The Faubion Lion Pride Press

Week of February 8, 2021

Dear Lion Pride,

Please read this week's installment of the Faubion Lion Pride Press. In this edition, we highlight our academic UIL contestants and quarter two award recipients, show appreciation for our first of three counselors, and celebrate several members of our school community.

February marks Black History month. George Washington Carver, graduate of Iowa State University, was well known for his genius in botany and agriculture. Carver, who was born into slavery, was also the first Black American ever to earn a bachelor of science degree. He argued that farming cotton depleted soil of its nutrients, and he advocated for nitrogen-fixing plants and crop rotation. A famous quote of George Washington Carver is, “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

Our counselors are beyond uncommon in their level of customer service and compassion for students. In this edition, we highlight the first of three of our counselors with Mrs. Phillips. Since Counselors' Week started this week, we want to extend that a bit to cover the entire month of February!

Aristotle once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." At Faubion Middle School, we make excellence a habit, and we are kind to each other. Parents, thank you for instilling those values in your children so they can make a lasting and positive mark on our community.

Go Lions!

-Mr. Boom

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District Academic UIL Update

UIL is an academic competition sanctioned by the state of Texas. A testament to our culture of academic excellence here is that we are the eight-time defending UIL champions. On Tuesday and Thursday of this past week, our UIL oral and writing scholars participated live at Scott Johnson Middle School. Pictured below are our scholars from those events.

On Saturday, February 6, the rest of the events will take place virtually. UIL scholars participating Saturday should check their Canvas course for a schedule of events. Please send positive thoughts to our scholars this week. They have worked really hard in preparing and are representing us so well. We are excited to share the results of the district meet with you in next week's edition!

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Lion's Pride, Merit Scholar, and Honor Roll

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Counselor Spotlight - Mrs. Phillips

Mrs. Phillips is a 35 year educator in McKinney ISD! Having taught for 15 years and having served as a school counselor for 20 years, Mrs. Phillips has inspired many lives. In fact, she has been teaching her entire life.

From the age of four, Mrs. Phillips just knew that she was built to teach. She was always the one who helped kids focus their attention in class and help them when they were struggling. Growing up, Mrs. Phillips would go to daycare once a week on Fridays so her mom could go to the family pharmacy to help close out the books. During these visits to the daycare, Mrs. Phillips taught first and second graders who didn't know how to tie their shoes how to do so. That's the first teaching that she did. She vividly remembers being the "shoe-tier" at the daycare.

Fast forward a "few" years, Mrs. Phillips found herself teaching in McKinney ISD. She has taught at several levels and in several content areas and was - and still is - an expert math teacher. Her favorite lesson to teach was probability. She appreciated the concrete nature of it and how math unfolded before her students' eyes.

Her philosophy as a teacher was that all kids want to be successful. Educators can help build that success by developing an understanding of student situations. Mrs. Phillips specifically remembers a student who struggled with focusing in class, poking other students and agitating them at times. She decided that the best approach would be to help him find an outlet to keep his anxiousness at bay. After a bit of consideration, the young man found "doodling" while taking notes as a way that helped him process the information and maintain focus. She never lowered her standards of students being able to perform but also understood the need to be accommodating.

Mrs. Phillips's superpower as an educator has always been her relationships with kids, which is a profound reason why her transition to the role of counselor was so natural. The decision to transition away from classroom teaching was a difficult one for Mrs. Phillips, but after speaking with her mom she realized that her strongest attributes would apply to counseling. She understands that as a school counselor there is such an incredible emphasis needed on the art of listening.

According to Mrs. Phillips, being a counselor is "the best job in the school because I get to help kids all day long." Sometimes finding the right elective for a student can change their perspective. She enjoys helping students improve relationships with others in the school community by teaching them coping skills. As a school counselor, she regularly helps students navigate frustrations, broken hearts, and disagreements.

Kids say that Mrs. Phillips truly cares about them. Knowing what is going on in their lives is important to Mrs. Phillips, because it gives her perspective needed to counsel. She does not judge students based on their situation and advocates for others to give students grace.

"We don't expect [our kids] to be perfect. Just because kids make a mistake doesn't make them a bad person." Mrs. Phillips's philosophy and compassionate approach are just a few reasons why she is such an incredibly impactful counselor, and we are so blessed that she is here with us at Faubion Middle School.

