One for the Record Books

November 2015

Wenndy Pray, Sharyland High School ELA teacher and SHSU Library Science Grad Student

I had been contemplating pursuing a master’s degree in Library Science for over a year. With the encouragement of my husband, family, and two very supportive librarians, I took the leap of faith and applied at Sam Houston State University. After traveling abroad with students this summer, I returned to my first six hours in the program. I’m so glad I did! I’m learning so much about the field and how my personality and prior career experience fit the career to a “T”. I first started in the hospitality/customer service industry in 1997 before becoming an educator in 2008. Becoming a librarian is the perfect merger of these two worlds. I’ve had several opportunities to incorporate new technology, reading techniques, and projects with my students. I just completed my networking project for Teen Read Week. This career choice has catapulted me into my future; I will graduate in the spring of 2017 but anticipate working as a librarian before then!

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Teaching Instructional Resource Use to Analyze Student Needs for Biology EOC Exam

Janie Flores, PHS librarian, demonstrates how Gale Testing and Education Reference Center has practice EOC STAAR exams. PHS science teachers Nancy Ochoa Garza and Sonia Longoria learn how to access the practice tests so they can share the knowledge with their department and their students.
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Education Foundation Grant Received

A team of district librarians united to bring author Kathyrn Otoshi to Sharyland ISD with assistance from the Education Foundation. Librarians Patricia Ramos, Nicole Cruz, Elizabeth Moreno, Zulema Bewley, and Sharron Guzman teamed up for this project and have committed local campus funds towards the total expense of the author visit. All librarians were given the opportunity to partner and may still commit time and funds.
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MackinVIA Lesson @ BL Gray Junior High

Mrs. Hartman teaches her students how to download the free MackinVIA app to their device. This app turns their device into an eReader to use with the more than 600 online books available to BL Gray staff and students. MackinVIA is a new instructional resource through the Region One Library Cooperative.
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Wernecke Elementary hosted October District Librarian Meeting

Patricia Ramos and her principal Karen Meadors made the SISD librarians feel welcome and appreciated. Mrs. Ramos beautifully decorated library was the perfect learning environment for the October 16th meeting. Dr. Laura Sheneman was the guest presenter.

Thanks to Karen Meadors and her assistant principal Lela Culberson for visiting with us.

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Bentsen Rewards Readers with Magic

Bentsen's first AR celebration was magical. Students were amazed with magician's performance which energized their commitment of meeting their reading goal. Students very much enjoyed the performance and took their excitement to the classroom which also motivated the students that didn't make their goal.

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SNJH Library Provides a Quiet Study Environment During Lunch

Seventh graders Jacob Jones, James Underhill, and Jasmine Regunan visit the library the last 20 minutes of their lunch to read or study. Mr. Koenig welcomes all students to the library.
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Iron Lung Replica

Shimotsu 5th grader creates model after reading Small Steps the Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret.

The developer of the polio vaccine, Jonas Salk was born in New York, New York, on October 28, 1914. He received his medical degree from New York University in 1939. In 1942, he began working for a former teacher, Thomas Francis, Jr., to produce influenza vaccines, a project that would continue until 1949. In that first year with Francis, Salk served as a research professor and began a three-year project sponsored by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, also known as the March of Dimes. Infantile paralysis is another name for polio, a disease caused by the poliomyelitis virus. Source- "Polio." Linda K. Bennington, CNS., Rebecca J. Frey, PhD., and Leslie Mertz, PhD. The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 5th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2015. 9 vols.

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Mrs. Maggie Gonzalez, former Jensen Principal, Visits Library

Mrs. M. Gonzalez, former Jessie Jensen Elementary principal, read aloud to students. She also distributed books to some of eager readers.

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South Texas Literacy Coalition’s 2015 Literacy Excellence Award for School Librarians

Nicole Cruz had the pleasure of taking this photo with Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, his wife Martha Lopez Hinojosa, and her daughter Anastasia Cruz at the 2015 South Texas Literacy Gala on Saturday, October 3rd. Nicole was honored for her work as a school librarian. Billy Cryer, UTRGV librarian, nominated her for the prestigious award. Mr. Cryer said, "“I’ve always been really impressed by her passion for students and for encouraging literacy and reading. She works more than 40 hours a week and has never complained. I think, for me, that’s why she’s a big inspiration. She’s really selfless.”
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Wernecke Library Fundraiser a Success!

Patricia Ramos shared her fundraiser success with the SISD librarian team at the October 16th meeting. She partnered with the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Each librarian was given a gift certificate. She raised $4,800. She'll use the funds for reading incentives and library resources.
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November is American Diabetes Awareness Month

Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:

  • Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes
    and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

It is a time to come together as a community to Stop Diabetes®!


