martinez Elementary. Students were able to give Razz a high-five and take photos with him.
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Family Reading Night @ John H Shary Elementary

Family Reading Night was a team effort. Teachers, parents, administrators, and volunteers worked together to ensure the success of this event. The Scholastic Book Fair made holiday shopping easy.
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Luis Guerrero Serenades Librarians

Luis Guerrero made the librarians smile as he performed for them. Luis represented Sharyland ISD and BL Gray at the prestigious 21st Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition in San Antonio on November 21st! His Mariachi Director Juan Carlos Lopez spoke highly regarding the young vocalist. He placed 2nd in this competition.
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SISD Librarians Send Well Wishes to Sharron Guzman

Sharron Guzman, John H Shary librarian, has felt the love of her campus staff and her SISD librarian team as she recovers from open heart surgery. Librarians, teachers, campus nurse, administrators, counselors, and parents have taken her family meals and sent cards and flowers. Mrs. Guzman, we love you!
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Glucose Screenings at Pioneer High School Library

Janie Flores arranged for PHS staff and faculty to have their glucose read in honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month. More than 20 individuals took advantage of this free screening which was provided by the RGV Diabetes Association.
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Award Winning Illustrator Carolyn D Flores Appreciates SHS Senior Ah Hyun Kim's Art Work

What happens when a grant written by the art department does not receive funding? The teachers partner with the campus librarian to find alternative funding. The SHS library activity account provided funds for Carolyn D Flores to visit the campus and share her expertise with students on November 4th. Art teacher Stephanie Sala, Ah Hyun Kim, and Carolyn D Flores pose for a photo.
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PHS Students Learn about the Dangers and Consequences of Sexting

Homeland Security Special Investigations Agent Christopher Sullins delivered a fast paced, energetic presentation on the dangers of sexting. Student groups were Baseball and Tennis athletes, three CTE classes and a Law Enforcement class. The students were focused and learned valuable lessons about Internet use and its dangers.

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Hinojosa Thanksgiving Luncheon

Librarian Elizabeth Moreno assisted with preparing a Thanksgiving luncheon for all teachers and staff prior to the vacation. Everyone had a wonderful time.
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PHS Pumpkin Fest

The PHS Book Club decided to give back to its school community by inviting our special needs students and their teachers to a pumpkin decorating festival in the library. Each PHS Book Club member was paired with one student, assisting in computer image selection, painting and decorating. It was difficult to tell who was having the most fun, the students or the staff!

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Amazing SNJH Spellers

Mr. Koenig's 8th grade spellers took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the Mission Junior High UIL meet! Pictured L to R: Pauline Ramos (2nd), Joseph Gaytan (1st), Jackie Olivarez (3rd). Mr. Koenig is the SNJH librarian.

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