Tuesday, December 20, 2016

For Jamie Sexson, It's One Day At A Time

The public school is part of every community, large and small, all across the nation. The public school is a picture of our community and paints a history that will forever be etched in the lives of its citizens and alumni. Public schools bring communities together, and the relationship between a nine-year old boy fighting for his life and the 1988 Marshall Maverick football team will forever be etched in the history of Marshall High School and Marshall, Texas. Today's edition of The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy, takes a look back at the story of Jamie Sexson, who found his friends for life in the Maverick football team. The Mavericks, who reached out and became some of Jamie's closest friends, well, they found a new hero. This article appeared in the Dec. 8, 1988 edition of the Marshall News Messenger.

by Kim Weeks
News Messenger

The doctors said 9-year-old James Sexson should have already died, but Jamie's mother, Debbie, said members of the Maverick football team have helped give him some more time.

James, diagnosed as having leukemia at age 3, was "adopted" by the football team in October.

"I think him being adopted by the team gave him an extra time to live," Mrs. Sexson said. "It gave him something to look forward to."

James, affectionately called Jamie, had been in remission for a few months, but in August of this year, he got sick again and the doctors told Mrs. Sexson that there were no more treatments available.

"They told us to let him do what he wanted to do because they didn't expect him to live very long after that," she said.

Mrs. Sexson said they put Jamie back in school for about a month, but he had to be taken out after he got an infection.

"He hasn't been in school since October," she said. "He's had several bad days and several bouts where we've thought that was going to be it, and he's still alive."

Jamie was officially adopted during the pep rally before the Tyler game, and he went with the team to the game, practiced on the field with them and went out for the coin toss.

"He did everything the football team did," she said. "That night they took him out to eat with them and he got to go home on the bus. To him that was the grandest thing."

After that Jamie went to a few practices and games, until he couldn't go any more.

"The last game he went to was Tyler Lee. He went for a coin toss with the boys and he just got sick on the field. Brent Truelove brought him out and he started vomiting blood and it scared everybody."

Now, two or three nights a week, a few members of the team come over to see Jamie.

"Coach (Dennis) Parker told me that he never told the boys to come over. It was something they did on their own," she said.

Jamie, she said, was not the only person touched by his relationship with the team.

"Jamie has been used greatly (by God). There's just no telling how many lives he's touched since he's been sick. The football players will tell you, he's done a lot for them. Brent Truelove told me, 'you'll never know how much he's done for me,'" she said. "Coach Parker told me he's made them realize there's more to life than football, and life can be taken at any age."

Mrs. Sexson said Jamie rarely gets out of bed now.

"He sleeps most all day," she said. "But when the boys come in...he says, 'My team's here.'"

"They were real good about treating him as a normal kid," she said. "He wasn't a sick kid, he wasn't a cancer kid."

She said when the team came over after a game, the first thing Jamie said was, "You guys did real good. I'm proud of you."

"You can see these big old boys, I mean some of these guys are huge, they just tear up. They respect Jamie and that means a lot."

Mrs. Sexson said she has not worked in nine weeks, but stays home to to be with Jamie. She said they used to go for rides in the car and play games, but now they stay home and watch television together when Jamie isn't sleeping.

Mrs. Sexson said the doctors are not saying anything anymore.

"He's going to die. He knows he's going to die. We've talked about it and he understands. It's a waiting game. Some days he'll be down and we'll thing this is it, we're getting close. Then he'll get a burst of energy and he'll be up again. But for the last two weeks he's been pretty sick.

"We talk about dying. We've talked about going to heaven and not being afraid. What he's afraid of is leaving me. He knows it will be a better life. He knows he won't have the disease anymore. He's real brave."

She said Jamie helped her plan his funeral and his only special requests were that they play "Have You Been Washed In Blood" and that the football team be there.

"I worry about them (the team) after Jamie dies," she said. "I think they are going to take it real hard."

When the team comes over, they don't let Jamie dwell on death, Mrs. Sexson said.

"One day Odell (Beckham) talked about how they run all day and they were sore from practice. Jamie said, 'You know, I can't even walk to the bathroom and back without being tired.' They said, 'That's okay.' They are real good about keeping him going."

"I think accepting him the way he is has made a big difference in Jamie. He's kept going. I think he's lived his life to the fullest. He's done a lot of things that kids his age don't do. We take each day as it comes and we're thankful for that day. And when tomorrow comes, and we hope that it does, if it doesn't, we know he's had a good life."

*Note: Jamie lost his battle with cancer shortly after this article, but he won the hearts of his Maverick football friends, and the community they shared together. His story, along with his friendship with the Mavs, won national acclaim when East Texas broadcaster David Smoak further chronicled his final days and his relationship with his Maverick friends in "Jamie's Season," in 1988.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Working With Kids, One Way Or The Other

Today's entry in "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy" looks back at the service of Mrs. Sybill Presswood, longtime school secretary at Marshall High School who was named Volunteer of the Year in 1986 for her work with abused and neglected children. This article appeared in the Oct. 27, 1986, edition of the Marshall News Messenger.

MARSHALL JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL secretary Sybill Presswood loves young people so much that when she is not surrounded by teenagers at work, she voluntarily spends her time with a group of area children who need attention.

In fact, Mrs. Presswood was recently honored by the Department of Human Services as their volunteer of the year for her work with Child Protective Services.

Mrs. Presswood, who has worked for the Marshall Independent School District for 16 years, said she became involved in helping abused and neglected children several years ago while working at Price T. Young School.

"I really didn't know what was involved, but the longer I stayed on the board, the more I became involved. I've been on the board for 10 years now," she said.

Child Protective Services in Harrison County tries to make sure foster children have as normal a life as any other children, Mrs. Presswood said. Foster parents receive money for the state for basic necessities and some funds from the county commissioners for extras, but Child Protective Services tries to provide things for which the state and county do not pay.

"We help raise money for their school clothes and go outside for Christmas donations. We also help pay doctor and hospital bills when they aren't covered by insurance. We try to give each of the children a birthday allowance and try to give the foster children the same privileges as other children," said Mrs. Presswood.

Mrs. Presswood is president and volunteer coordinator for CPS, and she said volunteers are always needed. One thing the volunteers do is sit with foster children in the hospital so they will not be alone.

"They get so scared when they have to be in the hospital alone," Mrs. Presswood said.

"The most rewarding thing is the direct contact with the children. We show them some love and teach them to trust. It's so rewarding to see those children blossom and start trusting people. Seeing a child go from a little frightened thing and start giving out love is really specials," she said.

Currently, CPS is raising money for the foster children's Christmas. Mrs. Presswood said various organizations and even classes at school will sponsor a child, either by buying gifts or giving money to CPS.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The History Of David Crockett Elementary School

By Richard Fluker (2006)

David Crockett School, 700 Jasper Drive, had its beginning early in 1952 when the Board of Education and the Superintendent realized Sam Houston school could no longer serve the growing population of the east part of Marshall. After careful study of the area, the present site was selected.

In August 1953, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Bailey donated 8.89 acres of land for a school, provided that the building be completed by August 1958 and that city water service be extended to include the Jasper Heights area. The Board accepted this donation of the property and immediately began planning for the building.

A bid from Eckert-Fair Construction Company was accepted on September 15, 1954, and construction began shortly thereafter. The final cost of the building was $239,782.

In March 1955, the City Council of the Parent-Teacher Association submitted the name David Crockett to the Board of Education. The name was accepted.

The doors of David Crockett School opened for classes in September 1955 to 204 students, 10 teachers and the principal. The school had 12 classrooms, library, cafetorium, clinic, teacher's lounge and office.

Three additions have been made to the original building. In 1968, the south wing of the original building was extended to include six additional classrooms. Funds came from a $4,264,000 bond election in 1962. In 1972, the north wing of the original building was extended to include seven classrooms and two restrooms. The entire building was completely air conditioned during the school year of 1980-81. In the fall of 1987, a new library, 10 classrooms, special education room, computer room, teacher workroom, storeroom and office complex were added. Funds from the 1986 bond issue, which provided $5.5 million for additions to five schools and facilities for administration, food service, maintenance and transportation. A gymnasium separate from the main building opened in 1993.

With MISD's reorganization in 1981, Crockett School began serving students in grades K-4. Until then, it had been a K-6 school. In 1982, the Commissioner of Education named Crockett a partnership school and it began participating in the Accelerated Schools Program.

Crockett was first designated as a "Recognized" school by the Texas Education Agency in 2003-04 and repeated the accomplishment in 2004-05.

Update: Under the Legacy 2017 building program, a new K-5 elementary school with a capacity of 750 students is under construction at the David Crockett Elementary site. Upon completion of the new facility, the current building will be demolished.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Marshall High School Students Prepare Delicious Turkey Dinner

Marshall High School's 1985 Vocational Adjustment Class prepared a full-course Thanksgiving meal as an assignment from instructors James Townsend and Sue Clark. This article appeared in the Nov. 27, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger.

By Cindy Edwards
Lifestyle Editor

The Vocational Adjustment Class at Marshall High School recently prepared a full-course spread for Thanksgiving.

The class, which contains a course on life skills, teaches students how to cook, set tables and clean up afterwards.

