Head U Gator News

May 1, 2016

A grateful heart...

My heart is grateful for...

...Everyone who had to stay very late this week to interview. That would include most of ASPIRE, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades! Thank you for committing to the process that I believe is so important to obtain the highest quality applicants we possibly can. I so appreciate the input from a variety of people in evaluating new staff members.

...Lauri, who managed the front office without Molly for three days. Doing the front office with 2 people is hard enough, but it's crazy when there is just one person! Thanks to Kelly and Beth for backing her up as well.

...Jennifer Bisballe, for mentoring and coaching a brand new teacher during this crazy part of the year. That support is so important for new staff members who are "drinking from a fire hose" pretty much all the time!

...Nicole Marlow (who has been the sub in Kim Graham's room for 6 weeks) who is going to begin tomorrow in Whitley's room and stay for the next 3 weeks. Whitley was originally going to try and stay through next week, but it was really obvious that the stress was taking a huge toll on her physically. Thursday afternoon we convinced her to make Friday her last day and Nicole agreed to step in beginning Monday.

Summer enrichment video

Summer Enrichment video: Here is a video about summer enrichment opportunities.

Update on new staff

This will be an unusual year for us in regards to hiring. Most years, we have 1-2 slots to fill. This year we have at least 9, including the librarian position which is already done. We've been doing a lot of screening, interviewing and checking up on applicants the last two weeks, and we've made some good progress. We have finalized one candidate for ASPIRE 2nd grade. Her name is Kami Anderson and she'll be coming from Cannon where she has taught for many years. Kami's son Eli was a student here about 5 years ago, so some of you may remember her.

We interviewed strong 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade applicants and then we're asking them to come back for a demonstration lesson. The second grade teacher candidate taught her lesson Friday afternoon, and we're excited about her joining us. I still have to make reference calls Monday, but we assume she will be a new addition. Hopefully by the end of this week we will have 1st, 2nd, 3rd and the 2nd grade ASPIRE filled. That will leave 1st, 3rd, and 5th ASPIRE still to fill along with the additional 5th grade position. I will be screening this week again.

All of these new staff members mean that we will have to be very intentional about working on our culture next year. We will have lots of new people who will be working hard and trying to figure things out, so part of our focus will have to be on making sure they are getting the support they need while we still continue to make progress on LEAD 2021. It's a little mind-boggling, but also really exciting!


We already had a special jeans day planned for Monday, so be sure you are wearing pink with your jeans Monday.

We will celebrate the "Vote" day on Tuesday by wearing red/white/blue and jeans on Tuesday. If you need to leave early to vote, please try to do so Monday since we have a faculty meeting Tuesday with several things that we need to discuss.

Camp Carter opportunity...

YMCA Teacher Appreciation Day: On Sunday, May 1 from 2-5 p.m., YMCA Camp Carter will host a free event for teachers with food samples, guided hikes, a campfire with s'mores, fishing and more. Please share this event with your teachers and encourage them to register ahead of time.

small group minutes

This is based on 14 classrooms for this week, which is what I've received to date:

Reading: 87%

Math: 88%


Only a very small number of staff members have voted so far in the GCISD bond election. Please, please don't forget to get out and vote in this election. Early voting ends Tuesday, and regular voting is Saturday.

This week:

Monday, May 2

Art Club, 2:45

Tuesday, May 3

La Academia Spanish 2:45-3:45

Faculty meeting

Wednesday, May 4

choir 3/4/5

Thursday, May 5

Marimba Band

Friday, May 6

Pep Rally/Spirit Day

La Academia Spanish 2:45-3:45

Bowman Sports 2:45-3:45