The Faubion Lion Pride Press

Week of February 15, 2021

Dear Lion Pride,

UPDATE - Due to continued power outages throughout our school community, school is closed the week of February 15. We hope that our scholars and their families are safe and warm. Please reach out to us with concerns.

In this edition of the Faubion Lion Pride Press, we celebrate our scholars bringing home their ninth consecutive academic UIL district win, show appreciation for one of our counselors, and celebrate several members of our school community.

Throughout the month of February, we continue highlighting influential Black Americans. While the month of February is specially designated for this purpose, we understand that culturally relevant teaching practices and leadership are needed year-round for us to meet the developmental and academic needs of all of our scholars.

February 11 marked International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Leaders across the globe are united in their belief that both science and gender equality are important for the progress of our global society. Diversity in thought and experience help to bring new perspectives that challenge existing ideologies and practices, while also honoring previous work.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT in Theoretical Physics. As a child, Dr. Jackson would conduct her own experiments. Her contributions in science propelled knowledge in telecommunications which led to technologies such as touch-tone phones and fiber optic cables. A famous quote from Dr. Jackson was, "We need to go back to the discovery, to posing a question, to having a hypothesis and having kids know that they can discover the answers and can peel away a layer" (Twitter, 2021).

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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Nine-time defending Academic UIL champions

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 newly minted nine-time defending academic UIL champions.

Pictured are: Aylia Alberts, Lindsey Arterburn, Saylor Baker, Luke Bayer, Chase Berndt, Ava Boehr, Capri Boysen, Jacob Chan, Josh Coleman, Melina Corts, Mabel Cotter, Miles Dai, Rhianna Dedman, Drew Dossett, Nicholas Elsworth, Valentina Falanga, Michayla Franzen, Anna Gonzalez-Garcia, Preston Heiden, Ashton Hernandez, Lauren Hibbard, Lauren Hunsaker, Juliana Huppe, Elyssa Kannan, Aubrey Kelly, Jakob Kowaleski, Brinlee Kristufek, Joseph Lee, Anna Li, Millie Logsdon, Alessandro Mariosa, Anna McCarthy, Ella McClure, Kaylee McReynolds, Ben Mitchell, Chloe Moon, Tyler Moon, Russell Nelson, Zach Neverdousky, Savannah Nicolle, Daniel Nwaekwe, Nikai Parker, Mia Peterson, Sophie Phillips, Alyson Pittman, Charlotte Plaster, Reagan Poehler, Alanna Powell, Major Powell, Mallory Reynolds, Alivia Rivera-Norman, PJ Sawyer, Tara Schroeder, Alynn Shaw, Mia Smith, Jeremiah Sowe, Joey Stout, Trayse Taylor, Audrey Tremble, Jared Usher, Kyler Wolfe, Elise Wright, and Tyler Young.

On the team but not pictured are: Shayan Ahmed, Emma Alonso, Jordan Conway, Addasyn El-Emari, Quinn Foster, Kamran Hafizi, Leah Ludlow, Luke Ludwig, Alex MacNaughton, Allyson Mir, Isabela Odhiambo, Stella Redondo, Hannah Rich, Mallory Richards, Simona Saifur, Jason Tabang, Edwin Varghese, and Leo Ziman.

Coaches are: Mr. Blankenbaker, Mrs. Boysen, Mrs. Connolly, Mrs. Deanda, Ms. Dobrock, Mrs. Greene, Mrs. Hutchison, Ms. Jackson, Mrs. Marshall, Coach Mo, Mrs. Nicolle, Mr. Norman, Mr. Perez, Ms. Riley, and Mr. Stevens.

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continental breakfast from njhs

Our National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) provided a delicious Valentine's Day breakfast for our teachers! Fresh fruit, glazed doughnuts, doughnuts with sprinkles, cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins, and more were part of the assortment. Thank you to the scholars pictured above - President Olivia Cohee, Treasurer Isabela Odhiambo, Sydney Apger, Ellena Hartman, August Berndt, Lauren Hunsaker, Emma Alonso, and Vice President Leighton Barnes - and Coaches Smith and Ballew for their support of our NJHS program and our teachers!
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A little sunshine on a balmy day

Not only does our PTO inject positivity into our school by showing appreciation for our teachers, they also provide practical gifts. As a father of three kids, I love a good dad joke. This one caught my attention. Way to go, PTO!
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Josiah Shelton is living kind

Josiah Shelton made my day earlier this week. Josiah's shirt caught my attention, because I loved the supportive, positive, and inclusive message. When Josiah spoke with me and Instructional Coach, Becky Black, he responded to every question with a "Yes, sir", "Yes, ma'am", or a "Thank you". While Josiah's polite demeanor and wardrobe choice were impressive, what he said to me upon walking away left a lasting mark. As Josiah walked off, he said "Have a good day." If we could all say to one another, "Have a good day" as we leave, the world would be a better place. Way to go, Josiah.

