Posted November 2, 2021
Penguin Project Among 120 Shortlisted For 2021 Reimagine Education Awards
Corsicana Independent School District is thrilled to announce that the Penguin Project is among 120 shortlist finalists out of 1,100 global applicants for the 2021 QS-Wharton Reimagine Education Awards.
School officials were notified last week that the popular theatre program for special needs students was selected to compete in the Nurturing Wellbeing & Purpose Award category.
The – inaugural – Nurturing Wellbeing & Purpose Award, sponsored by TecMilenio, will reward a project that helps to foster mental and/or physical wellbeing; and/or clarity of purpose among faculty, students, or other education stakeholders. As a shortlisted applicant, Corsicana’s Penguin Project will get to showcase their work at the 2021 Reimagine Education Virtual Conference in December.
The Penguin Project is an on-stage theatre program that casts students with various abilities and special needs in junior Broadway musicals. The students are accompanied by select, student mentors who assist them from rehearsal to performance. At the virtual conference, Corsicana representatives will get to pitch their project during a two-minute video showcased in a dedicated virtual booth where delegates from across the world can provide feedback and vote on the pitch. CISD’s video pitch will be available for all to view during the Reimagine Education Conference (December 6-10), post-conference until January 2022, and permanently on the online Reimagine Education Innovation Directory.
“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the spirit of inclusion, nurturing and belonging the Penguin Project creates for our students with special abilities,” said Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. “I am ecstatic that this program is getting the accolades and attention it deserves in the national spotlight and cannot wait for our talented Tigers to showcase their work.”
This year there are about 70 students involved in preparing for a January 2022 production of
Disney’s Frozen, Jr., the Musical. January is expected to be proclaimed Penguin Month in the city of Corsicana and in CISD.
Posted November 1, 2021
Corsicana ISD Receives State Grant To Purchase Two Police Cars, Equipment
The Corsicana School Board voted Monday evening to accept a $92,850 grant to purchase two new police cars. The fully-equipped vehicles will replace two 2002 and 2005 squad cars with a combined mileage of 450,000.
“This is a great opportunity to improve our safety program without impacting the school budget,” said Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. “We have dedicated officers who are committed to ensuring a safe environment for all students. This grant is just one example of how they go above and beyond to make a difference in CISD.”
CISD Police Chief Scott Stephens said the Police Vehicle Project was applied for and received through the Governor’s Office of Texas. Sergeant Lavon Denson was the individual primarily responsible for writing the grant. She is among 11 uniformed officers and one canine officer that make up the Corsicana ISD Police Department. Denson said she came across the grant in late January and had only a few days to complete the extensive paperwork.
“I’m here to help the school district any way I can,” said Sgt. Denson, who is assigned to Bowie Elementary and has been with Corsicana ISD for five years. Before that she worked as an officer at Navarro College for nine years. “I didn’t really know grants like this were out there, but now that I do, we will be applying for more to help out with the school budget.”
Chief Stephens said the new vehicles will be utilized daily to respond to emergency calls, transports and patrol duties through the entire district. In addition, the vehicles will be used to make home visits, respond to accidents involving CISD vehicles, conduct bus patrols and traffic control at schools, as well as Tiger Field events and student welfare checks.
Posted October 15, 2021
Corsicana Trustee Elected To The Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members
Corsicana School Board Trustee Barbara Kelley was recently elected as secretary of The Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members or TCBSBM.
TCBSBM is a non-profit organization that speaks on behalf of quality education for African Americans in the state of Texas.
“It’s an honor to have Barbara represent Corsicana ISD as an advocate for students and staff across the state of Texas,” said CISD Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. “She has dedicated herself to serving our community for many years, and this is just one more way she positively impacts public schools all across the state.”
Kelley first ran for a three-year term on the Corsicana ISD Board in 2009 and has served as a Trustee now for the past 12 years. She has always been community-oriented and has served on several other Corsicana boards and committees. She is currently the Police Lead Telecommunicator for DART and serves on the Advisory board for the Navarro County Boys & Girls Club.
