#SMTXrising

San Marcos CISD Votes to Keep Class Sizes Small

Welcome to September! And congratulations to San Marcos CISD students and staff on a successful first week of school!

It has been a busy and productive summer on the board. As SMCISD experiences record-high enrollment, I am proud that our students returned to school last week to find smaller class sizes, more teachers, safer schools, and competitively paid teachers who have improved access to healthcare services.

In June, SMCISD school board members spent three days in San Antonio with trustees from all over the state as part of the Texas Association of School Boards Annual Summer Institute. We were trained on local and state school policies, and heard presentations from education experts on a range of topics including successful strategies for closing the achievement gap, fostering college readiness, incorporating the arts into STEM programming, and effectively advocating for public schools.

Over the course of multiple meetings, workshops, and public hearings in June, July, and August, the board worked with SMCISD administrators to construct a budget for the 2015-16 school year. That 2015-16 budget was finalized last night and includes the following provisions:

• compensation increases for teachers, hourly, and administrative employees by 3.8%, 5%, and 2.5%, respectively

• fully-funded basic health insurance for all employees

• hiring at least a dozen new teachers in order to maintain a 22:1 ratio in our K-4 classrooms

• hiring full-time assistant teachers in our preschool classrooms to create a 22:2 ratio

• the addition of a full-time G/T facilitator with an emphasis on issues of equity and reaching at-risk students

I am proud to say the SMCISD Board passed a forward-looking budget that accounts for future needs AND reinvests our taxpayers’ money in classroom instruction, smaller class sizes, hiring the best teachers, safer schools, and expanded educational opportunities–without raising tax rates.

It’s a great day to be a Rattler, y’all.

SMCISD Adds New GT Facilitator

I’m proud of the combined leadership of community, staff, administration, and board members that led the way to advancing the allocation of more resources toward classroom instruction AND addressing issues of equity in last night’s action to hire an additional GT position for our district. This is ONE of the ways in which we can simultaneously close the achievement gap, give more resources to all our classrooms, and foster a culture of high expectations and achievement for ALL students.

Thanks especially to the broad coalition of engaged parents, teachers, education experts, and TXST faculty–Amber Tomblin Walter, Eduardo Rios, Brandon Beck, Tracy Weinberg, Brenda Perkins Butler, Alex Mylius, Carol Fernandez, Toni Moreno, Yvette Cantu, et al–who worked so hard to present a comprehensive proposal that both demonstrated the need and the opportunity for better serving all of our students.

I am optimistic that this is a first step toward rebuilding a robust and equitable enrichment program that will be an asset to our district as a whole.

To read the San Marcos Mercury’s coverage of last night’s meeting and the full GT proposal as submitted by the committee, please go here: http://smmercury.com/2015/06/16/smcisd-trustees-decline-proposal-to-add-three-facilitators-for-gifted-students/

‪#‎ALLmeansALL‬

Thank You

imageDear Friends!

We did it! Thanks to our hard work and dedication these many weeks, I am proud to be joining the San Marcos CISD Board of Trustees later this month. This has truly been a team effort and I thank you all. Congratulations, too, to new trustees Miguel Arredondo and John McGlothlin. I look forward to working together with you and the other board members in supporting our schools.

It has been an exhilarating campaign. I’m proud that we have generated so much conversation and I appreciate very much the contributions of the other candidates. It is a testament to this community to have so many smart and good-hearted people willing to serve. I am proud of the job that we have done together getting more people involved in the process. I have appreciated getting to know each of you and look forward to continuing together the constructive work that we have begun.

I’m grateful, too, for the broad support of so many individuals across this community who recognize that our diversity is our strength and who want to work together to provide every student a great education.

San Marcos: I have enjoyed our conversations and I will keep listening to you. I am deeply honored by your confidence in me and I look forward to working together to make sure our district keeps putting kids first!

Thanks most of all to Jeff, Sadie, Charlie, and Jesse, for believing in me and in this endeavor, and for working alongside me these past weeks. Thanks to our dear friends who share a common vision for our schools and devoted so many hours of their own time to helping me. Thanks to family and friends who encouraged me and cheered me on from near and far. Thanks to the teachers for endorsing me and campaigning for me. Thanks to the administrators who gave me tours of their campuses and spoke with me about the needs of their students and staff. Thanks to everyone who hosted a get-together and introduced me to their friends and colleagues. Thanks to the many groups in town who held forums and debates and generated interest in our electoral process. Thanks so much to the many new friends who made time to have lunch or coffee with me, went door-to-door for me, put up a yard sign, and gave me advice. And thanks to the voters who put their faith and trust in me. I am looking forward to giving back to this wonderful community that has opened its heart to me and my family.

