Thanks, Mrs. Williams!

January is School Board Recognition Month and Midlothian ISD always takes the opportunity to thank our community leaders who voluntarily serve countless hours in the best interest of the our entire learning community.

Great leadership begins with a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. We have seven individuals who exemplify these (and many other) leadership qualities in MISD:  Wayne Shuffield (president), Cindy Williams (vice-president), Todd Hemphill (secretary), Duke Burge, Keith Hitt, Jim Mentzel, and Matt Sanders.  Learn more about each board member here.

In appreciation for her work in MISD, our campus cw1adopted Cindy Williams for the month of January to celebrate her 15-year commitment and overwhelming contributions to our growing district.  Mrs. Williams participated in a special Friday Miller Rally (led by our Student Honor Council) where grade levels presented tokens of appreciation and notes, the staff prepared a homemade breakfast buffet to cw2share, StuCo led her on an engaging campus tour (as seen through the eyes of our learners), and rounded out her visit with hugs and congratulations for a job well done.  Her message to us today sums it up best:  “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching!”  Thanks, Mrs. Williams, and all our extraordinary MISD Trustees, for believing in the power of learning through your commitment, words, decisions, and community service in action!

Giving Thanks…

We wrapped up a busy week before Thanksgiving with a variety of heartwarming teaching and learning opportunities today:

HSsosOur annual Super Outrageous Science (SOS) Day events found us exploring everything from butter to electricity to owl pellets (yes, really).  Learners shared delightful commentary and observations throughout the morning as we visited classrooms.  You can see some Head Start friends here presenting their theories on the process of making butter.

I also enJOYed some special reading time (after buttter making) RNclasswith Kinder friends in Mrs. Nanney’s class when I read with them the book they gave to me.

Our campus participated in a special Miller Rally this afternoon that involved us welcoming home a soldier mom stationed overseas for the past 15 months.  She successfully surprised her second grade daughter on our campus, yet we surprised the mom with lots of flags, banners, and welcome home signs to show our appreciation for her service to our country.  Special thanks to all involved who ensured we successfully pulled off this important mission!  Welcome home, soldier; enJOY your family this holiday season!

givethanksFinally, several students shared their blessings of thanks and giving.  Here’s hoping you take time in the coming days to count your blessings too!  🙂

Note:  Our campus is closed November 25-29.  Have a safe and blessed holiday!

May you have enough…

In walkabout today, several learners commented to me about their gratitudes and blessings; this is a common theme in our classrooms this week (and, I hope, every week).  🙂  In talking with one particular learner happythanks1who is dealing with a great deal more than a young child should know, I was reminded of this saying my Granny B often quoted:

May you always have enough…

  • happiness to keep you sweet,
  • trials to keep you strong,
  • sorrows to keep you human,
  • hope to keep you JOYful,
  • failure to keep you humble,
  • success to make you eager,
  • friends to give you comfort,
  • wealth to meet your needs,
  • enthusiasm to look for tomorrow,
  • faith to banish worry, and
  • determination to make each day better than before! 

Yes, it is important to teach our children to share and embrace the gratitudes of daily life along with the necessary coping skills to deal with stress and pressure too.  Our daily focus on strong character traits at school (like trust, respect, responsibility, service and more) help to reinforce these coping skills and focus on the blessings all around us.  Together, we are working to truly maximize foundations for our future leaders today and everyday.  Thanks for walking the journey with us; thanks for sharing your most valuable blessing, your child, with us!

Movers and Givers…

StuCo1This is the time of year to count our blessings, give with great thanks, and share our bountiful harvest with others.  Our LaRue Miller Elementary learning community did this in a BIG way!  Our entire campus collected a total of 2,622 food items during our annual food drive all last week.  Our Student Honor Council members assisted Mrs. Stanley in carefully sorting, counting, and packing the items in categories for our local food pantry, Manna House.  The group StuCo2willingly helped to load the Manna House van this afternoon during their recess time as a way to share their time too.

