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Cy-Fair Schools, Sports, Students November 2017

| November 1, 2017

Cypress Woods senior Taylor Kirk talks about her homecoming mum with staff members Abby Paysse, left, and Jacob Chacon and junior student Camryn Moore during “Mums for LIFE.”

Cypress Woods senior Taylor Kirk talks about her homecoming mum with staff members Abby Paysse, left, and Jacob Chacon and junior student Camryn Moore during “Mums for LIFE.”

CY WOODS IMPACTS STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN “MUMS FOR LIFE” PROGRAM

A special Cypress Woods High School homecoming tradition continued as dozens of Wildcats delivered mums and garters to students with special needs as part of “Mums for LIFE” on Sept. 28.

The program was launched in 2014 by Cypress Woods graduate Cami Beardmore, who was inspired by a family member with a disability.

“He was looking at her mum and expressed to her, ‘I would have liked to have a pretty girl give me something like that in high school,’” recalled Leigh Ann Crank, Carlton Center instructional support specialist. “It touched her heart and that’s what inspired this Mums for Life movement.”

Beardmore, who graduated in 2017, passed the torch to Wildcat junior Bailey Peschel, who worked with the student council to organize a mum donation sign-up list.

“The students either make one or donate a previously used one they’re not using anymore,” Peschel said. “They personalize it by putting the student’s name and grade level on it. They add a lot of Cy Woods ribbons. We want them to be included as part of the fun tradition.”

The Cypress Woods students distributed approximately 60 mums and garters to LIFE Skills students at the school, as well as students with special needs who attend the neighboring Carlton Center.

The Wildcats’ cheer team and mascot Chester Wildcat also put on a homecoming pep rally for the Carlton Center students on Sept. 28.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to be a part of something that typically they are not a part of,” said Rhonda Turns, Carlton Center director. “It’s a highlight of their year. We are ever grateful to Cy Woods for doing it every year.”

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(L-R): Pamula Handsborough and Cameron Brewer pose with a copy of Officer B and Me, Handsborough’s first children’s book. Brewer, a former CFISD Police Department officer now with the Harris County Sheriff’s office, was part of the inspiration for the book.

(L-R): Pamula Handsborough and Cameron Brewer pose with a copy of Officer B and Me, Handsborough’s first children’s book. Brewer, a former CFISD Police Department officer now with the Harris County Sheriff’s office, was part of the inspiration for the book.

HOLBROOK TEACHER PUBLISHES CHILDREN’S BOOK

Pamula Handsborough knew when she was 8 years old that she wanted to write children’s books. But just to have a safety net, her older brother advised her to find another path that suited her strengths. That led Handsborough into education – she’s a behavior interventionist at Holbrook Elementary School.

The dream never went away, however, and now Handsborough has accomplished her dream. She published her first children’s book, Officer B and Me, and celebrated with friends, family and coworkers at a book signing Sept. 17 at Towne Lake’s The Lakehouse. “My excitement came from seeing words translated into pictures,” said Handsborough, who actually wrote the story three years ago but held on to it. “Seeing somebody bring my words to life.”

Handsborough shared part of the spotlight with Cameron Brewer, a former CFISD Police Department officer now with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, who helped serve as inspiration for the book. The story is of a young student who found it hard to accept “no” from her mother and teachers but is befriended by “Officer B,” who becomes a positive role model.

The book’s cover shows the taller Officer B leaning down to give the student a hug, with smiles on both of their faces. That moment, Handsborough told the crowd at the signing, was the genesis for the book. “Him coming down from that 6’4” height to her level, and her with that big smile and energy, excited that she had a good day, and him telling her, ‘That’s awesome.’ That was just a great feeling to see that connection and that power of a positive adult having an impact on a child.”

Said Brewer, “That’s what I appreciate more than anything about it — I never knew. Even when she talked about that hug and that moment, I never knew anything about that. To me, it was just something that happened.”

This isn’t Handsborough’s first book. She’s written two reflection journals: The Power of One: A Journal for Teachers and Seasons: A Journal for Christian Singles. But with a powerful image and a positive role model, an idea turned into her childhood dream.

