The first semester of the school year is flying by at lightning speed, as evidenced by the blur of activities experienced by our students and schools in the month of October.

One of the many highlights was the Dental Careers Open House in which parents of Cleburne High School students in our new dental assistant program viewed the state-of-the-art lab facilities in which their children are learning. We were also excited by the great response to the event by members of our dental community.

Dr. Ron Sherwood, who has entered his second career following 38 years in dentistry, is serving as the instructor of our dental assistant program. He is busy preparing his class of seniors for their upcoming Registered Dental Assistant exam.

After these students pass this very important milestone, they will be able to receive experience in the real-world setting, thanks to our local dentists and orthodontists who have agreed to partner with the program and involve CHS students in the office setting. This is a tremendous learning opportunity for these future members of the dentistry profession. 

When they graduate in May, and meet the age requirement of 18 years, these students will receive the Registered Dental Assistant Certification and put what they have learned into practice. Students in this program will also use their RDA credential to help with college expenses, with many wishing to continue on in their studies to become a dental hygienist or dentist/orthodontist.

Speaking of students, we had four aspiring engineers from Cleburne High School, accompanied by their teacher Roel Peña, receive a career “close-up” as participants in the Aggies Invent Junior Halliburton Challenge held Oct. 18-19 at Texas A&M University. 

Juniors and seniors from selected high schools across Texas participated in an active design process tailored to replicate the engineering industry environment. The question facing the high school engineers at the 18-hour event had all the aspects of a real-world project as they worked in teams centered on this challenge: With constantly evolving technologies reshaping our daily lives, energy industries from all over the world are seeking solutions to power future generations. How do you combat climate change, yet still meet the rising demand for energy and distribute it to the 7.5 billion people in the world in an affordable and sustainable way?

Each of our students worked with four and five-member fellow collaborators from other schools — many from larger districts — in brainstorming ideas relating to specific areas of the challenge, meeting consensus on a solution and developing a design prototype which was the reviewed by judges. Annabelle Yarbrough, the sole senior on our Cleburne delegation, worked with a team in creating a remote operated vehicle designed to clean and repair pipelines.

CHS eleventh-grader Jose Sanchez was a member of the 2019 Aggies Invent Junior winning team which developed a viable and environment-friendly process to reclaim the gas from oil flaring emissions on offshore rigs. 

While this experience was priceless in giving our students the opportunity to put their high school engineering knowledge and skills to work, it also confirmed their desires to continue on to college and career in this field. 

October ended with no tricks — but lots of treats — for a group of CISD teachers who were awarded 2019-20 mini grants totaling $6,988 from the Cleburne Education Foundation. 

From funding classroom resources in the core subjects of math and reading, to science equipment and musical instruments, these grants will enhance what these dedicated teachers are doing in their work with students.

Congratulations to grant recipients Smith Middle School’s Rebekah Kneupper; Wheat Middle School’s Sarah Moulden; CHS’ Dawn Broadway; TEAM School’s Jon Paul Looney; Marti Elementary School’s Sarah Bonner; Adams Elmentary School’s Chrissy Sample and Amy Sisk; Gerard Elementary School’s Amy Brown; Kaitlyn Hammond and Kristi Pritchard; Irving Elementary School’s Amber Garrison and Erika Solis; and Santa Fe Elementary School’s Courtney Swaim, Angela Watson, Christie Smith and the second-grade reading team of Margarita Ramirez, Manya Sharma, Lilianna Chapa and Leeana Guzman, who collaborated on their winning grant application.

Thank you to the board and advisory committee members of Cleburne Education Foundation and the many business and community supporters of their mission to advocate and invest in our students, schools and teachers. 

I want to end with a “shout-out” to CHS senior Maggie Marshall, who qualified for the UIL 5A State Cross Country Meet for the second consecutive year. She was first across the finish line at the District 14-5A race and placed seventh at regionals, where our Lady Jackets competed as a team. While she has been a race leader throughout her four years of XC competition at CHS, she is also a leader in academics and among her peers. 

We encourage you to visit our website, to view our latest video edition of CISD Matters and catch up on district news. You can also stay informed of school happenings via our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Go Jackets!


Superintendent Kyle Heath has been the administrative leader of Cleburne ISD since 2014 and has more than 

30 years of service in 

education as a secondary teacher, campus principal and district administrator. 

He can be reached at

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