Eustace Ag Booster Chili Cook-off & Auction

The Eustace Ag Booster Club held its 14th annual Chili Cook-off and Auction this past Saturday, February 26. This was an exciting charitable event. Representatives from each of the surrounding FFA chapters, local business leaders, school administrators and board members, as well as community members were in attendance for this event.

The evening began with an outstanding line up of chili for the honorable chili connoisseurs to taste, evaluate, and select winners. We would like to thank each of our judges for their time. This year’s judges consisted of RANDY TEAGUE – Teague Chevrolet of Mabank, SUSAN OBRIEN of Eustace, DIANE RUSS –  EISD School Board President, JEFF BROWN – Cook Off Winner, EHS Teacher & Coach, LISA BYNUM – EHS Spanish Teacher, EDDIE MOSELEY – Moseley Insurance, Mabank, LANGE SVELAK – Editor, Athens Review, and DR. COY HOLCOMBE – EISD Superintendent. The esteemed winners of the Eustace Ag Booster Chili Cook-off are as follows: 1st place Joyce Byers, 2nd place Adam Davis, and 3rd place Joni Hunt. Thank you all for your entries.

Leading the live auction was Kenny Odom of Mabank, TX. We would like to thank Mr. Odom for providing this free of charge. With the sale consisting of some 150 items; from t-post drives, hay rings, utility trailers, an array of tools, pies and cakes, to fine jewelry, it was a good sale. Saturday was a good day to be in Eustace, TX. We would like to extend a very warm thank you the community who is so supportive of the Eustace FFA and the students who are actively involved in its contests and efforts. In addition to the live auction, raffle tickets were sold in order to raise funds for the Henderson County Livestock Show supporters, and a collection was held to benefit the family of Skylar Carpenter from Quitman FFA who recently lost her life in a car accident on her way to compete and exhibit her Ag Mechanics project at the San Antonio Livestock Show. The total funds generated to be used in the upcoming years Program of Activities through the live auction was $18,445.00 with an additional $1000.00 being generated to be given to the family of Skylar Carpenter of Quitman FFA.

Baseball, Band and This Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

Congratulations to the varsity baseball team on winning first place at the Eustace Tournament!

Also, many thanks to everyone that came out for the FFA Booster Club Chili Supper and Auction. It was a great evening of good food and fun!

Our band students did a great job at solo and ensemble. Below is information furnished by band director, Todd Felty:

 Twenty  band students participated in the Region 3 Solo & Ensemble competition in North Garland, this past Saturday with many qualifying for the State competition to be held in May on Memorial Day at Hendrickson HS in Austin. Nine students brought home nine 1st division Blue ribbons for Class 1 ensembles and a Solo. Each student has worked on their own with little instruction to achieve these ratings. The solo and ensemble competition is divided into three Classifications with a Class 1 being music on a college level of difficulty. Solos and ensembles must be Class 1 and achieve a 1st division rating in order to qualify for State competition. Solos must be memorized to qualify for the state contest.

 Ensembles receiving 1st division ratings and qualifying for State were:

   The Brass Sextet     "Canzona No 4"     Gabrielli

Jason Ballenger, Connie Benefield, Carli Copeland, Rosie Durnell, Desire Mouser, and Dylan Worrell  

  The Percussion Ensemble    " Fiesta"          Flores

                       Chris Almand, Cody Marple and Jonathan Warren

 Clarinet Soloist Angie Freimoser achieved a 1st division rating on a Class 1 solo.

                        “Fantasy Pieces” Schumann

The Saxophone Trio  Ensemble "Prelude and Fugue in gminor"    Bach received a 2nd division rating on a Class 1. 

         Tyler Barrett, Kallan Campbell and Ruby Espiricueta

The Clarinet Quartet  “Dance Creole”    Chaminade received a 3rd division rating on a Class 1. 

