School Times Now!
Message from Dr. Waggoner
RISD Partners Program
Spotlight on RISD
Kindergartners Visit
Santa's Village
RISD Dyslexia Program Parent
Roundtable - January 16
West's Pastrana Receives
MetroPCS Surprise
Kids Helping Kids
Dobie Elementary Winter
Gear Drive
Berkner Basketball
Teams Adopt-a-Family
Vision Bank Helps Arapaho
Classical Get Growing
Bowie K-Kids win trophy in
Richardson Christmas Parade
Holiday Cheer for Forest
Meadow Junior High
Prestoncrest Angel Tree and
Wallace Elementary
Berkner JROTC Essay Contest
Pearce Pacesetters
Dance Work Shop
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
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Message from Dr. Waggoner

The horrific events of last week have thrown a dark shadow over the nation and have been deeply troubling to everyone, especially those of us whose lives are touched by students each and every day. I can't begin to imagine the anguish that the Newtown community is experiencing over the loss of lives – teachers and administrators who believed passionately in public education and who were on a mission to nurture dreams, touch lives, and make a difference – and young students whose dreams were yet to be fulfilled and whose lives were snuffed out, violently without reason or cause. I trust that I speak for all of us when I acknowledge our genuine, heartfelt pain – because their loss has been our loss. We've identified. We've put ourselves in their place. We've wept. We've cared – deeply. We've been touched.

As I've struggled with the loss in the Connecticut community, I've realized that the unconditional acts of heroism and sacrifice that emerged in the darkest of hours – without hesitation or forethought – have only strengthened my respect and admiration for those who have dedicated their lives in some capacity to the field of education. The tragedy has been a powerful reminder of the nobleness of the profession in which we serve and the sense of community that encompasses our mission.

In light of the recent tragedy, I want to assure you that the safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance to our district. We are vigilant in safety procedures and we will continue to review and evaluate our security protocols on an ongoing basis. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our safety initiatives. I realize that our procedures may seem burdensome at times, but your understanding and partnership are critical factors in effective implementation of our security measures.

As we come to the close of the first semester, I want to tell you how much I appreciate you. We are fortunate to be part of a community that has a rich legacy of support for the district. I have seen the generous donations of toys, food, and clothing that funnel through our schools to our students. Your support sustains many of our students throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. The smiles on the faces of students and parents are priceless and speak volumes of appreciation. I'm truly honored to be part of such a community family.

On behalf of the district, please accept our deepest wishes for a wonderful, blessed holiday season. We will be ready and eager to welcome students back to school on Tuesday, January 8th.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all!


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Spotlight on RISD

Please take a moment to watch the December edition of Spotlight On RISD – a video highlighting news and happenings from around the district.

Click here to watch the video. >Top

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Kindergartners Visit Santa's Village

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The city of Richardson recently welcomed kindergartners from throughout RISD to its Santa's Village for a morning of fun.

Class members and alumni from Leadership Richardson helped to make the day special, staffing each station of the village. Students could stop by Santa's Post Office to mail a letter, Santa's Library to see a storybook character brought to life and much more.

Thank you to the city of Richardson for giving RISD students the chance to visit Santa's Village and to Leadership Richardson for providing entertainment for the students! >Top

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RISD Dyslexia Program Parent Roundtable - January 16, 2013

The Richardson Independent School District will provide an opportunity for a discussion of dyslexia programming. District staff members will be present to address questions specific to RISD's implementation of services. Representatives of the Board of Trustees are also scheduled to be in attendance.

Questions may be submitted prior to this meeting by emailing Shannon Suess.

January 16, 2013
Professional Development Center - Auditorium
701 W. Beltline Rd.
6:30-8:30 p.m.


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West's Pastrana Receives MetroPCS Surprise
Fallon Carr, Marketing Communications Specialist for MetroPCS presents Omar Pastrana with the MetroPCS Award. Ginger Tonne, Program Chair for the EiE Foundation and Gerald Bright, Chairman of the EiE Foundation Board, aid in the presentation.

Omar Pastrana and his class of 7th and 8th grade students were stunned when the RISD Excellence in Education Foundation Prize Patrol entered the classroom with a resounding "SURPRISE"! Omar had been selected from among many nominations to receive the MetroPCS Engineering and Technology Teaching Award for 2012-2013! Fallon Carr with MetroPCS presented Omar with a huge check for $10,000 for his outstanding work in the utilization of technology in the classroom to enhance learning as well as recognizing superior teaching and performance in the classroom. Not only is Omar highly proficient in the use of technology in the classroom, but he regularly provides instruction to other math teachers throughout the district.

