Lifelong Tiger Retires
Damon Davis: 30 Years
After 30 years serving the students and staff of Van Zandt County, Damon Davis is retiring to enjoy spending time with family, traveling, and maybe a little bit of golf.
Damon is a 1982 graduate of WPHS. After attending all years in Wills Point, he moved on to Nacogdoches to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin University, graduating in 1988. Mr. Davis worked part time for MacBee Water during summers while in college. He then landed his first teaching job at WPJH in 1988 as a PE teacher and 7th grade football coach.
In 1988, Damon also met Jana Smith of Canton at the Walmart parking lot. “Turns out,” Jana says, “You can find almost anything at Walmart, even a spouse!” When asked about Damon’s ties to Wills Point, his wife stated, “His blood definitely runs blue, beginning with Kindergarten at Wills Cabin.”
Damon had always wanted to return to Wills Point and coach under his dad, Coach Ken Autry Davis. The senior Davis is Wills Point’s claim to fame as far as legendary coaches go in Texas, having the Ken Autry Davis Field dedicated in his honor in 2005.
In 1989, Mr. Davis returned to SFA to earn his Master’s in Mid-Management Administration. While back in Nacogdoches, Damon worked as a Graduate Assistant. After completing his Graduate work, he returned to the classroom, teaching 3rd grade at Winona ISD. In 1991, Coach Davis was welcomed back to Wills Point, hired to teach 8th grade Earth Science and coach football. During this time, Davis married Jana and he continued to work for WPISD where he stayed until 1994.
Van ISD stole Davis away from Wills Point when they hired him as the Principal at Van Junior High in 1994. He remained in Van until 1998 when he finally returned home to become the principal of the new Middle School campus.
Davis remained the Principal at WPMS for 9 years, until he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent in 2007. He has since overseen the maintenance, operations, and students services provided by WPISD.
In 1998, Mr. Davis told Superintendent Bill Stewart that “ School districts need leaders who have a vision and can motivate people towards a common goal. Collaborative decision making, campus and district goal setting, and evaluation of goals are all critical attributes in making improvements at the district level.” During his time in Wills Point ISD, Mr. Davis has fulfilled that purpose. There are 9 current staff members at WPISD who had Mr. Davis as a teacher. Former student and current 4th grade teacher, Kelley Stokes Fletcher, said “Coach Davis was a great teacher who cared about his students. To this day he still greets me by name and with a firm handshake!” His handshake is Damon’s trademark. Many adults in Wills Point learned how to shake a hand in Junior High. Linda Roberts is the music teacher at the primary and Middle School. She said, “ I noticed that years later, many students would make a point to approach him to shake his hand at football games.” 12 current staff members have worked under him as a campus administrator. Jackye Rogers added, "They broke the mold when they designed Damon Davis. He was born to be a principal. His positive attitude had no boundaries and there was never a time that his faculty and staff didn't feel appreciated by him."
Wills Point ISD is lucky to have had such a leader! We wish you well in retirement!
A reception honoring Damon Davis will be held at the Wills Point ISD Administration Building on Wednesday, May 8 from 2:30-4:30.
new high school principal
Brian is married to Kelly Clements, an AG teacher in Grand Saline. He devotes his free time to many of our young 4H and FFA students throughout the county. You'll see him helping his nieces and nephews in the barn and guiding them as they raise their animals. He is also always seen supporting our students here in their academic and athletic endeavors.
We know Mr. Clements will do a fabulous job leading our high school.
new woods assistant principal
Mrs. Groom is married to Jason Groom, a Dallas police officer and a 1995 graduate of WPHS. They have three daughters, Maddie, Maggie, and Josie. In her free time, Hollie enjoys time with family and participates in a great deal of school, church, and community events. She holds certificates in Physical Education, Special Education, Generalist, ESL, and Principalship.
Hollie is an asset to WPISD and we are excited to see her in this leadership role.
School Board Election
Three polling places have been established for Election Day (May 4), including the Elmo Fire Hall located at 12777 FM 2728; Myrtle Springs: Life House Fellowship located at 199 Van Zandt CR 3448; and the Wills Point Community Center located at 307 N. Fourth St.
The 2019 Wills Point High School graduation ceremony will take place at the Athens High School Gym at 10:00 a.m. on May 25th. We are excited about this new venue, and look forward to celebrating the achievements of our students. Tickets are not required.
