Monday, November 30, 2009
, you can now subscribe to RGV Life on your Kindle.
One of the benefits of the Kindle is that it allows you to read material anywhere you go without being tied to a computer. This gives you the ability to focus on the material without the distractions of email or other communications popping up to break your concentration.
We are excited to be a part of the Kindle blog listings. This allows us to reach our audience in more ways.
There are many more exciting things coming up for RGV Life. Keep checking back.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The senior team consists of: Dulce Alvarez, president; Alejandra Reta, vice president; Jennifer Quintero, secretary; Renata Bazan, treasurer; Christian Quintero, reporter; Miguel Ceron, sentinel; Ashley Guerrero, advisor.
The freshmen parliamentary procedure team also competed at the regional event and finished in third place. However, they will not be advancing in competitions. They are: Vanessa Calderon, president; Abraham Weaver, vice president; Emily Guzman, secretary; Jacob Solis, treasurer; Alvaro Gonzalez, reporter; Jahaira Cardoza, sentinel; Briana Alonso, advisor.
For more information contact:
Craig Verley, Director of Public Relations and Marketing
1201 Bryce Drive, Mission Texas 78572
Office: (956) 323-5530
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Mission CISD (Consolidated Independent School District) officials are asking parents to be patient this afternoon as they work to get children home after school. The district's transportation department has been overwhelmed, leaving the district short on buses to use for taking students home at the end of the school day. Twenty of the district's 72 available buses are being used for a larger than usual number of UIL events.
While today's bus shortage is expected to impact the junior highs and high schools the most, a number of elementary school routes will likely be impacted as well. District officials say delays could be as much as an hour.
District officials said attempts were made to use charter buses for some of the UIL events, which would have lessened the problem. However, no charter buses in the area were available.
District officials are making attempts to get word out to as many parents of children who ride the bus as possible.
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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to shadow Pete Garcia, Principal at K. White Junior High School in Mission, Texas, for a day. This was a part of the school district's Principal for a Day. The event invites people from the community to shadow a principal from the various campuses in the district. Participants may spend the day at an elementary, junior high, or high school.
Before being a part of this event, I wrote down some preconceptions. After the experience, I find that I did learn some things.
Let me first go over some details about the experience.
Kenneth White Junior High School serves children from 6th to 8th grades. In total, the school has a little bit over 960 students, 65 teachers, and 37 other staff. The principal, Pete Garcia, has been the head of the school for thirteen years, to his own surprise. He expected to have moved on before five years. He found that he loves his job and has no intent to change.
Mr. Garcia has the support of his staff, who have had long careers at the same school. He has seen their careers progress over the years; they remain loyal to him and the school. This is a good thing to see. You can often tell how good a leader somebody is by how loyal his employees are.
We started the day with hall monitoring, making sure that students flowed smoothly into their classes. Then, we had the pledge of allegiance, which he conducted over the school's PA system. We finished announcements over the school's video system. The students saw us on the televisions in their classrooms.
Mr. Garcia printed out a copy of his schedule to give me an idea of what to expect for the day. He was pretty much booked solid. His first appointment was a pre-conference with one of his math teachers who would undergo a class observation in the coming days. Mr. Garcia prefers to go over what his teachers will do and what they can expect during the observation. Upon inquiring, he also likes to follow up with another meeting after his observation to help his teachers improve.
After that, Mr. Garcia's Administrative Assistant came in for a morning meeting. They meet at least a couple of times per day to go over what school business needs to be done and what has already been done. Afterwards, he caught up on emails. We discussed how email has changed the way principals communicate with their staff. It is much easier for teachers and principals to coordinate now that there are computers in the classroom.
Later that morning, we had a meeting to plan for upcoming events like testing, Thanksgiving dinner, charity work, and other projects. This was just one group of staff; the principal meets with different groups every day. It quickly became apparent that a big part of his job is information management. Leading several meetings a week, there is obviously plenty of preparation that goes into each meeting. In my observation, Mr. Garcia draws from his experience to probe and ensure that his staff think their plans through so that no detail is overlooked.
Everything from the production of report cards, scheduling for staff to proctor upcoming tests, staffing projects, scheduling the availability of air conditioning, security, and custodian overtime came up during the meeting. If you think planning the Holidays for your family is a lot of work, try planning for a campus of almost 1,000 people. It's the equivalent of a large village or a small town.
I was fortunate that my visit to the campus coincided with Mr. Garcia's monthly lunch with his top staff for the 6 week period. He celebrates their good work by taking them out to lunch, which benefited me in the form of enchiladas at El Patio here in Mission.
After lunch, we supervised the 7th grade during their lunch break and recess. Unlike my own Junior High experience, each grade has separate lunch breaks. I have mixed feelings about having so much structure. I can see the value of it; but, I did appreciate the freedom to run free when I was that age. That's a whole other story.
Later on, we conducted a teacher observation, some walk throughs, and more administrative work before going to the central office for a reception for the other Principal for a Day participants and myself. Overall, we were told that we observed a "slow day" to what they normally experience. Even a slow day seems rather busy.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I would definitely do it again if invited. Next year, if you are interested in participating, contact the Mission CISD director of Public Relations, Craig Verley.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
I'll be back here on the blog to write about the experience and what I have learned. Before going through it, however, I want to write down some of my preconceptions based on my own memories of the principals I've known over the years. Aftwerwards, I'll compare the list against what I witness.
- Principals are administrators: For the most part, principals act very much like store managers. They are responsible for reporting and making sure that all required documentation gets done and turned in.
- Principals are shepherds: Like shepherds, the principal has to be out amongst the students and teachers to help get everybody rounded up and in their pens on time.
- Principals are team leaders: They have to have a game plan that they communicate to the staff. Then, they have to keep everybody motivated and on task to make sure they carry out the plan.
- Principals acquire what teachers need: It is the principal's job to make sure that his staff has all the resources they need to carry out their job.
- Principals are enforcers: Sometimes they have to be the bad guy to make sure everybody stays in line.
- Principals are the public face of the campus: Just like the President, the Pope, a university president, or a CEO, the principal represents his/her campus.
Some of This Week's Democratic Events: Alma Garza, Arturo Guajardo, Veronica Gonzales, Dolly Elizondo, Linda Yanez
DATE: Saturday, November 21, 2009
PLACE: Start and Finish at Westside Park - 1000 S. Ware Rd. McAllen, TX. (Across the street from the McAllen Convention Center)
TIME & DISTANCE: 8:00 AM - 20, 40, AND 60 Mile Ride ****
ENTRY FEE: Adults $35.00 - Kids (6 -15) $15.00
Mark your calendars, dust off your bikes, and get ready for a FUN bike ride. Sign up early and get a FREE t-shirt! Just download the registration form send it in with your check then pick up your packet the day before the race, and LET's Go!
Ride to G.O.T.V. is a re-election FUNdraiser for me, Dolly L. Elizondo, Hidalgo County Democratic Party Chair. Besides being a mom, business owner, and Party Chair….. I love to cycle. In 2006 I purchased my 1st race bike and convinced my best friend Velma Garcia to do the same. We both had a fall the same year and I stopped cycling. With Velma's encouragement, in early 2009 I began cycling again and love the sport. By participating in this event you will help me continue to serve our community as Democratic Party Chair, an elected position in which I receive no monetary compensation and is 100% volunteer driven. You will also become part of history!! I intend to put on this ride every year converting it into a non-profit bipartisan event. Funds will go to VOTER REGISTRATION PROJECTS in HIDALGO COUNTY in the future.
Thank you for your continued support,
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009