This is the fourth year for MetroPCS to present this prestigious award through the Foundation. $5,000 is a personal award to the Mr. Pastrana and $5,000 is to be utilized for professional development or equipment and supplies that would further expand the use of technology and increase his expertise.

Gerald Bright, Chairman of the Board as well as Ginger Tonne, Program Chairman for the Foundation along with Dr. Kay Waggoner, Superintendent of RISD, Patti Kieker, Deputy Superintendent, Bob DeVoll, Assistant Superintendent, Debbie Deaton and Terry Harris, Executive Directors of Secondary Curriculum and Student Services, Candace Ahlfinger, Executive Director of Communication, Henry Hall, Richardson West Principal and Elizabeth Hart, President & CEO of the Foundation extended warm congratulations to Omar. >Top

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KIds Helping Kids

Students from Richardson Heights Elementary wrote letters to Santa to help Make-A-Wish, after librarian Stephanie Nowacki organized the activity. Students from Merriman Park and Greenwood Hills also wrote letters for the campaign.

Macy's is raising dollars for local Make-A-Wish kids for the fifth year, through the Macy's Believe Campaign. Individuals can bring their stamped letters to Santa to any Dallas / Fort Worth-area Macy's to support the North Texas Make-A-Wish chapter- schools, churches, and neighborhoods can get involved! Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, for every letter dropped in the Macy's Santa Letterboxes between November 2 and December 24. >Top

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Dobie Elementary Winter Gear Drive
Some of the Brentfield third graders who participated in the Winter Gear Drive.

Brentfield Elementary third graders recently collected and donated winter clothing to benefit students in need at Dobie Primary School. Forty-one coats and jackets, 10 umbrellas, 20 hats and more than two dozen sets of gloves and scarves were given to the four and five year olds at Dobie.

Thanks to Brentfield students! >Top

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berkner Basketball Teams Adopt-a-Family

The Berkner Varsity and JV basketball teams volunteered for more than two hours to fill two U-hauls for an Adopt-a-Family event organized by

The Rams Family greeted those dropping off gifts, unloaded dozens vehicles, sorted gifts, then loaded two U-Hauls to help ensure that Christmas was going to be great for families of Dallas schools. They also earned a few new fans for the Berkner Rams who will be coming to watch their next game.

Thanks Bernker Hoops! >Top

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Vision Bank Helps Arapaho Classical Get Growing

Representatives from Vision Bank Texas were on hand at Arapaho Classical Magnet recently to present the school with a check to help with the development of a self-sustaining and functional organic garden. The goal is to enrich a wide scope of curriculum through meaningful hands on, experiential learning, while also encouraging students to acquire better eating habits through the food cycle and nutritional education, and environmental awareness.

The project is just underway, and the donation will fund a 1,000 gallon rain water tank that will be the main source of water for the fruit trees, flowers and garden learning center.

Thanks Vision Bank Texas! >Top

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Bowie K-Kids win trophy in Richardson Christmas Parade

The Bowie K-Kids club, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Richardson entered and won the trophy for the "Most Outstanding Civic Club Float" in the 2012 Richardson Christmas Parade. The K-Kids Club consists of third and fourth graders who are devoted to performing service for the community. The Bowie advisors are Mrs. Linda Goldman and Mrs. Denise Galletta.

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Holiday Cheer for Forest Meadow Junior High

Lisa Yockey and her elves from Park Central Embassy Suites recently presented 180 gifts to Forest Meadow Junior High students in need. Many thanks to Park Central Embassy Suites for their continued support of Forest Meadow Junior High!>Top

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Prestoncrest Angel Tree and Wallace Elementary

Prestoncrest Church of Christ members adopted Wallace Elementary's Burmese refugees and other students in need as their angel tree recipients this Christmas. They even hand delivered all the gifts to the apartment complex where the majority of the students live. The smiles on the families' faces warmed everyone's hearts with the true meaning of Christmas. >Top

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Berkner JROTC Essay Contest

Delta Company Commander, c/1LT Holt, presents a Certificate of Achievement to c/SSG Alexander Barker for winning the Ram Battalion JROTC Essay Contest this month. All 148 cadets in the Berkner battalion participated in the essay contest on "Why Did I Enroll in JROTC?". >Top

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Pearce Pacesetters Dance WorkShop

J.J. Pearce Pacesetters will hold their Annual Dance Workshop on Monday, January 21, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Pearce High School Gym.

Students in grades K-8 are invited to participate. Pre-registered cost is $40 and includes a t-shirt, photo with a Pacesetter, refreshments and a craft item.

Registration forms are available at For more information:>Top

Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
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