Instructors James Townsend and Sue Clark said the meal was one of several the class will be preparing this year.

The students made their grocery list and went shopping for food. They prepared the food for cooking and followed through with the finished product -- Thanksgiving lunch.

Townsend said the class "is a favorite" of the juniors. "They cook at least once a week," he said. Since this is the first year for the class, the recent Thanksgiving feast was a first. However, Townsend said he hopes to make it an annual event.

The menu included traditional turkey and dressing, corn, beans, gravy, yams, and rolls. Homemade pumpkin pies were the dessert.

The students have also learned to can pears, as well as prepare other canned goods.

"I see a great deal of improvement," Townsend said. "We've studied about setting tables and now they're actually getting to do it."

Townsend said behavior of the students has been "vastly improved" since the inception of the life skills class.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MHS Honors Athletes At Fall Sports Banquet

Today's installment of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy," looks back at the 1986 Fall Athletic Banquet at Marshall High School, which originally appeared in the January 20, 1987, edition of the Marshall News Messenger. Highlights from the banquet were the football awards handed out to the 1986 Mavericks by head coach Dennis Parker; volleyball awards announced by coach Faye Whitlow; and the presentation of the 1986 13-5A cross country district championship by coach Richard Fluker.

Marshall News Messenger

Marshall High School honored athletes from football, volleyball and cross country during the school's annual fall sports banquet Monday night.

Coaches for each of the three sports presented the students who competed in those sports and gave plaques and/or certificates to the most outstanding members of the groups.

The banquet began in the high school cafeteria, but later moved to the auditorium for the presentation of awards. "I've always thought this is the way you should do this," said MHS head football coach and athletic director Dennis Parker. "This way they have to come out on the stage and be seen."

Parker told the crowd of about 175 athletes, parents, coaches and supporters that "the process of athletics is the only thing that counts.

"Winning or losing may be very satisfying, or very disappointing, but it's only temporary." The process of athletics teaches discipline, he said, "...not in a military sense of following orders and saying 'yes sir' and 'no sir.' Discipline is the ability to do what is right or needed when you don't want to do it.

"Athletics teaches young peoople to make a commitment, which is a rare thing these days," he said. "Five our of every eight marriages end in divorce, and 40 of every 100 people who enter our military quit after the first month. Athletics teaches young people never to quit," Parker added that determination never to quit was shown in the 1986 MHS football team.

The coach used a point from teh Longview game to illustrate his point. Marshall was behind 14-7 and Longview had the ball around its own 30-yard line on third down with 18 yards to go for a first.

"Somehow, through poor coaching on my part or whatever, they ran a Statue of Liberty play down to our seven," he recalled. "It seemed certain that Longview was going tos core and Marshall would find itself down 21-7 with less than three minutes in the game.

"The fans started leaving. I even had given up, but those kids out there on the field didn't give up. Four downs later, we've got the ball on our 20," he said.

"Those kids didn't get beat. Time ran out on them that night, but it won't run out on them in life," he said. "They've started a tradition this season that's going to be very hard to follow -- never quit."

Parker quoted an article that said American-Asian students, particularly Vietnamese refugees, have done better in school than any other group. He said they compose one-tenth of one percent of those applying to Harvard and 11 percent of the incoming class.

Parker said the story contained a comment that the trend would not carry over to the next generation, because the Asian immigrants would become "Americanized" and learn to settle for mediocrity.

"I'm an American and I'm not ready to settle for mediocrity," he said. "We didn't become a great nation by being mediocre. The future leaders of this world are sitting in this room. And I think that 10 years from now, if someone tells them they're average, they'll take it as an insult."

Presentation of the football awards began with defensive coordinator Bill Harper presenting the top defensive point-getter and defensive Most Valuable Player as voted on by team members.

Chris Parish was the team's leading point-getter with 179 points. Reggie Cooper was named the defensive MVP. Cooper was also chosen as the team's overall MVP.

MHS offensive coordinator Tom Thrower presented the Most Valuable Offensive Player award to sophomore running back Odell Beckham. Beckham was honored as Sophomore of the Year, an award he was also presented by four different newspapers this season.

Harold Survia was recognized as District 13-5A's all-district kick return specialist.

First-team all-district players, Cooper, Scott Ford and Thomas Montgomery, were congratulated. All-district second-team selections -- Emid Roberts, Parish and Bill Brazille -- were recognized, as were honorable mention selections Mark Neel, Mitch Eubanks, Dennis Sallee and Eric Perkins.

Kenneth Mitchell was presented the team's Fighting Heart Award. Neel and Brandon Bates, both of whom are expected to finish in the top 10 of the senior class, were honored for their academic achievements.

Team captains, also voted on by the players and coaches, were Roberts, Cooper, Sallee and Darrell Taylor.

Maverick Football Booster Club president, Donald Wayne McLendon, was presented the Super Booster Award.

Long John Silver's presented an award to Beckham as the Outstanding Offensive Player, Cooper as the Outstanding Defensive Player, and Survia as Outstanding Special Teams Player.


MHS Volleyball coach Faye Echols Whitlow said her team finished the season with a 24-10 record and was 9-5, or third, in District 13-5A.

Whitlow recalled the team's recovery from losing the first four district games to winning nine of the last 10 district matches.

The MHS Volleyball team wound up in a three-way tie for first in the second half of district play, but was eliminated by a tie-breaking process.

She noted the players who made all-district, including 13-5A's Sophomore of the Year, Kim Mitchell. Roslyn Reed was a unanimous first-team, all-district selection, Whitlow said. She recognized Angela Mitchell as a second-tam, all-district pick, and Sheila Wrighten, Madeline Jackson and Johnetta Bush as honorable mentions.

Whitlow also presented local awards. Johnetta Bush was picked as the outstanding server, with a 91 percent success rate.

Angela Mitchell was announced as team captain, and Reed won the annual "hustle" award.


Richard Fluker presented the District 13-5A championship cross-country team, noting that the team won five meets during the season and placed second in the sixth.

Sam Hammontree and Ron Dennis were honored as all-district selections. Hammontree was honored as the top scoring runner and winner of the academic award.

"This award goes to a senior, and Sam is our only senior," Fluker said. "But counselors tell me he's going to graduate about ninth in a class of nearly 400."

Scott Anderson was honored as the Most Improved Runner.

Friday, November 11, 2016

David Crockett Students Jump Rope To Help Heart Association

The American Heart Association's "Jump Rope For Heart" program has received contributions from Marshall public school children for decades, and continues today at MISD campuses as local children take part in the fight against heart disease during special events in their P.E. classes. Today's installment of the "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy," looks back at a "Jump Rope For Heart" event held at David Crockett Elementary in March of 1987. 

By Laureen Tedesco
Marshall News Messenger (March 22, 1987)

Friday afternoon was hot, headache hot.

The sun shone brightly, and the air was beginning to lose its nip. It was the sort of day that reminds you that grass-mowing days are coming.

Even so, third and fourth graders at David Crockett Elementary School were begging to work up a sweat.

The 240 students spent three hours outside that day for their school's first Jump Rope for Heart campaign.

The children sat clustered in teams of six, each team sending a member to jump rope on a cement area. When the jumper got tired, he or she would walk out and send in another member of the team. Children were pleading for a chance to jump rope.

The $6,000 children raised in pledges will go the the American Heart Association, and will mostly be used for heart disease research, said physical education teacher Karen Young.

The children asked their friends and family to pledge money for the amount of time the children would jump or to offer a flat donation. One student, Nicole Tyler, raised $300.

Parent-Teacher Association volunteers provided refreshments for the event. The students had just one hour of class for the day, the last school day before spring break.

Students raising the most money get prizes, Young said, but "above all they're having fun."

The jumpers worked to music,l and some imitated the aerobic dance jumping techniques they's seen demonstrated earlier by the Price T. Young Jump Rope Team. Crockett teachers also demonstrated rope jumping techniques, but their efforts produced more laughs than imitations.

"They really have been very enthusiastic," Young said of the students. "They've talked about it all week."

Physical education classes have been working up to the event all semester. Students began jumping rope for a minute, and gradually worked up to five minutes non-stop.

"We didn't just come out here," Young said. "They'd faint on me if they did."

Young hopes the training for the event and the jump rope team performance will encourage students to try out for Crockett's jump rope team, which will begin performing next year.

Tam members must first learn to jump 10 minutes straight, and will then learn aerobic stunts, she said.

"They know now what cardiovascular fitness means, working on the old heart, making it strong so they can live happier and healthier lives."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Six MHS Students Cop UIL Awards

Competition in academic UIL events always brings out the best in Mavericks. Marshall High School's UIL Academic Teams are competitive each year, and today's installment of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy" looks back at the 1986-87 school year and some of the honors achieved by that year's MHS UIL team.

Marshall News Messenger (Spring, 1987)

Six Marshall High School students won top awards in the district University Interscholastic League Literary Rally last week. The students competed against 350 teenagers from eight school districts in various writing, skills and knowledge tests.

Anne Marie McClaran, senior, took two first-place awards, one in literary criticism and one in ready writing. She is the daughter of Drs. Rutledge and Nancy McClaran of Route 8, Marshall, and will compete in the regional UIL competition in Dallas in April.