“This gives me a sense of accomplishment,” she said, adding that Brewer and fellow officers working with schools can have the same impact as educators when it comes to students. “We’re their cheerleaders. It’s what we do everyday and he was an extension of our family doing it.” She adds, “I want kids to know there are good officers out there who want to see them do great things.”

The book can be purchased at https://phandsboro.wixsite.com/officerbandme, or at Virgie’s Bar-B-Que in Houston.

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(L-R): Connor Carpenter, PJ Wheeler, Christian Mackley and Felipe Rodriguez pose with their silver medals after the quartet won second in its 100-yard freestyle relay.

(L-R): Connor Carpenter, PJ Wheeler, Christian Mackley and Felipe Rodriguez pose with their silver medals after the quartet won second in its 100-yard freestyle relay.

CFISD ATHLETES ENJOY SUCCESS AT SPECIAL OLYMPICS AREA SWIM MEET

Roughly 50 CFISD athletes represented the district with gold, silver and bronze medals as CFISD hosted the Special Olympics of Texas Area 4 Swim Meet on Oct. 7 at Cypress Ranch High School.

The meet continues a long-standing relationship between CFISD and Greater Houston Special Olympics that is closing in on 30 years. In addition to the swim meet, the Area 4 Basketball Tournament will be held at various district campuses in March.

“We are very fortunate that the Houston area office for Special Olympics Texas continues to utilize our CFISD facilities for their aquatics and basketball events each year,” said Darci Garcia, Special Olympics coordinator for CFISD.

Said Renee Klovenski, Greater Houston Special Olympics program director: “Special Olympics Texas – Houston Office is grateful for the working relationship with Cy-Fair ISD to provide top quality facilities for the athletes to train and compete in for an aquatics meet for over 250 Special Olympics swimmers and basketball tournament which hosts 75 teams each year. No other school district works this closely with our program. The district has been partners with us for over 27 years. We are very grateful.”

The swim meet began with an opening ceremony where athletes from each participating team took part in a passing of a ceremonial torch. It included Felipe Rodriguez, who later earned a silver medal with fellow district athletes PJ Wheeler, Connor Carpenter and Christian Mackley in the 100-yard freestyle relay.

The meet also featured “skills” events for athletes beginning in the sport. Events included a 15-meter walk and 10-meter assisted swim where athletes received assistance and encouragement from Cy Ranch swimmers.

“Our aquatics season is always an exciting time for our athletes, coaches and families,” Garcia said. “It is the first sport season of the school year and marks the beginning of another wonderful year of Cy-Fair ISD Special Olympics. I am extremely proud of the hard work our swimmers have put in this season and am grateful for the commitment and dedication of our aquatics coaches and athletes’ families.”

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Sulema Tamez (right), the former Cypress Ridge High School girls soccer coach, is pictured with Cy Ridge alumna Daisy Rubio at the 2016 Regal Rams where Rubio shared how Tamez impacted her life.

Sulema Tamez (right), the former Cypress Ridge High School girls soccer coach, is pictured with Cy Ridge alumna Daisy Rubio at the 2016 Regal Rams where Rubio shared how Tamez impacted her life.

FORMER CY RIDGE COACH RECEIVES HIGH SCHOOL COACH OF SIGNIFICANCE AWARD

Sulema Tamez, the former girls soccer coach at Cypress Ridge High School, was among 23 recipients recently announced by United Soccer Coaches and its member group as winners of the first annual High School Coach of Significance Award.

The newly-created award acknowledges high school coaches that go above and beyond their coaching position to teach life lessons and provide opportunities for their athletes.

Winners were nominated by a United Soccer Coaches member through an online process that included at least one letter of reference. Tamez was nominated by Casey Blades, the head girls soccer coach at Cypress Lakes High School who pointed to her colleague’s off-the-field philanthropic work.

Sulema serves as an official chairperson and host for Cy-Fair Relay for Life, an all-night fundraising walk hosted by the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and funds toward cancer research.

“If the only thing the athlete learns is how to play a sport – yet can’t successfully navigate through life – I have failed to take advantage of the time I have had to inspire, encourage and influence her,” said Sulema, a cancer survivor. “I want to make sure my girls are well-grounded, hard-working and prepared to deal with all of life’s challenges.”

She also created a district-wide cancer awareness night where each CFISD school collected money and each team wore matching shirts to honor the cause.

