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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

School Board Approves New Montessori Early Childhood Center on Main Street

Architect's depiction of the new RCISD Montessori Early Childhood Center.
After much deliberation at its monthly meeting, the RCISD School Board has unanimously approved the creation of a Montessori Early Childhood Center at the old Town & Country Shopping Center building on Main Street. The building will be purchased and converted into several classrooms to house Pre-K and Kindergarten.

Classroom space for the primary grades is already overcrowded with the teachers’ workroom and the back of the Verna Ratliff Elementary School Library necessarily being converted to classrooms this year. With projected increases in student enrollment in the primary grades in coming years, some solution is necessary, either through the purchase of temporary buildings or the creation of a separate Early Childhood Center. With the bond issue for a new $5 million center failing in May, this seemed like the next best way to go.

The Town & Country Shopping Center in 1971
The purchase and conversion of the old Town & Country building will cost about one million dollars. The fifteen-year note will be paid for through the RCISD operating fund with a time warrant.

The change to the Montessori system is already being successfully implemented in a couple of Texas school districts, a rural one at Marfa and a large one in Longview, both visited by a team of RCISD administrators and early childhood and elementary teachers. After extensive research, they consider it critical to move to the Montessori method of instruction for pre-K and kindergarten children. A study of current data indicates that as a group our primary students are not where they need to be, especially in reading, by grade 3. Since such a deficiency typically lasts through the following grades and beyond, it is important that it be rectified as early as possible.

The Montessori Early Childhood Program is the established leader in doing just that, especially for economically disadvantaged children, of which Roscoe has many and is projected to have more in the future. The Montessori Program involves a move from a half day to a full one for pre-K students. It also requires more space for storage of manipulatives and hands-on types of activities. However, a move to the program will benefit the children involved in ways that last them for the rest of their lives. And, as RCISD is one of the state and national leaders in educational innovation, the move will also strengthen its program for subsequent grades.

Superintendent Kim Alexander has set the target date for the opening of the new center at one year with instruction beginning there in August 2017.



Plowboys at Two-a-Days. (Photo by Chase Cathey)
After getting their first taste of competition at a scrimmage with Munday last Thursday, the 2016 Plowboys will have their second and final scrimmage with Hawley at Plowboy Field tomorrow. The Bearcats will be a tough opponent. They were an area finalist in 2A-Div. 1 last year, going 5-0 in district play and 10-2 on the year. This year, they are picked by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football to finish second in a tough district that includes Post, Stamford, and Anson. The scrimmage, which will include both JV and varsity teams, begins at 6:00pm.

The Plowboys are also featured this week on the popular website Big Country Homepage. The two-minute video clip, published last Thursday and entitled “Roscoe Looks to Plow Through 2016,” may be accessed by clicking here.



2016 Plowboys are introduced in the new gym.
The clouds were high with clear skies all around, and most of those attending this year’s Plowboy Preview had just settled in at one of the tables behind the east stands to chow down on a hamburger, chips, drink, and watermelon when suddenly the 100° afternoon was disrupted by a hard shower. At first, many stayed where they were, thinking that it would quickly play out. But it didn’t, and in almost no time everyone was running for cover to get out of the rain. It persisted long enough to drop almost .4” and force this year’s Plowboy Preview to be held in the new gym.

Even so, spirits remained high. Any rain in August is generally welcomed, and the shower did cool things off. And those who looked at the eastern sky couldn’t have missed the beautiful rainbow that appeared there. That has to be a good sign for anyone who believes in omens.

In the gym, the Cheer Pals’ energy and exuberance set the tone, and Plowboy fans were introduced to the cross country track team, the junior varsity football players, the cheerleaders, the football coaches, the Plowboy Band, and, finally, the 2016 Varsity Plowboys. May they all have the best of success this year!

The rainbow at Plowboy Preview.


Homecoming is set for Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3, 2016.

Schedule of events:


            1:30-2:30 pm - Exes and Friends Reception and Registration at the Special Events Entrance

            2:45 pm - RHS Pep Rally in the Old Gym

            4:00-7:00 pm - Potato Bake benefiting Girls Athletics in the Cafetorium

            7:30pm - ROSCOE PLOWBOY FOOTBALL -  Roscoe vs Early

            8:30-9:30pm - Exes and Friends Fellowship and Registration - Special Events Concession Area - Refreshments and catching up with old friends

10:00pm-12am - Lumberyard Entertainment – Featuring RHS Alumna: Anna Mae Smith Peptis.
 There will be a $5 cover charge to cover Homecoming Expenses.


