The Faubion Lion Pride Press

Week of January 11, 2021

Dear Lion Pride,

Please read this week's installment of the Faubion Lion Pride Press. In this edition, we welcome back our staff and students for the second semester, we pay a visit to students working on autobiographies, and we celebrate several members of our school community.

During this past week in 1878, Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois. Sandburg is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning author, winning twice for his poetry and once for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. President Lyndon B. Johnson at Sandburg’s death in 1967 was quoted saying, "Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America."

President Johnson led our country during the Civil Rights Era and signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which brought federal funds for underserved student populations for the first time. Johnson’s honoring Carl Sandburg with such a touching quote exemplifies how he felt about a man who portrayed Abraham Lincoln so beautifully. Our students in Creative Writing worked on their autobiography this week, and you can find a feature story about them in this week's Lion Pride Press.

Today's educational landscape presents a moving target for all of us, but we are rooting ourselves in doing what is right for your children. High-yield instructional strategies focusing on the development of content through language and an intense focus on kindness are what will help us conquer these times. Flexibility, accountability, and empathy with our students, our families, and our staff help us as we attack every obstacle in our path.

Aristotle once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence ought not be 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

Big picture
Big picture

We welcome back our staff

Our staff were welcomed with a synchronous face-to-face and zoom faculty meeting to open the second semester of the '20-'21 school year. We shared celebrations and touching moments, reflected on our progress, and worked through some simulations that demonstrated the need to teach content through language. Our teachers had the rest of the day to work with their content teams and departments as they designed lessons to best meet the needs of your children.

Above is a photo of Mr. Cortez and Mrs. Zamora, who opened our session with classic rock favorites, including Bohemian Rhapsody and Piano Man.

Big picture

Autobiography in Creative Writing

Scholars in Mr. Stevens's Creative Writing class are writing an autobiography. The works are shaped by 10 life events that molded our scholars into who they are today. On Friday, our scholars conferenced with Mr. Stevens so they could discuss a bit more about imagery, diction, and layout.

Mr. Stevens shared a monumental moment in his life when he proposed to his wife at Pike's Peak in Colorado. He described the term "white-knuckling" to convey the physiological response that his body was having due to both the enormous height of the mountain and the weight of the proposal.

Scholars were encouraged to "show" not "tell" their experience as a way to make the writing come to life. He encouraged students to share what their shoes sound like as they were walking, what smells they were experiencing in their neighborhood, and more.

Pictured are: Trin Mills, Mr. Boom, Mr. Stevens, Leighton Nichols, Skye Nguyen, Lindsey Arterburn, Leo Ziman, Shayan Ahmed, Briana Garcia, and Rolando Martinez. Cameo appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow.

Big picture

Duet Scenes in theatre

Students in Ms. Riley's class worked on duet scenes in class this week. The process is quite involved as students annotated the text, decided on emotional context, memorized, and staged! We appreciate when students interact with primary sources in such meaningful ways to make the learning really come to life. Pictured are Ayden Rivera and Aries Sanchez.

Big picture

reinforcement - Physical and chemical changes

Deepening their understanding of physical and chemical changes in Ms. Caldwell's class, Jalen Washington and Anijah Freeman are pictured above. A think, pair, share activity was used prior to completing a Venn diagram to solidify similarities and differences.
Big picture

Turn and Talk

ELAR teachers incorporated purposely the "turn-and-talk" strategy into their scholars' poetry analysis this week. The discussions focused on how setting influences the characters of the poetry. Works covered were “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman and “I, Too” by Langston Hughes.

Pictured are students in Mrs. Quigley's class, including: Liberty Klueber, Sara Perez, Kennadee Baas, Ava Brown, Abigail Buck, Lylah Wiggins, Haydee Gomez, Sebastian Darden, Christan Yepez, Lily Oldner, Reese Whitesell, Jasmine Aykol, Vanessa Garcia-Vasquez, and Allison Howard.

