District in Pictures
September 29, 2023
The Wizarding World of WFISD
Today, students across WFISD participated in one of the most anticipated dress up days of the year- Harry Potter Day. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin were all represented as everyone donned the attire of their favorite house or Harry Potter movie characters.
Wichita Falls High School Recognized by ESPN
Last week, there was a heartwarming surprise at Wichita Falls High School as principal Laurie Kinne and the school were honored in a special way. Her son Landry, a wide receiver at Baylor University, nominated his mother and Wichita Falls High School for the ESPN "Extra Mile for Teachers" award. Mrs. Kinne received an email announcing that WFHS was selected for the award and the school would receive $1000 from ESPN to be used for teacher supplies. "You know you are in the right place when you get to go to work every day and feel like you are with family," Mrs. Kinne said. "Wichita Falls High School is special, and I am beyond blessed to work with this incredible staff." To make this tribute even more special, Landry recorded a touching video message that was played during the Baylor vs. Texas game on ABC/ESPN. Click here to watch it.
Associate Superintendent Receives Tech & Learning Award for STEAM Machine
Over the weekend, associate superintendent Dr. Peter Griffiths was recognized during the Tech & Learning conference with the Tech & Learning Innovative Leader Award. Dr. Griffiths was recognized for his dedication to the STEAM Machine and finding ways to make it happen by utilizing different finance resources. The idea for the STEAM Machine came from Dr. Griffiths and other staff members who were looking for ways to provide more access to hands-on STEAM experiences in the aftermath of COVID. Previously, gifted and talented students had opportunities to travel to STEM facilities and learn coding and other technical skills. But, the onset of COVID made that extremely difficult to do. "Wouldn't it be cool if we were able to take some of this stuff and take it to the schools," thought Dr. Griffiths. And, that is exactly what was done! After much brainstorming, they realized that they could retrofit a retired school bus and make it a mobile STEM lab in order to increase access to CTE and STEM - even after COVID. WFISD was able to obtain a $40,000 grant from the West Foundation to pay for the bus renovations and Title funds were used to help pay for all of the "gizmos and gadgets" inside. Click here to read the Tech & Learning article.
Campuses Participate in See You at the Pole
On Wednesday morning, campuses across the nation had an opportunity to participate in the annual "See You at the Pole" event. See You at the Pole gives community members, students, their families, and the campus staff members an opportunity to join hand in hand to pray around the flagpole in front of the campus for a safe school year, the community and the country. See You at the Pole started in 1990 with 10 students praying for their school. Now, millions across the nation lead and participate, showing that one moment can start an entire movement. Pictured below are some of the campuses and students that participated.
Cunningham Teacher Makes Learning Delicious
Board Approves Completion of High School Athletic Facilities
Last week, the Board of Trustees approved the award for the completion of athletic facilities at Wichita Falls Memorial High School and Wichita Falls Legacy High School. The athletic complexes at both high schools will include all athletic components approved by voters in the May 2021 bond election.
Athletic complexes will include: Lighted Competition/ Turf Field for Football/Soccer/Band use (Includes Press Box and Seating for 750 Spectators), Lighted 8-lane Track, Lighted Competition/Turf Field for Baseball (Included Press Box and Seating for 300 Spectators), Lighted Competition/Turf Field for Soptball (Includes Press Box and Seating for 300 Spectators), Batting Cages for Baseball and Softball, 10 Tennis Courts (4Interior Courts Will Be Lighted), 2 Grass Practice Fields, Concession Stand and Restrooms, Locker Room for Visiting Team.
For more information about the progress of the new high schools, click here!
Cunningham ECSE 3s Class Celebrates the End of September
This week in Jessica Hughes' ECSE 3s class at Cunningham Elementary, the class celebrated the end of the month of September with a First Color Celebration. During the month of September, Mrs. Hughes' students learned about the color red, the shape of a circle, and apples. On Thursday, the class wore red, taste-tested red, yellow, and green apples, voted on their favorite, and had fun red snacks!
