Wednesday’s Cleburne Chamber Commerce quarterly membership luncheon honored both Cleburne ISD volunteers and student achievements.
Guests at the Cleburne Conference Center enjoyed lunch catered by Lemon Sisters Cafe & Bakery. Vintage lunch boxes — Batman, the Munsters, Captain Kangaroo and others — from Lemon Sister’s owner Angela Reynolds served as table centerpieces.
CISD Community Services Director Lisa Magers pulled a red metal plaid pattern lunch box from behind the podium.
“This is my lunch box from first grade,” Magers said. “I saw the same one on ‘Antiques Roadshow’ a few weeks ago, which makes me a little depressed.”
CISD student artwork, including a Mona Lisa assembled with pieces of fabric, sat on display throughout the room.
The first order of business involved CISD Adopt-A-School Program participants and awarding the 2012 Adopter of the Year Award.
For more than 25 years, the chamber and CISD have worked together to pair local industry, business and civic organizations with schools, teachers and students. Such pairings have resulted in extra equipment and materials for schools, tutoring programs, learning opportunities and activities and other benefits.
“Our adopters are part of CISD along with the campuses, students, faculty and teachers,” Magers said. “We’re a team and couldn’t make it without you.”
Participants select the campus or school department they wish to adopt. Individual schools nominate them for the Adopter of the Year Award.
Cleburne schools chose the following nine nominees this year.
• The State Farm agencies of Jay McHargue, Jan Greathouse and Crystal Plaster nominated by Cooke Elementary School.
• Cleburne RE/MAX nominated by Gerard Elementary School.
• United Cooperative Service nominated by Gerard.
• Coldwell Banker/Bob King Realty nominated by Marti Elementary School.
• First United Methodist Church nominated by Santa Fe Elementary School.
• Cleburne Lions Club nominated by Adams Elementary School.
• Community Bank nominated by Irving Elementary School.
• Eastern Heights Church nominated by TEAM School.
• Cleburne Fire Chief Clint Ishmael and Engine Company No. 2 nominated by Smith Middle School.
And the winner is...
The State Farm agencies of Joy McHargue, Jan Greathouse and Crystal Plaster were named Adopter of the Year for their efforts at Cooke. The three agencies funded Cooke’s Wildcat Warehouse, which rewards students who meet the school’s 4Ps positive behavior plan. Prompt, prepared, productive and polite form the 4Ps. Students displaying those virtues receive tickets from teachers, office staff, custodians, cafeteria workers and other campus employees, which are redeemable for prizes from the Wildcat Warehouse.
The State Farm agents also provided snacks for students participating in after-school tutoring.
“I’d urge everyone in the community to get involved and work to have an effect on our younger students,” Emcee Erik Dumas said. “The Adopt-A-School program has been going on a good while and my prayer is that it continues to do so for a long time.”
Residents, business and civic leaders interested in the Adopt-A-School program should contact the chamber at 817-645-2455 or Magers at 817-202-1127.
Student talent galore
Cleburne students have been busy doing all kinds of things that are making a difference, Magers said.
Cleburne High School seniors Tanner Marchel and Blake Rasmussen grabbed acoustic guitars and hit the stage trading off vocal duties when not singing in harmony.
Third-graders Julie Hall and Grace Mitchell danced, tapped and vogued through a number both musical and comical.
April is poetry month, Magers said, but it’s been a poetry year at CISD with a record number of students being published and recognized through state and national awards.
Alexis Morton recited her poem, “Embrace It,” which won second place in Abydos statewide poetry and prose contest. First place winner Caitlin Carder was unable to attend Wednesday’s luncheon. Eighth-grader Kennedy Stouffer filled in by reciting Carder’s poem “Childhood Pal.”
Marti fourth-grader Brooklyn Moreno recited her poem “Life’s A Puzzle.”
The students who performed during the luncheon provide but a glimpse of the talents and achievements of CISD’s student body, Superintendant Tim Miller said.
Miller listed a number of those achievements:
• Several campuses received Gold Performance Acknowledgement recognition from the Texas Education Agency.
• CHS received the highest number of performance awards at the UIL One-Act Play’s zone competition.
• From sophomores to seniors, 196 students posted a GPA of 4.6 or better.
• Smith students placed second in the UIL Academics meet.
• Santa Fe second-grader Joshua Collins placed in the top 15 of the Texas Reading Bee.
• The CHS Golden Pride Band received first division ratings in the UIL Regular Marching Competition for the fourth consecutive year.
Miller also touched on school financing challenges. CISD, Miller said, likely won’t require the budget cutbacks necessary last year provided additional state funding cuts don’t occur. Miller nonetheless admitted the possibility of the need for a property tax increase and a bond election in the coming years.
The goal for CISD, Miller said, is to rank in the top 25 percent of all districts in the state in all areas.
“Keep raising your expectations,” Miller said. “Demand accountability of us when it comes to your children and your money. We need your help and support.”
Dumas ended the luncheon by thanking state Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, who was in attendance, and praising Miller.
“I know Rob fights to bring all the money he can back to Cleburne,” Dumas said. “Problem is, he’s in Austin with a lot of other people fighting for their areas, but I think he fights better than all the rest.
“And, I think we’re very blessed to have someone with the credentials and obvious passion Dr. Miller has for Cleburne ISD.”