Big picture


On January 7, 1943, Nikola Tesla passed away at the age of 86 years. Born during a lightning storm, Nikola Tesla was known for his rumored photographic memory and sense of humor. The recently surging car brand, Tesla, is named in his remembrance by founder and CEO Elon Musk. Tesla and Thomas Edison were rival inventors during their time on Earth.

For this week’s contest, our students were asked over the announcements to discuss who they feel was the more impactful inventor between Tesla and Edison. Taking a high level look, Edison is credited with the phonograph and the incandescent light bulb, while Tesla is credited with alternating current electricity.

Mr. Smith's class discussed the two inventors separately to determine their merits and then debated the two against each other. This free-form discussion did not have scholars take sides but instead to simply share their contributions. The class seemed drawn to the fact that Edison used Tesla's ideas and applied them. He was able to work in other tangents that saw him create or expand the ideas into different fields. The class seemed to lean towards the application of ideas rather than the discovery of ideas. As you can see in the picture above, "Edison wins the vote!"

Pictured are: Bryson Berman, Jack Creecy, Grace James, Claire Jensen, Michael McAloon, Farrah Nasser, Isabela Odhiambo, Charlotte Plaster, Jack Ratliff, Beckham Sayers, Alynn Shaw, Tyler Young and Cooper Zweig.

Big picture

Student Spotlight - Princess Licea

This week's student spotlight features the student-artist-athlete, Princess Licea! Humility, persistence, and kindness are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing her.

As a member of the basketball team, Princess has been in athletics in both 7th grade and 8th grade. In 7th grade, Princess served as the team manager. This role gave her the opportunity to learn more about the game and to build relationships with the coaches and players. This year, Princess is a guard on the 8th grade team. Coach Riley had this to share about Princess: "Princess is an excellent student-athlete. She is a hard worker, kind, and always has a positive attitude. She has a strong work ethic and takes initiative to help others."

As one of the top violins of the Faubion Honors Orchestra, Princess has deepened her passion for music and for the hard work that it requires. Playing the violin brings Princess peace and teaches her to have more patience with herself. Those attending the winter concert got to see Princess and the rest of the strings play a fiddle-style piece with "If You're Gonna Play in Texas" by Alabama. The variety of music selection is something that Princess loves that about our orchestra. Princess also enjoys playing the guitar and the piano when she has free time. Princess made the All-Region Orchestra and was also an outstanding soloist at the MISD solo contest.

Raised in McKinney, Princess is the youngest of four siblings. Two of Princess's siblings are students in McKinney ISD, and her oldest brother is married with children. Both of Princess's parents are from Mexico, and Princess would love the opportunity to visit the country one day as a way to get to know her parents' background. Travel is something that Princess would like to do more of, as she loves visiting San Antonio and Houston. The landscape on the drive through Hill Country and the delicious food in those cities make the travel appealing.

Princess wanted to mention that she greatly appreciates all of the support that her AVID teacher, Mrs. Hutchison, provides. She noted that Mrs. Hutchison always goes out of her way to help her students with the content and with discussing their life goals. In fact, Princess was quoted as saying, "She is very encouraging and she is here for all of us. She tells us that we can do it and that we should be proud of ourselves."

Mrs. Zamora has helped Princess even when she was at her lowest in orchestra. When Princess thought that she could not learn a piece, Mrs. Zamora would always cheer her up and not let her quit. Princess loves that Mrs. Zamora does not let her students give up. She also appreciates that she could even make her future career out of playing the violin! Pictured is Princess with her orchestra director, Mrs. Zamora.

Big picture

8th graders - registratRegistering 8th graders for high school

Counselors will meet with all 8th graders January 11 -13 to go over 9th grade course selection forms as well as 4 year plans. During these meetings, students will be given their Freshman card and a four year plan to complete. All 8th grade parents were also sent an email that contained copies of these documents.

The documents can also be found on your child's math teacher's CANVAS page. Virtual students can access their freshman card through their math teacher's CANVAS page. Students/parents should save a copy, fill it out, and email it back to their math teacher. The cards will be due back to us no later than January 20. We will then be reviewing them on January 21 and 22.

