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Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD board discusses the future

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COCISD Special Programs & CTE Director Jeff Eichman and Child Nutrition Director Amanda Dunaway stand in line for the delicious meal prepared and served by the Coldspring-Oakhurst High School advanced culinary arts students for the COCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 27.  (Photos Courtesy Cassie Gregory)COCISD Special Programs & CTE Director Jeff Eichman and Child Nutrition Director Amanda Dunaway stand in line for the delicious meal prepared and served by the Coldspring-Oakhurst High School advanced culinary arts students for the COCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 27. (Photos Courtesy Cassie Gregory)

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD board heard public comment on the consideration of developing a District of Innovation Plan to commence with the 2022-23 school year. 

The Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 27. 

Special Programs Director Jeff Eichman presented the results of a public survey on the subject, which reflected overwhelmingly positive support for opportunities a DOI makes available, such as starting the school year earlier, personnel flexibility, and other innovations that would improve student outcomes.

In a separate matter, principals campus enrollment numbers as of Monday, Sept 27. James Street Elementary has 409 students, Coldspring Intermediate has 304 students, Lincoln Junior High has 363 students and the High School is reporting 496 students. 

JSE Principal Shalonda Washington discussed the new Literacy Bags that will be going home with students each week for families to participate in reading with their children. CIS Paula McClendon gave an update on benchmark testing and the upcoming CIS and JSE Open House and Fall Festival from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19. LJH Principal Nikki Henderson gave an update on LJH campus events, and COHS Principal Dr. Matthew Bess gave a campus update and discussed events for the 2021 Trojan Homecoming Week, Oct. 4-8.

After the campus reports, Stephen Lee with Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott LLP gave a Delinquent Tax Collection Report, followed by Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton, who shared with the Board that the new cases of COVID-19 in the district have dropped to zero for the first time since school started.

Two outstanding Lincoln Junior High students led the pledges of allegiance at the COCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 27: eighth-graders Averi Tucker and Lane Madison (pictured with LJH Principal S. Nikki Henderson). Tucker is a member of the LJH National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and is an LJH Student Council Representative. Madison is also a member of the NJHS, serves as the LJH Student Council Vice President, participates in the UIL One-Act Play competition, and plays football.Two outstanding Lincoln Junior High students led the pledges of allegiance at the COCISD Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Sept. 27: eighth-graders Averi Tucker and Lane Madison (pictured with LJH Principal S. Nikki Henderson). Tucker is a member of the LJH National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and is an LJH Student Council Representative. Madison is also a member of the NJHS, serves as the LJH Student Council Vice President, participates in the UIL One-Act Play competition, and plays football.Before the meeting began, trustees and staff were treated to a delicious meal of chicken and sausage gumbo with rice, and a dessert of blueberry bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce prepared and served by Coldspring-Oakhurst High School advanced culinary arts students under the supervision of Chef Joel Casiday.

The invocation was led by Board President Paul Buchanan, followed by the pledges of allegiance led by two outstanding Lincoln Junior High students: eighth-graders Averi Tucker and Lane Madison. Tucker is a member of the LJH National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and is an LJH Student Council Representative. Madison is also a member of the NJHS, serves as the LJH Student Council Vice President, participates in the UIL One-Act Play competition, and plays football.

In other business, the board:

  • approved local investment policy and strategies;
  • approved revisions to the board Operating Procedures Manual;
  • approved nominees to be placed on the ballot for the election of Board of Directors of the San Jacinto County Appraisal District; and
  • approved the purchase of three 77-passenger school buses.

The next regular meeting of the COCISD Board of Trustees is Oct. 25 at the Jones Educational Complex. Unless otherwise posted, school board meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month, starting at 6:30 p.m. Agendas are posted at least 72 hours in advance on the district website at www.cocisd.org under the School Board tab.

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Lady Pirates dominate Livingston

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Lady Pirates go to block a shot. (Courtesy Photos)Lady Pirates go to block a shot. (Courtesy Photos)

Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — Shepherd Volleyball had a big district win against the Lady Lions on Friday night. 

Head Coach Sarah Evans said the team went four sets, losing the first set 15-25, and winning the next three 26-24, 25-20 and 25-22. 

The Shepherd Lady Pirates volleyball team enjoys a moment.The Shepherd Lady Pirates volleyball team enjoys a moment.

“It was a big team win including Crista Hinds (front row) and Nevaeh Murphy (back row),” Evans said. “Both added to the team's success with digs and blocks.”

Evans said Grace Ramos, Kaylee Barlow, Crista Hinds and Valentina Beiza all had crucial kills and digs on the front row, and the back row was on fire with digs and coverage. 

At the game against Liberty, Evans said Crista Hinds was a blocking machine and helped keep Shepherd in the game. 

“We fought hard throughout the game but we just didn't have it that night,” he said. “We lost in three sets.”

The Lady Pirates face Hamshire-Fannett on the road and Huffman this week.

 

Going for the kill.Going for the kill.

