One for the Record Books

May 2020

Sharyland High School Graduate

Anastasia Cruz is the daughter of Paul and Nicole Cruz. She is a member of the National Honor Society and graduating in the top 10% of her class. She was a 4 year Varsity Softball Letterman; Diamonds Dance Team Member and Varsity Basketball Player. She was on the Battle of the Books team and Vice President of the BCM Club for two years. She earned state recognition with the Texas Youth Creators Award and the Letters About Literature Competition. She was selected as Most Involved by her Senior Class peers. She was honored to be selected by the faculty as an Outstanding Senior. She'll be attending Texas A&M Corpus Christi -majoring in Education and Kinesiology.
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Sharyland High School Graduate

Angela Gonzalez is a 2020 SHS graduate . She is the daughter of Oneida Aleman, RD Martinez Librarian. Angela has participated in Varsity Mariachi Nuevo Cascabel since 8th grade. She has had a passion for music since she was a little girl. Angela will continue her education at UTRGV and major in Music Education and minor in Psychology.

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Stanford Graduate

Christopher Koenig, son of Sharyland North Librarian Darvin Koenig and his wife Sandra, will be receiving his master's degree in Computer Science on June 14 from Stanford University.
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6th Grade Car Celebration at Donna Wernecke

by Patricia Ramos

It was a rewarding, yet bittersweet reunion as Wernecke Elementary staff bid farewell to 6th graders moving on to the junior high. Mrs. Ramos took the opportunity to congratulate some of her VIP readers and to wish them well on their new journey. She is very proud of her students and sends congratulations to all of her 54 VIP readers! Go Wernecke!!

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Traditional Dessert Social Replaced with Message of Thanks

by S. Zulema Bewley

One of the traditions that Mrs. Bewley missed this year was the annual “Thank You—Dessert Social” that she sponsors for the library volunteers. Instead, Mrs. Bewley participated in a video created by Daisy Gutierrez thanking all of the volunteers that made this school year a success. Shimotsu Elementary is blessed to have parents who dedicate time and effort to making Shimotsu the best it can be. Mrs. Bewley also enjoyed being part of the staff parade through the neighborhoods letting students know that they are special, valued, and missed. Go Shimotsu!!

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6th Grade Pick-Up Celebration at Jessie Jensen Elementary

by Albert Ramos

Sixth graders were celebrated with AR trophies on Friday when they participated in the pick-up/drop-off. Students were able to get their trophies and gift bags from SPTSO.

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Tech Support Now More Than Ever

By: Thanya Montemayor

Although my role at school has always included giving technology support to my teachers, now more than ever I was challenged to learn and learn QUICKLY. I have a basic knowledge of most platforms that the district uses, but in order to serve my teachers I began to study them more purposefully. Ultimately, I learned a lot from them as well. This summer will be spent trying to learn as much distance learning software as possible so that I can continue to offer my support and assistance during these COVID 19 times.

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Farewell Car Parade at Sharyland North

by Darvin Koenig

Mr. Koenig participated in the Farewell Car Parade on Tuesday, May 26, which gave students a chance to see the staff one last time and bring some form of closure to this COVID-19 interrupted school year.

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Secondary Packet Pick-Up

by Nicole H. Cruz

Some students chose to work from paper curriculum and instruction packets during the school closure. Librarian Nicole Cruz volunteered at packet pick-up on Thursday, April 16th in the morning. All social distancing and COVID-19 requirements were followed for the safety of staff and community members.

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Distance Learning for Everyone

by Samantha Wheat


The physical closure of schools, and subsequently school libraries, has not stopped librarians from continuing to engage with our school communities. For myself, this meant trying my best to keep in touch with teachers and offering help with distance learning tools. I created a Google Classroom and offered it to teachers in my school. I uploaded how-to videos for online tools like Flipgrid and BrainPop, and answered questions on how to use these tools from teachers. The school closure forced most people, including myself, to look at online learning tools, even tools I was already familiar with, with more purpose. I enjoyed learning more about online tools, and, in turn, offering that knowledge to the teachers in my Google Classroom. My summer will be learning what I can about online tools and distance learning, like most of my peers. I don't know what it will look like when we return next school year, but I know we will rise to challenge.