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Counselor Spotlight - Mr. Rodriguez

Mr. Rodriguez is a beloved member of our school community. His ability to help students solve problems by building perspective and pointing out their past accomplishments make him a highly effective counselor. Although Mr. Rodriguez's teaching experience was centered around orchestra directing, his current role as a counselor is an excellent fit.

Originally from Austin, Mr. Rodriguez has an appreciation for the arts. The youngest of three children, Mr. Rodriguez is different from both of his siblings. His parents instilled in him at a young age that there are many different interests in life, and diversity helps us to gain an appreciation for those around us. Mr. Rodriguez's brother is a visual artist, his sister is a soccer player, and Mr. Rodriguez is a talented musician.

Mr. Rodriguez studied music at the University of North Texas and is an accomplished violist. He plays "gigs" with his friends during his free time, although not as often as he would like. His experience at UNT was a wonderful one, getting to learn about the community and participating in a strong fine arts program. After graduating from UNT, Mr. Rodriguez became an orchestra director and taught in both Plano and Frisco. All the while, he wanted to pursue a master's degree, and his mother's influence and his natural ability moved him towards counseling. Mr. Rodriguez's mother was a counselor and his father was a professor who also worked at TEA. Education was always in his family.

Leaving the classroom was difficult for Mr. Rodriguez, but he is able to apply elements from music into his counseling practice. For some, music is a calming technique. For others it is a storyteller. There are a variety of ways for kids to open up through music or art in general. Music is an identifier. Songs identify times of your life, your own personality, your likes, and your interests. Sharing musical interests allows you to get to know the person you are helping.

Mr. Rodriguez's counseling superpower are his perspective and empathy. He believes that a counselor can accomplish goals through a quiet, patient means. A lot of what a counselor does is listening. He intentionally quiets himself to allow a platform for students to open up about themselves. Mr. Rodriguez feels that a student is the best therapist. He does not want to influence the story or the solution in any way, so for him to step back and allow the student the open space to discover solutions is incredibly beneficial. In many ways he feels honored that kids trust him enough to share and improve.

Mr. Rodriguez went back to grad school to pursue degrees in school counseling and clinical counseling. Right now, Mr. Rodriguez is an LPC intern, which requires approximately 3,000 hours under supervision to earn the certification. In the picture are students in Mr. Rodriguez's master's in counseling cohort from SMU. Mr. Rodriguez says, "I've always had the idea that if you dream it, just do it."

When Mr. Rodriguez taught and now that he is a counselor, he always conveyed that visionary message to his students. He understands that decisions about career can be flexible, but you should have a dream in mind. He has the following words of wisdom for students:

"What's important is perseverance and the drive to continue despite hurdles. I see with both kids and adults that they will become disillusioned about challenges that seem daunting. This idea of persevering and allowing others to help you will help you get to the other side. I feel that it is particularly important to instill in kids. It shows a much better outcome in terms of a bright future. I try to teach kids those concepts of resilience and how to get there through maintaining a very positive self-concept. With my students we do a lot of reflection on accomplishments that they have made that perhaps they did not see. Highlighting past achievements is a great way to show students that it can be done and that it can be done again and that they have it within themselves."

Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez, for your service to our students, our teachers, and our families. Your unique gifts are such an asset to our school community.

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total physical response

In Mr. Perez's science class, students are learning how plate tectonics cause major geological events. Namely, ocean basin formation, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building are discussed as part of this activity. Our scholars are using hand motions to model plate directions and what they create.
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Student Spotlight - brady warrington

This week's student spotlight features the student-athlete, Brady Warrington!

Brady is a star hockey player outside of school and an integral member of our basketball program. He plays defense for the 14A club team, the McKinney North Stars. Last year, his team won the state championship, which is a big accomplishment. The hockey league consists of teams from Houston, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Plano, Richardson, Valley Ranch, Farmers Branch, and more. Brady practices with his team three days a week for 75 minutes.

He also takes private lessons once a week, focusing mostly on his "edgework". This focus helps Brady skate forwards and backwards better. "If you're good on your edges you can go faster," Brady said. Going faster is particularly an interest for Brady now because he is exploring the offensive side, after having gained a lot of strength and speed. He has already developed the ability to skate backwards proficiently from all of his time on the defensive end.

The feeling of skating on the ice is what Brady appreciates the most about the sport. The sounds that the blades make - especially the scratching and echoing in an empty rink - are fascinating. He also enjoys the games because it allows him to compete against new people, not just those he practices with on a regular basis. Brady's coach encourages him to prepare for a new opponent as if it were a team of professionals. This way, he will never underestimate his opponent and keep focused.

The hard work that Brady puts in on the ice is transferrable to the classroom and to the basketball court. He believes that you have to try equally hard in everything you do, because "If you don't try, you're not going to get the results you want." Basketball has helped Brady with hockey, particularly with the conditioning. Brady's working knowledge of sports science is quite impressive. He explains that hockey helps him develop power and endurance, while basketball improves his conditioning. In his eyes, "conditioning is being able to dig deep into yourself and it's a form of confidence whereas endurance is more of a muscular or physical thing."