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Student Discourse

This week in Texas History our 7th grade students have been learning about Government. During each class period students are prompted to turn and speak to the student closest to them. Yesterday, they were discussing the seven Principles of the Constitution and discussing what individual rights means followed by them writing their own definition of the concept.

Pictured from Mrs. Setzer’s 4th period class are: Emma Spearman, Joey Stout, Johan Wolf, Reagan Luna, Ryan Dale, and Giovanni Lucia.

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Independent reading

Whether it's a paperback book, an audio book, or a book on a technological device, Mrs. Fuller's class takes time out of every day to enjoy reading. Students pictured are: Jack Collier, Davion Futrell, Hope Faughn-Reyna, Matilda Elliott, Adrian Waldon, Andrew Daniel, Tracy Sunde, Brennan Rau, Brandon Valdez, Emery Swint, Makinzy Horner, Ricardo Cadenas, Ryleigh Layne, Aalaysia Crawford, Elyse Jamieson, and Evelyn Usher.

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Our custodians

Antonia Flores, Zeferino Oviedo, and Florentina Zavala are three of the hardest-working, kindest, and most helpful individuals on our campus. They have done such an amazing job keeping our school sparkling clean to help keep our children from contracting viruses. They also help with the optics of our school by making sure that our school is a sanctuary of learning. We so appreciate everything they do for us, and beyond that, they are just good human beings. You would be hard-pressed to find a school that is in as beautiful a condition as ours.
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Student Spotlight - Jianna Athwal-Kahlon

This week's student spotlight features the student-athlete-entrepreneur, Jianna Athwal-Kahlon!

Jianna was quite busy over winter break, launching her own business! When Jianna was younger, she developed a love for baking by spending time in the kitchen with her grandmother. Given that her grandmother cannot have sugar, Jianna learned to be creative in creating sweet baked goods without it.

Jianna's father encouraged her to use her social media presence in a positive way. In a short time, Hot Chocolate Bombs were created! Jianna posted videos and handed out some samples to family and friends. A few weeks later, Jianna and her brother started producing Tea Bombs to make a sugar free dessert for accommodate her grandmother. To add to the offerings, Jianna and her brother also have Sundae Bombs, Coffee Bombs, Smash Hearts, and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.

Jianna and her younger brother were recently invited to be featured on Texas Food and NBCTexas Today for a segment on Young Entrepreneurs. Recently, Jianna went to NBC studios and recorded a segment that will air in a few weeks. We are excited to see Jianna on the air!

Outside of school, Jianna is on a competitive swim team. She enjoys the friendships that she has formed over the past seven years and really enjoys swimming in general. Her favorite event is the 100 yard backstroke and also competes on relays and individual medleys. Swimming six days a week for an hour at a time, Jianna has put in a lot of time in the pool. She is excited about joining the swim team at McKinney High School.

Jianna appreciates being a big sister. She enjoys setting an example for her younger brother and being a good role model. She shared that they "always get along," and she enjoys helping him with his homework. Jianna's helpful spirit extends to school as well. Part of the Teen Leadership program here at Faubion, Jianna's teacher, Coach Wammack had the following to say about Jianna: ""I have Jianna is Teen Leadership and she is always leading the way in participation and shows many aspects of being a leader." Jianna also gained the attention of her AVID teacher, Mrs. Hutcheson, who said, "Jianna is an exceptional student. She truly cares about her academic progress, sets her standards high, and works hard to accomplish her goals. I am blessed to have Jianna for a second year, and I look forward to seeing all of the wonderful things that she will do in this world."

A student of McKinney for her entire schooling experience, Jianna has been nothing short of impressed by all of her teachers here at Faubion Middle School. When asked who her favorite teacher was, she said, "All of them". Jianna simply could not pick a favorite. "I love all the teachers. They're all great. They're kind and they help me with something whenever I am having trouble."

Her favorite subjects are science and math. She appreciates the certainty of math and the exploratory nature of science. Wanting to be an anesthesiologist when she gets older, Jianna is excited about help others through complex health situations. Coach Carter, Jianna's science teacher, said, "Jianna is an excellent student. She continues to strive for excellence during virtual learning. She consistently achieves high academic marks and is always willing to provide input during class discussions."

