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.