I’m grateful to my mother- and father-in-law for setting such an example of how to build community in action, and to my dad and my sister and her husband for being wonderful public educators. And I’m honored to have the love and support of so many friends from my hometown. I will work to give the children in my community all that you have given me. Since it’s Mother’s Day, I’m thinking especially this morning of my mom, my Auntie Mary, and my teachers, Mrs. Ellison and Mrs. Michaud. I know that wherever they are they would be immensely proud of this moment and the dedication we’ve shown to our children.

After church this morning, I’m going to spend the day with my family and friends down at our beautiful river. Without my cell phone. On Monday, I look forward to going to work on behalf of our kids. Thank you all so much for believing in me and in the importance of public schools.

All best,

Anne

Election Day: Putting Kids First!

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 7.25.15 AMDear Friends,

Today is the day! Polls are open from 7 AM – 7 PM.

You can locate your polling place here: http://www.smcisd.net/files/filesystem/2013%20smcisd%20map%20individual%20districts.pdf

If you have kids in the district, if you pay taxes, if you live in San Marcos—you have a big stake in this election!

I know it takes strong schools to make a strong community and no one will work harder than I will for our schools and our kids.

I am a mom, not a politician. My parents were public school educators, my husband and I were public school kids, and I’ve trusted each of my children to San Marcos CISD from their first day of kindergarten. When my littlest starts school in the fall, all three of my kids will be in the district.

I will bring a fresh perspective, common sense voice, and positive attitude that we need to take on the challenges of our growing community.

It’s been great to get the support of so many people who have put up my yard signs and liked our message on Facebook. At the end of the day it’s the votes that count. Please participate. Please use your voice.

Our kids count. So does every vote. Please VOTE. 

Together, we will lead our district to even better days. Together we can make sure the district keeps putting kids first!

Thanks so much.

All best,
Anne

1 Day Until the Election: Get Out the Vote!

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 7.56.17 AMDear Friends,

This election is critical. And it’s going to be very close.

If you live within San Marcos CISD—even if you do not live within the City of San Marcos—you are eligible to vote.

Please, make your voices heard! Let officials know that you want our schools to be great! Let them know you are a champion of public schools! Let teachers know you support them! Let the board know that you want every student to succeed!

Let the district know you want to keep PUTTING KIDS FIRST!

Election Day is tomorrow, SATURDAY, MAY 9. Polls are open from 7 AM – 7 PM.

Polling locations are:

New Life Christian Center (District 1) | 4000 Highway 123 | San Marcos
 
San Marcos Housing (District 2) | Residents Office | 820 Sturgeon Street | San Marcos
 
Martindale Baptist Church (District 2) | Main Street | Martindale
 
Dunbar Center (District 3) | 801 MLK Drive | San Marcos
 
Crockett Elementary School (District 4) | 1300 Girard Street | San Marcos
 
Travis Elementary School (District 5) | 1437 Post Rd | San Marcos

You can find your district and polling place via this link:
http://www.smcisd.net/files/filesystem/2013%20smcisd%20map%20individual%20districts.pdf

PLEASE go vote on Saturday. And please ask someone else—maybe your spouse, a parent, a colleague, or a neighbor—to go vote, too. Tell them this election matters to you.

Tell them that our kids count. Tell them that every vote counts. It really is that important.

Thanks so much for your amazing encouragement and support these past weeks. It has been extremely humbling and uplifting and I am grateful. I know that working together, WE CAN DO THIS!

–Anne

 

2 Days Until the Election: Our Daughters & Sons

imageMy children weren’t born in San Marcos, but my husband and I are grateful to be raising them here in this beautiful town amidst kind and dedicated individuals who truly care about the well-being of our kids and community.

I have toured every one of our campuses over the last few weeks and I can say with certainty that great things are happening in our district every day. I have seen exceptional teachers and administrators in action. Above all, I have seen classroom after classroom of students engaged in meaningful learning.

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather Jesse served in the American Revolution. That makes me particularly proud that this morning, our daughter Sadie received the honor of reading the essay she wrote in school on the Texas War of Independence to the members of the Moon-McGehee Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas at the Hays County Courthouse on the San Marcos Sqaure.

I’m also very proud to receive the endorsement of wonderful community leaders like Barrie Breed and Bill and Brenda Damron, who believe that by working together we can make our schools the very best that they can be.

I am aware that not every child in the district has access to the same opportunities as my children. That’s why I am running for the school board. I want to provide every student with access to the opportunities and resources that they need to thrive. If elected on Saturday, I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work on behalf of ALL our kids.

We have to send a new message to every child and family in San Marcos: You belong here and you will succeed here!