The Lincoln Junior High seventh-grade A Team won second place out of eight teams at the Trinity Tournament on Saturday.The Lincoln Junior High seventh-grade A Team won second place out of eight teams at the Trinity Tournament on Saturday.

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Shepherd ISD Board approves additional leave

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District Librarian Erin Goad, along with other members of the Shepherd School District, recognized the Shepherd Intermediate Library Art Contest winners. Students were encouraged to submit an entry — painting, writing, photograph, or a drawing — which included information about an animal. Those winners include: Third Grade, Mixed Media – Christopher Cabrera, Photography – Rylan Firmin, and Painting & Drawing – Olivia Payton; Fourth Grade, Mixed Media – Devin Wedergren, Photography – Josie Guereque, Writing – Catherine Santiago, and Painting & Drawing – Briley White; and Fifth Grade, Mixed Media – Carol Brown, Photography – Harley Newton, Writing – Kaitlyn Brown, and Painting & Drawing – Karlee McGee. (Courtesy Photo)District Librarian Erin Goad, along with other members of the Shepherd School District, recognized the Shepherd Intermediate Library Art Contest winners. Students were encouraged to submit an entry — painting, writing, photograph, or a drawing — which included information about an animal. Those winners include: Third Grade, Mixed Media – Christopher Cabrera, Photography – Rylan Firmin, and Painting & Drawing – Olivia Payton; Fourth Grade, Mixed Media – Devin Wedergren, Photography – Josie Guereque, Writing – Catherine Santiago, and Painting & Drawing – Briley White; and Fifth Grade, Mixed Media – Carol Brown, Photography – Harley Newton, Writing – Kaitlyn Brown, and Painting & Drawing – Karlee McGee. (Courtesy Photo)

By Tony Farkas
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SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers will continue offering extended leave to staff members who test positive for COVID.

The vote was at the Sept. 16 regular meeting.

Superintendent Jason Hewitt said the days shall be capped at 10 days per employee for the school year, and the days will be retroactive. Upon verification of employees who were COVID positive, the district will restore any local/state days or comp time taken.

Additionally, the district will provide a COVID-19 pandemic staff retention incentive of $500 to each full-time and part-time staff member for extraordinary work performed through the fall. Each employee is eligible for only one stipend and must be employed by the district on the date of distribution. 

The one-time payment will be paid in a lump sum to the eligible employees in December.

In a separate matter, the board gave its approval to the administration to explore the possibility of providing a child-care program for its employees. An amendment to the budget to the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for $100,000 was approved, which will be used to hire a coordinator and begin the process to become a state-licensed facility.

In other business, the board;

  • recognized Robbins Wonderland Craftory as a Pirate Partner. Jacob and Kayla Robbins have signed an agreement with SISD to create, sell, and donate half of the proceeds from selling tumblers with the SISD logo on it at home football games;
  • approved the senior trip to Disney in Orlando, Fla.;
  • approved the student trip to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention;
  • approved the Board of Managers waiver for class sizes exceeding 22 enrolled students in Kindergarten through fourth grade in accordance with the District of Innovation plan;
  • approved a physician services agreement by and between Texas Children's Hospital and Shepherd ISD;
  • approved a resolution to compensate employees due to school emergency closure for Hurricane Nicholas;
  • approved the acceptance of the certification of unopposed candidates for Position 6 of the Shepherd ISD Board of Trustees election on Nov. 2;
  • approved the cancellation of the Shepherd ISD Board of Trustee election on Nov. 2;
  • approved a resolution delegating authority to the superintendent to act during COVID-19 emergency closure and suspension of instruction; and
  • approved a waiver for changing the maximum class size exception for pre-K classes.

The Shepherd ISD Anchor Award, given to staff members who demonstrate a high level of service to our students, families, schools, district and community, were given to teacher Heather Phelps (SIS), paraprofessional Dany Estrada (SIS), and auxiliary staff member Kristin Barnett. (Courtesy Photo)The Shepherd ISD Anchor Award, given to staff members who demonstrate a high level of service to our students, families, schools, district and community, were given to teacher Heather Phelps (SIS), paraprofessional Dany Estrada (SIS), and auxiliary staff member Kristin Barnett. (Courtesy Photo)

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Brookshire Brothers celebrates 100th anniversary

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The Brookshire brothers and their parents at a family reunion on Fern Lake in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the 1930s. Pictured left to right: Bryan (Jack) Brookshire, Wood Brookshire, Houston Brookshire, Fannie Brookshire, Jasper Brookshire, Austin Brookshire and Lee Brookshire Sr. (Courtesy Photo)The Brookshire brothers and their parents at a family reunion on Fern Lake in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the 1930s. Pictured left to right: Bryan (Jack) Brookshire, Wood Brookshire, Houston Brookshire, Fannie Brookshire, Jasper Brookshire, Austin Brookshire and Lee Brookshire Sr. (Courtesy Photo)

Special to the News-Times

LUFKIN — Brookshire Brothers Inc. whole-heartedly believes in being good people who sell good food and do good deeds in the communities where they live and work, and they’ve been doing just that for the past 100 years. 

