February 4, 2014

Inspired Learners                

Making (Classical) Music         

Ever wonder what music comes to mind when wild horses gallop? When elephants stroll? Birds fly? Kangaroos hop? Ashworth Elementary students didn't, either - until last week, when Evan Mitchell and Jonathan Tsay came for a visit and brought along a shiny, baby grand piano. | Evan Mitchell plays the piano at Ashworth Elementary as a part of the Musical Awakenings program through the Van Cliburn Foundation.

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Inspired Learners                   

Ousley NJHS Efforts Pay Off 

Members of the Ousley Junior High National Junior Honor Society were ready to raise money for a good cause and they had picked out how they wanted to do it. Only problem? In all the excitement, they seemed to have forgotten to actually pick a cause.

But after a typhoon struck the Philippines in November 2013, killing at least 6,000 people and devastating the county, that "cause" was decided on pretty quickly. | The Ousley Junior High National Junior Honor Society and its officers - from left to right: Hayden G., Lilly N., Britney L., Gina N., Stephanie M. and Torren T. - help raise funds for the relief effort in the Philippines.

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Inspired Learners                  

Martin's Empty Bowls    

After 20 years of teaching ceramics at Martin High School, Stacy Kouba got the chance to do what she'd wanted to do for at least 18 of them: participate in an Empty Bowls Project event.

Started by the nonprofit organization The Imagine Render Group, the Empty Bowls Project is a compassionately unique undertaking that raises money and awareness to combat hunger. Artists - students in Kouba's Ceramics III art class, in this case - create handcrafted bowls in exchange for a soup and bread dinner and cash donations. Guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.By the end of the event, held in the Martin cafeteria, Kouba was thrilled to announce that her students, who had created 125 bowls, had raised about $2,000 for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. | Guests of the first-ever Empty Bowls Project dinner at Martin High School admire some of the 125 handcrafted, ceramic bowls created by Martin Ceramics III art students for the event.  

Effective Leadership              

Guiding Pantego   

Ask Matt Fielder - the new City Manager in Pantego - about his time at Martin High School and he'll say, jokingly, "Nothing much. I showed up, did my thing."

That's not entirely true. He certainly showed up and snagged decent grades, graduating in 1990 and heading off to the University of Texas at Austin. One significant Martin moment, though, came when he strolled into an AP government course that opened his eyes and tugged at his heart. | Matt Fielder, a 1990 graduate of Martin High School, is the new City Manager in Pantego as well as the director of Pantego's Economic Development Corporation.

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News Briefs
AISD Entrepreneurship Contest Underway
The Arlington ISD and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce are searching for the most entrepreneurial and innovative third through eighth grade students in the district. Students will imagine, create and invent a new product or business - their own "big idea" - as a part of the 2013-2014 Entrepreneurship Contest, which is now accepting entries through Friday, Feb. 21.
More information
Destination Success College Prep Event Feb. 22
Destination Success, a free college prep event, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Sam Houston High School. There will be presentations in both English and Spanish on a variety of tops relating to college prep, including: financial aid, SAT/ACT test prep assistance, dual credit guidance and college fair and admissions assistance.
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Arlington ISD L.I.F.E. Academy Registration Open
The Arlington ISD, in partnership with the Arlington Coalition for Education, presents the L.I.F.E. Academy - Leaders Inspiring Families for Excellence - from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Bowie High School. This one-day forum on developing life skills will include workshops on social media, power choices, college prep and more. The event, open to all AISD parents, high school and junior high students, includes an essay contest.
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Upcoming Events
Feb. 6: The Board of Trustees will meet in a regular session beginning at 7 p.m.
Feb. 8: Parent University will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Arlington High School.
Feb. 17: Student/staff holiday for Presidents Day.
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AISD Achieving Excellence is produced weekly by the AISD communications department.

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