Kelley’s roots run deep in Tiger Nation. A 1984 CHS graduate, she has served the Corsicana Education Foundation and the Navarro County NAACP. A Texas A&M Commerce alum, Kelley and her husband Charles Kelley share six children - Kendall, Dewayne, Kayla, Klinton, Kishawn and Kim.
Kelley says the School Board’s role is to govern the district by adopting goals and priorities and monitoring successes; evaluating the Superintendent; adopting a budget and tax rate; advocating for students and communicating to the community.
“I believe the role of an individual Trustee is to communicate with my constituents and be a voice for our community, our students and staff,” said Kelley. “I hope that I can help along with my team of fellow Board Trustees continue to bring innovative education to our district, and help prepare our students for the future.”
As the TCBSBM secretary, Kelley will be responsible for keeping the minutes at meetings. The election for officers was held during the annual Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA)/Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Convention in Dallas.
Kelley says she considers herself to be a servant leader. “It is an honor to represent my community and district in this role,” she added. “I will continue to advocate for all students.”
Originally known as The Black Caucus, the TCBSBM organization was established in 1978 under the leadership of Dr. Charles Matthews, Deputy Superintendent at North Forest ISD. He served as President of North Forest Teachers Association and was politically active regarding African American education issues. While attending the Summer Leadership Institute hosted by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), Dr. Matthews met with African American Trustees and proposed a plan to establish an organization where African American Board Members would discuss the issues affecting not only African American students, but also African American teachers and Trustees.
In 1990, The Black Caucus name was changed to The Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members. The name and several other structural changes allowed the organization to be recognized as a supporting school board entity which could grant education credits and reserve rooms at TASB functions.
Posted October 1, 2021
Sam Houston Elementary Closed Today Due to Power Outage
Sam Houston Elementary School is closed today due to a power outage caused by last night’s storm. Oncor has been notified but has no estimated time for the power to be restored. School is canceled only at Sam Houston Elementary today, Friday 10/1.
Posted September 24, 2021
Corsicana School Leaders Complete XG Training
Leaders from Corsicana Independent School District recently completed the state’s eXceptional Governance or XG training through the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The five-part training program helps superintendents and school boards further develop skills to support student success.
“Going through the XG training is just one more way our School Board is working to ensure they provide support and effective leadership for our students and staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. “Anytime you stop and take the time to listen and learn together, you will find opportunities to improve and operate more cohesively as a team. I applaud the commitment our Trustees made to completing the XG training.”
TASB’s intensive, whole-board program strengthens essential perspectives, builds governance capacity and equips the Board to act with confidence while focusing on improving student outcomes. The first session laid a foundation for identifying a shared vision in setting high expectations. The second training session involved sharing research-supported levers for improved teaching and learning in the district. This session helped the Board focus on their role in governance while supporting teachers in their work within the classrooms.
“There’s nothing more important for our School Board than supporting teachers as they serve students and improve student learning,” said CISD Board President Leah Blackard. “TASB’s governance training was a good reminder that the Board sets the vision and expectations for the district, while empowering the superintendent to guide the instructional team in their efforts to support student outcomes.”
The third session involved Trustees reviewing student achievement data and setting specific learning outcomes and goals. The Board focused on understanding and applying data to monitor and make decisions at the governance level. The fourth session involved building a sustainable structure to monitor achievement of goals and ensure the focus of the district remains on student outcomes. Finally, the fifth session concentrated on the role and work of the Trustees in supporting a relentless focus on student learning and identifying communication strategies to communicate outcomes.
Posted August 31, 2021
Board Approves COVID-19 Case Thresholds, Reinstates Mask Safety Protocols To Avoid School Shutdown
The Corsicana ISD Administration and School Board met Monday morning to discuss the ongoing situation and monitoring of active COVID-19 cases. In effort to protect all staff and students and avoid a complete shutdown of individual schools or the district, the Board voted to reinstate mask requirements when the case counts at individual campuses meet a particular threshold.