Tuesday, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day. Primary staff and students participated in this awareness event by wearing blue or shirts or jewelry with puzzle piece emblems, a common symbol for autism awareness representing how people with autism “fit in” with their peers. There was an ocean of blue throughout our school that day, including some of the parents who visited at lunch or went to the book fair, and it truly was a celebration of the students with autism we have on our campus!
Chasity Mixon- Woods Intermediate
We have one new Tiger Tech this month - Mrs. Mixon, 3rd grade teacher at Woods Intermediate. To achieve Tiger Tech, each educator must complete at least 15 designated innovative practices within the Tiger Tech badging program. This allows for tools, ideas and support as teachers work to increase student engagement and integrate technology into the classroom for the benefit of student learning. At least a dozen other teachers are within reach of achieving the Tiger Tech status by the end of the year!
Highlight on Student Athlete and Coach
Coach Gail and Kaylee King
Kaylee King, a Sophomore at WPHS, was honored as a NSCA Athlete of the Year. Nominated by Coach Robert Gail, Kaylee far exceeded the accomplishments of hundreds of other nominated students across the nation. KK is the daughter of Wills Point alumni Shane King and Jennifer Evans King. She is active in STUCO, NHS (first in Sophomore class), Cross Country (District Champ 17-18; 18-19), Powerlifting (Regional Qualifier 18-19), Track and Field (State Qualifier 17-18, Regional Qualifier 17-18, Area Champ 17-18, District Champ 18-19, Area Qualifier 18-19.) There are many staff members here in Wills Point who are proud of KK, but probably none more than Casey Cochran, Junior High Principal. Mrs. Cochran said, "I have had the opportunity to see Kaylee King grow into a student who gives 100% at whatever she does. As her 2nd and 3rd grade teacher, I learned fast that she has a servant's heart, a sweet smile, and determination like no one I know. Her hard work and dedication has already taken her far in her academics and as a young athlete. What an honor it has been to be a part of Kaylee King growing up in Wills Point ISD."
Coach Gail is the only member of the organization here in Wills Point. He says, “It has helped me with coaching because I have to have eighty hours of professional development every three years. I have access to new developments in strength and conditioning that are both research based and practical, which helps me make little course corrections with the strength programs I run to hopefully improve our athletes health, ability, and productivity when it comes to competition.”
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to advancing the strength and conditioning profession around the world.
The NSCA advances the profession by supporting strength and conditioning professionals devoted to helping others discover and maximize their strengths. We disseminate research-based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services, and continuing education opportunities. The NSCA community is composed of more than 45,000 members and certified professionals who further industry standards as researchers, educators, strength coaches, personal trainers, and other roles in related fields.
WPISD Supports Child Abuse Prevention Month
Keep Kids Safe!
April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month and the Wills Point ISD is joining with the Child Welfare Board of Van Zandt County to educate employees and students in the district of the harsh reality some children in endure. District employees are also encouraged to be alert to the signs of abuse in those too young to know how to get help.
Blue ribbons on business doors and signs will be around town acquainting the public with this month’s push to encourage everyone to be aware and alert to child abuse. Several organizations also are having speakers present information during the month.
The Blue Ribbon Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Campaign began in 1989 when Bonnie Finney of Virginia lost her very young grandson to the violence of child abuse by his parents. In her grief and outrage, she tied a blue ribbon to the antennae of her van to remind the public of her bruised and battered grandson and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. Her simple idea of wearing or displaying a blue ribbon was picked up by grassroots organizations across the country.
The act of one grandmother has led us today to this movement in April. The Van Zandt Child Welfare Board encourages everyone to become more aware and proactive for those innocent young people today who suffer in abusive situations.
The WPISD is distributing bracelets with the Child Abuse hotline number, blue ribbons and badges, refrigerator magnets, calendars, pamphlets outlining the signs of abuse, and bookmarks to District employees .
The Child Welfare Board would like to thank WPISD Superintendent Scott Caloss and other volunteers in the community for being proactive in creating a safer community for children.--
Headed to Austin
Dontae Teuton placed 1st place for Copy/Editing at the Regional level this weekend held at Texas A&M-Commerce. Dontae will be representing Wills Point at the state level in Austin.
