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The Board of Trustees recognized the following students, staff and community members for their achievements:
- Cypress Ridge High School teacher Anh Pham-Lee, for being named the High School Teacher of the Year by the Texas Council for the Social Studies (TCSS). The Texas Council for the Social Studies represents social studies educators from across the state. Local councils submit candidates for the various awards and then finalists are chosen by a board of committee members based on a rubric. Membership in TCSS provides opportunities for professional growth and collaboration with other educators who care about the future of social studies education in Texas. Anh Lee is the only high school teacher in the state to receive this award. This award is based on outstanding teaching contribution to the advancement of social studies education within the school and community and active participation in local, state and national social studies councils.
The superintendent recognized students and staff members for honors and achievements earned in recent weeks. Congratulations were extended to the following:
- All 10 CFISD high school bands, which received straight “first-division” marks from judges at the UIL Region 27 Marching Band Contest on Oct. 22 at the Berry Center;
- The Cy-Fair High School band, for placing third overall in the Lone Star Preview Marching Competition while competing against 27 other bands from across the state. Cypress Falls earned third place in the same competition in the music caption category;
- The Cypress Springs High School marching band, for winning first place in the open competition, music, visual, general effect and color guard categories at the US Scholastic Band Association Demoulin Challenge;
- The Langham Creek High School marching band and color guard, for winning first place in marching band, ensemble and individual marching, and an “Outstanding” honor for the color guard, at the Katy ISD Invitational Marching Festival. Drum majors Michael Greenberg and Katy Bertlshofer were named outstanding drum majors of the contest;
- Cypress Falls FFA senior Katarina Fontenot, for winning a first-place award from the Texas State Fair Swine Skillathon. This event is a hands-on, on-the-spot, decision-making competition where students rotate through a series of testing stations, and perform challenges given by the judges;
- Cypress Ridge FFA senior Kyle Vecera, for placing first, and sophomore Blake Sodolak, for placing second in agriculture mechanics at the Harris County Fair, while the team of Blake Sodolak, Michael Bagnasco and Tito Rueda placed second in welding, competing against 33 other teams;
- Jersey Village High School debate coach Leslie Wendt, for being recognized by the National Forensic League with the Diamond Award for excellence in coaching. Wendt was honored at the NFL tournament in Indianapolis;
- Millsap Elementary School fifth-grade science teacher Debbie Horgan, for receiving the Wilhelmina Robertson Excellence in Science or Mathematics Teaching Award from the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Horgan is the only elementary science teacher in Harris County selected for this honor;
- Cypress Creek High School theater director Marilyn Miller, for being inducted into the Texas State Thespians Hall of Fame by the Texas division of the International Thespian Society. Miller was one of only 20 drama teachers statewide to receive this honor;
- Campbell Middle School career and technical education teacher Kevin Morosin, for being named the 2011 Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the Brazos Valley Regional Teacher Association for the third straight year. This region includes Cy-Fair, Klein, Aldine, Conroe, Bryan and Spring ISDs. Morosin’s students won three state titles and more than 300 first place awards in 2010-2011 contests;
- Thirteen CFISD campuses, who were named “Higher Performing” Schools in Texas by The National Center for Educational Achievement, based on above-predicted growth or above-predicted commended scores on TAKS. The campuses awarded were: Cy-Fair, Cypress Ranch, Cypress Woods and Jersey Village high schools; Goodson and Hamilton middle schools; and Black, Hamilton, Lee, Millsap, Moore, Sampson and Willbern elementary schools;
- Five students, who were selected as finalists for the Touchdown Club of Houston Scholar Athlete of the Year. The students are seniors Justin Bradley of Cypress Ranch, Clay Cannaday of Jersey Village, Ryan Jicha of Cy-Fair, Jonathan Monroe of Cypress Creek and Gary Tesch of Cypress Woods high schools. Monroe was named the Touchdown Club of Houston Scholar Athlete of the Year. He is ranked No. 1 in his senior class, is a tight end for the Cougars and an Eagle Scout and will be attending MIT next fall;
- Cy-Fair High School head football coach Ed Pustejovsky, for being named Coach of the Week by the Houston Texans organization. The Texans honored him with a $1,000 grant to the Bobcat football program and numerous other prizes;
