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SISD Names CASA of Colin County Executive Director Distinguished Alumnus of 2018

  • Tricia Clifton The Sunnyvale Alumni Association has named Tricia Clifton its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for 2018. The community will honor Clifton during homecoming week, where she will act as Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade on Oct. 20 and be recognized at halftime of the Sept. 27 game against Roosevelt.

    “It’s always great to see former students excel in their career field,” Superintendent Doug Williams said. “Ms. Clifton is an outstanding example of what we hope we are preparing our students for.”

    Clifton currently serves as CASA of Collin County’s Executive Director, where she works to promote and protect the best interests of children who have been abused and neglected. Passionate about community service, Clifton has also led teams at WorldVentures Foundation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Back on My Feet and Youth Villages.

    “My life began with struggles and I have seen my fair share of life’s hardships,” Clifton said. “I never let those losses or struggles define who I was or who I was meant to be.  I chose not to be the victim of circumstance and instead, to be a fighter for those in need.”

    Clifton attended school at Sunnyvale Schools from third grade through the eighth grade. She was involved with the fine arts and athletic programs during her time at school, playing every sport and learning to play an instrument. Clifton recounts memories of her school days pleasantly, remembering her fellow classmates and the connections they shared.

    “What I loved most about my experience was the small close-knit friendships that were formed along the way,” Clifton said. “I am still in touch with many of my Sunnyvale friends to this day.  I have very fond memories of my time at Sunnyvale and have lifelong friends as a result.”

    Clifton reminds current Sunnyvale students of their value and potential in life. She offers them the following advice on pursuing their goals:

    “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not good enough or smart enough,” she advises. “You are unique by creation and can do anything that you put your mind and your heart to.”

    Clifton graduated from the University of North Texas and earned her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Amberton University. She and her husband, Trey, and their two children, Asher and Brinley started their family in Sunnyvale and they currently reside in Wylie.

    by Katie Threet
    @shs_sentinel Staff

    (photo courtesy of Mrs. Clifton)

Sunnyvale Alumni Association Honors Wanda and Charles Gardner With First-Ever Sunnyvale Legacy Award

  • Wanda and Charles Gardner The Sunnyvale Alumni Association has named Charles and Wanda Gardner the first-ever recipients of the Sunnyvale Legacy Award.

    “I can think of no one better to receive the first-ever Legacy Award than the Gardners," Sunnyvale Alumni Association President Codie Stidham Lunt said. "Mrs. Gardner was always the glue that held Sunnyvale together and it's fitting that we honor her and Charles."

    Wanda Gardner began her career in Sunnyvale in 1967, where she served in a variety roles. In those days, Sunnyvale was a very small school, meaning that Mrs.Gardner “wore many hats”.  Her duties included from school secretary, front office receptionist, bookkeeper and more.

    Over the years, Mrs. Gardner worked for seven superintendents of SISD. However, it was for beloved, long-time superintendent Gwinn Blankenship that she worked the longest - 24 years.

    Charles Gardner joined SISD part-time in 1995, after retiring as the Head of Maintenance for Gaston Hospital, and then Baylor Hospital, which ultimately merged. He continues his service to SISD currently.

    The Legacy Award was designed by the Alumni Association as a way to honor members of the SISD faculty and staff who played a significant role in their educations.

    “It’s important to honor the special faculty and staff members who who made such an important impression on those of us who grew up Sunnyvale,” alumna Emily Tidwell White said. “Not only is it the very least we can do after all they did for us, but it’s a great way to model respect for the current students of Sunnyvale.”

Buy a Brick: SISD Legacy Walk

SISD Earns "Exceeds Expectations" on Community-Based Accountability Report

  • Community-Based Accountability Report: Exceeds Expectations

    Superintendent Doug Williams and the Board of Trustees have announced that SISD has earned an “Exceeds Expectations” rating on its Community-Based Accountability System Report for the 2017-2018 school year.