Senior Ann Ellis of 305 Yates took fourth place for literary criticism. Ellis, daughter of Wesley and Nancy  Ellis, is an alternate in the regional competition.

Junior Byron Pearce of 207 Sherry placed first in headline writing in the journalism competition. He also won sixth place for feature writing, and will represent Marshall High School at the regional match. He is the son of Fred and June Pearce.

Senior Laree Huffman of 107 Washignton Place got first place for her prose reading of an essay and a piece on Texas. Huffman, the daughter of Carla and George Huffman, will also go to regionals.

Also competing in Dallas are David Weaver, who won second place in headline writing and fifth in feature writing, and Sherri Gillis, who took third place in ready writing.

Other Marshall High School students placing in the contest were Skeeter Bloodworth, taking fifth place in calculator; Michael Hicks, sixth place in calculator; Ashley Christofferson, sixth in poetry interpretation; and Keith Kneipp, fifth place in news writing.

Friday, November 4, 2016

From Tennis Court To West Point

Today's installment of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy," tells the story of Daphne Brown, a senior at Marshall High School in 1986-87 who was team captain of the Maverick tennis team who was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point. This story appeared in the April 2, 1987 edition of the Marshall News Messenger and tells of Daphne's journey as a student in MISD to the honor of being accepted to West Point.

By Laureen Tedesco
News Messenger

As a non-athletic seventh grader, Daphne Brown chose tennis class as a way out, and has since followed a path of physical exertion that has earned her acceptance into West Point.

Brown, 17, is captain of Marshall High School's tennis tam, and isn't sure why she thought tennis would be much different from P.E. classes. She now loves the game, and exercise, and looks forward to the physical conditioning the United States Military Academy at West Point is known for.

Brown plans to become a physician and a military officer. Her family has a history of military service: her father and uncle were in the Air Force; a cousin is just completing his term at the Air Force Academy.

Admissions procedures to service academies begin in the junior year of high school, so Brown began work on her application last spring. Teachers and principals wrote recommendations for her, and she wrote her congressmen asking for an appointment. At the time she planned to attend the Air Force Academy, as her cousin did.

A school guidance counselor directed her to Col. Hubert Lewis for help. Lewis, an Army man, convinced her that West Point was better.

"It's really a big honor," Brown said of West Point acceptance. "They are looking for people who have above average high school records, strong performances on the ACT or SAT (college entrance tests), and who are 'trustworthy, emotionally stable, self-motivated and self-disciplined.' You have to be in tip-top physical condition, too."

She practiced the sit-ups, push-ups and other activities on the physical aptitude test, and passed the test in Shreveport, scoring better than the minimum accepted on some parts, and worse on others. Her grades all through high school have been about half A's and B's, and she is ranked in the top 10 percent of her 390-member graduating class.

In December, Brown learned she was one of the top qualifiers for early admission to West Point, and needed only an appointment from a congressman.

By February she had heard from none of the lawmakers. Finally, U.S. Rep. Jim Chapman, D-Sulphur Springs, wrote Brown that she had gotten the appointment she'd requested to the U.S. Air Force Academy. "When I got that letter I was in tears," she said. "I felt like all that work towards West Point was just pushed out of the window."

She called Chapman's office to tell him of her change of plans. "His secretary told us they were so impressed with my essay explaining why I wanted to attend a service academy, that they figured I knew what I wanted since I put down USAFA as my first choice."

All of the congressman's military appointments were filled, but the secretary said she would do all she could to help Brown.

Three or four weeks later, Brown got her appointment.

Now she must keep up her grades and pass a physical. If she is overweight or has an overbite of more than 5/8 of an inch, she can be disqualified. Brown is determined to stay on West Point's "accepted" list, and plans to lose 10 pounds so she falls in the middle of her weight range.

After the four-year West Point program, she plans to go to medical school, at the Army's expense, and then five years in the military.

Brown hasn't seen the academy, but says it's not the school's looks she's interested in. "Somebody told me that I didn't need to see it because when I get up there I'll see enough of it." She goes this summer for basic training.

She sought a military academy because she believes she needs the discipline. "I'm a pretty disorganized person," she said, "and I need that discipline to help me. I don't think right now I need any other kind of college training. If I went somewhere else I'd probably fall apart study-wise and keeping up with things."

She also likes the individualized instruction the school offers. "From what I understand, you go to the classes and if you're kind of slow in your class... you drop back to another level that's at your pace. And if you start going faster, you can go back up to the next level. That's what I was impressed about."

The opportunities for travel also lured her to the school. West Point students go on special assignments during the summer for such adventures as jungle training in Panama and glacier-climbing in Alaska.

the academy stresses engineering and natural sciences in its one general curriculum. That background will help Brown in her medical studies.

She plans to play tennis there, and the West Point tennis coach has responded to her inquiries about the program. "They have a really good tennis team," Brown said.

Brown began liking tennis when she took lessons from seventh-grade tennis coach Allen Prachyl. Prachyl convinced her that she needed to participate in tournaments, and Brown began playing in Tyler and Gladewater.

Her first tournament win was a school tournament against other eighth graders. The eighth-grade tennis team chose its champions through challenge matches, and three certain girls always played each other for the top ranking. Brown was always fourth place, and consequently never got to play them. In the round-robin tournament, "I was determined. I just hung in there." She bet the top three girls, and the other four playing, and won the championship.

Brown's parents, the Rev. and Mrs. Franklin Brown Sr. of 1905 Port Caddo Road, encouraged her to stay in tennis through a difficult time in the eighth grade. "I really got disgusted because a lot of people didn't like that I was on the team. I was the only black and they didn't like that I was on there and beating everybody." Brown nearly quit because she didn't like having people stare at her or talk about her.

"Mom and Dad said, 'This is just what you're going to have to face. You can't just quit because people talk about you.' Dad was really on my side, so I stayed. Gradually, you just earn the respect." Her color is no longer even an issue in tennis, Brown said.

After the eighth grade, she was nearly always top-ranked on her team. She has had several professional tennis coaches in Shreveport and Longview, and learned most from a Filipino coach who yelled whenever she made a mistake. Brown made Marshall High School's varsity tennis team in the 10th grade, and became team captain in the 11th grade. She plays tennis two hours a day, and runs a mile afterwards.

Her parents also supported her decision to go to West Point. They were at first skeptical, saying service life might be too rough for her. "They're happy now, and they're really excited."

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The History of G.W. Carver Elementary School

By Richard Fluker (2006)

George Washington Carver Elementary School began holding classes on September 2, 1959, at its current location at 2302 Holland Street. Students were transferred from New Town Elementary School. New Town had been closed in 1949, reopened in 1950 to accept students from county schools and closed again in 1959.

The cost of the Carver building was approximately $203,000 (Carver and Booker T. Washington were built by the same contractor for $283,000). It was dedicated on September 27, 1959.

The first principal at Carver was O. Ivan White, who supervised 14 classroom teachers and a music teacher in grades 1-7. In the spring of 1969 the school was to be renovated for use as an educational building for the central staff. Those plans were abandoned, however, when Stephen F. Austin Elementary School burned in the summer of 1969.

Jake Matthews became principal of the newly named Austin/Carver Elementary School in the fall of 1969. In 1970, Austin/Carver and Dogan schools were paired. Grades 1-3 were assigned to Carver and grades 4-6 to Dogan. In 1972, a six-room wing was added for kindergarten, special education and music classes.

In the fall of 1976, Mrs. Jewel Young became the third principal of the school. After a reorganization of MISD schools in 1981, "Austin" was dropped from the school's name and it was once again called G.W. Carver Elementary School. At that time, Carver was paired with Travis Elementary School and began housing grades three and four, Early Childhood and Special Education.

Charles Wilborn became principal when Mrs. Young retired in 1983 and served until 1988. He was succeeded by Bennie Bennett, who came from Dallas.

In 1989-90 the school was reorganized as Carver Academy, a magnet school attracting academically gifted and artistically talented students in grades 1-4 from across the city. Children from the immediate neighborhood continued to attend Carver in the regular program. Kindergarten students from the Carver zone began attending Washington Early Childhood Center.

Nina Baxter became principal in 1991, at which time a kindergarten class was added. A separate gymnasium had been added to the campus in the spring of 1991. By fall of 1995 a new office and library complex filled the space between the school's two wings. A new principal, Patricia Jackson, joined the school that year.

In 1997-98, the magnet school concept was discontinued and the program for gifted elementary students retured to the individual MISD campuses. Carver Academy once again became Carver Elementary School. Head Start classes were taught at the school from fall 1999 to spring 2002.

Update: Under the Legacy 2017 building program, the current facility at Carver Elementary will be sold, rented, demolished or repurposed for further district use beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

Friday, October 28, 2016

MISD Kids Reap State History Fair Titles

Today's edition of The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy, looks back at an April 12, 1987 article in the Marshall News Messenger highlighting the accomplishments of MISD students in the annual state history fair.

Marshall students left only one award for other middle school students at the state history fair last weekend, winning five of six places in two project categories.

The Texas State Historical Association competition was in conjunction with the 48th Annual Meeting of the Junior Historians in Arlington. All four Marshall chapters of the Junior Historians were recognized as honor chapters and given trophies.