School officials say the measures provide guidance for staff and students when additional safety protocols need to be implemented to protect them from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Masks were not completely mandated by Trustees, however, as they are offering an “opt out” form.
“We are working with our Administration to closely monitor active cases and have concerns that if we didn’t do something to help prevent the spread of the virus, we will be forced to shut down schools and send students home,” said Leah Blackard, Corsicana School Board President. “We took action Monday to help ensure that students and staff can safely keep attending school, which remains our overall goal.”
At the Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth grade levels, masking protocols have been reinstated for an entire class when an individual in a class reports a positive case in that classroom. The protocols will remain in place for 10 school days following the announcement of an active case in PK-6 grades. This means all staff members and students in a class with an active case will be requested to wear a mask for 10 school days after a case has been announced in that class or until the mask protocols can be safely lifted.
At secondary campuses, which includes both Corsicana Middle School and Corsicana High School, masking protocols were reinstated when the percentage of active cases - to include a combination of students and staff - reaches 1.5 percent of the population of that campus. For Corsicana Middle School, the 1.5 percent threshold kicks in when there are 15 cases on campus, and at Corsicana High School, the 1.5 percent threshold for mask protocols kicks in when the campus reaches 31 cases. Again, at the secondary level the percentage used will be 1.5 percent of a combination of both student and staff positive cases.
These updated mask protocols began Tuesday of this week. It should be noted that Corsicana Middle School reported 20 known active COVID-19 positive cases Monday afternoon. This means mask protocols began Tuesday, August 31 for all Corsicana Middle School staff and students, and they will continue for 10 school days or until the protocols can be safely lifted.
The reinstatement of mask protocols is the next important step to protecting CISD students and staff from the spread of the Delta variant and will hopefully help school leaders avoid a complete shutdown of a classroom, grade level or campus. If staff or parents do not wish to have to follow these updated mask protocols and are willing to assume the health risks associated with attending work or school unmasked, there is an "opt out" form available at each campus. Simply fill out the form and return it to the campus office/principal.
CISD plans to reinstate the COVID-19 dashboard this week showing active cases at each campus and will continue to notify impacted staff and families of students via email. Tiger staff, students and parents were asked via email to help prepare for these new changes by carrying masks with them or leaving them at work and school in the event they are needed. The district also has a supply of masks readily available for use should an individual forget or not have their own mask to use.
Although school officials said they hoped the district would be past the need to require masks during the 2021-2022 school year, they also reserve the right to make decisions in the best interests of staff and students given the current caseloads and health information about the virus. The situation is rapidly evolving. School leaders took the opportunity this week to again encourage everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control confirm that COVID-19 vaccines help individuals avoid or lessen the impact of the Delta variant. In turn, wearing masks helps reduce an individual’s risk of exposure and the risk that they will spread the virus to others.
Updated August 18, 2021
CISD Temporarily Postpones COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic For Students Ages 12-18
Corsicana ISD is disappointed to announce today that the free COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for Friday, August 20 at Corsicana High School will have to be postponed to another date. The district was partnering with three area pharmacies to provide the clinic but were notified this week that the pharmacies are having trouble finding sufficient staff to provide the clinic.
Corsicana ISD Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost said the district hopes to be able to provide a location for the clinic in the near future, when the pharmacies have enough employees to help conduct the clinic. She said the voluntary vaccination clinic would have provided the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine for students. Instead, parents who wish to have their teen vaccinated are encouraged to contact their local health provider and/or visit a pharmacy site directly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. But they are not 100% effective and some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides them strong protection against serious illness and death.
