Prosper ISD Campus Teachers of the YearPosted by PISD Communications on 4/17/2019
Baker Elementary - Jennifer Wattenbarger
Ms. Wattenbarger is a 2nd grade teacher at Baker Elementary. She has been in education for 20 years teaching in Lake Dallas, Frisco and Bossier Parish before coming to Prosper. Ms. Wallace, Baker Principal, feels that Ms. Wattenbarger’s “servant leadership heart is one of the purest I have seen in terms of truly being motivated by serving her students, her colleagues, and the community. Her positive outlook is contagious! Jennifer is unassuming in her dedication. You would never know all that she does behind the scenes to help her students and her team shine. She wants no recognition for anything and truly just enjoys the act of serving.” The quote that Ms. Wattenbarger feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be." Rita Pierson.
Boyer Elementary - Laurie Richmond
Ms. Richmond is a 4th grade teacher at Boyer Elementary where she teaches ELAR and Social Studies. She has been in education for 19 years teaching in Frisco and Little Elm before coming to Prosper this year. Ms. Richmond’s colleagues feel that “Laurie is always available to help students with whatever they need, be it academic or behavioral, and she celebrates every bit of growth in a student with such joy! I have seen her way before the start of the school day and long after it is over; she has put as much dedication into learning and growing in her knowledge of our resources and new TEKS as she does with fearlessly using a variety of instructional methods to teach and fostering relationships with her students. She is truly an educator who goes the extra mile in all she does.” The quote that Ms. Richmond feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be." ~ Rita Pierson.
Cockrell Elementary - Janie Dockweiler
Ms. Dockweiler is a 1st grade teacher at Cockrell Elementary. She has been in education for 27 years teaching in Frisco, Bryan, Del Valle, Chandler Unified in Arizona and Casa Grade Unified in Arizona before coming to Prosper this year. Ms. Dockweiler’s campus Principal, Glenda Dophied, said that “Janie has a servant's heart, shares everything she has to benefit everyone around her. She creates behind the scenes and does not withhold for personal gain. She is a silent leader that makes an impact of everyone around her.” The quote that Ms. Dockweiler feels best represents her perspective on teaching is “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don't tell you what to see. --Alexandra K. Trenfor.
Folsom Elementary - Jodi Strain
Ms. Strain is a 3rd grade teacher at Folsom Elementary. She has been in education for 18 years teaching in Illinois before coming to Prosper five years ago. Ms. Strain’s campus Principal, Stephanie Cockrell, said that “Mrs. Strain is continually finding ways to differentiate her instruction in the classroom to meet the needs of all her students. She spends time one on one with individual students, assessing their learning and finding different ways to ensure all students are learning at the highest level possible. Mrs. Strain maintains excellent communication with not only her students, but most importantly with her parents. She will not hesitate to call a parent if she recognizes a student need or success. She continues to set an amazing example of teacher/parent relationships.” The quote that Ms. Strain feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "The best teachers have three things in common: They are all about the students; they always bring positive energy into the classroom; and they are relentless about getting better." Danny Steele & Todd Whitaker.
Hughes Elementary - Lauren Reed
Ms. Reed is a 1st grade teacher at Hughes Elementary. She has been in education for seven years teaching in Frisco before coming to Prosper three years ago. Ms. Reed’s administration said that “Lauren is always the first to volunteer when needed. If we are missing someone at carline she is there, if a teammate is going to be out unexpectedly she makes plans for them. This is ongoing and part of what makes her such a valued member of the Hughes staff.” The quote that Ms. Reed feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "It's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together." -Unknown.
Light Farms Elementary - Gracie Ovalle-Howeth
Ms. Ovalle-Howeth is a 3rd grade teacher at Light Farms Elementary. She has been in education for 16 years teaching in Garland and Frisco before coming to Prosper four years ago. Ms. Ovalle-Howeth’s campus Principal, Haley Stelly, said that “Gracie Howeth has such a heart for helping all students succeed! She gives generously of her time and contributes greatly to our school community. Gracie is an effective communicator who always has a kind or encouraging word. Her positive leadership on campus is an inspiration to those around her. Mrs. Howeth is the epitome of a life-long learner, consistently seeking out opportunities to be a more effective teacher, and remains in-tune to the needs of all students. However, one of her most admirable qualities is the priority she places on building positive relationships with every child, family, and colleague. Gracie has fostered a wonderful learning environment in the classroom, where students feel safe to try knew things, are encouraged to think at deeper levels, and demonstrate perseverance. She is a role model for us all at Light Farms!” The quote that Ms. Ovalle-Howeth feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." Mother Teresa.
