Funky, Fun Photo Editing…

via Engaging the Digital Natives by Jerri Davis

PicMonnkey is a fun, new photo editor. PicMonnkey has no required login and as of now the components are free. There are many components to try out. PicMonnkey has basic edits like cropping, rotating, exposure and color. It also has effects that allow you change the processing/exposure appearance which will allow it soften the process, give it a dusk appearance. PicMonnkey also allows touch-ups to repair blemishes and red eyes. As you can see from my photo, I had fun playing with the editing tools.

PicMonnkey also offers options like text, overlays, frames, and textures.

As of now all components of PicMonnkey are free. However, PicMonnkey, does have what they refer to as Royal Effects and these are free for now but PicMonnkey advises that membership is coming.

PicMonnkey is funky and fun and could be a great tool for editing pictures for blogs and websites. Students could use this site to edit photographs for projects and various other creative assignments. Have some fun and try out PicMonnkey.

Awards Night

Last night, the Middle School and High School hosted their annual awards night. Many students were recognized for their achievements at both campuses. I want to congratulate all the students that received awards last night. I also want to thank all the staff members for their work in preparing for the ceremonies. Also, a special thank you to all the parents, grandparents, and other friends and relatives that came out to show their support for our students.

This school year is quickly coming to a close. When we come back on Monday, we will have 8 days of school left. Next week is filled with events and activities to honor our graduating seniors. I encourage everyone to come out and honor and support our seniors whenever possible. The week will culminate with the graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 26. Graduation will start at 10:00 AM and be held in the E. L. Kirk Gymnasium.

One final reminder about tomorrow’s athletic banquet. The banquet will be held at the First Baptist Church. Food will be served from 5:00 – 5:30 and the awards will begin at 5:30. Tickets are $5.00 and may be purchased at the High School.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Does Your Class Blog?

via Engaging the Digital Natives by Jerri Davis
I have recently had the pleasure of helping a couple of first grade teachers begin classroom blogs.


This process has been so much fun for me. I have enjoyed the excitement of the kids as they are writing for the class blog and as they wait expectantly to see if someone has read and commented on their blog.

Through this process, I was sharing my experiences with a colleague, Twyla Felty (Technology Tidbits), who shared my story with her daughter, a kindergarten teacher. Her daughter was inspired by the story other teachers and began a classroom blog for her kindergarten class and her little one love it!

Blogging gives these kiddos the opportunity to share the exciting things they are learning in class. Blogs engage and motivate kids and create pleasure in their work. Students are able to engage in a student-centered learning environment in which they collaborate with their peers and their creativity is encouraged and displayed. Blogs provide a real audience that goes beyond the teacher. They are able to share their work parents, grandparents, and friends. Students are provided the opportunity to engage with other people all over the world.

Blogs not only support and encourage the Language Arts content area, but using the blog statistics you can also incorporate multiple content areas such Math and Geography. Blogs can be fabulous tools to support the learning in all classrooms! I am a proponent for classroom blogging and suggest trying in your classroom. If you are not sure how to start, I suggest contact your Technology Integration Person! If you do not have the support of a Tech Integration Specialist then feel free to contact me, I would enjoy helping you out! And if you have a few minutes please take the time to visit the class blogs I have shared i this post. These kids would love to hear from you!

Awards Night and Athletic Banquet

Tonight, the Middle School and High School will be hosting their annual awards night. The Middle School awards will start at 6:00 PM and be held in the Middle School gym. The High School awards will start at 7:00 PM and be held in the auditorium. Everyone is invited out to both events.

 Also, I want to remind everyone about the Athletic Banquet on Saturday. The banquet will be held at the First Baptist Church in Eustace. Food will be served at 5:00 and the awards will start at 5:30. Tickets are $5.00 and must be purchased in advance at the High School.

School Board Meeting Last Night

Last night, the EISD Board of Trustees meet in regular session. The meeting started at 7:00 PM and was held in the HS library. Actions taken at last night’s meeting included the following:

  • Approved minutes of the April 17, 2012 board meeting.
  • Approved the financial reports as presented.
  • Approved the addition of three custodial positions and two maintenance positions for the summer.
  • Approved the Region 7 Education Service Center Contracts as presented.
  • Requested additional information on the softball and baseball renovations. These renovations will be discussed again in June.
  • Approved the refund on property taxes due to homestead exemption for David Bryon Mason.
  • Approved Policy Update 93 as recommended by TASB.
  • Accepted the resignations of the following personnel: Emily Blackshear, Ann Shoecraft, Clare Bradburn, and Harold Hemphill.
  • Employed Michael Wheat as bus mechanic and Dereck White as an aide at the Intermediate School.
  • Accepted the list of Auxiliary personnel for employment as presented.
  • Approved the list of student transfers as presented.
  • Adjourned.