Thank you, LME learning community (especially our parents), for sharing your gifts and service with those in need during this holiday season.  If you missed out on last week’s project, our next one starts this week (more to come!).  🙂

Veteran’s Day 2013!

In teaching others, we teach ourselves; the best and greatest teach from their hearts.  As is our tradition at LME, we take this day to honor vet2and thank the brave men and women who choose to serve our nation’s military.  Our fifth grade classes spend great time in preparing historical displays on the branches of military service, preparing scripts and texts, and learning patriotic musical singing and bell-ringing numbers to share.  With the entire school decked out red, white, and blue, we gather together to offer our love, support, and genuine thanks to our nation’s finest citizens, our Veterans.

vet1This year, we were particularly blessed to have servicemen from four of the military branches present the U.S., Texas, and military flags at the beginning of the program.  Special thanks to Air Force Master Sergeant Joe Cabler, Army Sergeant Doug Schimdt, Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Jeffery Grant Sr., Army and Marine Corps Sergeant Ray Maldonado, Navy Seaman Joe Hocker, and Air Force Lieutenant Jeffery Grant Jr., and Navy seaman and master trumpeter Bill Thompson for participating with us!

This annual tradition marks an opportunity to remember, reflect, and revisit the service and sacrifices of the brave men and women who have before, who are today, and who will tomorrow give unselfishly of themselves on behalf of our freedom and liberty in the United States of America!  Here’s hoping we each stop today (and everyday) to thank a Veteran!

Note:  GREAT job, 5th grade learners and classroom leaders; barely a dry eye left in the room at the end!  🙂 

Volunteers are vital!

volunteers1You may have heard the saying, “Volunteers don’t get paid because they’re worthless but because they’re priceless.”  We are so blessed at LME to have the hardest working volunteers in our growing learning community everyday!  Just today, these ladies answered the call to assist with our upcoming LME “The POWER of Miller” fundraiser kick-off by preparing family packets to go home tomorrow (more on this tomorrow).  Conversation, laughter, and great work ensued; they had the job completed in no time and asked for more!  🙂  volunteers2Special thanks today goes to Jennifer Davis, Rachel Hedgcoth, Brandy Ricketts, Sherry Emerson, Cathy Jackson, Jennifer Campbell, Amy Hubbard, and Sarah Johnson.  Mrs. Huff says, “You ROCK!”  🙂

Tonight, we had several of our Head Start families participate in their first family meeting of the school year.  Thanks to two of our HS moms for volunteering to represent our campus and program on the Region 10 District Policy Council tonight too!

As our own Mrs. Miller always says, “The goal is simple…to help you achieve yours.”  We are truly grateful to our vital volunteers who help us achieve all our goals everyday!

Note:  We need our D.A.D.S. to answer the call and help us out each morning!  Please join us in the car lines to greet and assist our learners coming into the building each day.

Thank you, Mrs. Milson!

A gifted teacher makes learning a JOY by capturing those priceless teachable moments and turning them into profoundly successful learning experiences…such is the wisdom and magic of Valree Milson.  V.MilsonServing the past 28 years in Texas education, she has decided to officially retire at the end of this school year.  Prior to joining MISD, Mrs. Milson served two other districts teaching various grade levels.  She joined MISD in 1997, serving young learners at Longbranch and earning her Master Reading Teacher designation as a Reading Intervention Specialist for MISD.  She was instrumental in developing, ordering, and classifying our Guided Reading Library here at LME five years ago before we opened; she moved and has made LME her home since then.  Most importantly, her specialized intervention work with young readers continues to impact our learning community and MISD today.

When talking with former and current students, several made these comments:

  • You always know where you stand with her; she means business!
  • She never breaks hearts only bad tempers.
  • Her mind is open, honest, fair, and full of fun!
  • She’s a softie, but don’t tell her I said that…
  • She stands above others because she’s tall and because she’s nice.
  • If she raises her voice, it’s to cheer us on again.
  • She makes the journey and the work fun everyday.
  • I was probably a great mystery to her, but she knew how to break my code anyway.
  • She’s all about teaching and reaching each child, especially those who don’t want it.
  • She listens before she talks and really understands.
  • She inspires me to believe in myself…what else is there?