            8:30am-9:30am - Exes and Friends Coffee and Doughnuts – Hosted by Roscoe Lions Club at Kelly’s Place downtown corner of Broadway and Main Street

            10am - Homecoming Parade: Roscoe Now and Then
            Parade route:  Broadway to Elm Street to High School

            11:30am-1:30pm - Spaghetti Lunch benefiting Roscoe Homecoming Committee

            1:30-2:30 pm - Program, School Tours, Door Prizes, Silent Auction and visiting with classmates.

             2:30-4:00pm - Visit Downtown: Tour Roscoe Museum and go shopping.

             9pm-1am - Lumberyard will have Entertainment and Dancing.

The Holiday Inn Express in Sweetwater is offering a discount rate for rooms Friday and Saturday. Call 325-235-3500 and reference  “Roscoe Homecoming.”

If you need any further information or have a reunion you would like us to post, please contact us by e-mail:

The Homecoming Committee is always looking for new members.
There are many ways you can help and not live in Roscoe.


Saturday, September 3, 10am

We are looking for float and other entries for the homecoming parade.

Theme is Roscoe Now and Then.

Entries will line up on Gin Parking Lot (Front and Main Street) at 9:15am. The parade will begin at the corner of Main and Broadway, go west to Elm Street and will end at RCHS.

All entries are welcome – walking groups (scouts, dance, clubs etc) horses, music groups, pets, bicycles, floats, Class Floats, vehicles, golf carts, vintage cars, monster trucks and large machinery.

Call Teresa at 325-280-1960 for more information.




Anna Mae (Smith) Peptis will sing at The Lumberyard after the Homecoming Football game on Friday night, September 2.

Anna Mae was born in Sweetwater and grew up in Roscoe. She is a 1968 Roscoe High School graduate and was a cheerleader in 1967 and 1968. She began singing in public at the age of 4, where she sang at the West Texas Opry.

She had a band for several years in northwest Kansas, performing at the Kansas State Fair, reunions, weddings, birthdays, funerals, and even cattle drives. In addition to Kansas, she has spent the past 25 years performing in Colorado, Nebraska, New York and Florida. Anna Mae says “Music is my love…and my life.”
She now lives in Brester, Kansas, and has 7 children and 11 grandchildren. She says she has sung to her children and grandchildren from their birth.

Make plans to come to The Lumberyard on Friday, September 2 and enjoy her talent!



The eastern sky Friday evening.
Two noteworthy changes in the weather occurred this past week. First was the shower we got on Thursday evening, which disrupted the Plowboy Preview at school, and second was the welcome break in the heat. The total in my rain gauge came to .36” although some places west of town got a half-inch. The cool front that moved through shifted breezes to the north after a month or so of winds from the south or southeast. Temperatures fell from a steady daily diet of highs from 97° to 100° and lows in the mid to upper seventies to highs of around 90° and lows of around 70°. The change was enough to make being outside an ordeal to being manageable and on some days even pleasant, especially in the mornings.

The high for the week came on Thursday before the front at 100°; the low came this morning with a temperature of only 62°. The high on Sunday was 87° and Monday 89°.

Of course the shower on Thursday was welcome but not enough to break the dry spell we’ve been enduring since late June and early July. The rains predicted for the weekend fell in all directions around our area but managed to miss us almost completely.

However, starting tomorrow our chances for precipitation increase to 50% and then to 60% on Friday with similar chances through the weekend and into the first part of next week. So there’s a good chance we’ll get that needed rain sometime in the next few days. At least let’s hope so. Temperatures are projected to continue to be below average for this time of year. Highs should be in the eighties with lows of seventy or the upper sixties.



A memorial service was held on August 6 at Woodhaven Presbyterian Church in Irving for Willa Dean Hodges Munroe, 86, a mother, professional fashion illustrator, aviation advocate, and lover of all things that fly, who earned her wings just before midnight on July 28.

She was born on May 16, 1930, in Loraine to Clifton and Grace Hodges. She spent her youth in Roscoe and was a 1948 graduate of Roscoe High. She then moved to Denton, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Texas Women’s University. A job offer took her to Austin, where she met Donald Mitchell Munroe. They were married January 1, 1954, in Roscoe.

Willa is preceded in death by her husband, Donald Mitchell Munroe, Jr.; father and mother, Clifton and Grace Hodges; infant brother, William; sisters Alma Jean Sealy and Annell Campbell; and stepson Donald Munroe III.

She is survived by sons Clifton H. Munroe and Phillip T. Munroe; stepson William F. Munroe and his wife, Laurie; brother-in-law Kirk Munroe; daughter-in-law Karla Munroe; twelve grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.


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