Roxton Chisum Merger (copy)

At Roxton ISD, we have worked hard to Create Champions for life. It is with pride, and some sadness, that I write the final Valley Visions article about our wonderful district, as we continue to plan for the consolidation that will take place July 1. Roxton ISD will always have a special place in my heart, and in the heart of many former students and staff. We have had an amazing year, and even though it is our last year to operate as a district, we have many accomplishments and memories to cherish.

Roxton ISD was established in 1887, and received full accreditation in 1922 to serve grades 1-12. Roxton ISD has had a rich tradition of offering a quality educational program with a small-school environment in a supportive community. We are proud of our school, that it has served students and families for over 100 years.

We have an amazing staff who work together for the benefit of our students. They go “above and beyond” and wear many hats, and their number one priority is student progress and success. As we near the culmination of the 2018-19 school year, which is the last year for Roxton ISD, I want to thank our staff for the amazing job they do each day.

Academically, Roxton ISD has strong results, and that is due to the hard work by our dedicated staff and our wonderful students. We are proud once again that RISD met standard on the current accountability system (from the 2018 testing year), scored an 81, which is a B in the letter grade of the A-F system, and also received a distinction in top 25% student growth. This is a true indication that our students are learning, they are high performing and they are dedicated to their academics and extra-curricular activities as well.

Our students also participate in a variety of academic, sports, cheerleading, yearbook and other campus groups and organizations. We have elementary students in grades four and five serve on our announcement team each morning and our flag corp each week. They do an outstanding job. Our elementary students also enjoyed the Kiwanis Pancake Day in March, which our students attended for free due to generous donations from our community and business partners. Our library assistant, Missy White, also planned another great week to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday the first week of March. Our elementary students enjoyed dress-up days each day, and our sixth grade language arts class, taught by Hailey Hokett, read their favorite Dr. Seuss books to our first-grade students.

We could not have been successful at Roxton ISD without our partnership with the Roxton community and our wonderful parents. We host several community activities at our school each year and are thrilled with the support and participation we receive from our parents and community.

Each year we kick off our school year with the Back to School Bash. In September, we hosted our grandparents for a special lunch. In October, we hosted our annual Open House/Report Card Pick-up and had many parents attend. We were excited to see the Roxton Volunteer Fire Department, Brookston Fire Department and the Paris Fire Department visit us in October as part of our fire prevention activities. Cayden Benedict, Brayden Mitchell and Clayton Birdsong received awards in the Lamar County Fire Prevention Poster Contest as well. Our PTO organized and sponsored a Fall Festival again this year and provided pictures with Santa and sent pictures home with all elementary students who participated. We thank our friend, Red Holmes, for his help with this special activity again this year.

In November each year, we have a very special Veterans Day program and lunch, attended by over 30 veterans and their families. The first Thursday of December is always a fun night in Roxton, as our elementary music students, led by Tony Boss, sing at the annual Christmas tree lighting at the pavilion, and Santa Claus arrives to visit with the children. It was rainy and cold this year, so the event was moved to the Community Center, and the students sang to a packed house. We recently had our annual Donuts with Dads event, and our cafeteria was full with family members sharing breakfast with their students. On May 10, just before Mother’s Day, we will host Muffins with Moms, in honor our moms, grandmothers, aunts and others, as they join us for breakfast with the students. We have been blessed with supportive parents and community members who have been active with our school and their children.

Under the direction of Boss, Roxton ISD has a wonderful jazz band that represented our school for the past four years. They have grown in number and in skill during that time and have added music, including our school song, back to Roxton ISD. It has been amazing to witness and enjoy. This group has performed at the Roxton Christmas tree lighting, the Roxton Christmas parade, at our basketball games, pep rallies and community events.

We congratulate John Willhite, a trumpet player, who qualified for All-Region for our area at the high school level, and is the first student in Roxton ISD history to achieve this at the high school level; Matthew Cox, alto Sax player, also qualified for All-Region at the junior high level this year. Most of the students in our band program have been playing an instrument for two years or less. We are proud of this group and our band director.