All three high schools will be hosting a virtual “Coffee with Counselors” on January 15 via Zoom. This will give you a chance to hear from the high school counselors. Here are the times with the Zoom links included:

MHS 8:30-9:30

Meeting ID: 810 7780 0631
Passcode: 100842

MBHS 9:30-11:00

Meeting ID: 431 178 2842
Passcode: 142874

MNHS 10:00-11:00

Meeting ID: 824 6344 0620

Passcode: 313094

On Monday, January 11, a Canvas course will be available to all parents and should have ALL the answers to ALL your questions regarding registration. (It will have information on advanced courses, clubs/activities, electives, and so much more.) We encourage you to reference that course. We will have a link available on Monday on the FMS counselor webpage for easy access. Our webpage is:

Final note of emphasis - ALL STUDENTS need to turn in a 9th grade course selection card and a 4 year plan by January 20. These will then go to the high schools. You will have a chance to verify and make changes in May.

As always, check out the Faubion MS Counselor Website for more info and counselor contacts:

Big picture

german and latin programs

Are you interested in visiting countries in Europe and experiencing new cultures? Did you know MISD high school students attend free national summer camps in the USA and spend each summer with international programs in Germany and Italy? If you are interested to learn more about those opportunities, consider enrolling in the German and Latin courses at your high school and find out more from our MISD German and Latin teachers! Follow the links below for some engaging videos!

Info on Latin

Info on German

Big picture

Annual Payment for Laptop Needed

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 is January 22, 2021.

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

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.

Big picture

Cheer Tryouts - Sign-Ups end February 5

Please follow the link below for information about our cheer tryouts! Sign-ups end February 5th!

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Jan. 9

7th girls' basketball (away) @ Rogers - Prosper HS - Gold - 9:00 / Navy - 10:00 / White - 11:00

8th girls' basketball (home) vs. Rogers - Gold - 9:00 / Navy - 10:00 / White - 11:00

7th boys' basketball (away) @ Rogers - Prosper HS - Gold - 1:00 / Navy - 2:00 / White - 3:00

8th boys' basketball (home) vs. Rogers - Gold - 1:00 / Navy - 2:00 / White - 3:00

Monday, Jan. 11

7th boys' basketball (home) vs. Evans - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

8th boys' basketball (vs. Evans) @ MHS - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

Thursday, Jan. 14

7th girls' basketball (home) vs. Evans - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

8th girls' basketball (vs. Evans) @ MHS - Gold - 5:00 / Navy - 6:00 / White - 7:00

Big picture
Big picture

This week in AVID, students reviewed some of the basics from the beginning of the school year. We created digital planners, reviewed note-taking strategies, calculated our Grade Point Averages (GPA) for our quarter two grades, and set goals for this quarter! Shown in the picture are Rahil Gillani and Abel Compean as they collaborate on setting up their planners. Angeles Pulido, Alejandra Martinez, and Greyson Hampton are also pictured.

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

Welcome back! I am excited for the new year!

We have welcomed several new students to Faubion this week. With that being said, we have enjoyed helping students remember their passwords, put in tickets for technology help, and - best of all - check out new books to read! Lots of students are putting books on request which we are delivering to their ELAR classrooms within a couple of days. All books that were out before the break are now overdue, so remind your children to either renew or return the books they had out before this week.

Canvas is a great learning platform. It helps us at McKinney ISD to deliver content to our students whether they are here at school or are learning from home. The students are able to interact with their teachers through the Canvas Inbox which works much like email! It is a great place to see what types of assignments and activities are happening in class!

The Canvas Calendar will show you and your child when things are due in each class in one place! (As a parent, I LOVE this feature!) You can even encourage your child to input things on their personal calendar in Canvas. Doing so allows them to juggle their busy school and non-school lives.

Mrs. Willardson

Jack C. Faubion Middle School, the best middle school in the State of Texas

Our primary method of communication with the school community occurs through our weekly newsletter. You may also find information on our facebook page and our school website.

"At Faubion Middle School, we make excellence a habit, and we are kind to each other."