In individual projects, two sixth graders from Price T. Young Middle School captured the top awards. Dawn Jackson won first place for her project, "The Fulton Mansion: The House That Stood The Test Of Time." Hilary Dennis got second place with "Hand-Me-Down History: The Development of the Reveal-Messic Family Archives."

Angie Beil and Nicki Meharg, eighth graders from Marshall Junior High School, teamed up to take the top prize in group project competition. Their entry was entitled, "Marshall's Going Dry: Prohibition in Marshall 1896-1910."

Two Sam Houston Middle School sixth graders, Blake Hammers and Curt Spakes, won the second place group trophy with "The History of the Dairy Queen." Third place went to Price T. Young sixth graders Christy Bunch and Mendy Rousseau for "The Ginocchio Hotel and Seven Flags Restaurant."

Local students qualified for state competition if they earned blue ribbons at the campus history fair and the East Texas Regional Fair at East Texas Baptist University.

Students from the following schools also competed at the state history fair: Marshall High School: Ann Ellis, Jane Ellen Sanders and Bryan Seidel; Marshall Junior High School: Erin Ballew, John Bounds, Michele Byman, Don Cupples, Casey Downs, Benny Powell and Amy Stamps; Price T. Young Middle School: Shelley Flanagan and Mandy Lane; Sam Houston Middle School: Philip Merritt, Jason Tanner and Wes Toole.

Teachers accompanying the students were Joyce Williamson, Linda Pelz, Margie Moore, all of Marshall Junior High School; and Gayle Weinberg of Sam Houston and Price T. Young middle schools.

Parents traveling with the group were Jane Byman, Mary Cupples, Anne Dennis, Mr. and Mrs. Keith Downs, Ronnie Hammers, Irene Hussey, Wes Merritt, Mr. and Mrs. Benny Powell, Mr. and Mrs Charles Seidel, Mary Ann Stamps and Sarah Tanner.

"We've won in the past years but never five out of six," Pelz said. Last year Marshall students won first in individual and group projects. "I think they did so well (this year) because their research was done well -- they documented everything. The research was just superior."

History fair projects can be on any topic, Pelz said, but Marshall teachers encourage students to choose local subjects, as the information is readily available. "Some of them have families they want to know about or an event or a home, and they become authorities on it."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Teachers Go To School To Learn How To Teach

Today's installment of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy," looks back at staff development programs for teachers in MISD. Continuing education and development in the classroom is not only vital for students, but for teachers as well. This article appeared in the July 31, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger.

By Laureen Tedesco
News Messenger

They broke up into teams to learn things, drilling each other on the lists they'd been given. They created acronyms, and crazy sentences, and took reams of notes.

It was just like being in school.

In fact, it was school. Of sorts.

The 32 teachers in a voluntary workshop this week were -- and still are -- learning the principles of retention: how to make students remember what they're taught. And the principles they were learning were used in the lessons they were taught.

The workshop at Marshall High School, which ends with a non-credit test today, is part of the a professional improvement plan for Marshall tachers, MMEET -- the Marshall Model for Extending Excellence in Teaching. All teachers attend lectures before school starts each August, and have the option of reinforcement sessions in the fall and summer.

Attendance, Dr. Nancy McClaran said, has been good.

"It's amazing to me how so many of our good teachers keep coming back for more," she said. "They care. That's what makes them so effective."

The workshops, in their third year, follow the teaching model of Dr. Madeline Hunter, a renowned education researcher. Hunter, who will teach the August in-service in Marshall, developed her education theories by watching good teachers teach.

"We know good teaching when we see it, but she took it beyond that -- she said 'Why is it good?'" McClaran said. Those reason are explained in the Hunter videotapes used in MMEET.

"No matter how good a teacher is there are always things that can be done better," Dr. McClaran said. "As they go into the classrooms and make day-to-day decisions, they'll be basing those decisions on sound educational research."

Marshall teachers have learned the principles of lesson design, motivation, retention and practice, and this year will cover transfer theory, the process of using old knowledge to enhance in new learning. Other theories will be covered in the two final years of the sessions, with followup and catch-up offered later.

MMEET, which requires 30 hours in three years, can be appled toward Career Ladder, the stat-mandated incentive pay program. This week's workshop participants get 25 hours of MMEET credit.

Learning teams of four repeated to each other six principles of retention this week: practice, meaning, modeling, feeling, tone, degree of original learning and transfer. Their sentence to remember that: Purchase M&Ms From Down Town.

A videotape of a Marshall teacher using these principles has helped them understand these, teachers said.

Biology teacher Richard Frost of Marshall High School, prepared his 15 minute lesson on the flower parts this spring using the theories. The lesson, he said Wednesday, was ideal, not typical. "You don't always have a video camera sitting on your shoulder, " he said. "The kids do not normally behave that way. And my normal teaching would have one or two, maybe three different principles."

In the lesson, Frost drew a flower on the chalkboard, labeling 15 parts. As he reached various stages of the work, he'd return to what he'd already covered and ask students to repeat some of the labels.

That practice, which also came after the lecture, is important, McClaran said. New knowledge requires lots of practice at short intervals.

After explaining the flower parts, Frost erased them all, and had the class call them out again. Later, each student labeled a mimeographed flower, he then called out answers, and finally students drew and labeled flowers themselves, just as they would for the exam.

Frost explained each parts meaning as he went through the flower, hooking the knowledge to what students had learned before. The modeling, or examples, came in his drawing.

Feeling tone, and the level of concern,w as raised by Frost's mention of the exam, teachers said, and his writing on the board the number of points he'd give the item: 20. He also created a pleasant feeling tone, or atmosphere, which was evidenced by quick student responses, McClaran said.

That lesson, she said, probably resulted in a high degree of original learning; teachers need to make sure students learn material well the first time, so they'll remember it better later. "If 65 percent failed to the final exam, it's likely the degree of original learning is very low," McClaran said.

Frost also gave students memory tricks to hook knowledge on: "This is the stamen and you can tell by the sound of the word -- it's got 'men' in it -- that this is the male reproductive part." For the pistil, "Watch the spelling -- pistol, 0-l, it's a western type gun. I-l, you've got the female part of the flower."

Frost said he learned from that lesson. "The important part to me was it works. These kids learned and you could see them learn. It works better than what I used to do."

McClaran also believes the teaching method is effective.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mavettes Win Load Of Honors At Camp

The Marshall Mavettes have long been a source of pride in Marshall, Texas. Today's edition of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy" looks back at an article from the Marshall News Messenger on Aug. 18, 1985, which highlights more Mavette honors at a drill team camp at Louisiana Tech.

By Cindy Edwards
Lifestyle Editor

Two Marshall High School Mavettes were named "Superstars" during the annual drill team camp, held on the campus of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

Sonja Harris, the colonel of the local group, and Stacy Doss, will be able to participate in pregame and halftime performances of the 1985 Aloha Bowl game in Honolulu, Hawaii, in December and in St. Patrick's Day festivities in March in Dublin, Ireland.

The Mavettes also won Sweepstakes honors at the camp. The selection was made for their overalal oustanding performacne. They also received an award of excellence for group performance of precision dance.

Thistry-one Mavettes attended the week-long camp with sponsor Mary Ware.

The following ribbons were brought home:

All Blue - Vickie Clark, Stacy Doss, Sonja Harris, Amy Huffman, Natalie Loftin, Jennifer Jeffus, Leslie Johnston, Kristy Mooney, Michelle Hortman, Marla Ryan, Shannon Sharpe, Claire Spangler, Emily Smith, Cyndi Summerford and Melissa Whitis.

Four Blue and one Red -- Susan Blackburn, Raechell Gunter, Linda Hudson, Deirdre Phillips, Stacey Smith, Pam Stevens, Christy Wright and Lisa Milligan.

Four Blue and one White -- Christie Earl, Wendy Loftin and Laura Muchmore.

Three Blue and two Red -- Heidy McWhorter and Caron McCrary.

Three Blue, one Red and one White -- Tonja Harris and Lauree Huffman.

Two Blue and three Red -- Amy Easley.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The History Of Marshall Public Schools

Mr. Richard Fluker served as MISD's Public Information Officer for over 25 years, spanning the 80s, 90s and into the 2000s. Mr. Fluker compiled a booklet based on research which outlines the histories of each of MISD's schools and campuses. We will share some of those articles throughout our journey of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy," beginning today with the history of Marshall Public Schools leading to the establishment of Marshall High School.

By Richard Fluker

Public education in Marshall had its roots in an institution chartered during the days of the Texas Republic. The charter of this institution -- known as Republican Academy, Marshall University, Van Zandt University and White Boys' College -- was signed on Jan. 18, 1842, by President Sam Houston. Previously, education was left largely to parents or a few neighbors who could hire a teacher to instruct a small group of children.

On March 27, 1843, Peter Whetstone donated 10 acres to the new Marshall institution because of his "interest in the progress of literature." This tract was bounded by Houston, College, Whetstone and Rosborough streets -- the present-day site of Marshall Junior High. During the first decade, the Republican Academy was maintained in a 20 by 40, "hewn log house" with a one-room addition in 1849 for the Female Department. However, co-education ceased in 1850 when the girls were sent to Masonic Female Institute, bounded by North Franklin, North Wellington, West Burleson and West Grand streets. The Male Department continued as Marshall University, which in 1851, erected a $10,000 two-story brick building.