I could go on and on, but you get the idea here…  Congratulations, Mrs. Milson!  Our staff and learning community salute you!  Blessings and thanks as you begin a new chapter in your book of life…oh, and school starts on August 26th so we’ll have your volunteer badge waiting!  🙂

Note:  As we wind down this school year, we still have about 20 copies of our 2012-13 yearbook for sale in the front office.  The cost is $25.00; stop by today to get yours.  Thanks to our fabulous Yearbook Staff for an award-winning book this year!

Thank a Teacher!

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week and we celebrate big around here…well…we celebrate big around here all the time in fact.  In the midst of much celebration though, we pause to reflect on our profession and all thank-a-teacherthat it is today.  Each of us can look back with fondness at school years and find at least ONE teacher who always stands out for us.  Who is it for you?

It’s always our sincerest hope and highest expectation each child finds MORE than one teacher who makes a lifelong impact on them in our learning community.  As educators, we share a common goal:  To see growth and progress in our learners.  As my Granny B. pointed out to me years ago though, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”   Granny’s right!  Relationships are the key to this growth and progress everyday because learning is a process every single day…and great teachers have to be even better students during the learning process!

I was gifted not long ago with this cute block sign.  It reminds me daily why I do what I choose to do and who it will impact in the process.  We may be viewed in society as “the downstairs maid of all other professions,” (Frank McCourt), but no one, and I mean no one, could do what they do without at least ONE teacher laying a foundation and making an impact.  So, as you’re reading this, which teacher will you thank today?  🙂

All-Star Volunteers and MVPs

DSC_0009You’ve likely heard the saying:  Kind hearts are the garden; kind thoughts are the roots; kind words are the blossoms; kind deeds are the fruit.  We are abundantly blessed at LME with the BEST Volunteers in the MISD Garden!

We celebrated our All-Star volunteers today DSC_0012with a huge Miller Rally, presentation, and special breakfast.  Under the direction of music teacher, Amber Grant, the Miller Ringers and the Miller Sign Choir performed beautiful selections for all to enJOY.  The entire student body chorally shared a Thanks, Volunteer poem with the assembly crowd.

DSC_0006Our own Mrs. LaRue Miller (our first volunteer) was on hand to personally thank everyone and shake hands with each one!  Everyone enJOYed the scrumptious breakfast provided the LME staff family.

Team Miller was on their top game today.  Special thanks to our Volunteer Committee who orchestrated this big event.  You truly knocked it out of the park!

There is something profoundly majestic in young learners gathering as an entire student body to IMG_0062show their appreciation to our daily volunteers.  THANK YOU seems so small compared to all they do for and with us…we are so grateful for the dedicated time, talents, gifts, and service our All-Star volunteers and MVPs provide each day at LME!

Here’s hoping you find a way to volunteer soon.  In the meantime, enJOY this beautiful spring weekend!  🙂

Volunteers are Vital!

It’s National Volunteer Month and we’re celebrating in a big way here at LME!  Tomorrow is our big Miller Volunteer Rally of Thanks.  Parents, grandparents, and community members are joining us for our usual Friday Miller Rally followed by a special breakfast with entertainment and treats.  It’s our simple way of saying a huge THANKS for all the support, smart work, IMG_0040assistance, and love our volunteers provide daily to our learning community.  Why, just today, we had 29 volunteers in our LME hallways hanging over 3,600 pieces of artwork (several for each child) in anticipation of our big Fine Arts Show and Gallery next week!  WHEW!

Our learners are excited to share their thanks and our staff is blessed and grateful for volunteer assistance everyday!  Here’s hoping you thank a volunteer in your life today because, as one young friend noted, “Volunteers are vital, Mrs. Van!”  🙂