Foundation makes a huge impact on the district for the 2013-14 school year
Feb. 28, 2014
- The Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) acknowledged its business partners and key donors at a Community Luncheon on Feb. 28, 2014, at Shirley Acres. Ed Shackelford, board president for KEF, announced to more than 210 people in attendance that the Foundation has exceeded its goal and raised $344,253 already in the 2013-14 school year. Since 2001, the KEF has awarded 288 teacher grants totaling $1,132,152.
It’s very rewarding for both the directors and the students of the Klein ISD because all of the funds go to a very worthy cause,” expressed Shackelford. “We want to show our teachers that we support what they do in the classroom. We are very grateful to be able to give back to them.”
At the luncheon, Stephanie Green, director of information literacy in Klein ISD, shared that the Reading Express Bus, initially funded by KEF, had a record run during summer 2013. Green stated that from June 12-July 27, the Reading Express had 6,500 books checked out.
Like the Reading Express, the KEF has a mission to provide funding for initiatives that will impact all Klein ISD students. This past June the KEF hosted the Diamonds & Denim Jubilee to celebrate Klein ISD’s 75th anniversary. The Jubilee served as a fundraiser, raising $105,000 for the first-ever Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Express. Adam Hile, Klein ISD director of curriculum & instruction, shared information about the STEAM Express.
STEAM Express is a retro-fitted trailer that will visit campuses year-round and provide teachers with new and exciting hands-on learning opportunities, allowing students to travel outside the normal classroom experience in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. STEAM Express is set to rollout to campuses starting the 2014-15 school year.
During the luncheon, the KEF recognized key donors who made contributions of $2,500-$37,500 during 2013-14. In total the foundation recognized 30 business and individuals for donating $208,670. To view a list of donors, click here
“It’s always special to give back to Klein as I graduated from Klein Forest,” said Jason Bailey partner with Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP Attorneys at Law. “As a company, we pride ourselves with giving back to the community and we see the great job that the district does in educating our children and how the KEF assists in this effort.”
The final check presentation acknowledged 2013-14 contributions by Klein ISD employees to the Foundation. Cindy Doyle, director of KEF, announced that through payroll deductions, employees have generously donated $26,352. Also during the luncheon, the foundation collected $8,350 in donations from individuals and businesses in attendance.
“The donations represented all crosswalks of life in our community,” said Doyle. “From personal to corporate donations, we are ever so grateful for the support we receive from everyone in the Klein community. Their generosity is essential to the KEF being able to provide grants and staff development opportunities.”
To see photos of this year's donors and luncheon, click here
. To learn more about the foundation, visit kleinisd.net/kef
Klein High School has some of the best high school mathematicians in the country, as demonstrated by their first-place finish in the 2014 Four-by-Four Competition, a national mathematics contest administered by National Assessment & Testing
(NAT). After results from schools across the country were double-checked, the team of Keerthi Koripalli, Karen Yang, Jack Guo, and Kush Patel placed first in their division. The team of Ashna Dhingra, James Dong, Christine Jou, and Akash Kumashi, placed fifth in their division, leading Klein High to place first overall among the top schools in the country.
Klein High math coach, Josie Mallery prepped students for this contest, by creating teams of four who participated in ten three-minute rounds in which they attempted to answer four questions. This effectively gives each student three minutes to answer one problem, but the team must also decide who will work each problem and whether their time would be better spent checking one another’s work on easier and more familiar problems or if they should attempt to answer all four questions.
NAT administers high-quality mathematics competitions that schools can participate in through the mail. Their contests span a variety of formats, including individual and team tests, as well as a variety of difficulties to provide both confidence and challenge to all high school students.
Klein ISD art and writing students collected 177 awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Award competition hosted by the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) in mid-February. The competition provides students in grades 7-12 the opportunity to showcase their writing or artistic ability.
Students are recognized with Gold Key, Silver Key and honorable mention awards. The Klein ISD student writers boasted 102 awards in total, winning gold (20), silver (33) and honorable mentions (49). Student artists across the district collected 75 awards which also included gold (19), silver (31) and honorable mentions (25).
Gold Key winners in both art and writing now advance to the national level of judging in New York City. Winners are invited to receive awards and scholarships at Carnegie Hall, where they also gain the opportunity to participate in artist workshops. Click here
to view Klein ISD winning students in writing. To view a complete list of Klein ISD art winners, click here
Michael Keig, Schindewolf band director, was recently elected to membership in Phi Beta Mu, an International School Bandmaster Fraternity. Phi Beta Mu is an honorary, non-political, non-profit fraternity established in 1938. There are approximately 350 active members in Texas with additional chapters in most of the 50 states as well as Canada, Japan and Europe.