    “We believe that the Community-Based Accountability Report is a reflection of the beliefs and aspirations of our community,” Williams said. “It helps us meet our goal that all our students are future-ready.”

    SISD’s 2018 CBAS report indicates growth in several domains of the report between the 2017 and 2018 school years:

    Future Readiness:
    A high number of SHS students attempt and complete dual-credit courses. Our SHS students continue to have a high average on the SAT and ACT.

    21st Century Skills:

    A large number of SHS students are enrolled in CTE courses; about half of those students earn an industry certification. Also, district-wide, 90% of the time that SISD students are engaged in either STEM classes or lab activities, they are fully engaged.

    Instructional Practices
    A majority of SISD teachers practice inquiry-driven instruction,  a skill developed from practicing Engaged Learning Unit instruction, as measured by classroom observations.

    Culture and Climate
    SES had five informational nights while SMS and SHS had three informational nights. The 2018 seniors class earned an average of 85 community service hours.

    Fine Arts and Extra/Co-Curricular

    SISD continues to excel in all areas of UIL academics, fine art, and athletics.

    MAP Testing

    On average, SISD students are meeting or exceeding the growth projected. SISD continues to look at specific grade levels, classes and specific content at each of the three MAP administrations to monitor student trends and growth.

    STAAR
    SISD received an overall rating of A.

    • Each campus received Met Standard
    • This “rating” or “grade” of an A, as released by the Texas Education Agency as part of the new A-F Accountability System is only one factor of many in the overall Sunnyvale Community-Based Accountability System. The CBAS rating is based on 99 indicators, including those domains mentioned above.

     

    Areas for Improvement
    The report also found a few areas in which SISD can improve:

    • Explore new possibilities for the high school project, which culminates during the senior year.
    • Continue to monitor growth for all students, with close attention to the needs of economically disadvantaged students.
    • Examine the transition into Sunnyvale for all new students, and increase inclusivity for all.
    • Track and measure parent involvement in a more focused way.

    The mission of the Sunnyvale Independent School District is to

    “engage, equip and empower all leaders for life-long success.”

    To that end, SISD and its leadership believe in evaluating students holistically, using multiple indicators that are representative of our students’ true success. These indicators are more indicative of the expectations of our community, rather than a one-day test score.

    “It was important for SISD to find a system of assessment by which the district could be strictly measured that took into consideration all the many facets of our students,” Director of Accountability and Assessment Amy Tutle said. “We wanted to see them achieving beyond a once-a-year test score.”

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Where can I find the CBAS Rating: Please visit this link for the complete report: https://www.sunnyvaleisd.com/Page/7067

    What is the CBAS Report: The Community-Based Accountability System Report is the evaluation tool for Sunnyvale ISD. It was created with the intention of accurately reporting to the community what Sunnyvale students are achieving regularly - from academic progress and future-readiness, to their extracurricular endeavors and even parental and community involvement.

    Does it take into consideration STAAR scores? Absolutely. However, it measures much more – from SAT and ACT scores to fine arts participation and extracurricular involvement to development of 21st-century skills and workforce development.

    Who created the CBAS Report? It was developed by a team of dedicated administrators, teachers, parents and community members.

    How is the CBAS rating used? The data gained from the CBAS rating is used to help SISD grow and improve. District administrators utilize these scores to help create district and campus goals and priorities.

SISD Announces New Members of the Board of Trustees


  • SISD Board of Trustees 2018 SISD Board of Trustees (Back Row, Left to Right): Nick Sloan, Ben Wright, President Brad Cravens, Superintendent Doug Williams (Front Row, Left to Right): Dr. Pollye Hunter, Janet Clements (Secretary), Linda Gooch (Vice President)

    Sunnyvale residents Dr. Pollye Hunter, PT, DPT and Mr. Nick Sloan,
    MBA, CEM have been appointed to the SISD Board of Trustees. Hunter was sworn in at a called meeting of the trustees on Mon., Sept. 17, and Sloan was officially sworn in at the Mon., Sept. 24 regularly scheduled board meeting.