Kudos to Jianna for your accomplishments and your recent venture. We appreciate everything you add to our school community and know that your future is very bright! See you soon on TV, Jianna!

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Dancers Wanted - Faubion Drill Team

The Faubion Rythmettes is a drill team comprised of 7th and 8th graders. The team is designed to promote: good citizenship, leadership, good sportsmanship, and school spirit. Being a Rythmette is a year-round commitment. The Rythmettes dance at home football games, pep rallies, and various contests during competition season.

Interested in joining the award-winning Faubion Rythmettes Drill Team? Please complete the following online application form by Thursday, February 18th: Any questions can be emailed to Mrs. Kiefer: or Ms. Muniz:

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Broadcasting students Daeshana Wilson, Lily Bewley, Jayden Bacha, Ella McClure, and Finn Gilbertson are pictured advertising the upcoming "Faubion Loves Being Kind" week.

"Faubion Loves Being Kind" Dress Up Week

School spirit is strong at Faubion Middle School! We love our themed dress-up weeks, because they encourage a sense of unity across the school community. We would like to share our dress-up days for the week of February 8 with you now so you can begin planning. I particularly love the "kindness" tie-in to this week, as we believe in encouraging and supporting each other.
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Random Acts of Kindness Week- The WHY

As educators we partner with parents of each individual student to make sure their academic and emotional needs are being met while at school. What is the number one thing that we hear when consulting with parents? Funny you ask- parents want their children to be HAPPY and successful.

As a result, we often find ourselves doing things for our children, whether it be buying rewards, spending time together, helping with homework, or taking them out to eat. Teachers do this too- constantly giving to our students. The one-million-dollar question is - Drum Roll Please- Do these acts of kindness (giving) benefit the kids or the adults more?

The simple answer is YES. The complicated answer has been studied in countless amounts of research. Research shows that we don’t make children happier by showing them how to be receivers of kindness, but in fact we improve their feelings of happiness when she TEACH and SHOW them to be the givers of kindness. This comes along with some added bonuses. Research also shows a positive correlation between academic success and personal traits of kindness and generosity. A random act of kindness does not need to be elaborate, cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time. A simple random act of kindness can change someone’s day and improve a child’s future.

Here at Faubion Middle School we celebrate kindness every day! Our students engage in activities throughout the whole year to promote kindness towards their peers, their teachers, and their families. We also have special activities planned specifically for Random Acts of Kindness Week! These activities are student sponsored and include Student Council kindness dress up days and daily kindness challenges.

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Registration Video

Mrs. Kiefer (left) and Dr. Kriesel-Hall are pictured developing separate registration videos for incoming 6th graders and rising 7th and 8th graders. This type of behind-the-scenes work is a regular practice by our counselors and administrators. We seek to engage students and families in order to help them navigate the many course options available in McKinney ISD.

Please view the incoming 6th grade video and the rising 7th/8th grade video, and email your child's counselor if you have any questions.

Updated Shot Records for Rising 7th Graders

Rising seventh graders need proof of updated immunizations before the end of this school year. Your child's schedule will be withheld until immunization records are up-to-date.

Please take your child to complete immunizations. If your child has already received his/her vaccines, provide the updated record to our campus nurse ASAP.

The following vaccines are needed:

Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis-containing vaccine (received within the past five years)

Meningococcal vaccine (within the past five years)

It is necessary for your child to be in compliance to attend 7th grade for the 2021-22 school year.

The Care Van will offer FREE IMMUNIZATIONS for Medicaid, uninsured or no vaccine insurance coverage AND Passport Health will be available to vaccinate children ages 6 months to 18 years with AETNA, BCBS, or United Healthcare insurances and. INFANTS TO 18 YEARS OF AGE at these times and locations:

Lawson Early Childhood Center, 500 Dowell St.,Thursday February 25, 2021, 5:00PM-7:00PM

Collin County Health Care Clinic offers low-cost or free immunizations for Medicaid, CHIPs, American Indian or Alaskan native, uninsured or underinsured (no vaccine, capped coverage or select vaccine insurance coverage).

Collin County Health Care, 825 North McDonald Street, Mon - Fri, 7:30am-11am and 1pm-4pm

Spring Break is a great time to get your immunizations completed!

If you have any questions about the information above, please reach out to our school nurse at or 469-302-6914.

