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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Texas Tech Signs Agreement with Roscoe Collegiate High School

Texas Tech Provost Lawrence Schovanec signs the MOU as Roscoe Superintendent Kim Alexander, left, and Texas Tech Dean of Education Scott Ridley, right, look on. Texas Tech President Duane Nellis signed the document later.
Officials from Texas Tech University were in town on Friday to sign an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District.  The agreement covers a number of issues and, most importantly, will strengthen ties between Roscoe’s STEM program and Tech in a number of ways, including an early start for RCHS students on an engineering degree at Tech.    

In the MOU, Texas Tech agrees to do the following:

        1. Assist with the formation of a partnership with Western Texas College in designing a dual-credit engineering program for RCISD students, which may offer transferable credits to TTU.

        2. Identify potential dual-credit courses in science, agri- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at RCISD and provide consultation in the development of such courses. 

(Note: dual-credit courses are those which count for both high school and college credit.)

        3. Partner with RCISD in developing service-learning projects at or near Roscoe.

        4. Arrange for selected senior engineering students at Tech to visit RCISD and offer support to its pre-engineering students.

        5. Host selected RCISD juniors and seniors for a three-day experience on the Tech campus in Lubbock.

        6. Provide admissions and recruiting presentations to RCISD sophomores, juniors, and seniors and furnish recruiting materials for RCISD classrooms and hall displays.

        7. Partner with RCISD to review and assess partnership outcomes each year.

This initial MOU is good until August 31, 2016, at which time it will be reviewed and renewed, possibly with changes, or not renewed, as the case may be.  The agreement has been in the works for some time.  Last May, Dr. Alexander worked with Texas Tech’s Dean of Engineering on a proposal to create a pathway for RCHS graduates to advance to Tech (via Western Texas College) with the goal of obtaining an engineering degree in two years—and this general MOU will open the door to more direct MOU’s with more colleges and specific programs at Tech.

RCHS has also reached agreements with WTC and with Texas A&M and its AgriLife Extension to facilitate the transfer of coursework to the Biomedical Sciences Program in the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

The signing of the MOU on Friday was the culmination of a day-long program in which Roscoe Superintendent Kim Alexander did a presentation on Roscoe’s STEM program to Tech officials as well as several area educators and administrators.  In the question-and-answer session that followed, he was assisted by Roscoe’s Early College High School Director Jacob Tiemann, Dean of Academic Affairs Marsha Alexander, and High School Principal Edward Morales.



Left to right: Dr. Mario Torres, Associate Professor at Texas A&M in the Department of Educational Administration and Co-Director of the Administrative Leadership Institute; Marsha Alexander, Dean of Academic Affairs, Roscoe Collegiate ISD; Dr. Frederick Nafukho, Head of the Department of Educational Administration at Texas A&M.
Editor’s note: The Administrative Leadership Institute at Texas A&M has presented its first ever Texas School District Excellence Award, and the winner is Roscoe Collegiate ISD.  Here is the complete press release.

Texas School District Excellence Award

At the Dr. John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute on November 12 & 13, 2014, Roscoe Collegiate ISD received the Texas School District Excellence Award.  A selection committee consisting of three Texas A&M University Education Department faculty members and a representative from the Texas Association of School Administrators make the final decision from a group of nominated school districts.  The Institute is very proud to present this award for the first time this year.

This award is given to honor an outstanding Texas School District in memory of Dr. John R. Hoyle.  Dr. Hoyle made many contributions to Texas A&M University and to K-12 education, with an emphasis on working with public schools throughout the state.  He was a true veteran in the field of educational administration and as a teacher, researcher, and author, his spirit and commitment to the profession was inspirational.  Throughout his career, he challenged and encouraged educators to serve with enthusiasm and reach for excellence.  Dr. Hoyle retired from Texas A&M University in 2009, but continued to work closely with the university and the organization of the Administrative Leadership Institute prior to his death in 2012.

The district that receives this award must be one that shares the vision of Dr. Hoyle and must personify the theme of the institute:  Leading Change:  New Times, New Requirements. Other requirements include: 1) demonstrating quality of instruction based on consistent achievement of all student groups, 2) have effective outreach demonstrated through media, 3) be committed to equity and diversity of students, 4) have efficient and effective fiscal management, and 5) incorporate a culture that stresses the best interests of its students.