Local public education began when the facility of Marshall University was rented to the city in 1884 for educational purposes. No buildings were owned by the schools at that time. Much of the public "Children's Fund" was used in renting the University building, the Female Institute and a few old churches in the city. The fund provided about 4 1/2 months of school, with the remainder being financed by tuition.

Through the influence of W.L. Lemon, principal of the Masonic Female Institute, and Y.D. Harrison, principal of Marshall Male College, the city was petitioned to hold an election to determine if people would approve a tax for public schools. The election was held in 1886, and it was a complete failure.

In 1887 the Commissioners Court created the office of County Superintendent and named Mr. Harrison to the post. A few weeks later, the city school board appointed him City Superintendent. Changes began to occur; a uniform system of school books was adopted, a strict system of grading went into effect, co-education was recommended and a tax to support a nine-month school year was advised. The second election also failed, but a few years later, the school tax finally carried.

On July 24, 1895, Marshall University trustees presented a 30-year lease to the Marshall Public Free schools with a right to renew. On Sept. 12, 1895, Marshall High School began operating in the building leased from Marshall University.

On Sept. 2, 1898, Marshall High School began operating in the building leased from Marshall University. The first Marshall High School had only two teachers, 30 students and five subjects -- Latin, English, History, Math and Science. Only grades 8, 9, and 10 were taught at first. By 1900-01, the high school went through the 11th grade. From 1901-02 to 1910, 12 grades were required for graduation. The 12-grade system was reintroduced in 1936. The first graduating class had one student, Miss Verbena Barnes. In 1900, there were three graduates.

For the first decade of the new century, students were scattered in several directions. The high school, along with some lower grades, moved into the new East Side building on Sept. 25, 1905. Due to lack of sufficient science lab space or lab equipment, the high school moved in 1907 to the old Masonic Female Institute, where the classes of 1908, 1909 and 1910 received their diplomas. The class of 1911 graduated at City Hall. From 1907 to 1911 there was no one school large enough to accommodate all four grades, making it necessary to hold classes in the Boys' College, Masonic Female Institute, City Hall and the Old Tabernacle at West Grand and North Washington. The freshman class of 1908 was so large it had to be shuttled several times during the year.

In February 1910, the city school board began deliberations with Marshall University trustees for a new building site, located at 600 West Houston Street. On March 29, 1910, the trustees conveyed their property to the Marshall School Board as a site for a high school building. It was agreed that the new school would be called the Peter Whetstone High School -- but it never was.

In September 1911, 200 high school students moved into. By 1914, it became necessary to add four classrooms and enlarge the study hall. By 1923 another building change became necessary, so the old Marshall University building was torn down and replaced with a new building facing West Houston.

From 1924 until 1940, the high school remained in this building. In 1939, the building erected in 1911 was removed to make way for an addition to the campus. This new building, which faced College Street, served as the high school. The junior high remained in the old portion until the seventh and eighth grades moved out in 1964, providing more room for a growing high school.

In 1954, administrative offices, fine arts classrooms and the industrial arts department occupied a new wing on the west side. By that time, a gym wing had been added to the back of the original building. In 1965 the gym became a cafeteria and another gym was built onto the south end of the old one. These projects and other improvements to the building were funded by a $4,264,000 bond issue in 1962.

A successful $10,000,000 bond issue under Superintendent Truitt Ingram in 1976 led to the construction of a new high school for Marshall. In September 1980, students in grades 10-12 stepped into a "comprehensive" $6.7 million, 212,000-square-foot facility on Maverick Drive. The school had an initial capacity of 1,600 students and basic facilities for 2,000. Its features included a 2,000-seat gym with three courts, 600-seat auditorium, multi-tiered dining area for 500 and separation of academic classes from shop, band, and choir areas. Outside the building were a 7,000-seat stadium with an all-weather track, a 12,000-square-foot field house, six tennis courts and a baseball field.

A facilities study, followed by a $5.5 million bond issue in 1986, led to the closing of Marshall's ninth-grade school, Pemberton High, and the opening of a ninth-grade wing at Marshall High School. The 44,420-square-foot addition opened to students on Sept. 1, 1988. A supplemental field house for baseball, cross country, soccer and tennis opened at the north end of Maverick Drive in December 1988. In 1993 came a 2,000-seat addition to the stadium, a new track and an addition to the band hall. In fall 2002 a new program, the Junior Air Force ROTC, moved into a portable structure building north of the main building. All-weather turf was installed in Maverick Stadium in the summer of 2003. In the spring of 2004 construction began on a $600,000 addition to the stadium field house, about a third of which was to be financed through private donations.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reva Davis Named Outstanding Teacher In Area VI This Year

MISD has had its share of outstanding teachers over the years, some of whom have been recognized for their efforts at the area and state levels. Today's edition of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy," features an article on Mrs. Reva Davis, who was named Area VI Teacher of the Year in 1985. Mrs. Davis recently passed away this past August but her legacy as a pioneer in vocational education, which has grown into what is know today as the district's Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, lives on.

By Cindy Edwards
Lifestyle Editor - Marshall News Messenger (September 22, 1985)

Marshall High School Home Economics teacher Reva Davis has been named Outstanding Teacher for Area VI this year.

Mrs. Davis, a teacher for more than 20 years, was recommended to the awards selection committee of the Vocational Home Economics' Teachers Association of Texas by fellow teachers Diane Seal and Joye Parish.

"I was very pleased to receive this honor," Davis said. "I give 90 percent of my time to my students. It's rewarding to me."

Mrs. Davis was born in Fort Worth but moved to Bethany, La., (near Panola) when she was young.

She later moved to Waskom and lives on her home place, which was once C.L. Ray's father's property.

Mrs. Davis attended Booker Washington School in Shreveport.

"This was the first school that set its goal on vocational classes," Mrs. Davis said. "It was basically a vocational high school."

Mrs. Davis graduated from high school in Shreveport and entered Prairie View A&M University.

She had not originally planned to major in home economics, she said. However, after she was cut from their cosmetology curriculum, she "landed a place" in home economics and was fortunate enough to get a teacher who cared.

This instructor encouraged Mrs. Davis to continue in that field. She later won a four-year scholarship.

Upon college graduation, Mrs. Davis taught chemistry and literature at Mount Enterprise.

"IN a small school district, you taught what they needed you to teach, not what you were qualified for," she said.

From there, Mrs. Davis went to Cushing for her first home economics teaching job.

She stayed there two years before coming to H.B. Pemberton in Marshall in 1964.

At that time, Pemberton was a black school. During the transition years of integration, Mrs. Davis went to Marshall High School.

"I was the first black teacher in Marshall High School's home economics department," Mrs. Davis said.

She had little trouble adjusting to her new surroundings. "The students accepted me and made me feel at home."

Mrs. Davis has experienced changes all through her tenure.

Today's students are different from those in the 1970s, she said.

The mother of five daughters attributes her success with students to her ability to "handle kids in their own way."

Also, she said her attitude toward the students makes a great deal of difference.

"I try to establish a good rapport with my students," Mrs. Davis said.

Mrs. Davis teaches child development and home furnishings at Marshall High School. She also works with counselors to get more young men involved in vocational classes.

The wife of Walter Davis was cited for her contributions to the field of home economics. Some of these included support of vocational home economics programs, support of teachers and overall programs, sponsorship and involvement with FHA/hero, and professional involvement on local, area and state levels.

Mrs. Davis, the head of Marshall High School's home economics department for more than 11 years, serves as coordinator for both Marshall campuses. She is also coordinator for the consumer homemaking advisory council.

She is a member of Marshall Classroom Teachers Association, Marshall Education Association, American Vocational Association, Vocational Home Economics, Teachers Association of Texas and Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.

Mrs. Davis is a member of the American Vocational Association and is an honorary life member of the Marshall High School PTA.

She has served as an evaluation team member for Texas Tech and the Texas Education Agency and for two terms on the Vocational Homemaking Teachers Association of Texas.

Mrs. Davis has served as an adult leader and judge for Harrison County 4-H and has been a Marshall High School PTA and St. Joseph School PTA officer.

She has also been an instructor for Red Cross nursing courses.

Marshall Independent School District Superintendent Patsy R. Smith wrote in a letter of recommendation that Mrs. Davis had not only done an outstanding teaching service but "she exceeds expectations in her ability to relate to students both in and outside the classroom."

"She is a dedicated professional serving in local teacher organizations," the letter read.

Mrs. Davis is a member of Starlight Baptist Church, where she is the youth choir pianist.

She is the grandmother of two.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Marshall PTAs Work To Improve Education

Marshall ISD has long leaned heavily on the support and excellence of its local Parent Teacher Association, which has had a long history of involvement in all of our schools. Today's feature is an article that appeared in the Sept. 29, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger highlighting the activity of PTA.

By Mark Peterson
Staff Writer

Attention, parents who live in the Marshall Independent School District: A local PTA leader wants you to know you have a chance to improve your child's education.