    “We are excited to add Pollye and Nick,” Superintendent Doug Williams said. “Their background and experience will provide a great resource to our Team of 8.  Both of them have served on district committees in the past and have offered solid contributions.


    Dr. Pollye Hunter, PT, DPT

    Dr. Pollye Hunter is Sworn In to The SISD Board of Trustees

    Dr. Pollye Hunter joins the Board of Trustees as a 22-year public educator, with experience at all levels. Hunter has worked as a secondary teacher, coach and athletic administrator and has worked at both the elementary and secondary level as a school physical therapist. Hunter’s experience includes both general and special education in Crandall ISD, Mesquite ISD and at the Baylor Scott and White Institute for Rehabilitation. Currently, she holds the position of Physical Therapist in Mesquite ISD’s Special Education Department.

    Her contributions to SISD and the Sunnyvale community are many. She currently serves the district as a member of the finance team and the Staff Quality and Recruitment Action Team, a break-out of the SISD Strategic Planning Team. For the past four years, Hunter has served on the 4B Board for the Town of Sunnyvale which uses sales tax revenue for economic development projects that benefit the town.  She was also a member of the “Vote Yes” steering committee, during the high school bond election campaign.

     Membership on the finance committee has allowed me to work with other community leaders to determine strategies to help us navigate through financial constraints so that we can move forward as a district,” Hunter said. “For SISD to maintain our high standards in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities and competition, it is imperative that our leaders work together to determine feasible solutions to problems associated with adequately funding our schools.”

    Dr. Hunter is a valuable, long-time Sunnyvale volunteer who has stepped up for countless activities including: SRYSA coaching, Sunnyvale FBC Upward coaching, spring and summer league coaching, SISD fine arts supporter, cheer and mascot supporter, SISD PTA activities on all levels, Special Olympics volunteer.

    “I love SISD and the Raider family,” Hunter said. “The teachers, administrators, and staff work hard to provide all students with great learning opportunities not only in the classroom, but in extra-curricular activities as well. I’m all for doing whatever I can to support them and help our students be successful.”

    Dr. Hunter and her husband, Mike, have lived in Sunnyvale for six years. They have two daughters, Landry and Morgan.


    Mr. Nick Sloan,
    MBA, CEM

    Mr. Nick Sloan brings a wealth of experience in security and public safety to the SISD Board of Mr. Nick Sloan is sworn in to the SISD Board of Trustees Trustees. As the Director of Emergency Management for Baylor Scott &  White Health, Sloan provides strategic guidance for all Baylor Scott & White Hospitals in matters involving homeland security, emergency management, public safety, and public health. 

    Prior to his work for BSWH, Sloan served eight years in the Marine Corps and then worked in Corporate Security for TXU Energy providing security management, executive protection, investigations and business continuity services.  Upon graduation from the University of North Texas, Sloan worked for the City of Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, a position which eventually lead to a position with the Dallas Fire Rescue Department where he served as Homeland Security Coordinator sharing responsibilities between Dallas Police and Dallas Fire Rescue Special Operations.  Sloan has extensive emergency response experience to include several presidentially-declared disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Dolly, and Ike.

    Sloan represents BSWH on multiple committees and boards locally, statewide, and nationally. Locally, Sloan is currently a member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee as well as the Dallas County, Tarrant County, and Collin County Medical Operation Centers.  Sloan also represents BSWH and the healthcare sector as a member of the SMU George W. Bush Presidential Center Security Council. Sloan is a past board member of the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council, as well as Chair of the Regional Emergency Preparedness Committee.  At the state level, Sloan is a past member of the Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Disaster Committee, as well as the Governor’s Private Sector Advisory Council where he represented the health and medical sector. Federally, Sloan is a member of the Department of Homeland Security Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordination Council.  He also serves as Sector Chief for the FBI-Infragard Health and Medical Sector in North Texas and is a member of the Infragard national committee focusing on healthcare cyber security.