                         Nicole Anderson, Cassie Hudson, Angie Freimoser and  Nancy Murff

 The Trombone Trio  “Lift Thine Eyes”  Mendelssohn

This Week:

Monday – Band practice – 7:00 – 9:00; Varsity golf at Twin Lakes

Tuesday – TAKS Testing – 4th Writing, 10th ELA, 9th Reading, EXIT Level ELA, 7th Writing; 1st Grade Reading Night; SB at Kerens – 5:00; JV & V Baseball at Kerens – 5:00

Thursday – Baseball at Grand Saline Tournament; SB at TASO Tournament; JV Baseball at Athens Tournament; Bulldog Relays

Friday – Baseball at Grand Saline Tournament; SB at TASO Tournament; JV Baseball at Athens Tournament;

Saturday – Baseball at Grand Saline Tournament; SB at TASO Tournament; JV Baseball at Athens Tournament;

2010 Preliminary Property Values

by Coy Holcombe.  

The comptroller recently released the 2010 preliminary property values for school districts. Below are the preliminary 2010 numbers compared with the 2009 numbers. Please forgive the formatting, but copy and paste does not always produce the desired effects in the blog program. Overall, EISD is showing a slightly increase in property values from 2009-2010. While these are preliminary numbers, the final numbers should not vary considerably. As you can see, some property categories are actually showing a decrease from 2009. The overall increase of 1.66% is by far the smallest increase in recent years. The deductions specifics are shown at the bottom of the chart.


Property Value Comparisons 2009 to 2010
  2010 2009 Difference %
Single Family Residences $443,535,150 $434,827,360 $8,707,790 2.00%
Multifamily Residences $0 $0 $0  
Vacant Lots $35,029,250 $35,519,457 -$490,207 -1.38%
Rural Real $83,766,200 $84,346,980 -$580,780 -0.69%
Commercial Real $9,420,950 $9,110,700 $310,250 3.41%
Industrial Real $12,000,000 $12,000,000 $0 0.00%
Oil, Gas, Minerals $1,569,530 $1,569,530 $0 0.00%
Utilities $20,357,710 $20,159,100 $198,610 0.99%
Commercial Personal $5,124,290 $4,973,050 $151,240 3.04%
Industrial Personal $2,356,550 $2,356,550 $0 0.00%
Mobile Homes $13,040,840 $13,346,840 -$306,000 -2.29%
Residential Inventory $1,473,120 $1,529,480 -$56,360 -3.68%
Special Inventory $4,510 $10,950 -$6,440 -58.81%
Subtotal $627,678,100 $619,749,997 $7,928,103 1.28%
Less Total Deductions $121,082,268 $121,421,450 -$339,182 -0.28%
Total Taxable Value $506,595,832 $498,328,547 $8,267,285 1.66%
Homestead – State  $35,232,480      
Homestead – Over 65 $10,515,290      
Homestead – Disabled $1,657,340      
Homestead – Vets $905,100      
Over 65 Freeze Loss $57,219,188      
10% Appraisal Cap Loss $14,609,440      
Deferred Taxes $943,430      
  $121,082,268 $121,421,450 -$339,182


FFA Chili Cook-Off and Auction

by Coy Holcombe.  

This Saturday, February 26, the Eustace Ag Boosters will be hosting the 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Auction. Proceeds of the event will go to the Eustace Ag Boosters which will benefit the students of the Eustace FFA. The chili judging will start at 5:30 and the chili supper will take place at 6:00. The auction will start at 6:30. All the events will take place in the Primary cafeteria.

Everyone is invited to attend. There is always lots of good food and the auction is always fun.

Pearson TestNav Fail & Recover

by Rusty Meyners.  

Original (or at least previous) publish date: Wednesday, 12 May 2010, 11:47 AM

Here's what didn't work and did work for us when testing the entire Freshman class of around 90 students simultaneously on netbooks with wireless connections.

  1. Server install DID NOT work – obviously and decidedly so.

    • It seemed the most natural way to do things and bandwidth considerations seemed to be the only issue flagged in the Pearson documentation. We had tested groups of class size or smaller in the past with barely tolerable results, usually not seeming to be related to bandwidth. Testing 90 simultaneously crapped out after less than 2 dozen connections. In this case we were using netbooks on wireless connections but no change in perfomance was noted on several that were plugged into ethernet. Best guess is that the program files did not play well when in use by so many users – NOT A GUESS is that critical files were easily broken in this scenario and re-install was the so-called "fix". 
  2. Proctor Caching DID work – apparently.