Jo Ann Hamil, city council president of the Marshall Parent-Teacher Association, says that parents who join a PTA have a voice in school improvement. that voice, she says, is important.

"The PTA gives the parents a chance to learn what their child's school is all about," said Ms. Hamil. "Most of our local PTA units have open houses, when parents can meet teachers and principals and learn about the child's education. If the parents are not involved, how are they going to know about the things that need to be done in the schools?"

The National PTA began 88 years ago. Back then it was know as the National Congress of Mothers. Ms. Hamil says the organization's objectives have always been the same. Goals include:

  • Promoting the welfare of children and youth in home, school, community and place of worship.
  • Raising the standards of home life.
  • Securing adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
  • Bringing into closer relation the home and the school, so that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of youth.
There are 11 local PTA units, one for each school in Marshall. Each local unit is conducting a membership drive until Oct. 15. Ms. Hamil says there are about 2,000 local PTA members in Marshall, but adds that there could be many more.

"I would like to see membership in Marshall go up," she said. "It has been down the past couple of years. People don't have to have a child in school to join. all they need is interest. It only costs $2 to become a member of the local PTA."

Ms. Hamil said many parents are fired up about their child's education when the child first enters elementary school, but in many cases the interest wanes.

"It seems that once the child reaches seventh grade, many parents feel there is no longer a need to be close to his education," said Ms. Hamil. "that's not so. It is still very, very important. The older students have many more teachers and many more subjects to contend with. Parents should stay involved."

Parents who wish to join the PTA should call the school their child attends, said Ms. Hamil. Other interested people should call the school nearest them. Ms. Hamil said the local PTA units meet an average of four times per year to discuss ideas for school improvements. Projects include anything not covered by the school budget, such as fencing, teacher materials, copy machines, walkways around schools or playground equipment.

To raise the money to buy those things, local PTAs sponsor carnivals, candy or magazine sales, or book fairs.

"This time of year we are bombarded with salesmen who want us to sell their product," said Ms. Hamil.

She said some local PTA units raise $2,000 to $5,2000 per year.

"Most of the time the money is used for something that the school can use," she said. "Most of the time the PTA unit will donate the item directly to the school. Donations must be approved by the school board."

As president of the City Council PTA, Ms. Hamil hosts about six meetings per year with the 11 PTA unit presidents. At those meetings, she makes suggestions about school improvements. The PTA unit presidents then take those suggestion and discuss them at meetings with members.

PTA unit presidents in Marshall are Linda Stinnett, Carver Elementary; Sharon Broadus, Crockett Elementary; Sara Tanner, Sam Houston Elementary; Dan Tarrent, Robert E. Lee Elementary; Deane Thomas, Marshall Junior High; Mr. and Mrs. Martin Spangler, Marshall Senior High; Benita Sloan, Moore Elementary; Marcella Reed, Pemberton Senior High; Judy Roberts, South Marshall Elementary; Betty Blackburn, William B. Travis Elementary; and Lillian Kennedy, Price T. Young.

Ms. Hamil says the PTA supports causes not necessarily connected with schools. She said PTA has fought for a mandatory seat belt law and raising the legal drinking age to 21, and against child abuse. The PTA most recently has been fighting to establish ratings for rock song lyrics.

For the past two years, she said, volunteers from PTAs have joined a community education project to help schools complete tasks that would be troublesome to the regular school staff, said Ms. Hamil. She said work needs vary from school to school.

"Our community education director, Nina Baxter, has drawn a lot of her volunteers for this from the PTAs," said Ms. Hamil.

Ms. Hamil praised the local PTA unit presidents for their work.

"A lot of time and effort goes into preparing the PTA unit meetings," she said. "It's kind of sad when the parents won't take advantage. It can be disheartening for the leaders to do all the work and not have many people show up.

"We are always open to suggestions as to how we can improve our educational system. We're working for our kids. We want to give the kids some ideals to live up to. We want to teach them that they will some day be the nation's leaders."

Here is a list of things the Marshall PTA units spent their money on during the 1984-85 school year. Most PTAs have not yet finalized plans on how to spend this year's money. Fundraisers are being planned.

David Crockett Elementary: The Crockett PTA raised funds each of the past two years which were used for cutting trees and terracing the campus grounds. Money was also spent to place pea gravel under playground equipment, increasing safety. Purchases in past years have included a copy machine, a PA system and a refrigerator for the teachers lounge.

Sam Houston Elementary: Worked on a beautification and erosion elimination project on school grounds. PTA funds were boosted by school funds.

Robert E. Lee Elementary: Bought a video cassette recorder for teacher use. In years past has bought a microwave and copy machine. Saved money from last year to use this year.

Marshall Junior High: Made $560 from projects, but spent no money other than for a teacher appreciation banquet. Considering expenditures for this year.

J.H. Moore Elementary: Finishing an awning about a school walkway, looking in to purchasing new flags. Also helped purchase a new table for teachers lounge last year.

South Marshall Elementary: Used money from its fundraisers to purchase a copier for teachers. Each year gives teachers $10 each to purchase materials for their rooms.

William B. Travis Elementary: Major project was repaving the school parking lot. Also bought a VCR and television for the school library. Bought materials for teachers, and for the school's music library.

Price T. Young -- Its major project was renovation of the school library. The project included new carpeting, shelving and window blinds, and repainting. Also purchased resource materials for teachers, and appropriated savings bonds money for students.

Marshall Senior High: Spent its funds to help the school defray the cost of mailing announcements for different activities. Gave two $200 scholarships to students last year. Hosted a teacher appreciation reception. Spent funds on a Founder's Day dinner. Each year buys a life PTA membership for a person so deserving.

George Washington Carver Elementary: Used its funds to fix a copy machine for teachers. Renting another copy machine for $100 per month.

Pemberton High School: The Pemberton PTA purchased a newspaper rack and book rack for the school library.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Librarians' 'Booktalks' Featured In Book

The library has always been a part of a school's culture and overall learning environment. This article appeared in the Oct. 16, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger and it highlights the '"booktalk" activity of MISD librarians Emily Hobson and Clara Lovely.

By Larry Terry
Staff Writer

After giving booktalks for years, two local school librarians were quite pleasantly surprised to find that some of their work had been published in a book on that subject.

Emily Hobson, librarian for Pemberton High School, and Clara Lovely, who serves as librarian for David Crockett, Robert E. Lee and J.H. Moore elementary schools, recently received copies of Booktalk 2: Booktalking for All Ages and Audiences, in which each has a booktalk published.

Mrs. Lovely and Mrs. Hobson, whose booktalks on "Ramona and Her Father," and "Island of the blue Dolphins" were published, were notified last spring of their inclusion in the book.

Mrs. Lovely and Mrs. Hobson emphasized that a booktalk is not a book review or book report, but said it is basically a way of persuading a person to read a particular book.

"You tell just enough to make the audience want to read the book," Mrs. Lovely said. She added that booktalks are closely related to storytelling and so the idea behind booktalks is not a new one.

Mrs. Hobson described booktalking as "just talking about a book to someone or an audience for the purpose of motivating them to read the book."

The two became familiar with booktalks during their training in education and library science, but were given new exposure to the subject during an inservice program for Marshall school librarians in August 1982. The Marshall Independent School District provided the inservice program and invited Joni Bodart, author of "Booktalk" and "Booktalk 2," to conduct a workshop on booktalking.

Ms. Bodart, a lecturer, author and workshop leader on booktalking and young adult lierature, teaches at the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan. "Ms. Bodart gave us a whole new perspective on booktalking," Mrs. Hobson said.

Librarians throughout MISD were asked during the one-day workshop to prepare a booktalk. After the booktalks were presented, Ms. Bodart took them with her and said she would consider using some of the them in her next book. The talks given by Mrs. Lovely and Mrs. Hobson were the only ones selected for publication from that group.

Because Mrs. Lovely works primarily with elementary school children, she usually gives booktalks on works of fiction which can be easily read or understood by her students. She will be giving more booktalks during Children's Book Week in November.

Mrs. Hobson, who deals with older students, often centers her booktalks around a topic such as renaissance literature to generate more interest in the subject. She said one should not give a booktalk on a book the person has not thoroughly read.

"It's important to know the book and have some enthusiasm for the book," Mrs. Hobson said. A formal booktalk should be planned, and then rehearsed until you feel comfortable enough to present it smoothly, she said. 

Along with the presentation, audience should be a major consideration, she said. "It's really just as important to pick out something that will appeal to everyone in your audience," she said.

Mrs. Hobson's interest in library science stems from a longtime desire "to do something with books," but not being interested in the publishing or retail end of the business.

For Mrs. Lovely, her career as a librarian falls directly in line with her interests. "It was something that I wanted to do, to work with books and children, and I'm enjoying it."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Marshall Students Win Theater Arts Trophy

Marshall ISD's Theater Arts program has had its share of success in competition over the years, and this article highlights one of those successful moments. It was published in the Feb. 1, 1986, edition of the Marshall News Messenger.

Marshall News Messenger

Marshall and Pemberton High School theater arts students won the second-place sweepstakes trophy at the Nacogdoches High School Theater Festival recently.