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RD Martinez Meets the Distance Learning Challenge with A+

by Oneida Aleman

Distance learning at RD Martinez was a great success. Students continued motivated by reading and AR testing. Students were able to reach their goals. Students also participated in various library activities and submitted their photos. Also, they were provided with several resources to access e-books. As the librarian I was able to provide guidance to teachers, students, and parents to familiarize themselves with resources.

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Judged Slide Contest during COVID-19 School Closure

by Elizabeth Moreno

Mrs. Moreno, the librarian at Pioneer High School in collaboration with "Go Center" Counselor, Melinda Zuniga, had the privilege and difficult task of judging the Senior Digital Slide Contest. There were over fifty entries; but, the three top scoring slides prevailed. The three winners of this contest won a scholarship through the "Go Center". Congratulations to the winners!!!

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B. L. Gray Library Ambassador Rides the #WakeletWave

By Wenndy Pray

John Calvillo led his fellow ambassadors on the journey to be the first in the district to complete the Wakelet Student Ambassador program. Wakelet is a visual tool that helps people “organize and find the most relevant, authoritative and compelling content across the web” (Wakelet). As a librarian, I adopted the student ambassador program because it supports the six Cs: curation, creativity, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and citizenship. It also allows students to work at their own pace. With six weeks left of school after the closure, it was a perfect alternative to help strengthen student knowledge in technology. I used Screencastify and one-to-one Google Meet sessions to lead students through the various tasks. Students were also able to continue using Flipgrid, which is now integrated into Wakelet. They also learned to use screencast tools like Screencastify and Quicktime to record presentations onto their Wakelet collections. What our students can do is amazing!

John reflects on his experience, "The Wakelet journey has been an amazingly phenomenal experience for me. Wakelet has allowed me to express who I am in a creative way and given me a sense of a strong community. I would recommend the Wakelet Student Ambassador program to any student. Because of its endless possibilities and diverse tasks, it allows every student to become a Wakelet Student Ambassador."

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JHS 6th Grade Top Readers

by Monica Silva

As the school year ended during this period of COVID, we wanted to give our 6th grade students one last goodbye as they begin their journey to Jr. High. We wanted to celebrate all their accomplishments, hard-work, and dedication with a drive-by parade. I want to give a great big shout-out to my Top 5 Platinum Readers. I have seen their enthusiasm and love for reading grow through-out their years here at John H. Shary. It has been a privilege to be their librarian.

Top 5 Platinum Readers: Julio Cerda, Camilo Del Angel, Kira Alvarez, Andrea Mendoza, and Valeria Regalado

Platinum Readers

Virtual Library Page Contribution from Patricia Ramos, Donna Wernecke Librarian

by Patricia Ramos

Mrs. Ramos, Donna Wernecke Librarian, works on creating a video for the district Virtual Library page as a way to help parents as they navigate their children’s digital learning. It was rewarding to be able to provide assistance to teachers and parents during this transition from school to home based learning.
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B. L. Gray Librarian Participates in TLA Talks

By Wenndy Pray

A panel of Texas school librarians joined for an incredibly informative session titled, School Library Advocacy in the Days of COVID-19; over 250 librarians registered to attend. COVID-19 presented schools with challenges that had never been faced. And although some districts had the technology and infrastructure to withstand this sudden change, others didn’t – many still don’t. I felt incredibly honored to be invited as a panelist. Librarians shared successes, challenges and how to overcome them, and the importance of advocating for the school library and its librarian. Now, more than ever, librarians have proved that they are vital to students, teachers, and the school community. Librarians will continue to work, learn, and improve the services we offer our students in the time to come. The session was encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring. The Texas Library Association will continue to bring TLA Talks to its members via Zoom. I strongly recommend them.