New Technology in Classrooms
New tech in classrooms- Teachers at the Junior High recently got to experience some of the new tools and devices our district has acquired for student learning experiences. Google Expeditions provides students with a virtual experience that immerses them into the context and reality of the learning concepts, whether with a VR headset taking students to other places or a device to visualize Augmented Reality, placing holographic objects in the room. These devices are currently available for checkout by teachers at all 5 campuses.
Junior High Band
Concert Band and Symphonic Band participated at UIL contest March 27th and 28th. Both bands received Excellent scores on stage and received Superior scores in sight reading. UIL this year was especially difficult, with only 1 band over both days receiving Superiors from every judge. All students learned a lot by going through the process and are ready to take on their next contest, May 17 at Canton HS.
Middle School Spring Training
Hey Batter Batter!
Our Allstar 5th graders participated in two weeks of baseball themed STAAR Spring Training to review their knowledge and skills of content, such as summary, inferencing, plot, order of operations, estimation, and fractions, with engaging games and activities. We had a kick off “Opening Day” Pep Rally, where High School baseball players and the softball team came to give motivational talks to our students, showed an inspiring video from the teachers and staff, and threw in some traditional baseball songs. We know our students are going to hit a homerun, go the distance, and knock it out of the park!
Van Zandt County Fair 2019
In the Ag Mechanics Show:
8’x20’ Backyard Cabin shown by Aubrey Mikeals, Luis Ortiz, Leo Gonzalez 1st place in Class and Grand Champion of the show
Wildlife Observation Blind- 2nd place – Jeremiah Brown & Juan Martinez
Lamb & Goat Walker- 2nd place – Baleigh Wadsworth, Jacob Moir, Alexis Mosley
14’ Utility Trailer- 4th place- Dalton Burleson, Cody Cockerham, Ryan Johnson, Trent Valentine
In the Broiler show:
Grace Moser placed 3rd; Gaybrie Malone placed 12th; Kaci Cartwright placed 13th;
Baleigh Wadsworth placed; 14th Alexa Morones placed 16th
In the Market Goat show:
Aubrey Mikeals placed 2nd in Class 4; Aubree Evans placed 3rd in Class 4;
Emma King placed 5th in Class 4; Kaylie Johnson placed 3rd in Class 5
In the Market Lamb show:
Gaby Liles placed 4th in Class 1
In the Market Swine Show:
Hudson Skinner 1st place Class 6; Hudson Skinner Champion OPB;
Bella Skinner 3rd place Class 2 Crosses; Bella Skinner 2nd place Class 4 Crosses;
Savannah Suits 6th place Class 6 Crosses; Dalton Burleson 3rd place Class 6;
Jessi Burleson 4th place Class 1
In the Gilt Show:
Hudson Skinner 1st place Class 6; Hudson Skinner 1st place Class 4;
Bella Skinner 3rd place Class 4; Jessi Burleson 4th place Class 4;
Savannah Suits 5th place Class 4 Gilts; Bella Skinner 2nd Place Class 3 gilts;
Isabelle Suits 3rd place Class 1
In the Jr. Heifer and Open Show:
Harley Lovvorn- Grand Champion Beefmaster Jr. Show
Harley Lovvorn- Reserve Champion Beefmaster Open show
Baleigh Wadsworth Reserve Champion ORB Jr. Show
Baleigh Wadsworth Reserve Champion ORB Open show
Ty Salisbury Reserve Champion Jr. Show Brangus
Ty Salisbury a 4th place Open Show Brangus
Junior High Track
The JH district track meet was full of a lot of great athletes and some major competition. Coaches are very proud of all of the hard work, dedication, and heart that our athletes showed at this meet. Our 8th grade girls relays teams made a clean sweep in all 3 relays taking home 3 district championships in the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400. Congratulations to these girls and all other athletes who medaled in this meet!
Primary Spring Carnival
The second annual Spring Carnival on April 4th lived up to its name - everyone had a Dino-mite time! Holding this event at the same time as our book fair has been so beneficial to our campus as many families attend and are able to purchase posters, stationery, and books for all ages while also playing games and winning prizes, which they otherwise might not be able to do when the book fair is only open during school hours. Kona Ice, popcorn, and cotton candy were also available at this community event and there were sticky, happy kids in all directions. We look forward to hosting this event again next year and are so thankful to all the staff that make it possible!