Winning superior ratings were Cody Huffman, for costume design, and partners William Whitis, Jeff Carrington and Mike Henigan for "Silent Movie." Whitis also won superior ratings for his costume design and radio drama with partner Jeff Carrington.

Other superior ratings went to Shane Pitts, model set design; Shawn Phillips for prose and humorous interpretation; Jackie Roach and Rhonda Hayne, improvisation; Doug Houston, poetry and storytelling; and Todd Thompson ad E.J. Carrington for radio drama presentation.

Excellent ratings went to  Whitney Wynne, set and program design; Doug Houston, dramatic interpretation and duet acting with partner Dana Jenkins; Dana Jenkins, prose reading; Stephanie Sanders, costume design; Laree Huffman, program; Julie Martin and Mike Henry, poster; Lance Cameron, dramatic interpretation; Mike Renuy, prose and audition; Jeff Carrington, audition; Mitzi Herbison and Cody Huffman, poetry; Denise Oliver, humorous interpretation; and Shawn Phillips, storytelling.

Others with excellent ratings were: Holly Gorin, Christy Stephens and Tracey Jones, improvisation; and Holly Gorin, prose, humorous interpretation and poster; Tracey Jones, mini-play, Shawn Phillips and Mike Renuy, radio drama; Denise Oliver and Mitzi Herbison, duet acting.

Also performing for the Marshall-Pemberton team were Bryan McIntosh, Scott Rectenwald, Chris Schillings, Traci Aranda, Regina Daniels, Thenessa Mack, Donnie Oney, Chris Poulan, Tonya Ran, Shannon Sullivan, Teddy Woods, Michele Mundy and J.D. Boyd.

Susan Wise teaches theater arts at Marshall and Pemberton high schools.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mavs Take Second In Biggest Meet Ever

Marshall's track and field programs have traditionally been among the strongest in the state, and MHS' Maverick Relays are a big attraction in East Texas every spring. Today's installment of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy" looks at an article from the March 9, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger which highlights that year's exciting results from the Maverick Relays.

By Mike Keeney
Sports Editor

Texas High's girls and boys varsity track teams captured first place in their divisions Saturday at the Maverick Relays here in Maverick Stadium.

The Texas High boys rolled up 108 points to Marshall's 92 1/2, while the Texas High girls team eased to the first-place trophy with a total of 186 1/2 points. Jacksonville, which got four first-place finishes from Angela Black, was second with 124 1/2 points. Nacogdoches finished third with 86 points, Marshall fourth with 84 points and Lufkin fifth with 67 points.

John Tyler took third in the varsity boys division with 85 points, while Kilgore took fourth (51) and Liberty-Eylau fifth (42).

The Marshall High junior varsity took first place in its division with 109 points, while John Tyler took second (84), Nacogdoches third (80) and Henderson fourth (31).

MHS track coach and host Willie Todd said this year's meet was one of the best in the event's history.

"I'm very pleased with the meet," Todd said. "All the comments I've heard have been nothing but positive. they all want to come back next year. It was well organized, thanks to the work of Coach (Buck) Buchanan and Coach (Dennis) Parker."

Todd was especially happy with the weather. The day started overcast and cool, but before the finals were run the clouds had burned off and the 500-plus fans were treated to bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70s.

"You couldn't ask for a better day," Todd said, looking up into the sunshine. "It's just what we wanted."

The race of the day came in the varsity boys' 400-meter dash, where Marshall's Willie Epps nipped Texas High's Steve Smith at the tape to take first place. In the process, Epps set a new meet record with his clocking of 47.62, shattering the old mark of 48.43.

Marshall's Willie Hanks finished third in the 400-meters.

"That was the race of the day," Todd said. "We knew we had to stay close at the start and that's what we did. that was a race out of this world."

In one of the stranger occurrences of the day, a lost shoe may have cost Maverick Kevin George a first-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles.

George was leading Carthage's Henry Holley the first 60 meters, but as George was leaping the seventh hurdle, his left shoe flew off, which Todd said broke his rhythm and probably cost him the race. George finished second to Holley.

"Never in my life have I ever seen anything like that," an amused Todd said. "When Kevin lost his shoe it made him lose his concentration and I'm sure that's what cost him the race. Man, that was strange."

Marshall's only other first place finish came from Marc Clark in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles. Clark, who finished the race in 39.10, easily outdistanced Nacogdoches' Michael Morris for the first place medal.

The Lady Mavericks finished the meet in fine fashion by winning the 1,600-meter relay, thanks to the running of Tami Weisner. Miss Weisner took the baton from Rhonda Russell with her team in second place, but caught Texas High's runner with about 110 meters to go in the race and cruised home to victory.

Other members of the team, which ran the race in 4:17.84, were Madeleine Jackson and Roslyn Reed.

Miss Weisner also took first in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches.

Angelita Johnson picked up a first place finish for the Lady Mavs in the discus with a toss of 109 feet, 4 inches.

The Lady Mavs got second place finishes from Miss Jackson in the 100-meter hurdles and the 800-meter relay team of Miss Reed, Miss Russell, Miss Weisner and Miss Jackson.

Todd's team got a second-place performance from Gerald Robinson in the high jump and third place finishes from the 400-meter relay team of Kenneth Toney, Kenneth Jones, Epps and Bobby Haynes, from Hanks in the 400-meter and the 1,600-meter relay team of Hanks, Epps, Kevin Williams and Haynes.

Sophomore Ron Dennis took fourth in the 3,200-meter run and fifth in the 1,600-meter run, while Willie Brown took fourth in the high jump, Dwyer Newsome fourth in the shot put and Harold Survia fourth in the long jump.

The JV swept to the first-place trophy behind the first-place finishes of the 400-meter relay team, Eric Perkins in the 300-meter hurdles and second-place finishes from Kenneth Miles in the 110-meter hurdles, Thomas Montgomery in the 400-meter dash and Kenneth Jones in the 200-meter dash.

Third-place finishes were turned in by Jones in the 100-meter dash, Miles in the 300-meter hurdles, J.D. Boyd in the 200-meter dash and the 1,600-meter relay team.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

High Schools To Be Merged

Pemberton High School began serving as Marshall ISD's ninth-grade campus in 1972 following integration of Marshall's school system. Following a bond election which created a new freshman wing at Marshall High School in 1986, Pemberton was closed as a public school and sold to Wiley College. This article, published in the March 11, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger, covers the initial school board discussions and decision to create a new freshman wing at MHS to allow students in grades 9-12 to attend the current high school together.

By Mark Peterson
Staff Writer

Freshmen may soon walk the hallways of Marshall High School, joining the sophomores, juniors and seniors. And elementary students in the Marshall Independent School District can look forward to more classroom space.

The Marshall school board Monday unanimously approved the merger of Marshall and Pemberton High Schools and the addition of 20 classrooms to the district's elementary schools.

A resolution adopted by the board says the merger was recommended because of the expense of renovating the Pemberton High School building, which houses ninth graders. The estimated cost of renovating Pemberton is $1.6 million, said board member Ned Dennis.

The resolution states that "ninth grade students be housed in a separate wing yet to be constructed at Marshall High School."

The high school wing and elementary school additions will probably be funded with a bond issue, said Superintendent Pat Smith. The district will hire a financial adviser to study funding possibilities, she said.

"We will do a study to determine when to start construction."

A three-man consultant team hired by the district recommended the merger in November. Dr. Langston Kerr, dean of education at Stephen F. Austin State University and head of the team, said the committee believed it was more beneficial to the district to expand high-quality facilties at the high school than to try to renovate Pemberton.

The resolution calls for 20 new elementary classrooms so the district can meet a state-mandated limit on enrollment in pre-kindergarten through second-grade classes. House Bill 72, the state's new education law, sets a limit of 22 students per class for those grades. the 22-student limit will extend to third and fourth grade classrooms by the 1987-88 school year.

The consultant team recommended that four classrooms each be added to South marshall and William B. Travis Elementary schools, and six to David Crockett.

"The resolution follows findings of a monitoring team that studied the district's facilities and recommended certain changes," said board president Louis Williams. "The resolution is the product of recommendations and studies by the board."

The resolution also states that "the spirit of Pemberton High School be preserved" through the operation of a "heritage center" in the building. The center would house and preserve Pemberton memorabilia.

The resolution says the Pemberton auditorium and Pemberton name should also be preserved. The auditorium would be used by alumni and othe rschool patrons.

Friday, September 23, 2016

MHS Student Council Wins Top Award Again

The Marshall High School Student Council has enjoyed a long history of success and leadership among the student body at MHS. This article highlights the MHS Student Council's award-winning achievements at the Texas Association of Student Councils conference during the 1985-86 school year. It appeared in the May 22, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger.

For the sixth straight year, Marshall High School was recognized as Outstanding Senior High Student Council at the recent 50th annual conference of the Texas Association of Student Councils in Austin.

The MHS Student Council was one of 350 student councils to that attended.

The MHS Student Council received five major awards during the state conference in recognition of their many projects during the school year. The local student council won the Outstanding Safety School for the fifth straight year. Safety chairman this year was senior Amy Huffman.