Brady's teachers say overwhelmingly that his work ethic is unmatched in the classroom. Coach Gentea said, "Brady’s improvement in basketball was unreal. He displayed good sportsmanship and fair play to his teammates and his opponents as well. He understood the concept of 'hard work pays off'." Mrs. Pool expressed, "Brady is committed to excellence in everything he does; whether it is writing an ode or responding to a text selection Brady thinks about his work and is only satisfied with 100% effort." Mrs. Hammack shared, "Brady’s work ethic in math exemplifies what it means to be a hard worker. He understands what he needs to do in order to accomplish his goals every day both inside and outside of the classroom."

While Brady receives glowing reports from his teachers, he particularly likes math. Brady appreciates that problems are "sort of like a puzzle", and he enjoys doing puzzles outside of school. Mrs. Hammack has her students show their work in detail, which really helps Brady remember. If he ever has any questions, Brady asks Mrs. Hammack. She is always glad when students ask questions, because it gives her an opportunity to help students fix any misunderstandings. Mrs. Hammack also builds in opportunities for students to talk in class. Brady and his classmates try to help each other with problems, because sometimes there are aspects that one of them understands that the other does not. The practice of talking with other is helpful for Brady as is the reinforcement of concepts through repetition.

When asked who his favorite teacher is in the building, Brady said that he couldn't limit his favorites to one. He said that he tries to have an equal relationship with everyone. What he like about our teachers is that they are approachable and are not intimidating. "Everyone is very welcoming. They seem to enjoy it when you ask for help. It's okay if you are struggling; they are there to help you." Brady did share that he likes Coach Carter's style. In PreAP science, Brady shares that Coach Carter will be happy for you when you are doing well but he will always keep pushing you forward. Pictured is Brady with Coach Carter.

Thank you, Brady, for all of your hard work, and we are very proud of you. Keep doing what you are doing!

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Dancers Wanted - Faubion Drill Team

The Faubion Rhythmettes 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 Rhythmette is a year-round commitment. The Rhythmettes dance at home football games, pep rallies, and various contests during competition season.

Interested in joining the award-winning Faubion Rhythmettes 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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Benefits of Arts Education

Arts education cultivates qualities like collaboration, the ability to listen and connect disparate ideas, the power to think both in the now and several steps ahead, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and confidence and perseverance. Music students don’t just learn notes. In “Top Ten Skills Children Learn from the Arts” written by Valerie Strauss (Washington Post, 1/22/2013), they learn to create, innovate, problem-solve, persevere, focus, communicate non-verbally, receive constructive feedback, collaborate, analyze, and become accountable. Texas schools with higher enrollment in the fine arts have higher test scores, fewer discipline problems, and higher attendance rates.

Pictured are: Charlotte Plaster, Sage Foster, Gabby Congine, Jonathan Sublett, and K’lee Bumpus.

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Beginning orchestra solo results

The Faubion Beginning Orchestra students competed in the annual MISD solo festival last weekend and had a record breaking 92 first division superior ratings. In addition, the judges named nine students outstanding soloists. Those students are Ryleigh Layne, Eli Das, Mia Graef, Kaitlin Lee, Felicity Chambers, Armando Pomaro, Isabella Donley, Yirelis Fernandez, and Logan Rice. Congratulations to all!
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Middle School Registration

In class your 6th and 7th graders were given their registration forms for the 2021-2022 school year. These are due back to your child's math teacher before February 19. In class the students were provided with a video tutorial of how to fill out these forms. You can access these student tutorials on the Faubion Counselors' webpage. Here is the link for rising 7th and 8th graders.

Also on our webpage is the link to the middle school Academic Planning Guide (APG). This planning guide gives a detailed description of each elective class for 7th and 8th graders. If you have any questions while completing this form with your child please reach out to your child's counselor. We are here to help!

Counselors by Alpha:

A-G - Mrs. Phillips -

H-O - Mr. Rodriguez -

P-Z - Mrs. Kiefer -

You can always keep updated with the latest counseling information by visiting our counselors' webpage at

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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

Monday, February 15

Teacher Work Day - No School for Students

Tuesday, February 16

Asynchronous Instruction Day - No In-School Instruction

Wednesday, February 17

Track and Tennis Workouts / Tryouts begin

February 23

Midwinter Orchestra Concert and Fundraiser

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This week, AVID 7th period virtual students were incredibly impressive! On Tuesday, which is an in-class tutorials day, we could not get the Zoom to connect. I found out the next day that student (Victoria Sereno) created her own Zoom meeting, invited the others in the group (Freddy Ngalamo, Avery Medellin, Elias Barcenas-Echevarria, Abby Ruiz), and they had the Socratic tutorial session all on their own. THIS is making excellence a habit! Way to represent FMS AVID!

Also, we are currently recruiting for AVID for current 6th and 7th graders for the 21-22 school year. If you are a self-motivated student who is in at least one or more preAP classes, and you would like a challenging class that gives you college skills, please talk with your counselor.

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.
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