Posted August 6, 2021CISD Leaders Spend Day Learning With Author Ruby PayneLocal school leaders are raving about the day they got to spend learning at the Corsicana ISD 2021 Administrative Academy with Emotional Poverty author Dr. Ruby Payne.
“Emotional Poverty training by Dr. Ruby Payne is the most valuable training I have ever had, “ said Kim Holcomb, CISD’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Our staff and students will benefit from this training for years to come.”
Payne’s workshop on Thursday included district and campus leaders across CISD, as well as several members of the local School Board. The workshop is designed to help educators address anger, anxiety and violence in the classroom by incorporating strategies and best practices that are proven to work. Payne believes the social emotional wellbeing of students is just as important as their physical safety.
“It was a great opportunity for our leadership team to come together and learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. “One of the greatest benefits of the emotional poverty training is understanding students and adults at a deeper level.”
Payne believes under-resourced students, wealthy students, and students in all demographics can benefit from her calming and healing techniques.
“Research shows that effective social emotional education has the power to strengthen attachment to school and increase positive classroom behavior, two significant predictors of who will be successful in school and stay in school,” said Associate Superintendent Dr. Elmer, Avellaneda. “Dr. Ruby Payne’s insights provided our leadership team with targeted strategies for managing behaviors, building compassion and promoting inner strength.”
Founder and CEO of the aha! Process, Payne is the author of Emotional Poverty and A Framework for Understanding Poverty, which has sold more than 1.8 million copies. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Goshen College, her Master’s in English Literature at Western Michigan University and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Payne has been a high school teacher, a central office administrator, a consultant for two different regional service centers, and an elementary principal.
“It was a great day of training,” said Stephanie Howell, Executive Director of Technology and Innovation. “We gained more insightful tools so we can equip our students, parents and staff to be the best version of themselves.”
Payne’s training provides educators with a greater understanding of the origins of anger, anxiety, and avoidance. It also gives them a language to talk about brain regulation, integration, and emotional competence; provides tools to address and reduce anger, anxiety, and avoidance; helps manage the “classroom dance” that occurs between the educator and the students; provides the tools to motivate good behavior; and identifies the differences in male and female emotional processing.
“I loved the last three days (at the 2021 Administrative Academy),” said Jima Montfort, Collins Intermediate School Assistant Principal. Prior to the day-long training with Dr. Payne, CISD leaders participated in two days of conflict management training based on the best-selling book Crucial Conversations. “I like trainings that provide tangible strategies that I can immediately add to my tool bag. These two trainings definitely provided that. Thank you to CISD for scheduling both.”
Dr. Payne has spoken to more than a million educators and has given more than 4,000 speeches and presentations around the world, including engagements in such countries as China, India, Trinidad, Slovakia, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Canada.
She says her true passion is teaching and learning. “I am absolutely fascinated by how individuals think,” the author shares on her aha! website. “I love to read and find new ideas and thinking. I always wanted to be a teacher, and now I simply teach adults.”
Payne adds, “My best trainings are when someone will come to me and say, ‘Thank you. Now I understand my mother,’ or ‘my brother,’ or ‘my marriage.’ Or they will say, “This information kept me in teaching. It changed my life.”
Posted August 5, 2021CISD Searches For Next Strategic Communications AdvisorCorsicana ISD is searching for the next strategic communications advisor for the school district. If you're ready to join a dynamic school leadership team in a spirited, one-high school community, check out the job posting for Executive Director of Communications & Marketing by visiting the CISD website."We are looking for just the right person with the experience and enthusiasm to lead our communications and marketing program in Corsicana ISD," said Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. "This is a key position for our leadership team, and ensuring that our district has an ongoing strategic communications and marketing program is a high priority for me as we enter the 2021-2022 school year.”CISD is looking for an individual with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications or a related field. Someone with three to five years of supervision and management experience in a public school district or organization is preferred, along with Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).The chosen candidate will serve in an advisory capacity to the Superintendent and central-office administration in an effort to ensure sound public relations practices and strategic problem-solving. This individual will serve as the district’s spokesperson and as a liaison in the community for Corsicana ISD.“We are looking for someone who can facilitate effective, two-way communication and ongoing public engagement between the school district and its key internal and external stakeholders,” Dr. Frost said. “We have a history of strong communications with our Tiger families, but this full-time position will take our program to the next level and ensure we are providing transparent and timely messaging.”Once the position is filled, the CISD Administration plans to have CESO Communications conduct a baseline assessment of the communications and marketing program to identify areas of strength and improvement. The position vacancy for Executive Director of Communications and Marketing includes a state and national search for just the right person to lead the district’s efforts going forward. Salary will be commensurate with credentials and experience.For more information, contact CISD’s Executive Director of Leadership at 903-602-8138.