Each nomination was reviewed by the selection committee, which was comprised of national, regional and state representation. The 23 winners were recognized in Soccer Journal’s September/Oct­o­ber edition. Tamez is the lone award recipient from Texas.

“Our group has worked very hard to find a way to recognize our high school coaches that focus their efforts on building relationships and coaching beyond the playing field,” said Greg Winkler, boys chair of the High School Coaches members group.

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Representatives from Prairie View A&M University speak to prospective students and parents during the first evening of CFISD College Night.

Representatives from Prairie View A&M University speak to prospective students and parents during the first evening of CFISD College Night.

RECORD CROWD FOR ANNUAL COLLEGE NIGHT REACHES NEARLY 6,000 GUESTS

Nearly 6,000 visitors came out to the Berry Center Oct. 3-4 for the 23rd annual CFISD College Night. The record-setting attendance included a total on the second day that eclipsed the previous year’s total figures.

Hosted by the guidance and counseling department, College Night exposed CFISD students and parents to more than 250 colleges and universities, technical and specialty schools and military academies and representatives.

“It was once said by Roy T. Bennett that ‘Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world,” said Franklin Sampson, director of guidance and counseling. “Our CFISD guidance and counseling department made a positive difference in the lives of many students this week at our annual College Night.”

The district opened College Night to students at neighboring Katy ISD, which cancelled its own event due to damage from Hurricane Harvey. Represen­tatives were complimentary of CFISD, Sampson said, and even plan to implement certain operational procedures into their own event moving forward.

In all, the two-day attendance was 5,998.

“With us not being a big-name school, just having students be able to see us, see what we’re about and come talk to me, they can find out what we have and it gets our name out there,” said Bailey Vickers, a school relations recruiter for Tarleton State University. “Students may come and say, ‘Oh, we’ve never heard of you,’ but then they end up loving what we have.”

A second day was added to College Night last year.

School and military representatives were spread throughout the Berry Center arena, upper concourse and conference center. Large group presentations were held each night for financial aid (in English and Spanish), the University of Houston, Rice University, Texas A&M University, University of Texas and Lone Star College.

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Labay Middle School teacher Jenna Bradford (center) is congratulated by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey. Elizabeth Waltman (left) went on stage to help unveil the surprise.

Labay Middle School teacher Jenna Bradford (center) is congratulated by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey. Elizabeth Waltman (left) went on stage to help unveil the surprise.

CFISD TEACHERS WIN CLASSROOM MAKEOVER

Jenna Bradford had no idea why she was called up on stage alongside fellow Labay Middle School teacher Elizabeth Waltman on the final day of the Rigor, Relevance & Relationships Teacher Conference on Aug. 18 at the Berry Center.

Bradford, a Life Skills teacher, had spent much of her summer trying to plan and piece together an empty classroom she would inherit for the 2017-2018 school year. At the conference, she learned she was one of three $500 winners in the Classroom Makeover contest put on by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union.

Bradford joined Dana Rizzo of Alternative Learning Center-West and Karen Comer of Lowery Elementary School. Three runner-up teachers each earned $150 for their classrooms: Ladye Lindsey of Cypress Woods High School, Jennifer Osina of Aragon Middle School and Karen Malone of Walker Elementary School.

All but Bradford knew of their winning prize beforehand, as each entered on their own. Waltman submitted an entry for Bradford and helped Cy-Fair FCU President/CEO Cameron Dickey surprise her on stage in front of hundreds of fellow teachers.

“I have an amazing team at Labay,” Bradford said. “Liz is amazing and everyone is amazing there, and the fact that they support me like that is a blessing. This whole summer, I’ve been thinking to myself, ‘Can I go to Ikea and buy furniture? How can I make this work?’ So I’ve been making tons of curriculum and then trying to figure out how I’m going to organize a classroom.”

In its 10th year, the classroom makeover program has awarded $15,200 to teachers and expanded beyond just two or three winners.

“To be able to not only help these hard-working teachers who want to do something for the classroom and make it more educational and more at-home for them was already fun,” Dickey said. “But to be able to surprise somebody – that was awesome.”


Category: Around Cy-Fair, Schools, Sports, Students

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