Young Ideas Donates Scoreboard!
Middle School Gym
Young Ideas, a local Dish Network Authorized Retailer, donated a brand new scoreboard for our campus gym. They have been such a strong supporter of our school and students; this scoreboard will not only benefit WPISD students, but community organizations that use our gym as well. We are extremely appreciative of their generosity!
Junior High Spring Training
Hit the STAAR Out of the Park!
This year's WPJH STAAR theme is baseball. We've wrapped up a fast and furious two weeks of Spring Training. Our MVP teachers put in hours to strategically plan engaging, hands-on activities to help students prepare to "strike out the STAAR".There were a wide variety of review techniques utilized to refine students' skills and have them game day ready.
For the STAAR season opener, our 7th graders had "the write stuff" for the writing, while our 8th graders were ready to put up big numbers on math and read all the signs to take down the reading. We will come back for a second round of Spring Training with 7th grade reading, 8th grade science, and 8th grade social studies on the line up. Be sure to stay tuned for news and updates and help cheer on our Tigers as they "hit the STAAR out of the park"!
Woods Students Compete
Under the direction of Silvia Palos, along with Life Skills Teacher Lucie Armstrong, WPISD has been very involved in Special Olympics this year. Our Olympians started the year competing in bowling. They then moved into the gym to compete in basketball. Currently, the WPISD Special Olympics team is competing in track and field. Our students will completed in Terrell on April 17th, Kaufman on April 18th, and will finish at Crandall High School on May 1st.
Junior High Visits UT Tyler
On Friday, April 12th, our 8th grade students were able to tour the campus of the University of Texas at Tyler. Funding for transportation was provided by the Felix Massey Educational Grant for the 6th year in a row. Our students were given an informational presentation about the University, toured the campus, and then had lunch in the student cafeteria.
Campus Calendar of Events
Mark Your Calendar
April 26 Pre K PE Showcase 5:30 - 6:30pm (at WPHS)
May 2 Kindergarten PE Showcase (at WPHS)
May 6-10 Teacher Appreciation Week
May 17 Field Day
May 23 Field Day Make-Up Day
April 27 Rubik’s Competition in Keller
April 29-May 2 Spring MAP Assessment
May 1st Class Pictures
May 1st Special Olympics @ Crandall High School
May 3rd STAAR WARS
May 6th-10th Teacher Appreciation Week
May 13th 3rd & 4th Grade Math STAAR
May 13th 2nd Grade Field Trip/ Crayola Experience
May 14th 3rd & 4th Grade Reading STAAR
May 14th 2nd Grade Field Trip/ Stone Point, Lester Park
May 20th PTO Reward Party
May 21st Senior Walk
May 22th Field Day/Kona
April 23rd Spring Pictures
April 24th/26th 6th grade Field Trip to Latino Cultural Center
April 25th 6th grade Art Field Trip to Dallas Museum of Art
April 27th Rubik’s Competition in Keller
April 27th Aeronautics Club Rocket Launches
April 29-May 1 5th graders go to Pine Cove
May 1st 6th graders tour the Junior High
May 2nd Progress Reports
May 6-10 Teacher Appreciation Week
May 8th 6th grade GT Service Project Trip
May 8th School Nurse Appreciation Day
May 13th 6th grade Math STAAR/5th grade retest Math STAAR
May 14th 6th grade Reading STAAR/5th grade retest Reading STAAR
May 15th 5th grade Science STAAR
May 16th 6th grade Rocket Launches; MS Music Concert 6:30 @ HS gym
May 17th 6th grade Band Contest and Splash Kingdom
May 20th End of Year A.R. Party
May 21st Senior Walk; PTO Fundraiser Party; 4th graders tour campus
May 22nd Field Day @ HS Track
May 23rd Last day of school; Academic Assembly @ 8:30
May 1st 6th Grade Tour-Paws to Claws
May 2nd Progress Reports
May 13th 7th Math Staar/ 8th Math Retest Staar
May 14th 7th Reading Staar/ 8th Reading Retest Staar
May 15th 8th Science Staar
May 16th 8th History Staar
May 20th Band Spring Concert
May 21st Senior Walk