Rucker Elementary - Jennifer Brown
Ms. Brown is a first grade teacher at Rucker Elementary. She has been in education for 12 years teaching in Frisco before coming to Prosper four years ago. Ms. Brown’s campus Principal, Shelly Spears, said that “She is a model for student engagement. Her students are learning during every minute of the day. Teachers ask to watch her teach! Even though she is a model for others, she also continually seeks professional growth. She asks to attend training to support student learning and returns to campus ready to share that learning with all! She also believes in the vision that 'all students can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way!’” The quote that Ms. Brown feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -Poet William Butler Yeats
Spradley Elementary - Dushanca Fowlks
Ms. Fowlks is a 3rd grade teacher at Spradley Elementary. She has been in education for 17 years teaching in Lewisville before coming to Prosper three years ago. Ms. Fowlks’ campus Principal, Machelle Scogins, said that “Dushanca Fowlks embodies the very essence of what we want in our educators in Prosper ISD-Integrity, Passion, Ability to connect with and elevate the whole child, and she was chosen by her colleagues. Mrs. Fowlks “WHY” is evident as she implements SEL and builds relationships with students, colleagues, and families.” The quote that Ms. Fowlks feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "Let nothing dim the light that shines from within." -Maya Angelou
Windsong Elementary - Wendi Young
Ms. Young is a 3rd grade teacher at Windsong Ranch Elementary. She has been in education for 13 years teaching in Melissa, Frisco and Lewisville before coming to Prosper three years ago. Ms. Young’s campus Principal, Kardel Miller, said that “There is never an end for her with her students, she sees them outside the school in activities and later when they are in middle and high school, always checking on them. The way she creates relationships with her students, leads not only her team but the entire staff and how she continues to learns/grow for the benefit of our school.” The quote that Ms. Young feels best represents her perspective on teaching is "So often you find that the students you're trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you" by Sean Junkins.
Reynolds Middle School - Liz Labhart
Ms. Labhart is a 7th grade Science teacher at Reynolds Middle School. She has been in education for 12 years teaching at Plano and Coppell before coming to Prosper four years ago. Ms. Labharts’ campus Principal, Justin Goldsmith, said that, “Liz is one of the most loyal, hard working, dedicated teachers I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. She is passionate about building relationships with her students, as well as her colleagues. Her expertise in her content is only the beginning of her strengths, as she she brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to her team. She is the epitome of what a “ Teacher of the Year” looks like.” Ms. Labhart feels a poem best represents her perspective on teaching. The poem reads "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us...We were all meant to shine. As children do... It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Rogers Middle School - Lisa Williams
Ms. Williams is a 7th grade Science teacher at Rogers Middle School. She has been in education for 16 years teaching at Fort Worth, Killeen, Garland and Lovejoy before coming to Prosper four years ago. Ms. Williams’ campus Principal, Todd Shirley, said that “She sets the standard for teaching at Rogers and models best practices to her colleagues. Her level of commitment to ALL kids is second to none. She does a great job of leading her team and is well respected by her students and the staff as an outstanding educator. She does not like a lot of attention or recognition but she has been deserving of this honor for years.” The quote that Ms. Williams feels best represents her perspective on teaching is “Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. -Rita Pierson.
Prosper High School - Merideth Hamilton
Ms. Hamilton is a Precalculus teacher at Prosper High School. She has been in education for 17 years teaching at Arlington before coming to Prosper 10 years ago. Ms. Hamilton’s campus Principal, John Burdett, said that “Mrs. Hamilton truly demonstrates a passion for teaching and serving others; she definitely loves students. She understands her role as a teacher and teacher-leader; she has a collaborative mindset for the greater good of students. Mrs. Hamilton knows her impact upon the people she encounters daily; it's always positive.” The quote that Ms. Hamilton feels best represents her perspective on teaching is a Native American proverb "Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child."