Election Day is this SATURDAY, MAY 9. Polls are open from 7 AM – 7 PM.

Our kids count. So does every vote. It really is that important.

I appreciate your support and know that together we will lead our district to even brighter days.

Sincerely,
Anne

3 Days Until the Election: Something On Which Everyone Can Agree

Election photoFriends,

This election is going to be very close and I am working hard to earn your vote. But here’s what I won’t do—I won’t go negative.

Every voter I’ve spoken with agrees: We need school board members who will move beyond divisiveness, treat one another respectfully, and work together in the best interests of all of our students.

San Marcos parents and taxpayers want board members to lead by example. We want strong leaders who conduct themselves in an ethical manner and act in good faith. We want board members who act with transparency. We want board members who keep the public trust by doing what they say they are going to do—whether in a public meeting or behind closed doors.

This is what I will do.

I am offering voters the fresh perspective and positive attitude we need to take on the challenges of a growing community.

If elected to the board, I will bring my extensive professional experience and my hard-won hope for the public schools as I help build consensus and good will among the board, the administration, and the community. I will work constructively to build on our strengths and address our needs. I will keep the public trust. I will not malign other board members, school officials, or teachers. I will not pursue a personal agenda.

I am running for the board because I believe the well-being of my family depends upon the prosperity of our community. I want to provide every student with access to the opportunities and resources they need to succeed. As your board member, I will act with the same integrity, common sense, fairness, and respect that I give my own family.

Our kids count. So does your vote.

If you agree with me and share my vision for our district, I would very much appreciate your vote.

Election Day is this SATURDAY, MAY 9. Polls are open from 7 AM – 7 PM.

You can find your neighborhood polling place via this link:
http://www.smcisd.net/files/filesystem/2013%20smcisd%20map%20individual%20districts.pdf

Thanks so much,
Anne

4 Days Until the Election: Teacher Appreciation Week

Appreciation 1photo Friends,

I trust my children’s education to the teachers of our district and I’m proud to have earned the trust of teachers in this election.

Teachers know that I believe anyone who is going to make decisions on behalf of the district must have a comprehensive understanding of how our classrooms function. That is why I have visited every single one of our district campuses over the last few weeks. That is why it is important to have someone like me who has managed multi-million dollar budgets and understands how our district’s budget works.

Teachers know that my belief in public education isn’t newly found. I’ve trusted each of my kids to San Marcos public school from their first day of kindergarten.

Teachers know that I have the professional experience and leadership skills necessary to lead our district to even better days.

Teachers know that I’m not a political insider who hopes to use the board as a stepping-stone. Teachers know that I am a mother who cares deeply about my family, this community, our schools, and all of the children in our district.

Teachers know that I have the time and the willingness to do the hard work that must be done by the board so that teachers can do the job they are trained and hired to do—focus on the individual education of every child.

Teachers know that by working together we can make real changes in our district.

We need a board of trustees that believes in our teachers and keeps its focus where it belongs—on giving our kids the education they require to succeed.

Early voting continues TODAY until 5:00 PM at the Hays County Government Center on Stagecoach and Election Day is SATURDAY, May 9, 7 AM – 7 PM. I’m asking for your vote in this critical school board election and I appreciate your support. Thank you.

–Anne

6 Days Until the Election: History

IMAG0092My great-grandfather Jesse was born on this day in 1882. In addition to caring for my children over the past few years, I have been researching and writing a book about him. His life and work have had a profound effect on me and I thought a lot about him today as we took the Heritage Home Tour and attended an exhibit at El Centro of work by local artist Alex Flores.

After being ordained in 1910, my great-grandfather began his ministry working in a medical mission in Labrador, Canada. My granddad and his younger brother were both born in the hospital my great-granddad helped build in the coastal town of St. Anthony. Called “the Christian plumber of the Mission,” during his service in Labrador he increased efficiency not only in the hospital, but also in the school, in the orphanage, and in the homes of the fishermen who lived there. He installed furnaces and running water into the orphanage and hospital, delivered sermons on Sundays in the church and hospital, managed the mission’s general funds, and taught evening school.

In 1913, my great-grandfather accepted a call to became pastor of the Seventh Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, where he served for 29 years. In addition to his many involvements with the Church, he was an artist and a writer and was very active in a broad range of civic and charitable organizations. He served as president of the Southampton Historical Society and authored numerous articles based on family lore and his boyhood memories. He also served with the YMCA and Red Cross in Russia during the First World War and worked to recruit Army and Navy chaplains during World War II.

In a book of prayers he published for servicemen, he included this quote from Abraham Lincoln, which I think sums up his life’s philosophy: “Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”