Mrs. Sally Hartman shows her spirit at the BL Gray pep rally on Monday, October 19th.

Teacher Monica McIver and April Torres team up with her to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Rapid Review by Darvin Koenig, SNJH Librarian

Black Box by Julie Schumacher is the story of one family’s struggle through depression. It is told through the eyes of the younger sister Elena, who feels she is responsible for trying to fix whatever it is that is happening to her older sister. The author does a great job of showing how depression affects not only the victim, but also those around her. This would be a great choice for students who have a brother or sister dealing with depression. An author’s note at the end of the book gives insight into why Schumacher wrote the book, and she provides a web address for those wanting to learn more about depression.

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Fire and Halloween Safety Tips @ RD Martinez Family Reading Night

Students and families from RD Martinez Elementary were treated to goodies and a presentation on Fire and Halloween Safety tips by the Mission Fire Department. Zulema Garza, RD Martinez Librarian, planned the event and invited the Fire Department to participate.
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Teachers win TexQuest Trivia Challenge

SISD teachers and staff had an opportunity to enter a quick survey regarding their library and access to instructional resources through TexQuest or Region One. More than 50 teachers participated district-wide. High school librarians Nicole Cruz and Janie Flores donated gift cards for drawing winners.
Mr. Ruben Flores, SHS dual enrollment teacher, won a $15 gift card to Dairy Queen.
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Hinojosa Elementary Vocabulary Parade

The first annual, “Scholars Say NO and Parade Their Knowledge” vocabulary parade was held at Ruben Hinojosa Elementary on Friday, October 30, 2015. In preparation for the vocabulary parade the students read the story, “Miss Alaineus” A Vocabulary Disaster” by Debra Frasier. Students selected a vocabulary word and dressed as their word. Students demonstrated their creativity and more importantly, everyone will be learning new vocabulary!

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Wernecke Donates Books to HEB

Adrian Villanueva, H.E.B. Plus Entertainment Mobile Manager, collects books donated by the Wernecke Elementary students and staff. The campus participated in the Read 3 Community Organization Book Drive Challenge from September 16th-September 29th. Wernecke Elementary Librarian Patricia Ramos reports that they collected more than 400 books!
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SISD Librarians Attend Region One Fall Media Conference

The theme of the 2015 Region ESC One Fall Media Conference was Add a Little STEAM to your Library. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.

All secondary librarians and three elementary librarians attended along with three SISD library school students. Pictured with the librarians is Len Bryan, TSLAC School Library Program Coordinator.

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The Spooktacular Scholastic Book Fair @ RD Martinez was a hit with students and staff

Teamwork @ RD Martinez Elementary is key to success. Principal Pat Viera runs the cash register at the evening book fair event while librarian Zulema Garza assists shoppers with selecting the perfect read.
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PHS Book Club works Concession Stand

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2013 SHS Graduate Maeka de la Torre Speaks about College Success

Maeka de la Torre is a native to the Philippines and moved to the United States at the tender age of seven. She graduated from Sharyland High School in 2013. Maeka was ranked 6th in her graduating class of over 700 students. Ms. de la Torre was a former senior library aide. She was invited to speak to students about college success by SHS Librarian Nicole Cruz.

Maeka is a member of the Prime Time UTRGV program and majoring in Pre-Medical biology and minoring in chemistry and medical humanities. She is on track to graduate with her Bachelor of Sciences in 2016. She will continue on to medical school at either UT Houston or UTMB Galveston. She is also an intern at the International Museum of Art & Science.

She reminded students that college is about time management, studying, effective communication, and taking advantage of every opportunity to succeed. She said the true test of success in life is not intelligence, exterior beauty, or who you know; it is about grit.

Photo: Maeka, dressed like a movie star from the black and white film days, speaks to Damian Gaouette about medical school choices and their shared passion for Ready Writing UIL.

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Super Heroes are Readers @ Martinez Elementary

Students celebrate Red Ribbon Week by dressing as their favorite comic book character.
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Don't Wait for the Research Project: Become a "Key" Member of Your Curriculum Team

As the SISD Lead Librarian, Nicole Cruz looks for ways to lead within the district as well as across the Rio Grande Valley and the state. One way she demonstrates her leadership is by presenting at local, regional, and state conferences. Nicole teamed up with Ann Vyoral to present at the Region One Fall Media Conference. Ann, a long-time friend and former SHSU Graduate Classmate of Nicole's, is an Education Specialist for Digital Learning and Library Services at Region 20.
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Submit your Library Photos and Stories

Send your library lessons, guest speakers, reading incentives, displays, and more to Nicole H. Cruz by the 25th of each month.