Minute to Win ItPosted by PISD Communications on 4/17/2019
Ms. McGuire’s Physical Education class at Light Farms Elementary is exploring activity through competition. The lesson focused on exploring the game Minute to Win in Stations. Students explored a variety of activities learning to communicate and work together. Students played games like chopsticks, where each student used a pool noodle to try and pick up a ball and carry it to a bucket. They were also problem solving and communicating during stations like Pin Up, where they had to stand up pins using only their legs. The goal of the lesson was for the student to learn how to act/behave/try in a manner that promoted others to do well and to work together to make the games successful! Later in the week students added in the scorecard! Depending on how many times students completed each activity, determined their score. Students enjoyed working together with their peers to problem solve.
Middle School Day of ServicePosted by PISD Communications on 4/17/2019
On Friday, April 5, Rogers Middle School 6th grade students attended their Day of Service at various service locations around the area. All 500+ students attended over 12 service locations to help support the community. Some went to various food banks to help package food and materials for families in need. Others went to Resale shops around the area to clean, organize, and get items ready to be stocked and put on sale; meanwhile, other students helped clean up various parks in McKinney and Carrollton.
UIL Academics Wins 6A District ChampionshipPosted by PISD Communications on 4/4/2019
Prosper UIL Academics bounded into 6A with high hopes and aspirations. The largest district in the state of Texas, the academic competition was intense to say the least. In the end, Prosper won the UIL Academic District Championship is a very tight race edging out Plano West by only 9 points 354.5 to 345.5.
Congratulations to all students and coaches. Those placing and/or advancing to Regionals are:
Calculator Applications (Coach Thomas Gomez)
District Champion - Logan Davenport - Advancing to Regionals
2nd place - Austin Garner - Advancing to Regionals
3rd place - Aryan Dhanraj - Advancing to Regionals
5th place - Rehaan Merchant - Advancing to Regionals
1st place team
Computer Applications (Coach Lindsey Smith)
District Champion - Evan Ballard - Advancing to Regionals
4th place - Kelly Trinh - Alternate to Regionals
5th place - Zane Smith
Copy Editing (Coach Lisa Roskens)
District Champion - Paige Ruder - Advancing to Regionals
3rd place - Annika Kern - Advancing to Regionals
Editorial Writing (Coach Lisa Roskens)
4th place - Amanda Hare - Alternate to Regionals
6th place - Kennedy Wyles
Feature Writing (Coach Lisa Roskens)
2nd place - Isabella Abraham - Advancing to Regionals
5th place - Ryan Stanley
Headline Writing (Coach Lisa Roskens)
District Champion - Isabella Abraham - Advancing to Regionals
2nd place - Amanda Hare - Advancing to Regionals
3rd place - Haley Medeiros - Advancing to Regionals
News Writing (Coach Lisa Roskens)
District Champion - Kennedy Wyles - Advancing to Regionals
Top Journalism Team
Lincoln Douglas Debate (Coach Seth Phillips)
3rd place - Alec Antonakakis - Advancing to Regionals
Mathematics (Coach Thomas Gomez)
2nd place - Logan Davenport - Advancing to Regionals
5th place - Rehaan Merchant - Advancing to Regionals
Top Team Advancing to Regionals - Logan Davenport, Rehaan Merchant, Jason Brown, and Krishnan Prashanth
Poetry Interpretation (Coach Vicki Kirkley)
District Champion - Brittany Wood - Advancing to Regionals
3rd place - Charlize Fedele - Advancing to Regionals
Ready Writing (Coach Lauren Hodum)
5th place - Khayla Silverio
Science Physics top score - Logan Davenport - Advancing to Regionals
Social Studies (Coach Carrie Butts)
5th place - Aseda Obuobisah
Additionally the UIL One Act Play won at the district level advancing to Regionals under the direction of Vicki Kirkley. Cast and crew members were:
Interesting Man/Child/Lord of
Robotics Team Heads to StatePosted by PISD Communications on 4/4/2019
The Prosper Robotics Team, team #5411 recently participated in 2 districts events. At the first event in Greenville the team ranked 16th on the qualification matches and were selected to be part of alliance 8th for playoff matches. The team was the winner of the Gracious Professionalism Award.
The second qualification match was in Dallas where the team ranked 3rd on the qualification matches, 5th alliance on the playoff matches, Winner of the Team Spirit Award and the team qualified for State earning 1 point for the UIL Lone Star Cup.