    • We have no observation of how things would have performed without this but none of the problems we had indicated a problem with caching, particularly considering good performance after changes were made only to components other than this.
  3. Local install DID work – WITH A TWIST

    • After it appeared that a local install was the solution (the Pearson documenation DID NOT give any indication to this effect but phone support did) we successfully circumvented the need to perform a full install on each machine by merely copying the folder from the server installation to each local desktop (NOT an idea we got from phone support). It may be possible to to the same thing with a local install folder but be sure the proctor caching settings are correct and if necessary edit the configuration file for that purpose. No critical .ini files were broken on 90 local instances.
    • Some tips on this:

      • Zip the folder and copy it by USB to the local desktop where it is then unzipped in a separate action and ready for use. It could be copied directly from network but might result in an annoying bottleneck. Attempting to unzip directly from the network share will probably aggravate the bottleneck and uzipping from the USB stick will also be slower than performing the separate actions. This makes a difference when prepping more than a class-sized group.
      • If possible, set relevant temp-file paths (different on server vs. local installs) when performing the original install that you are going to copy. Not critical, because we performed an adjustment to each local computer and it wasn't horrendous (compared to running from server the previous day) but could be avoided. The correction is requested after logging in: just click Browse and the default path is normally suitable but if it doesn't work, just click "Skip Upload" (assuming student has no work to save yet).
      • On our netbooks, there were two suitable resolution settings, changed by hot-key, however making this change after the test starts will trip the cheat-detector and require the test to be restarted. So try to confirm a correct resolution before hand.
      • Because our netbooks are on full-time assignment to students, a special domain login was implemented to ensure a clean profile with less chance of junkware interference.



(Will put updates or link to them here

Now that this reminds me NOT to do network install (hard to believe I'd forgotten THAT), here are some things that immediately come to mind.

  1. Will probably script the copying AND unzipping of files involved in "Local Install" as described above in #3 (WITH A TWIST).

    • have recently used scripting for similar delivery from network shares with encouraging results
    • 7z zip utility (free) has proven very efficient and effective for this and works well with scripting
  2. After optimizing scripting and zip procedures, will likely retest these from network shares as well as USB or SD card delivery, to evaluate which is/are preferable.

This Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

This is a busy week. Below are the details:

Monday – Start 5th 6 Weeks; Golf at Cedar Creek; JV Baseball v. Kemp – 4:30; Band Practice

Tuesday – Softball at Westwood – 5:00; Varsity Baseball at Kaufman – 4:30

Thursday – Report Cards; Eustace Baseball Tournament; HS Track Meet at Eustace – Tri-Meet; JV Golf at Indian Oaks

Friday – Eustace Baseball Tournament; Softball at Malakoff Tournament;

Saturday – Girls Regional Powerlifting Meet at Forney; Eustace Baseball Tournament; Softball at Malakoff Tournament; JV Baseball at Kaufman

I hope everyone has a great week!

2011 – 2012 School Calendar

by Coy Holcombe.  

At the board meeting on Tuesday, the calendar for the 2011 – 2012 school year was approved. The 11-12 calendar will be very similar to the current calendar. The major difference will be the testing dates for the new statewide testing program. Major highlights of the new calendar include:

16 – 19  – Staff Development Days
 22 – First day of classes
 5 – Labor Day Holiday
30 – End of the 1st 6 Weeks
3 – Holiday
18 – 21 – Exit Level Retests
4 – End of 2nd 6 Weeks
22 – Early Release
23 – 25 – Thanksgiving Holidays
15 & 16 – Early Release
16 – End of 3rd 6 Weeks
19 – 30 – Christmas Holidays
2 – Workday (Student Holiday)
16 – Staff Development (Student Holiday)
17 – End of 4th 6 Weeks
5 – 9 – Exit Level Retests
12 – 16 – Spring Break
26 – 20 – STAAR Testing
5 – Early Release & End of 5th 6 Weeks
6 – Bad Weather Day
23 – 27 – STAAR Testing
7 – 17 – STAAR Testing
28 – Memorial Day Holiday
30 & 31 – Early Release
31 – Last Day of Classes; End of 6th 6 Weeks
1 – Bad Weather Day / Workday

Mallory Mobley and Board Meeting Last Night

by Coy Holcombe.  