For the sixth straight year, the MHS council won Outstanding SMILE (alcohol education) project. SMILE chairman for 1985-86 is Greg Schwartz.

Marshall also won the title as Outstanding Energy School. Marshall has won the award since the competition was first created. Martheil Mauthe was this year's energy chairman. During the conference, Marshall's scrapbook was judged along with more than 100 scrapbooks in the 5A competition category. Marshall was one of six schools to win the top award as a superior scrapbook. Historian Merja Kenola was in charge of the scrapbook.

As a result of winning in the safety competition, Melissa Whitis, 1986-87 safety chairman, will join the official Texas delegation as it travels to Longbeach, Miss., in June to attend the annual National Student Safety Program Conference. Martheil Mauthe, this year's energy chairman, will represent Texas in June at the annual National Energy Education Day Awards Ceremony. Both projects are now eligible to win national prizes.

The MHS SMILE project is also entering national competition this year. After receiving encouragement from many Marshall people, the student council has entered the project in the Reader's Digest competition which is offering scholarships to schools sponsoring outstanding alcohol programs.

Some 3,500 student council leaders and sponsors attended the two-day conference. Delegates from Marshall included president William Sperier Jr., parliamentarian Greg Schwartz, juniors Martheil Mauthe and Emily Smith, sophomores Susan Blackburn and Annette Williams, and president-elect Stephanie McGee. Student council sponsor Anne Newman also attended the meeting.

Throughout the conference, Marshall delegates helped to run a booth that offered project information to the delegates.

A highlight of the conference was the election of officers for the 1986-87 school year. Sperier nominated Medina Valley High School of San Antonio to serve as TASC vice president school. Humble High School was elected to serve as president; Teague City High School as secretary and Lewisville high School as parliamentarian.

With a theme of "TASC Golden Encounters: Past, Present and Future," the conference program presented workshop sessions on leadership skills, effective student council projects, and student activity program development. The program included a presentation made by Sperier, whose session highlighted the Texas Sesquicentennial projects sponsored the past year at Marshall High School.

Keynoting the final general session was Jim Wacker, head football coach at Texas Christian University. In his speech, Wacker talked about "Striving for Excellence." Wacker said success is not meaningful unless it is accomplished through truth and integrity.

The Texas Association of Student Councils includes more than 1,100 Texas high school and junior high school student councils.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Students' Works Celebrate Texas

This article appeared in the June 8, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger. It spotlights the work of Marshall Junior High School Art instructor Mrs. Nancy Whatley and her students for the Texas Sesquicentennial Celebration.

By Cindy Edwards-Rinkle
Lifestyle Editor

In conjunction with the Texas Sesquicentennial, Marshall Junior High School Art Department painted history murals in the walls of the hall and compiled in a sesquicentennial sketchbook.

Art instructor Nancy Whatley said the students wanted a special project for the state's 150th birthday.

"They (students) first through about doing a calendar but we had so many good sketches, we decided to do a sketch book," Mrs. Whatley said.

The project was begun more than two months ago. Photographs were taken of historic places in the country. Then, in their free time, the students worked on the sketches, said Mrs. Whatley. "The project was something the students really wanted," she said. "They feel proud to see their names and drawings in it."

The art department had 200 copies printed. "Those sold out days after it was published. An additional 200 were printed and are on sale for $2. Any proceeds will go into the art department budget."

From the budget, paint was purchased and two wall murals were done, Mrs. Whatley said.

The first wall is near the art department. The second wall is in the history wing of the former high school.

Most of Mrs. Whatley's students are in her homeroom class. However, others are scattered in classes throughout the day.

They all get together before school, during lunch hours or after school to work on various projects.

"The students are very talented," she said. "They really enjoy art."

Mrs. Whatley has been teaching art for nine years. She lived in Pasadena before moving to Bivins.

She taught at Stephen F. Austin State University as a graduate assistant.

"In teaching art, so much of it is developing positive self attitude," she said. "I teach art to motivate the students."

Mrs. Whatley not only shares her talents with her students but she also shares them with the community.

"It's my way of expressing myself and my talent," she said.

Projects which have been completed under Mrs. Whatley's ledership include the FireAnt Poster Contest, Keep Marshall Beautiful Poster Contest sponsored by Marshall Public Library, "From Liberty's Point of View" PTA Cultural Arts Contest, mascot signs for Maverick Baseball Stadium, Spiderman posters for Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sesquicentennial Sketchbook, springtime murals for Harrison County Sesquicentennial Banquet, Stagecoach Days Art Contest, and many more.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Maverick Maker: Dennis Parker's Offseason Program Builds More Than Muscle For Mavericks

It's football season in Marshall, and the Mavericks are back on the field under the Friday night lights. But the real push toward this season -- and most seasons in Maverick history dating back to 1984 -- begins in the spring with the annual "Maverick Maker" offseason program. This article from the Feb. 17, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger highlights the very first "Maverick Maker" under then-new head coach Dennis Parker.

By Mike Keeney
Sports Editor

Just what is a Maverick Maker?

It's different things to different people.

To Marshall High head football coach Dennis Parker it's the perfect way to get his team in shape for offseason work and a means of pulling the squad closer together as a family, so to speak.

To 72 Marshall football players it's two weeks of hard, excruciating work, demanding the most of their bodies and minds as they shoot for perfection.

Once they reach perfection the Maverick Maker is over, so the incentive is there to do it right, quickly.

Parker has final say on when he feels the entire team has completed the Maverick Maker to his satisfaction. That was accomplished a week ago and Tuesday night the player's parents along with the Marshall Maverick Booster Club, will get a first-hand look at the Maverick Maker when they view a videotape of it at a 7 p.m. meeting in the teacher's lounge in the high school.

"We want to let the parents see what their kids have done, that way they'll know if we're working them too hard," Parker said with a laugh. "They (parents) need to see what their boys are going through. We're not trying to hide anything. We're proud of our program. Any chance we get to show it off we will."

Parker said the Maverick Maker, while physically demanding, is more mental than anything else.

"The Maverick Maker is really more mental than it is physical. they need to learn that when they get knocked down they have to get back up."

While it is also mentally demanding, it is also physically demanding. The 45-minute exercise session is broken into three parts: mat work, weight work and agility work.

The 72 varsity and junior varsity candidates are broken into three groups, with each group spending 15 minutes at the designated sessions. Parker roams between the three rooms, while assistants Ardis McCann, Bill Harper, Leonard McAngus, Buck Buchanan, Willie Todd, Tom Thrower and Ken Ivy send the Mavericks through their workout.

Things begin when they Mavericks come busting out of the varsity locker room after getting instructions from Parker. The noise the group makes is deafening as they sprint out ready to attack the Maverick Maker.

As time passes the noise level increases, but mostly one hears words of encouragement from one player to another, which is what Parker and his staff are after.

"That's what they've got to learn from this, to help pick the other guy up. We're not going to win with one or two guys, it takes the whole team and that's what we're trying to get across, that we're a family. Everybody talks about coming together as a team in September, they're a team right now," Parker said, glancing toward the varsity locker room.

Parker is an old hand at introducing such a program. he was associated with it at Converse-Judson, where it was called the Blast Off, in connection with the team's nickname of the Rockets.

"I've used it before and everywhere I've been it's produced results. Not only in getting the squad in shape but in developing a real bond between the players."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Still Stringing Them Along

Marshall ISD's Orchestra program had very humble beginnings compared to some of the other Fine Arts staples such as Band and Choir. This article, dated Nov. 16, 1984, highlights some of the early days of MISD's strings program leading up to what has now become a program available for students in middle school through high school.

By Diane Hughes
Staff Writer

A handful of Marshall students cast aside their textbooks once a day in favor of violins, violas and cellos -- it's time to make music.

The strings course is one of the most little-known programs in Marshall schools although it has been around for more than 10 years, according to teacher Kevin Jagoe.

"I've run into too many people who lived in Marshall all their lives and gone to the public schools and weren't aware of the program's existence," he said.

The obscurity often leads to misconceptions. "I don't know what people think a strings class should sound like," said Jagoe. "I get asked a lot, how can you stand that screeching sound."

Squawking and screeching have no place in Jagoe's classes. It's merely a matter of pressing the strings all the way to the fingerboard, he explained.

Most children can identify a violin or a bass, but are unfamiliar with cellos or violas, he said.

"A lot of people don't even know what strings are," said Jagoe. " A lot of children come in and ask me if I teach guitar."

The strings program may be less popular than the band, but the 39 students in the program this year are there because they want to be, said Jagoe.

"I think some of them see this is an instrument that not everyone is playing... and I think that's why some of these kids are here, because they want to do something different."

He teaches beginners' classes in sixth and seventh grades, an eight-grade class and one ninth-grade student.

Some students grow discouraged in the first few weeks of the course because the time is spent learning to handle the instrument rather than playing songs. Eight to 10 weeks elapse before the students can play a simple song, said the teacher.

If they started out with songs, before they were sure of bowholds and fingering, they would pick up bad habits and still be struggling by the end of the year, he said.

"You have to be able to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run, and we are in the crawling stage of learning the instrument," said Jagoe.

Two concerts are planned this year, one by advanced students Dec. 8 at Marshall Mall, the other in the spring.