The team consisted of: Tanten Jones, Kensey Wishon, John Thomas Dugger, Evan Green, Maanav Ganthapodi, Madeline Steele, Cole Choe, Jackson Steed,Michael Summer, John Wood, Eli Williams, Ethan Rogers, Parker Haven, Kaiden Keith-Contreras, Kolby Wood, Ryan Carlee, Lena Busbee, and Kate Carline.
Oliver Makes the All USA Girls Basketball TeamPosted by PISD Communications on 4/4/2019
USA Today just announced that Prosper’s own Jordyn Oliver was named to the All USA Girls Basketball Second Team. Oliver is a Senior at Prosper High School and a Baylor University recruit.
According to ESPN’s player profile, Oliver is ranked #11 overall in the nation and #4 in her position nationwide. Oliver has also been named to the McDonald’s All American Team, Jordan Brand Classic, USA U16 National Team, and TABC All State.
For more information about the selections, read the USA Today article at https://usatodayhss.com/2019/2018-19-all-usa-high-school-girls-basketball-second-team
Prosper ISD Partners with Children's HealthPosted by PISD Communications on 4/3/2019
DALLAS (April 3, 2019) – Children’s HealthSM, the eighth largest pediatric health care provider in the nation and leading pediatric health care system in North Texas, furthers its commitment to the Northern Market today by joining forces with the Prosper Independent School District (ISD), the fastest growing school district in Dallas-Fort Worth, as its Official Pediatric Health Care Partner.
As the Official Pediatric Health Care Partner of Prosper ISD, Children’s Health will support the district with a 10-year sponsorship that includes naming rights for the school district’s premier athletic complex opening in August, educational and promotional collaborations between the two entities, and a full spectrum of sports medicine, athletic health care and virtual health services for schools and youth sports organizations in the Prosper ISD service area.
“We recognized early on the significance and promise represented in the fast-growing, vibrant communities like Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Allen and countless others in Dallas’s northern suburbs,” said Jeremiah Radandt, executive vice president of the Northern Market for Children’s Health. “Prosper is an incredible community focused on providing the best education and services to its residents. We are excited to form a long-term partnership with Prosper ISD and be the official pediatric health care partner for the children and families of Prosper as they grow.”
As part of the agreement, the Children’s Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine will offer athlete-centered sports medicine services and care to promote wellness and mitigate the risk and effect sports injuries have on student athletes. This includes on-site sports medicine and athletic health care services during school sporting events, including sideline medical and athletic trainer support with immediate access for injury evaluation and consults. Children’s Health will also work closely with parents, coaches and athletic trainers to provide Prosper ISD athletes with comprehensive medical, nutrition, sports performance, training, care and recovery services.
“Children’s Health is one of the most respected and recognized health care providers in the country, and we are thrilled that they will be our long-term partner to provide quality care and services to our students, parents, faculty and fans,” said Mary Lou Smith, Prosper ISD school board member.
Long-Standing Commitment to Northern Market
The pediatric health care partnership with Prosper ISD is the latest example of Children’s Health’s long-standing commitment to Dallas’s northern suburbs. Children’s Health recognized the importance of the burgeoning communities in Collin and Denton counties more than 15 years ago when it began planning the development of its Plano facility. When Children’s Health Plano opened in 2008 as a comprehensive satellite facility, fully mirroring the Dallas hospital's academic medical center operation, it became widely lauded as the first suburban children's hospital of its kind.
Since that time, Children’s Medical Center Plano has earned recognition by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center as a Magnet facility with its nurses ranking among the top 8 percent in the country for excellence in patient care. Today, Children’s Health Plano includes a full-service pediatric hospital with a 24/7 emergency room featuring more than 30 specialties, including a variety of multidisciplinary pediatric health and wellness services, such as the Children’s Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics
& Sports Medicine, Sports Performance powered by EXOS and the state-of-the-art Live Oak Surgery Center. These and other services will feature prominently in the Prosper ISD partnership.