Rider Choir Students Compete in Large School District Auditions in Abilene
On September 9, Rider High School choir students competed in the Large School District auditions in Abilene. Rider choir director Melanie Coons was excited to announce that 14 of the choir students placed in the top of their vocal section and will be moving on to compete at the Region Auditions in Odessa on September 30. Congratulations to the following students: Madeline Acosta, Elizabeth Aranda, Allie Calvert (1st chair), Krista Coons, Colden Dunn-Phelps, Gabriela Gonzalez, Evie Hickerson, Harper Huckeby, Brayden Jennings, Lexie Konieczny-Wichert, Keegan Putney, Ruby Spear (1st chair), Emily Spurgers and Ava Thompson.
Region 9's Javier DeLeon Speaks with Hirschi High School Faculty and Staff
This week's Staff Spotlight shines on John Strenski, Safety and Security Coordinator with the WFISD Police Department.
If you are a non-teaching staff member in WFISD, we want to feature you! Click here to complete the information form.
WFISD Police Department Assists with Hands-On Training
With last Friday being a staff development day, the WFISD Police Department took advantage of students being off-campus and held some very important hands-on trainings. The officers attended a refresher training regarding AED's, CPR, and first aid. Wichita Falls High School Athletic Trainer, Joshua Burris, provided the officers with this training. The officers also participated in an active shooter exercise that was held at Sheppard Elementary. No students were in attendance during this training. In coordination with the SAFB Security Forces, the ISD Police Department assisted in the planning and observation of the exercise as well as the after-action review.
Zundy Students Learn About Voting
This week in Ms. Smith's 3rd grade social studies class at Zundy Elementary, students learned about democracy and had the opportunity to practice voting. The class as a whole had to decide on their top 4 PBS Kids cartoons and then the choices were posted by their teacher. Each student had an opportunity to vote for their favorite cartoon that was listed. Ms. Smith prepared a voting booth where students secretly cast their vote and then placed their vote in a transparent container that had 3 student security guards. Each student received a sticker after they voted. After all of the students voted, the votes were then counted as the teacher explained how people choose by voting.
West Foundation Elementary Receives Pop-Up Breakfast
This morning, the staff members of West Foundation Elementary enjoyed their pop-up breakfast. The staff members enjoyed breakfast pizza from Market Street and was sponsored by Grand Canyon University. Miranda Sanders from Grand Canyon University helped serve. Scones, hot chocolate and coffee were also supplied by Chartwells.
Hirschi Art Students Display Artwork at Sikes Senter Mall
Next time you are at Sikes Senter Mall, make sure to check out the Hirschi High School art students' work on display. Hirschi art teacher, Ms. Sanchez Enriquez instructed her students to create landscapes and cartoons. CTE teacher, Ms. Widner, also has two of her original art pieces on display. SFC Williams led the Husky Battalion as they ensured the art was well displayed and secure. "We could not have done it without all of us coming together and making this display a success," said assistant principal Wendy Moulds. The art display is courtesy of the Arts Council Wichita Falls and Sikes Mall Management Company. "Huge thanks to them for their generosity and sincere support for our Husky artists!"
Fain Students Learn Lessons With Twister
Students at Fain Elementary reviewed prefix and suffix words this week by playing a friendly game of Twister. The spinner that was used selected a variation of commands (example: Purple, Right Hand) and the students had to answer the card in order to stay in the game. Each turn the students took challenged them to create words by using either the prefix or suffix needed. As the game continued, the students had to be very careful that they didn't fall but also make sure that they were correct in their answer. "The game was a blast and it was such a fun way to review," said teacher Laura Wetzel.
First Year Teacher Friday
Last week's First Year Teacher Friday spotlight is on Lauren Castles, World Geography at Rider High School. Welcome to #teamWFISD!