Posted August 5, 2021
CISD Board Approves New Campus Leadership
Some exciting changes are ahead for Corsicana ISD as the Board of Trustees recently approved several Tiger administrators to serve in new leadership positions for the 2021-2022 school year.
• Molly Corrington will serve as the district’s coordinator of ESL/BE. She previously served CISD as the principal of Sam Houston Elementary.
• Dallas Horne has been serving as Principal of Fannin Elementary, but has now been named principal at Sam Houston Elementary.
• Tiffany Farmer was named Principal for Fannin Elementary. She previously served as the assistant principal of Navarro Elementary,
“These leaders have a heart for our children and will ensure that the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students are met,” said CISD Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost. “I look forward to working with them in their new roles.”
Corrington is proven leader within Corsicana ISD and now transitions to serving all students in the ESL/BE programs. She began as a classroom teacher in 2007 and later served as an assistant principal at both Carroll Elementary and Collins Intermediate. Corrington received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University Commerce in 2007. In 2013, she received her Master's in Education degree from UT Arlington, and her principal certification from Lamar University in 2017. Molly is married to Matt. She has two children, Ambree Christy of Dallas, and Cody Taft of Denver, Colorado.
After a successful career as a teacher, coach, and assistant principal in Midlothian, Dallas Horne joined CISD in 2018 as the Director of Instructional Support. In 2019, he began his role as principal and campus leader at Fannin. Horne is looking forward to working with the dual language program that is offered at Sam Houston. He earned his education degree from SAGU in Waxahachie, a Master’s Degree in Education from Dallas Baptist University, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Technology from Tarleton State University. Dallas is married to Brittany, and they have four children, Dilynn, Bennett, Collins, Beckham.
Tiffany Farmer, who was recently selected as “Assistant Principal of the Year” by Region 12, has been a member of the CISD family since 2012. Her exceptional instruction earned her the Carroll Elementary Rising Star Award in 2015, and the CISD Mark Culwell Award for Outstanding Elementary Teacher in 2017. She has served as assistant principal at Navarro Elementary for two years. Farmer’s passion for education drives her success as a leader. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UT Arlington. She resides in Corsicana with her husband, Brian. In other CISD leadership news,
Adrian Zamilpa has been named as the assistant principal at Corsicana High School. Zamilpa is a CHS alumnus who returned to the district as a teacher/coach in 2016. Since that time, Zamilpa has coached soccer and football and taught world history. “Once a Tiger, always a Tiger,” Zamilpa said. “I bleed blue and gold and I care deeply about our student's success. I can’t wait to be the bridge that helps our students find their true potential.” Zamilpa recently earned his master's degree at Lamar University.
And while Dana (Dee) Ferguson is new to the CISD Tiger family, she joins the district with 15 years of experience which will greatly contribute to the success of her fellow staff and teachers. As a math teacher and instructional coach from Clear Creek ISD in Houston, Ferguson is looking forward to joining the community as the new assistant principal at Collins Intermediate. “Corsicana has been incredibly welcoming, and I am excited to impact the lives of students and teachers,” said Ferguson, who is joined by her husband of nine years and their four children.