    I love the close ties of the Sunnyvale community, and the school is the focal point of our community,” Sloan said. “SISD is the place to be almost every day of the week for sports, concerts, or shows. It’s the place where my family, friends, and the community come together to love and support or children.”

    Outside of his full-time employment, Sloan is an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas for the Emergency Management and Disaster Science Department where he teaches a course on Public Health and Disasters.  He also manages a consulting company, Spartan Consulting Group, providing his expertise to schools, churches, and other business within the critical infrastructure sector. Sloan is an outspoken advocate for veterans and volunteers his time between several non-profit organization benefiting Veterans of the Armed Forces and the first responder community.  These organizations include: Carry the Load, Adaptive Training Foundation, Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation, and 22 Kill which raises awareness and support around the 22 veterans that commit suicide every day.

    Mr. Sloan and his wife, Shanda have four children: Jackson, Katy, Megan and Lauren. They have lived in Sunnyvale for five years.

     

SISD Approves 18-19 Budget

SISD Debuts Teacher Profile

  • SISD Teacher Profile 18

    The SISD Teacher Profile is a statement of SISD’s vision and expectations for our campus educators. Designed as a companion piece for the SISD Graduate Profile (which showcases our goals for our students’ future readiness), the Teacher Profile was a collaborative project. Students on each of the campus action teams added their voice on the attributes of great teachers and the SISD faculty spent time in professional development contributed input to the piece, as well. Parents and community members also contributed to the profile.

    Students named three distinctions of a great teachers: connecting with students, encouraging students and inspiring students. The Teacher Profile features testimonies from students across the district about their favorite teachers and also highlights the district’s innovative learning spaces found throughout SISD facilities.

    View the entire Teacher Profile here or pick yours up on campus!

SISD Implements Proactive Security Protocols

  • SISD has taken proactive steps to enhance safety and security protocols at all campuses.

    “The safety and security of our students is our highest priority,” Superintendent Doug Williams said. “Before we address curriculum, personnel, or technology, our number one objective is do everything we possibly can to provide the safest environment for the students of Sunnyvale.”

    While Sunnyvale has always been a safe and family-oriented community, the rash of school shootings across the nation last spring led SISD leadership to examine all campus security procedures.

    A “security task force” was established by the Board of Trustees to evaluate the district’s safety practices and procedures, including security features of our facilities. The team consists of faculty and staff members, parents and community members with either law enforcement or security backgrounds, and local enforcement officers. Following a period of evaluations, and observations at SISD campuses, the team reported their findings and recommendations to SISD leadership.


    The recommendations, which will take place beginning this fall, include:

    • A second buzz-in entry will be added at each campus to all interior entrance doors.

    • The district camera system are now web-based, ensuring instant access to not only the SISD administration command center, but to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, as well.

    • All interior classroom doors will now automatically lock.

    • Campus personnel received a hands-on, scenario-based “active shooter” training over the summer, in partnership with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.

    • Revised security procedures for all classrooms will be implemented, to encourage a unified and simplistic use of security terms.

    • The SMS innovative learning expansion will feature added security enhancements.

    • Office personnel at each campus will participate in training for updated security procedures.

    • All faculty and staff will be required to wear identification badges.

    • All SHS students will be required to wear badges.

    “We appreciate all that have contributed to this process and are confident that we have enhanced the security for our campuses,” Williams said. 

    How Can Parents Support SISD’s Security Efforts?

    Creating a secure and safe environment is a team effort. Parents can help make SISD safer by doing the following:

    • Please be patient as we adapt to a new, more secure entrance system at each campus. As our front office get to know our new parents, this process will become much faster.

    • Please report any suspicious activity. You may make these reports to the building principals or to me directly. Many eyes are better than a few. You may also send anonymous tips through our SISD Tip Line by downloading the SISD App. Please encourage our students to do the same.

    • Please let campus personnel know if you are aware of any situations that might be a security risk. These tips will be used to investigate potential problems and kept confidential.

    Please download and review the Emergency Communications Guidelines.

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