Our athletes at Roxton ISD compete in basketball, cross-country, cheerleading, track, and golf. Sam Hollenshead is our athletic director and head boys’ coach, and Coach Hailey Hokett was our head girls’ coach this year. In boys’ basketball our varsity team had several players named to the All Red River Valley Honors and District Honors including Tamaze Dangerfield, a senior, on second team Red River Valley and District; Hunter Carter, a junior, on second team RR Valley and Honorable Mention in District; Jason Mitchell, a junior, honorable mention Red River Valley and District; Gideon Newman, a junior, honorable mention Red River Valley and District. Together this team won consolidation at the Ector tournament, won our last ever homecoming game, and Tamaze Dangerfield was named Red River Valley Athlete of the Week in January. Way to go!

In cross country this year, we had several students place in District: Varsity Boys placed second as a team, and Frank Record placed seventh in District, and Tamaze Dangerfield placed eighth. Varsity girl runner Kyce Woods placed 10th at District. Great job, cross country crew. Congratulations to all of our outstanding athletes and coaches on their hard work and successes.

In track, Frank Record has earned several medals and ribbons and improved in each event. He will soon compete in Area with hopes to advance to Regionals and State. Good luck, Frank. They will compete in District this week. Good luck to all our track participants!

For our final homecoming at Roxton ISD, on Jan. 18, we had a special pep rally that closed with everyone singing our school song. We hosted a reception after for former students and staff in the library with punch and Ms. Ruthies’ cookies. That night at the basketball game against Fruitvale, two queens were crowned. We congratulate Tristin Bell and Kaylee Dillard for being named Homecoming Queens at the final homecoming for our school. The Lions basketball team won that night by over 30 points, and several players had all-season highs in their stats. Way to go, guys.

Our elementary and junior high school students also competed in academic UIL and brought home many individual and team awards. We increased our participation in these contests each year over the past four years. Our students make us proud with all they have accomplished during the year.

One of the greatest things we have offered our students at Roxton ISD is the opportunity to participate in dual credit courses at no charge to the student. This year we will have one student, Kaylee Dillard, receive her Associate’s Degree from Paris Junior College before high school graduation. We will also have three Texas Scholars this year, and we congratulate Tristin Bell, Tamaze Dangerfield and Kaylee Dillard on this achievement.

Our students are active in our wonderful FFA/Ag program at Roxton ISD as well under the direction of Ag. Science teacher Shawn Burt. Our FFA program recently hosted the Roxton Classic Stock Show in March at our ag pavilion, and had over 120 animals shown during the day. Roxton FFA has had a really busy year, with several students participating in the Fort Worth Stock Show, numerous rabbit shows and calf scrambles this year. We had students participate in Fort Worth stock show and numerous rabbit and pig shows this year. Our students will join the upcoming Lamar County Stock Show as well, showing goats, pigs and heifers. Good luck to all our FFA students at County.

We are proud of the tradition of excellence that Roxton ISD has built, and we’re proud of the many successes of our students and staff — present and past. As a district, we have worked hard to provide a quality education, even when funding was scarce. I give credit to our excellent school board, our staff and our community for helping Roxton ISD through good times and hard times. Our school board took the proactive step this year to plan for the consolidation with Chisum. We are working together with Chisum ISD administration and staff to plan for the transition and help our students prepare for their new school.

I thank the board members I have had the privilege to work with during my tenure at Roxton ISD: President Michael Bush, Secretary Shannon McGuire, Vice President Bill Welch, Jerimy Bell, Todd Perry, JD Duke and Rhonda Parham. I would like to brag on our office team and thank them for their assistance during this past year, as we have had many long hours, hard conversations and lots of tasks to complete to plan for the consolidation. Our office team includes our Principal Sabrina Rosson, Business Manager Nina Rhoades and our PEIMS coordinator/secretary, Dawn Dias. Without this amazing team around me, this year would have been much more difficult.

Our theme this year was about creating champions, and I want to close this final article with two thoughts about champions…

From Mahatma Gandhi comes this quote … “Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them — a desire, a dream, a vison.” The quote that I have relied on often in my career in education comes from William Arthur Ward ... “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” I have been so fortunate to work with wonderful educators and students over the past 34 years who are champions in every way.

It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve Roxton ISD as superintendent the past four years. We have a wonderful staff and outstanding students, and I wish them all the very best as we go our separate ways this summer. I know they will accomplish great things, and I cannot wait to see what their futures hold.

Kelly Pickle is the superintendent for Roxton ISD.

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