- The Langham Creek and Cy-Fair high school tennis teams, for advancing to the regional tournament. The Lobos and Bobcats both finished as regional quarterfinalists;
- The Cypress Woods, Cypress Falls, Cy-Fair and Cypress Ranch high school volleyball teams, for qualifying for the playoffs and winning their bi-district playoff games. Cypress Woods and Cypress Falls won their area games and advanced to the regional semifinals, where Cypress Woods finished its season and Cypress Falls will advance to the state tournament on Nov. 18;
- The Cypress Woods boys and Cy-Fair girls cross country teams, for placing first in district. The Cy-Fair girls also placed first at regionals while the Cypress Woods boys placed second. Cypress Woods senior Craig Nowak won first-place overall to win the state championship at the state meet last weekend, while Cypress Ranch senior Cale Wallace placed seventh. The Cypress Woods boys team placed fourth overall and the Cy-Fair girls team placed eighth overall; and
- Four CFISD football teams, for qualifying for the playoffs. Cy-Fair was the district champion, Cypress Falls placed second, Cypress Woods placed third and Langham Creek placed fourth. Cy-Fair and Cypress Falls played in the Division I playoffs, while Cypress Woods and Langham Creek played in Division II. Cy-Fair, Cypress Falls and Cypress Woods will advance to the area playoffs. Langham Creek finished its season as Division II bi-district finalists.
Ryan O’Hara of RBC Capital Investments reported on the sale of Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District Unlimited Tax Refunding Bonds, Series 2011.
The bonds were sold in October, and resulted in a total debt service savings of $3.8 million to CFISD—above the expected $3.3 million in debt service savings. O’Hara said the district plans to close on the sale transaction on Nov. 21.
CFISD has designated the week of Nov. 14-18 as “Generation Texas” week. The purpose is to promote the importance of higher education to students in grades 6-12 and to instill a college-going mindset. The district believes all students can be “college material.” Topics discussed with students will include college admission requirements, GPA, entrance exams, financial aid and available AP or dual credit courses that allow seniors to graduate with college hours already completed.
The Heart Walk was held Saturday, Oct. 22. CFISD had more than 750 participants and raised more than $15,000. Dr. Henry thanked the campus staff that worked so hard to raise these funds, which the Heart Association will use for education and research.
The HOPE Fun Run was held on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Langham Creek High School track. The district had more than 3,000 students, staff and community members participate in the event, as well as more than 60 volunteers from district physical education departments. This annual event raises funds to provide scholarships for graduating seniors who plan to pursue degrees in health education, physical education, recreation or dance.
Dr. Henry reminded the community that schools will be closed Nov. 21-25 for the Thanksgiving holidays. Some district support facilities, including the Instructional Support Center, will also be closed. Dr. Henry wished all students and employees a relaxing and safe holiday as everyone takes time to be thankful for the many freedoms and blessings enjoyed in this country.
The Texas Education Agency notified CFISD on Oct. 27 that the district’s accountability rating had been recalculated and raised to Recognized. This marks CFISD’s fourth consecutive year to be the largest Recognized district in Texas. The recalculation came about as the result of an appeal regarding the passing percentage on Science TAKS at Dean Middle School.
In other action, the Board approved:
- bids and contracts to the recommended vendors and authorized the superintendent, respective associate superintendent or designee to execute all necessary documents related to such bids and contracts;
- budget amendments for the period of July 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2011;
- tax refunds of $500 or greater for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD;
- on second reading revisions to district policy:
- EHBB (LOCAL) SPECIAL PROGRAMS: GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS;
- the district’s 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and accepted the auditor’s report on the district’s general purpose financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011;
- the auditors’ report on the district’s fiscal year ended June 30, 2011 required by provisions of the Single Audit Act of 1984, U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-128;
- a resolution related to the taxation of certain tangible property (goods-in-transit) as provided by property tax code Section 11.253; and
- a resolution casting its ballot for its choice of Mrs. Katherine A. Trumbull to serve on the Board of Directors of the Harris County Appraisal District for a term commencing on Jan. 1, 2012 and extending through Dec. 31, 2013.