About Children’s Health
Children’s Health is the eighth-largest pediatric health care provider in the nation and the leading pediatric health care system in North Texas, providing a full spectrum of health care services—from daily wellness and primary care to specialty visits and critical care. Holding eight disease-specific care certifications from The Joint Commission, Children’s Health has been consistently named one of the nation’s top pediatric providers by U.S. News & World Report. The Children’s Health system includes Children’s Medical Center Dallas, as well as Children’s Medical Center Plano, Our Children’s House inpatient rehabilitation hospital, multiple specialty centers, rehabilitation facilities, home health, physician services and the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern. For more information about Children’s Health, visit www.childrens.com.
Learning from SpacePosted by PISD Communications on 3/26/2019
Most every child has dreamed of becoming an astronaut or traveling to space. Few students get the opportunity to experience what it is like. Ms. Robinson’s 5th grade social studies and science classes got the opportunity to get as close as earthly possible on March 22nd when watching the Expedition 59 space walk as they completed battery swaps for power upgrades.
Ms. Robinson discovered that CNN10 was streaming the most recent space walk. Since the curriculum the students were studying involved a unit on the Sun, Earth and Moon, this opportunity provided students with a great visual experience of learning.
This space walk was ideal for student observation in that Expedition 59 sits in the low orbit of the Earth so the students were able to actually see Earth and its atmosphere from a distance which was an eye opening experience for them. Students were also able to watch the sunrise as Expedition 59 flew over Africa and see the Earth’s reflection in the Space Ship.
From a human interest standpoint, the walk was also a small celebration for Women’s History Month as one of the astronauts that were on the walk was a woman.
The next walk will be on March 29, 2019 and then again on April 8, 2019.
Economics Fairs Teaches Students About the Free Enterprise SystemPosted by PISD Communications on 3/26/2019
Second graders is Ms. Mary Jo Sullivan’s class at Spradley Elementary are learning early about the United States’ free enterprise system. Within the unit, students learned about needs, wants, earning, spending, saving, income, profit, what it takes to be a consumer and what it takes to be a producer. Students also learned about how individuals have a choice as to what is done with their money/income.
The students were able to draw upon their schema and build upon this foundation because of a financial literacy unit in Math last semester. This activity taught them social studies while revisiting their math lesson allowing for a great cross-curricular activity. Students were then given the opportunity to have a real life experience by actively becoming producers and consumers. Through the project, students were able to experience the tough choices that must be made when deciding as to what they wanted to spend their income on, what happens when they have a limited amount of income to spend and how that affects their decision making.
Each student decided what product or service they wanted to sell. They then made it and created an advertisement for their product/service including how much it cost. Students then had the opportunity to sell it to other classmates in their grade level building their social/emotional learning. Throughout the week the students had the opportunity to earn "economics fair dollars" when they showed high integrity, set a good example for others, and/or displayed acts of REACH (Respect, Encouragement, Appreciation, Communication, Honor). They could use these dollars to be consumers.
Eventually the class participated in fairs where the students were given the opportunity to both sell their product/service functioning as the producers as well as purchase other goods or services functioning as the consumers. Students learned about the excitement of earning money through work and through entrepreneurship. Others learned how to manipulate the system when sales weren’t going in their favor.
One of the biggest challenges that students faced was when there wasn’t enough money to purchase everything that was desired. Students had to use critical thinking and problem solving to make decisions as to what item to purchase and what item to “let go.” These students may not be ready to balance their own checkbooks, but they truly understand better free enterprise system that is the basis for the U.S. economy.
Living History in AustinPosted by PISD Communications on 3/26/2019
Texans are proud of their history, from the Alamo to the list of Presidents with ties to the great state. In 7th grade, the year of social studies is completely dedicated to Texas History but learning about Texas History begins long before 7th grade.
In Prosper ISD, all 4th graders get the opportunity to “live” history at different times throughout the year when they take a day trip to Austin, Tx., the state’s capitol. The 4th grade curriculum studies Texas History and the trip provides students with an in depth look at the history of their state. The students travel to Austin, TX. to tour the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum & the Texas Capitol Building. The museum has had over 9 million visitors from around the world since its opening in 2001 and features both exhibitions and films about various aspects of the state’s history. The Texas Capitol Building, recognized as one of the nation’s most distinguished capitols, and its surrounding grounds are one of the most visited sites in Texas. Students got to visit both seats of Texas history and picnic on the grounds before returning to Prosper.
Image courtesy of Bob Bullock Texas History Museum