Keig has been employed with the Klein ISD for more than 24 years, serving at Klein Forest (1990-96), Wunderlich (1996-2001), Klein Collins (2001-07) and Schindewolf (2007-present). In order to be considered for membership in Phi Beta Mu, one must have at least 10 years of successful teaching experience and must have produced and maintained an outstanding and consistent band program in the public schools.
Keig was inducted at the annual new member’s breakfast on February 15, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. He was sponsored by Sharon Kalisek (Krimmel Intermediate), Barbara Streit (Klein Collins High School) and Charlotte Royall (College Park High School).
Two Klein ISD coaches recently took home regional awards for their recent accomplishments with students recently. Klein Oak coach, Kyle Subda was named Region 4 5A Girls Diving Coach of the Year. This is Subda’s second consecutive win as he also earned the title during the 2012-13 school year. Klein High coach, Jim Svoboda also earned a second nod as he also won the Region 4 5A Boys Swimming Coach of the Year both 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.
As many in the Klein ISD start to gear up for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, one generous donor has recently decided to fund multiple items for the Klein Forest High School (KFHS) FFA program. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is set to purchase jackets for students and provide financial support for students to travel to and participate in the San Antonio Livestock Show. The philanthropist has ordered a project to be built through the Klein Forest Practicum in Ag Mechanics course, for student use in future shows and has also supported KFHS FFA students with add-ons at this year’s event. Add-ons were used to increase the bids on the students’ projects in the auction. Furthermore, the sponsor also intends to mentor one KFHS freshman through high school, with promised continued financial support through college. To find out more about the FFA program in the Klein ISD click here
Department wins 14 out of 14 awards which includes the night’s top award
Feb. 25, 2014
— The Klein ISD communications and planning department garnered 14 public relations awards at the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) awards ceremony held in Austin, Texas on Feb. 19. TSPRA is a nonprofit, professional organization dedicated to promoting public schools through effective communications. The association is also an award winning chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).
This year the Klein ISD earned the top Platinum Award for its entry “Klein ISD 75th Anniversary...A Year Long celebration.” According to the TSPRA press release, “the Platinum Award honors a year-long project that exhibits the highest standards of excellence in all facets according to research, analysis, communication and evaluation.”
“What a great feeling it was to hear Klein ISD’s name called,” expressed Judy Rimato, Klein ISD associate superintendent for communications and planning. “The communication and planning department works extremely well as a team to supply our community with information.”
In a second category for large comprehensive projects, the Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) received a Crystal Certificate of Merit for the “Diamonds & Denim…A Jubilee 75 Years in the Making!” For the first time, judges were permitted to award a Certificate of Merit to Crystal Commendation entries among the seven categories that deserved recognition.
“The Jubilee was truly a labor of love,” expressed Cindy Doyle KEF executive director. “It really did take a community to make this event successful. As an education foundation our volunteer board is proud to impact Klein ISD students and this award stands as a testament to the hard work and dedication of all community volunteers who care about making a difference.”
In addition to the top two awards, more than 1,060 entries competed for the top spots in 45 categories covering various media such as newsletters, programs, posters, reports, writing, image/identity packages, photography, graphics, video, electronic presentations, mobile apps, campaigns and web sites.
These entries are then divided into three divisions based on the number of students in the district which the foundation or organizations serve – fewer than 10,000 students; 10,000 to 30,000 students; and over 30,000 students. Independent judges, not affiliated with TSPRA, evaluate and score each entry based on its own merit. Bronze, Silver and Gold Stars are awarded based on set criteria. Finally, the judges review their highest scoring Gold Star winners and select a Best of Category for each division in each of the 45 categories. Along with the two most coveted award categories, each Klein ISD entry received an award (right).
The Klein ISD communications team consists of Rimato, Doyle, Denise McLean (communications manager), Kate Hope (multimedia specialist), Justin Keith (multimedia specialist), Debbie Scheel (secretary to Rimato) and Cindy Shrode (secretary to Doyle). The department of seven is responsible for sharing news and information from more than 48,200 students and more than 6,000 employees on a daily basis.
“We are very proud of the communications department,” said Dr. Jim Cain Klein ISD superintendent. “These awards are an indicator of the quality work they produce for our district throughout the school year but are even more special to me because many of them were related to our 75th anniversary celebrations.”