Rider Drum Line Participates in Walk to End Alzheimer's
Hirschi Health Classes Learn About Dangers of Drug and Alcohol
WFHS Football Player Recognized as 100.9 KWFB Sports Center Player of the Week
Wichita Falls High School football player, Braylon Kenzie, was recognized by 100.9 KWFB and received the Sports Center player of the week. Braylon was recognized for his outstanding game vs. Iowa Park. His second interception was returned for a big touchdown. Way to go, Braylon Kenzie!
Crockett Student Leads "Good Things" During Morning Meeting
Hirschi Mental Health Practicum Students Provide Mental Health Awareness
McNiel English Teacher Implements Positivity with Class Bucks for Students
In Mrs. Forney's English class at McNiel Middle School, she has found a way to implement positive reinforcement strategy by giving students class bucks. On Wednesday, she held her first auction where students could bid for goodies, such as stickers and class coupons (for example, a "sit next to a friend for a class period" coupon). Students receive class bucks for things like meeting expectations, being a leader in the classroom, and showing growth on assessments. "It was so fun being in her class this morning and seeing the excitement she created for this class auction," said fellow McNiel teacher, Hannah Reames "Our students are blessed to have such phenomenal teachers." Although the students were loud and had fun, it was clear that she has procedures set in place as students responded to her call for attention when she needed the class to settle down. Pictured below is Mrs. Forney with her students along with Ms. Camerlin, McNiel Deaf Ed teacher.
Booker T. Washington Students Learn About Takashi Murakami Artwork
The Booker T. Washington Elementary students have been learning about the artist, Takashi Murakami, with their art teacher, Mrs. Truxal. Pictured below is the student artwork inspired by Takashi Murakami that is displayed on the art room door and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
TAG Students Learn The 4 C's
The Gifted & Talented Program utilizes the 4C's: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. One of the ways creativity is improved is by thinking outside of the box, and one of the ways that the TAG program does this is by providing students with activities called "Creative Flex." Students have a limited amount of time to take a box with a shape or line(s) and turn it into a "mini-masterpiece." The pictures below are examples of creative thinking from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students.
Rider Student Council Holds Blood Drive
The Rider High School student council has recently teamed up with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to host their annual fall blood drive. There was a great turn out, and over 60 students chose to donate blood. Each donor has the potential to save up to 3 lives. "I am proud of our students and their dedication to making a difference to our community," said Rider student council sponsor, Amy Portmann. The blood that was donated will stay in the community. Students who donated received a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, an Oklahoma City Zoo pass, as well as snacks and drinks. The Rider Student Council will be holding another blood drive in the spring.
Franklin Students Become Doctors
On Thursday, September 28, the Franklin Elementary 3rd graders found their classrooms transformed into operating rooms. The little doctors put their medical skills to the test in reading by performing procedures such as contraction surgery and grammar operation. In math, their rounds included assisting in number surgery and comparing numbers to sort prescriptions. The medical teams made life size body outlines and labeled organs and body parts in science.
Bilingual Program Holds Fall Meeting
The families of the bilingual program students attended their annual fall meeting this week. It was a total success and families had an opportunity to meet all of the teachers in the bilingual program together (Pre-K through 5th grade). Parents had the opportunity to look at the bulletin boards made by bilingual students and staff to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. "It was wonderful having new families, previously from Lamar, join and become a part of the Southern Hills family," said Maria Carrillo. "It is definitely a blessing to be at a campus that encourages family participation."
Hirschi Staff Members Treated to Snack Station
The Hirschi High School staff members were celebrated this week for their hard work with a visit from the Snack Station. Staff members could choose a salty or a sweet snack along with a cold soda. "Just a little thank you for all of their effort this past 6 weeks with helping to shape the minds of our Huskies," said assistant principal, Wendy Moulds.
IDEA Grants are Now Live!
District in Pictures is a weekly publication developed by the WFISD Community Relations department. If you have events, recognitions or classroom activities taking place on your campus that you would like us to feature, please let us know by completing the form at the following link: www.wfisd.net/dip. We would love to include you in our weekly district news.