In honor of its centennial anniversary, Brookshire Brothers and its more than 6,000 employee owners celebrated on Saturday. 

A surviving legacy

Founded in September 1921, Brookshire Brothers has grown from a small general store in downtown Lufkin to encompass 116 grocery and convenience stores, 72 pharmacies, 87 fueling stations, a fleet of trucks and trailers, a massive, centralized distribution center, a handful of coffee shops and two event venues.

In 1921, two brothers had a dream. At that time, the concept of a “grocery store” as it is known today didn’t really exist. The “Roaring Twenties” hadn’t taken off just yet, and the country was in the process of getting back on track after World War I. 

In the midst of uncertainty and turmoil, brothers Austin and Tom Brookshire, each a veteran of the Great War, pooled their resources in an attempt to create their own grocery store.

“They had a small counter, and it only had one cash register,” said Austin’s son Eugene Brookshire. “People living out of town would come in and buy big quantities of everything.”

By 1928, thanks to the help and hard work of family and friends, Brookshire Brothers began to expand throughout East Texas. By 1938, Brookshire Brothers included 32 stores, and by 1957, the franchise made a graceful exit from a country grocery store and jumped full-speed into the modern supermarket era. 

The company’s first official supermarket — store No. 8 — opened in Carthage that very year. In 1966, three sons of Austin Brookshire — R.A., Eugene and Oscar — assumed leadership of the company, which grew to 69 stores in East Texas and western Louisiana.

Growth occurred through different means, including building new facilities and purchasing existing stores. The 1990s brought about numerous changes as the company continued its search for ways to meet the needs of its communities. In 1991, the company began selling gasoline, and in 1992, they opened their first pharmacy. 

Brookshire Brothers faced numerous challenges throughout the years, including a brief period when selling out to a competitor seemed like a valid option. However, in 1999, Brookshire Brothers finalized its status in the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving every employee the opportunity to own a piece of the company. By 2006, Brookshire Brothers became 100% employee owned and still proudly carries that designation today. 

Some things never change

From a tiny, country store to an ever-growing franchise, Brookshire Brothers has proven that success comes from a willingness to work hard, an insistence on self-reliance and a focus on service. President and CEO John Alston said the company’s core values and focus on family and community are what sets them apart. 

“We treat our customers with respect, and we take care of our employee owners; we place a great importance on providing high quality products; and our core values of quality, community-minded action, growth and inspiration, passionate commitment to our work and friendliness that feels like home drives our business in every way possible.”

Alston said that being a community grocer carries a certain responsibility that the company carries with pride. 

“We are there when disaster strikes and our neighbors need a hot meal. We are there to purchase your son or daughter’s livestock animal they so carefully raised throughout the year. We are there for the local festival or city-sponsored event,” Alston said. “We show up with bottles of water on a hot day and a helping hand when we’re needed most. We take our service-minded attitudes outside the walls of our stores, warehouse and corporate office so we can share them with you.

“A lot can change in 100 years, but as we look forward to the next century, we hope our communities know that there are some things that will never change: most importantly, our commitment to them.”

  • Brookshire Brothers is a 100 percent employee-owned, community-centered grocer based in Lufkin. Founded in 1921, this regional grocery chain operates nearly 120 locations that stretch from the Texas Hill Country and to western Louisiana. 

Though its focus remains on traditional grocery and pharmacy, Brookshire Brothers has complimentary formats that include fuel and tobacco operations, coffee shops and event venues. Brookshire Brothers is committed to quality and service in its stores and is known for being good people who sell good food and do good deeds in the communities they serve. https://www.brookshirebrothers.com/

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Schools host college application workshop

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Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students got a jumpstart on the college application process at the Apply Texas Workshop held in partnership with Angelina College held on Friday, Sept. 10.  (Kathryn Pedigo Photo)Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students got a jumpstart on the college application process at the Apply Texas Workshop held in partnership with Angelina College held on Friday, Sept. 10. (Kathryn Pedigo Photo)

By Kathryn Pedigo 

COCISD College Career & Military Readiness (CCMR) Counselor:

COLDSPRING — Coldspring-Oakhurst High School recently partnered with Angelina College to host an Apply Texas Workshop for seniors. 

At this workshop, recruiters from Angelina College walked COHS seniors through the Apply Texas college application process in real-time.  

Apply Texas is a common application site in which students can apply for admission to any Texas public university, as well as many junior colleges and some private colleges. Students create accounts, enter their demographic data one time, and then they are able to copy a submitted application into other institutions for a variety of college applications. 

Through this site, students can also submit their application essays online, apply for scholarships from participating universities and search for general and university-specific information.  

We wish our students the best of luck in their journey towards post-secondary certificates and degrees!  For more information, visit applytexas.org.  For questions about going to college in general, visit collegeforalltexans.com.  

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