The Board also presented Board Commendations to the following students that qualified for state competitions:

Nic Hairl – UIL Headline Writing
Carly Copeland – State Solo and Ensemble
Rosie Durnell – State Solo and Ensemble
Jason Ballenger – State Solo and Ensemble
Dylan Worrell – State Solo and Ensemble
Kallan Campbell – State Solo and Ensemble
Randall Roberts – State Solo and Ensemble
Ruby Espiricueta – State Solo and Ensemble
Tara Young – State Solo and Ensemble
Tyler Barrett – State Solo and Ensemble
Jaci Aiken – 100 m Hurdles
Evan Arambula – 800 m Run and 1600 m Run
Jacob McCarter – 300 m Hurdles
Casey Bramblitt – Power Lifting

The Board also heard the two state qualifying ensembles perform their competition music. I want to thank all the students, parents, and staff members for their attendance at last night’s meeting.  


Intermediate Choir and School Board Meeting Tonight

Intermediate Choir

The following information was provided by Kathryn Clardy, our Intermediate choir teacher:

Thank you so much for your support of the choir as they competed in the East Texas Music Festival in Athens on Tuesday, May 8th.  They worked diligently to accomplish their goal of singing in two parts this year, and it paid off.  Bringing home the first place trophy is indeed a humbling and astounding accomplishment. 

Congratulations to the Intermediate Choir and Mrs. Clardy on this great accomplishment!!

School Board Meeting

Tonight, the EISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM and be held in the HS library. Items on the agenda include:

Student Recognitions – All students that qualified for state competition will be recognized. Band students that qualified for state will perform their arrangements.

Reports – The board will hear the following reports:

  • PaySchools Report
  • Preliminary 2013 Budget Report for Appraisal Districts
  • Preliminary Taxable Value Report
  • Enrollment Report

Action Items – The board will consider action on the following agenda items:

  • Minutes from Previous Meetings
  • Financial Reports
  • Additional Summer Help
  • Region 7 ESC Contracts for 2012-2013
  • Renovations at the Softball and Baseball Fields
  • Refund on Property Taxes Due to Homestead Exemption
  • Advocacy Resolutions
  • Policy Update 93 – Second Reading

Closed Meeting  – The board will convene in closed session to discuss issues related to personnel and to review evaluations and consider re-employment of Auxiliary Staff. The board will also review student transfer requests.

The Board will reconvene in open session to consider any action on closed session items.

Everyone is invited to attend tonight’s meeting.



State Track Meet Results and This Week

State Track Meet Results

This past weekend, Evan Arambula, Jacob McCarter, and Jaci Aiken competed at the state track meet in Austin. At the state meet, all running events are run as finals with 9 competitors in each event. Evan finished 7th in the 800 m run and 8th in the 1600 m run. Jacob finished 6th in the 300 m hurdles, while Jaci finished 8th in the 100 m hurdles. Congratulations to Evan, Jacob, and Jaci!!

This Week

This is 1st grade TPRI week.

Tuesday – School Board Meeting – 7:00 PM, HS Library

Thursday – Middle School and High School Awards Night

Saturday – Sports Banquet – First Baptist Church


Congratulations to the Beginning Band and Correction to Previous Post

The beginning band at the Middle School competed yesterday in the Sound Post Contest in Canton. Below is information from their performance furnished by Jim Taylor, assistant band director:

The MIDDLE SCHOOL BEGINNING BAND, mostly consisting of sixth graders, competed at the Sound Post Contest in Canton. The band made a one (superior), receiving a one from each judge, and they brought home a beautiful trophy. The students then went to the SPLASH KINGDOM WATER PARK and had a great time. Way to go MIDDLE SCHOOL BEGINNING BAND

Congratulations to all the members of the beginning band and Todd Felty and Jim Taylor, EISD band directors, for this achievement!!

Last week, I posted information about the NHS banquet. In my list of senior NHS members, I inadvertently left off Randall Roberts. My apologies for this omission. The list on the NHS post has been corrected.

Yesterday, all the campuses came together at 2:30 for a celebration and send off for our state qualifiers. Not only were the state track qualifiers recognized, but band members, power lifting, and UIL academic qualifiers were all recognized for their accomplishments. A video of the event is posted on the EISD YouTube page:

I hope everyone has a great weekend.