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Sharyland North Librarian Makes Videos for Students

by Darvin Koenig

Mr. Koenig used ScreenCastify to create the following videos to assist students with their digital reading in MackinVia: Making Your MackinVia Searching More Efficient and How To Use the MackinVia eReader Features.

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Distance Learning Contributions from Shimotsu Librarian

by S. Zulema Bewley

Distance Learning came with its challenges but students, teachers, and staff at Harry Shimotsu Elementary rose to those challenges. Mrs. Bewley created videos to support reading that were uploaded to the Sharyland ISD Digital Learning Plan webpages for all students in the district to access. Mrs. Bewley also created a video specifically for Shimotsu students that was sent out to them encouraging them to keep reading and also letting them know how much she missed them.

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Jensen Author Visit Prior to School Closure

by Albert Ramos

Author Xavier Garza visited Jessie Jensen Elementary for an Author Visit. Jensen students enjoyed a presentation from Mr. Garza about being a writer and also heard stories from his books. Librarian Albert Ramos facilitated the visit.

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Using MackinVia with Google Meet

By Thanya Montemayor

As we all transferred to distance learning, I couldn’t see myself not staying connected with my students, especially my littles. Storytime in the library is honestly one of my favorite things about my job. Luckily, I had some amazing teachers that allowed me to hop into their Google Meets and get to spend some Story Time with them. However, the challenge lay in the delivery. How could I read a book to my students over Google Meet and still have them see the book. If I tried to read a real book at home, it was going to be awkward trying to show them the pictures. Although, I do have an extensive library at home, not a lot of my home library is dedicated to young children’s books. That’s when I turned to faithful and ever-present MackinVia. I was able to share my screen with the students over Google Meets and read to them at the same time. I really enjoyed these little adventures with my students. Story Time over Google Meet will never be the same as having them in front of me, but at least I got a small taste of what I was missing.

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An Unusual 6th Grade Send Off

by Samantha Wheat


This year there was not a lot we could do for our 6th graders moving on to middle school next year. One way we could offer our 6th graders a shared goodbye was by collaborating to create a Slides presentation commemorating their last year at O. Garza Elementary. Ms. S. Garza, our Special Ed teacher, and I worked together on the Slides presentation. All teachers, staff, and administration submitted photos with goodbye messages to our 6th graders through a Google Form. I utilized a Slidesgo presentation and Google Slides to create our shared goodbye presentation. In the end, I am proud of what we as a school collaboratively created, and we wish our 6th graders the very best as they move on in their education.

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Coach's Wife Important Role, Too

by Nicole H. Cruz

The work of a coach's wife is never done even during a pandemic. Mrs. Cruz helped her husband shop and create goodie bags for the Lady Rattler Varsity Softball Team. The girls were surprised and happy to see their coach and get a small gift. The softball team's season was interrupted but Mrs. Cruz was the target of many virtual workouts as a test subject. LOL

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COVID-19 Lesson

by Oneida Aleman

Every challenge is an opportunity. With the impact of Covid19, many tools and services were at hand to ensure that students did not miss on their learning. I as a librarian, learned during these difficult times that our students, no matter where they are and how old they are, should be able to make their way through their education.

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JHS Librarian Role

by Monica Silva

During this pandemic, it was a stressful time for everyone. As teaching and learning continued, my key role was to provide support for teachers and students in every possible way. Providing technology support, online resources and materials, and promoting digital access to eBooks and audiobooks are just a few ways we helped students transition to digital learning. One tool that I utilized a lot as a librarian was to communicate with teachers and students through Screencastify. I was able to create many screen recordings as tutorials or videos to help guide them on how to use digital tools, prepare lessons, and step by step guides. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds this coming school year. I am looking into expanding remote learning and offering many more unique experiences like virtual books clubs, author talks, and online book discussions.

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