The 2012-13 school year marked the 75th anniversary of the Klein ISD. During the summer months, a committee consisting of district employees, administrators and members of the Klein community planned activities and events for the entire year. The celebration included honoring the 75 Diamonds of the Klein ISD, the Diamonds and Denim Jubilee, a website, history about the district, and campus anniversary videos, all of which were distributed through various social media channels.
“It was definitely a surreal moment for us when we won the top award,” stated McLean. “Both the Anniversary and Jubilee were planned throughout the year. There were communcation campaigns across every channel the district utilizes - the website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. To accomplish this, it took all of us working together as team to accomplish the end results.”
The Jubilee fulfilled two objectives for the KEF who wanted to honor the district’s milestone and also provide the Klein ISD with a tangible gift for students and staff. All proceeds from the Jubilee are earmarked to launch the first ever STEAM Express, a retro-fitted trailer. This mobile learning center will visit campuses year-round and provide teachers with new and exciting hands-on learning opportunities, allowing students to travel outside the normal classroom experience in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
Praising the Klein community, Rimato said, “I am so grateful to the 75th anniversary committee, the Diamonds & Denim Jubilee committee and the communications and planning department for reaching higher to make this anniversary something very special for our community. It is gratifying to come to work each day because Klein ISD is like family.”
Klein High eleventh grader turns his passion for puzzles into a business
Feb 10, 2014 — Driven, motivated and upbeat are just a few of the words used to describe Klein High School junior Jake Gaudet. In only 5 weeks, Gaudet has created, produced and sold a prototype of a new and modern twist on the Rubik’s cube.
“His passion and desire toward this project has bled over into his other work,” said Klein High engineering teacher Joe White. “Others see him working on multiple projects at once and come to him for guidance.”
Gaudet not only stands out as a leader among his peers, but he has proven to think outside of the box. What began as a project for the Technology Student Association, he had his prototype of this puzzle in hand within three weeks. Gaudet, who has always had a passion for working and solving puzzles, began this design at a new level of difficulty. Although his puzzle resembles the Rubik’s cube, it is one of a kind.
The puzzle, called the Super OctoCube, is a more advanced version of David Pitcher’s OctoCube. This puzzle allows for 45 degree rotation on the outer layers and continued rotation on other faces. Once scrambled, this puzzle does not contain a normal cubic form until solved.
Gaudet has built this passion for puzzle solving into a business and a worldwide interest. He partnered with a group called Shapeways as a way to sell this puzzle. Gaudet has also taken the time to share his information, knowledge and passion through web forums. He sold his first puzzle in mid-November and to date has sold four more puzzles. He has the privilege of having sold one of these puzzles to another enthusiast and puzzle hobbyist in Australia.
“This is really just for enjoyment,” said Gaudet. “I spend time creating a design I like and find something that hasn’t been done before.”
As an eleventh grader, not interested in turning this into a million dollar business for the money, but for the fun of solving puzzles, Gaudet has also created additional prototypes that are in production. One called the SkewbXBarrel has one layer which can be turned 180 degrees.
“I’ve been passionate about puzzles since the sixth grade,” said Gaudet. “I’ve had this design in mind and I just like to see others work the puzzles and solve them.”
“It’s great that these kids are excited,” stated White. “They look beyond what is presented in the text book and look for hands on, challenging activities. They aren’t afraid to do their research to build these businesses.”
To view a video of the Super OctoCube in motion, click here.
Intermediate students from across Klein ISD recently took part in the Klein Academic Challenge where students competed against one another in many different subject areas. Click the chart to see a complete list of schools who submitted their results.
Klein ISD wrestling teams
recently competed at the regional meet. State qualifiers will compete this week
at the state tournament in Garland, TX. The district’s results are listed
Students from all four Klein ISD high schools have been invited to perform at the upcoming Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention taking place this week in San Antonio, TX. The TMEA is comprised of five divisions: Band, Orchestra, Vocal, Elementary and College. The Frank Elementary choir (photo below) has also been chosen as an elementary honor choir by the TMEA and will be performing at the convention as well. High school students selected to perform are:
Swimmers and divers across
Klein ISD walked away with many regional titles at the recent UIL meet. Klein
High and Klein Collins had competitors that placed first in their category.
Klein High Boys swim team placed 2nd in Region 4-5A and Klein Oak
Boys swim team placed 3rd in Region 4-5A. The UIL 5A state meet will take place on Feb.