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Past Due - Annual Payment for Laptop

McKinney ISD is uniquely positioned to not only address the challenges presented by the pandemic but also to create an environment where students can become producers in an increasingly digital world.

Please emphasize to your child that the district-issued MacBook is property of the district, and as such, students are not allowed to download programs or circumvent district security measures. If your child has done so, please ask him/her to bring the device to the library so we can assist. Please watch this VIDEO with your child to see the district's expectations for student MacBook use.

In order to provide the very best technology for our students, parents pay a nominal annual fee for insurance on their district-issued laptop. These fees can be paid in HAC through either the parent or student account. The deadline to pay laptop fees was January 22, 2021. If you pay the fee after this date, your child's account will temporarily lose access to non-instructional websites. Once you pay, the restrictions will be lifted.

The district has developed a comprehensive resource for parents, including payment details. This file provides instructions for how to pay the fee, including troubleshooting suggestions. Also included in the file is the 1:The World handbook (in English and in Spanish). Please pay the assurance fee at your earliest convenience.

If you would prefer to pay in person with cash or check, please check HAC for the amount first. You may send payment with your child to the library. If you have any questions, please email Melissa Willardson at

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COVID support from our community

One Heart McKinney is an organization that partners with McKinney ISD to provide for those in need. Go to for a one-stop shop of resources related to COVID and community support. You can donate to the cause or seek help if interested.

Drug Use Prevention Resources

McKinney ISD offers a Canvas course called "Talk it up! Prevention resources for parents," which is full of drug prevention resources. Please visit the following LINK, bookmark it, and review it at your convenience. Our district truly embodies the "Live Kind" mindset in taking care of the entire child. Our district Substance Use Prevention Committee works hard to make the content relevant, engaging, and timely. Our counselors are also equipped with lots of resources to assist you, so if you need anything please reach out to us.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Feb. 4 - Saturday, Feb. 6

FMS Advanced Theatre's Production of Snow Angel

Saturday, Feb. 6


Monday, Feb. 8

7th boys' basketball (away) @ Prosper Hays - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

8th boys' basketball (home) vs. Prosper Hays - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Camerata and Honors Orchestra Pre-UIL - after school

Thursday, Feb. 11

7th girls' basketball (away) @ Prosper Hays - Navy - 5:00 / White - 6:00

8th girls' basketball (home) vs. Prosper Hays - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

February 17

Track and Tennis Workouts / Tryouts begin (questions go to for boys and for girls)

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Since AVID is growing at FMS, we were in need of more space for our tutorial sessions. Dr. Kriesel-Hall, one of our fabulous assistant principals, helped us set up this unique learning space just outside of the library so that our scholars are better able to concentrate and focus on their learning. The AVID tutorial process is student-centered and helps them to develop the skill of being responsible for their own learning.

Pictured here: Lily Oldner, PJ Sawyer, Zachary Long, Davis Duke, Carlos Lopez (College Tutor), and Abby Ruiz.

Checking Your Child's Grades and Attendance

You may monitor your child's grades and attendance by using the Home Access Center.

Here are the steps to follow:

1) Please make sure that you are using Google Chrome as your browser.

2) Go to

3) Enter your login credentials. If you need assistance with your login information, please reach out to your child's house secretary:

A-G: Mrs. Soroa - or 469-302-7005

H-O: Mrs. Gonzalez - or 469-302-6911

P-Z: Mrs. Dedman - or 469-302-6917

Words from the learning commons

Book Highlight: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades by Marissa Meyer is a fantastic read! It follows a society where some people have powers. One group of these people are the Renegades who work to create peace and order. The other group of people with power are the Anarchists. Follow along as Nova infiltrates the Renegades on her mission for vengeance. She becomes close with Adrian who is a Renegade and believes in justice, but doesn't always do things the Renegade way!

Through McKinney ISD this book can be found

  1. in our FMS Library (put on hold in Destiny-MISD Library Search)

  2. on Sora: (students login with their SSO credentials)

  3. Audio Book on Sora: (students login with their SSO credentials)

Jack C. Faubion Middle School, the best middle school in the State of Texas

Our primary method of communication occurs through our weekly newsletter, the Faubion Lion Pride Press. You may also find information on our school website and our twitter page.
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