In the presentation of the award, Dr. Mario Torres said, “Dr. Kim Alexander has done phenomenal work transforming this small district into comprehensive STEM and Early College Academies, equipping an astounding percentage of their high school students with Associate Degrees upon graduation, which is a remarkable example of Dr. Hoyle’s vision for education.”  In Dr. Alexander’s absence Marsha Alexander, Dean of Academic Affairs, accepted the award.



Jayden Gonzales and Alfonso Islas in front of the White House.
Two Roscoe eighth graders, Jayden Gonzales and Alfonso Islas, were in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, to attend the National 4-H Youth Conference from Friday, November 16, to Sunday, November 18.  They were accompanied by Roscoe teacher Debbie Nevins.

Besides attending the conference, the two were able to get in some sightseeing while in Washington.  At the Newseum they saw parts of the Berlin Wall.  They also visited the White House, the National Mall, and the Washington Monument, as well as several of the nearby Memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial.

They were selected to go for their winning essays on helping older people to learn more about social media and how to use it.  The 4-H Tech Wizards program is an after-school, small-group, mentoring program that uses youth interest in science and technology to engage them in learning.  They can then use their skills to participate in community service to educate older adults in the use of social media, which they recently did on parents’ night at the school.



Plowgirl Danielle Dean shoots a free throw at last night's game with Westbrook.
Both the Plowgirls and Plowboys won their games against Westbrook here last night, the Plowgirls by a score of 40-29, and the Plowboys 54-40.

The Plowgirls led all the way after the first quarter, which was close, but which ended with Roscoe up 8-6.  By halftime they had extended the lead over the Lady Cats to 24-14, and by the end of three they were ahead by twelve, 33-21.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 13, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Mia Herrera with 10, Danielle Dean with 4, and Selena Perez with 2.

Plowboys Isaiah Gonzales (13) and Luis Villa (11) go for a rebound in last night's game with Westbrook.
The Plowboys opened their basketball season with a relatively easy victory.  The lead went back and forth at the start of the game, and by the end of one, Westbrook was ahead 10-9.  However, the Plowboys went ahead to stay in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 18-9 to lead at the half 27-19.  They extended their lead in the third quarter to 45-28, and won going away, 54-40.

High scorer for the Plowboys was Javier Leanos with 19.  Kevin Lavalais had 10, Asman Acuna 8, Isaiah Gonzales 7, Cutter Davila 5, and Luis Villa 2.

The Plowboys' and Plowgirls' next games will be next Tuesday, December 2, against the Trent Gorillas in Trent.



Pat Waters & the Chain Link Band
After stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday and spending the day shopping on Black Friday, what better way to relax and let your hair down Saturday night than dancing the night away to traditional country music by Pat Waters and his Chain Link Band at the Lumberyard? 

Pat Waters came to a music career relatively late in life, not buying his first guitar until he was twenty. Born and raised in Bridgeport, where they probably would just as soon not hear the word Sweetwater, he went to college at North Texas and graduated with a degree in marketing and a minor in international business.  He and his uncle then partnered up, and now they own an oil field construction company and a trucking company.  He got his first gig by answering an ad in the Dallas Morning News and playing two songs in an opry house for $25 and, in doing so, found that music was something he wanted to pursue.

He considers himself a family man and homebody who takes his sons hunting and fishing.  He’s never been big into alcohol, and since 2001 has been the “National Spokesman for Drug Free Promotions.” His music is traditional country, and his latest album is Sorry ‘Bout the Mess with a single by the same name now currently getting play on the radio.  He has received rave reviews both in Texas and in Nashville.

He is scheduled to take the stage Saturday night at around 9:00pm.  Cover charge is $10.  For more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.  Note, however, that the Lumberyard will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. 



The weather has been generally unremarkable for the past week.  The big chance we had for rain on Friday and Saturday amounted to less than a tenth of an inch, little more than a heavy sprinkle.  Some weather forecasters actually predicted a 100% chance of rain on Saturday morning.  In my humble opinion, any meteorologist who predicts 100% chance of rain for Roscoe should receive a stern warning the first time he or she does it, and should be permanently relieved of any further forecasting duties the second time.  I’ve lived in places, such as on the coast in northern California, where 100% chances of precipitation were not only possible but regularly occurred.  But in Roscoe there is always a chance it won’t rain, no matter how promising the outlook.

Highs ranged from 73°F on Sunday to 57° on Monday and yesterday, while lows ranged from 51° Saturday morning to 34° Monday morning.

The weather should be clear and sunny through Sunday if not longer.  Highs will be in the sixties today and tomorrow and warming up to the seventies Friday through Sunday.  Lows will be in the forties, and breezes should be relatively light.

There is no rain in the forecast.


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