21-22, 2014. Klein ISD state qualifiers are as follows:
Join the Klein ISD at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, for the 45th annual FFA livestock and project auction at the Klein ISD Multipurpose Center (KMPC), (7500 FM 2920 Klein, TX 77379). To kick off the auction, the district is dedicating the show barn and auction arena to individuals that truly made an impact on the Klein ISD and FFA
The Ed and Wana Hickey Show Barn credit two employees that impacted the district during the early days. Both joined the district in 1950, Wana as an English teacher and Ed as a vocational agriculture teacher. Wana retired as an assistant principal at Klein High School in 1981. Ed retired two years later as the director of vocational education. During his tenure, Ed reopened the agriculture program after it was closed because of World War II and he founded the Klein ISD FFA Project Show in 1969. Ed was also instrumental in the building of the first multipurpose facility (on Lyons Road) in 1983 which was used to house the project show.
The Janelle Schindewolf Watson Auction Arena distinguishes a former Klein High School student who chose to return to the district serving as teacher, coach, counselor and finally director of career and technical education (CTE) during her 40 years. Janelle’s proudest accomplishment involves the success of the FFA Project Show and Auction which continues to raise impressive amounts of money for college scholarships. In appreciation for her years of Klein ISD service, FFA members dedicated the 2011 Show Catalog to Janelle the year she retired.
Come out and join us for the auction, eat some great BBQ served by the FFA students and help us recognize these individuals that are truly deserving of this honor.
Thirty-nine Klein ISD students ink college scholarships in athletics
Feb. 5, 2014 — High school seniors across the Klein ISD joined thousands throughout the nation by taking part in National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Among the four high schools, the district had 39 student-athletes take the opportunity to declare National Letters of Intent (NLI) during this signing period.
This day marks the initial signing period for football, cross country, field hockey, soccer, track & field and water polo, however, several athletes took advantage of the early signing period back on Nov. 13, 2013. High schools in the Klein ISD celebrate the accomplishments of these student-athletes in the spring during special ceremonies on their respective campuses. The district had commitments made in 11 different sports, with the majority being in football with 19. Klein Oak High led with 16 declarations, followed by Klein Collins (13), Klein High (9) and Klein Forest (1).
celebration of Digital Learning Day, on Feb. 5, 2014,
the Speak Up 2013 data results will be released to all participating schools and
Learning Day is about giving every child the opportunity to learn in a robust
digital environment every day with the goal of success in college and career. Ten
Klein ISD teachers submitted lesson plans for Digital Learning Day and 37
district libraries have registered their events on the Digital Learning Day
the second year in a row, Klein ISD was the top participating school district
nationwide. The Speak Up 2013 data results are used to stimulate new
conversations about the value of digital learning, and in particular, to
underscore the importance of including the views of our stakeholders –
students, parents and educators – in these vital discussions.
North Harris County American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded
Zwink Elementary with a $2,100 grant for their “Little Girls Blooming from
teachers,= Mary Jane Jones and Amanda Wilson will use the grant to encourage
young girls to explore the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics (STEM) through hands-on and interactive activities. Materials
purchased will focus specifically on STEM units embedded in the essential
knowledge and skills for Pre-K students. With the help of this grant, the
teachers believe female students will gain confidence, as well as an interest
in the STEM fields that will influence them to one day pursue these career
Klein Forest counselor, Rohanna
Sykes, was recently awarded the 2013 Dr. Jamesanna Kirven Outstanding Counselor
Award, given by the Texas Counseling Association to one nominee per year. Sykes
was nominated by her peers at the local and state level for her dedication and
hard work, superior professional achievements and for helping others without
regard to self.
Sykes began her career in the Klein
ISD as a Pre-K teacher at Nitsch Elementary and moved on to become the
counselor there. Currently, she is a related services coordinator at Klein
Forest High School. Sykes has been active in the Spring Creek Counseling
Association and served as the chapter president for two terms. She is also
currently serving as the Texas Counseling Association liaison to the State
Board of Education and works to advocate Texas school counselors. Most
recently, Sykes was appointed to an expert panel for the TEA Senate Bill 460
where they are working to develop a mental health curriculum which will be
utilized for educator preparation programs in expanding mental health
identification and interventions in the classroom.
Thank you for your support as the district recently decided to close schools two days during inclement weather. Much goes into a decision to close school and these decisions are never taken lightly.
According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), students and staff are required to meet the designated number of instructional days and TEA is not issuing waivers for any school districts in the Houston area that missed these two days.
As such, Klein ISD will be open for school on April 17 and June 6, the dates indicated on the 2013-2014 school calendar. The school calendar as well as the 2014-2015 school calendar are posted on the district website.