I received an update from Zach Tappan on further successes that EHS senior Mallory Mobley has had in FFA. Below is Mr. Tappan's information:

 "Mallory has been awarded the Houston Livestock Show Area Go Texan scholarship in the amount of $16,000. The requirements are rigorous and to an extremely high standard. Through Mallory’s involvement with agricultural endeavors as well as her very studious efforts, she is most deserving of this elite award. I ask that each of you please take a moment to congratulate her personally. Mallory is a testament of the World Class education received here at EISD."

Last night, the EISD Board of Trustees met in regular session. The meeting started at 7:00 PM. The Board:

– Received an invitation from Mallory Mobley and Brady Tindel to attend the Ag Booster Club's 14th Annual Chili Cookoff and Auction to be held on February 26.

– Approved the minutes of the January 18, 2011, regular board meeting.

– Approved the financial reports as presented.

– Heard reports on PaySchools, the NCLB Report Card, the Math Counts T-Shirt Design Contest, the Preliminary Property Values for 2010, and the 2011 Gold Leadership Circle Award.

– The board heard a report from the DEIC committee.

– Approved three waiver applications to TEA for missed instructional days.

– Approved the bid submitted by Athens Steel Building for expanding the existing Agricultural Science Building.

– Approved Local Policy Update 89 on Second Reading.

– Approved the 2011-2012 school calendar as presented.

– Nominated Kerry Yancy, reporter for The Monitor, to the TASB Media Honor Roll.

– Moved the date of the regular March board meeting from Tuesday, March 15, 2011, to Thursday, March 10, 2011.

– Heard an update on enrollment.

– Approved the substitute list as presented.

– Approved a contract extension for the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

– Approved a contract extension for the athletic director.

– Approved a contract extension for the High School principal.

– Approved a contract extension for the Intermediate School principal.

– Approved a contract extension for the Primary School principal.

– Adjourned

Board Meeting Tonight

by Coy Holcombe.  

A reminder that tonight is the last regular season basketball game for the boys. The Bulldogs will be in action against Leon tonight at the E. L. Kirk Gymnasium. Games are scheduled to start at 5:00.

The EISD Board of Trustees will also hold their regular monthly meeting tonight. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM and be held in the HS library. A summary of the agenda items is given below:

– Receive and approve minutes of previous meetings

– Consider financial reports

– Hear General Reports that include: PaySchools Report, NCLB Report Card, Math Counts T-Shirt Contest, Preliminary Property Values for 2010, and 2011 Gold Leadership Circle Award

– Consider waiver application for emergency closings

– Consider HS Ag Building Expansion

– Consider Policy Update 89 (Second Reading)

– Consider 2011-2012 School Calendar

– Consider nominating Kerry Yancy of The Monitor for TASB Media Honor Roll

– Consider moving date of March board meeting from Tuesday, March 15 to Thursday, March 10

– Update on Enrollment

– Closed Session Items

– Action on Closed Session Items

– Adjourn

This Week

by Coy Holcombe.  

First, I am happy to report that there is no winter weather forecasted for this week! The girls have finished their basketball season and the boys have their last regular season game on Tuesday. Softball and baseball are starting to get in full swing this week. Students will be taking their 6 weeks tests this week. Band will be starting after school practice in preparation for their concert and sight-reading contest.

This week's activities:

Monday – Happy Valentine's Day!; Valentine's Parties – Primary; Band Practice – 6:00 – 9:00; SB v. Malakoff – 5:30; JV and V Baseball v. Athens (Scrimmage) – 5:00

Tuesday – HS Boys Basketball v. Leon – 5:00; Board Meeting – 7:00 PM HS Library

Thursday – SB at Athens Tournament

Friday – End 4th 6 Weeks; SB at Athens Tournament; JV & V Baseball at Grand Saline – 5:00

Saturday – SB at Athens Tournament; JV SB Tournament at Martins Mill

I hope everyone has a great week!