Principal's Notes

Dr. Douglas Otto Middle School - March 25, 2015

Our Bobcats Shine!

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Thanks to everyone for the great job you are doing this semester. I have been off campus more than usual during this time on District business. It is very comforting to know that things at the campus will flow smoothly even when I am away. I am so very proud of you! It's now time to gear up for testing season and the numerous end-of-year events that are coming our way. We have had a wonderful year so far and I know that you and our amazing students are up to the tasks ahead.

Time to be a STAAR!

State testing season is here, and I know that our students are going to do well on the exams. We have wonderful students and they have been taught very well! Remember to review and be very familiar with all testing procedures. Ask any questions you have before test day, and relax! Also, assure your students to reduce undue anxiety on the exams. Jeans and tennis shoes are allowed on testing days, and snacks will be available in the main office teacher's lounge for you to enjoy during breaks.

Fern Johnson, TI STEM Award Nominee

Congratulations to Fern Johnson for being selected as this year's nominee for the TI STEM Excellence in Teaching Award. Fern is among twenty-one other science and math teachers in the district nominated for the award. Nominees must submit answers to questions which are reviewed by a committee. Once selected, the committee visits each teacher to observe a lesson. Three winners are selected to receive $5,000 in cash and another $5,000 for their classroom. We are proud to have Fern represent us and thank you all for supporting her as she represents Otto.
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Level 3!!!

Huge thanks to Christine Mason for her creative work in encouraging out students to strive for Level II on STAAR. Christine started the work in her classroom and graciously allowed us to use her model campus-wide! Thanks also to Kennitra Robertson for writing the Bobcat lesson and coordinating this initiative.

2015 PTA Life Member Awardees

Congratulations to DeeDee McGee, Lisa Rakofsky, and Johnnene Gay (parent) for being selected as this year's PTA Honorary Life Member Award. The honorees were recognized at a banquet on February 18 at the Plano Centre.

Whiz Quiz Team Earns District Championship!

Congratulations to our sixth grade Whiz Quiz Team for winning the district championship this week. The students defeated Rice in a very competitive match. Kudos to John Neumann for doing a great job in coaching the team.
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Seventh Grade BB Girls are District Champs!

Congratulations to our seventh grade girls basketball team, and Coach Jerri Webb, for bringing the first District banner to Otto! Our girls defeated Haggard to claim the title of City Champs.

Sherrie Gardner to Leave Otto

The Otto Community would like to thank our Counselor Clerk, Sherrie Gardner, for five years of dedicated service. Sherrie will be leaving us soon to accept a position at Plano West. Although we are sad for Sherrie to leave us, we are excited for her new opportunity at the senior high level.
The Case Against Percentage Grades

Click here for a provocative article about percentage grades.

Jaimee Hunter - February Staff Member of the Month

Congratulations to Jaimee Hunter for being selected as our Staff Member of the Month for February. Here is what staff members say about Jaimee:

  • Jaimee always has a smile on her face and willing to help wherever the need may be.
  • Jaimee goes above and beyond for her students. She always willing to lend a hand and works extremely hard for her students. Those students love her just as much as she loves them. It's awesome to watch how she has formed such genuine relationships with them! Go Jaimee! :)
  • Jaimee goes above and beyond to make each of her students feel special and makes sure she meets their individual needs!
  • Jaimee is always willing to help out another staff member!
  • Jaimee is always volunteering to pitch in and help. She has a positive can do attitude. Jaimee finds a way to get through and motivate even the most difficult students. Above all, she is a great friend and team member.
  • Jaime truly cares about each and every one of her students. She is an advocate for their learning and takes joy from each of them. She is just an awesome teacher!

Wonderful job, Jaimee! Thanks so much for the wonderful job you are doing within our dynamic learning community.

Patricia Garvin - March Staff Member of the Month

Congratulations to Patricia Garvin for being selected as our Staff Member of the Month for March. Some Kudos for Patricia:

  • Patricia is a positive role model for everyone she works with from students to adults. Her patience and understanding in any situation is astounding.
  • Patricia goes above and beyond to help her students-not just in her class, but in all of their classes.
  • Patricia is available for tutorials daily to help ensure her students stay on track.
  • Patricia has a great professional relationship with her students as well as with other colleagues.
  • Kids line up to spend tutorial time with Mrs. Garvin. She not only helps students in language arts, but works with them daily to increase their success in all their classes. She is an advocate for students and is always supportive and helpful to her colleagues.
  • Patricia is a wonderful teacher. I appreciate her positive attitude and encouragement. Her students mean so much to her and she works hard to provide them with the skills they need to be successful.

Awesome job, Patricia! We are all so very proud of the great work you do each and every day.

Maritza Bradshaw - Experienced Teacher of the Year

Dedicated, conscientious, professional and effective. These words accurately describe Maritza Bradshaw, 2015 Teacher of the Year for Otto Middle School.

Maritza is a joy to work with and she brings a great amount of energy and enthusiasm to our Science Department. A master of curriculum design, Mrs. Bradshaw is a key contributor in meetings and planning sessions with her team.

In the classroom, Maritza Bradshaw is an effective communicator who does a great job in motivating all of her students to do their best. In any visit to her classroom, you will find the students excited to learn as Mrs. Bradshaw plans exceptional lessons and is actively engaged with her students each day.

In the comments submitted by the staff in selection of the Teacher of the Year, Maritza is described as “an amazing teacher with a heart of gold” who “loves what she does” and always “goes the extra mile to help her students”. I could not agree more with the sentiments of the staff and I am proud to present Maritza Bradshaw as our Teacher of the Year.

Michael Godwin - 2015 New Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Michael Godwin for being selected as our New Teacher of the Year. Our former ISS teacher, Michael has pursued his passion for teaching and is now a popular PE teacher and coach at Otto.

The staff had many positive comments to contribute in support of Mr. Godwin's selection as our New Teacher of the Year:

  • Michael Godwin is an awesome addition to the Otto staff. He is always available to jump in and help wherever needed. His positive personality certainly provides a great example for our students. In a very short time he was able to establish a "raise the bar" learning environment as both teacher and coach.
  • You have to love Michael's enthusiasm and presence at Otto. Clearly he has made a positive impact with his students!
  • Michael Godwin deserves this prestigious award. He seemed to have transitioned well from our ISS teacher to a Coach. In his new role, I have had an opportunity to conference with him about a student. He was very proactive and matter-of-fact about his athletes understanding the importance of education.

  • Wow! What a difference in our athletes this year! Every time I ask an athlete to tell me about their success, they always comment about Mr. Godwin and how much he has helped them. The coaching staff collectively have really worked hard to build a strong team spirit.

Well done, Mr. Godwin! We are excited for you and look forward to working together as you embark on your new career.

Otto Bobcats - Organized, Mindful and Scholarly!

The future is not a gift - it is an achievement. -Harry Lauder

Dr. Douglas Otto Middle School

Otto Middle School, namesake of Superintendent Dr. Douglas Otto, opened its doors in August 2010. Otto is a Title I Targeted campus that offers a variety of honors level courses in the core subjects, as well as PACE, Math Rocks, Spanish III Honors and Spanish IV AP. Elective courses include band, choir, orchestra, theatre, journalism, art, athletics, Gateway to Technology, AVID, and more.