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New COCISD super setting priorities

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By Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — Newly minted Superintendent Bryan Taulton is now taking control of Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD, and is setting priorities for the coming year.

At its regular meeting June 26, the COCISD board approved changes to the student dress code and staff dress guidelines for the 2021-22 school year.

Communications Coordinator Cassie Gregory said that as part of Taulton’s plan, enforcement of dress codes and codes of conduct will be a top priority for the coming year, as student appearance is directly related to attitude and learning.

Part of the code addresses masking in the wake of the pandemic; the police states masks are optional for all students.

Other items included are shorts, with the exception of biker shorts or Spandex; and leggings are allowed, provided a shirt or sweater is of skirt length.

Items that are prohibited include revealing clothing, bare midriffs, sagging pants, pants with Velcro or snaps on the side, clothing that shows visible skin, clothing that advertises inappropriate items or contains offensive language, visible body piercings (except for ears), and house shoes.

More information is available from the district website at cocisd.org/Page/1409.

In other business, the board:

  • approved the stipend list for the coming school year;
  • approved a resolution to consider designating COCISD a District of Innovation;
  • approved a district improvement plan with focus on early childhood literacy and math proficiency and college, career and military readiness goals; and
  • hired new teachers and a new counselor.
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Good times at great celebration in Shepherd

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American legion post 629 salute the flag and the empty chair for those heroes who did not return. (Courtesy Photo)American legion post 629 salute the flag and the empty chair for those heroes who did not return. (Courtesy Photo)

Editor’s Note: The following story is being run in its entirety as part of it was inadvertently left out of this week’s edition of the San Jacinto News-Times. The SJNT regrets the error.

The Independence Day celebration in Shepherd on July 3 was a big success. We were blessed when it did not rain. 

Surprisingly it was forecast to rain for most of the day and although it rained close to us, we were not rained upon. Humidity was high but everyone enjoyed the volleyball and cornhole tournaments. The latter continued late into the evening and we are grateful to the City of Shepherd for working on the overhead lights, and for Commissioner Donny Marrs for loaning us his portable Lights. 

The event opened with the American Legion Post 629 performing a Flag Ceremony in which all who fought for our freedoms were honored, especially those who did not return. This was symbolized by a salute to an empty chair. 

After the National Anthem, Mayor Charles Minton addressed the crowd, welcoming them and remembering the event was one of celebration and also of remembrance. I was happy to speak a few words and very glad to see many people had come out to join in with our games, contests and excellent vendors. 

We had face painting, enormous funnel cakes and a great menu from Sherrie’s Food Truck. Nana’s House was new to Shepherd but we hope she will join us again. Her cakes were delicious. Watermelon slices were free to all, curtesy of Commission Donny Marrs and Fierce Nutrition brought their superb drinks to the event.

The corn hole tournament played on into the night.
The corn hole tournament played on into the night.
American legion post 629 salute the flag and the empty chair for those heroes who did not return.
American legion post 629 salute the flag and the empty chair for those heroes who did not return.
Bruce of Body by Bruce demonstrates a self-defense maneuver.
Bruce of Body by Bruce demonstrates a self-defense maneuver.
DJ and MC Joe LaBlanc with Mrs. LaBlanc did a wonderful job.
DJ and MC Joe LaBlanc with Mrs. LaBlanc did a wonderful job.
Winner of the best patriotic dress for a pet.
Winner of the best patriotic dress for a pet.
Fun in the sack race.
Fun in the sack race.
First prize winners of the volleyball tournament.
First prize winners of the volleyball tournament.
Mayor Charles Minton welcomes everyone to Shepherd's event.
Mayor Charles Minton welcomes everyone to Shepherd's event.
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Bruce McKinzie gave a demonstration of self defense showing how to get rid of someone trying to pull anyone, be it a child or woman, against their will. Bruce, who is this month’s Shepherd’s Business of the Month, owns Body by Bruce and teaches Jiujitsu in the Gracie Relson method. He is starting a class for self-defense for women this month. Call him at (281) 387-8782.

The Hula Hoop and Sack Race Contests were fun to watch and the tug of war was a blast. There was a water slide for the little ones and a tiny pool for the even smaller ones. All of this was accompanied by music from DJ and MC Joe LaBlanc, who performed well into the night. 

Of course there was a fabulous firework display. It lasted longer than 20 minutes and was a great way for many of us to end the day. Those cornhole players kept on going after the fireworks.

I must commend most of all Brenda Myers, who worked so hard to help make this day a success. Brenda, with Walterine Carr, organized the volleyball tournament and the cornhole too. Brenda arranged for the trophies and medals for all the games and worked hard to make this day go so well. The Impact Center volunteers turned out too to help with everything and the teenagers there were happy to help gather up any garbage lying around.

Both Bruce McKinzie and Brenda Myers, as well as Walterine Carr, are board members of Shepherd Chamber, which was the host for this annual event. The City Council graciously votes to pay for the fireworks, which cost $5,000. The Chamber found out years ago that to have fireworks on the actual July 4th would triple the cost. So, we always have it just before the day. 

Our next big event will be Christmas in the Park. Coldspring Chamber's next big event is the Wolf Creek Car Show on Oct. 16-17 in Wolf Creek Park. This event is well into the planning stage and vendors who wish to sell at this show should contact the Chamber. 

Chambers of Commerce are here to help businesses, encourage tourism and organize community events which in turn increase business and tourism. 

Contact the Shepherd Chamber at (936) 628-3890 or the Coldspring Chamber at (936) 653-2184.

Yvonne Cones is president of the Greater Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, and secretary of the Coldspring Chamber of Commerce.

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Shepherd Council sets priorities

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SJNT staff

SHEPHERD — At a special study session on June 22, the Shepherd Board of Aldermen began setting priorities for the grant funds the city received, as well as discussed proposed projects that may end up being funded in an alternative manner.

City Secretary Debra Hagler said that while no action was taken at the meeting, the city began focusing on smaller projects that can be completed quickly, such as sewer lines and streets that have no infrastructure running beneath them.

“It was only a brainstorming session,” she said.

Financial advisor Bill Blitch offered some resources to the board, which could provide the city with low interest loans, as well as discuss issuing certificates of obligation for some immediate funding.

The city of Shepherd received a $4.2 million grant in May, and hopes to shore up the city’s infrastructure, particularly relating to water, wastewater and storm drainage.

More detailed information can be found at the city’s website, www.shepherdtx.org.

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Shepherd prepares to celebrate Independence Day

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SJNT staff

SHEPHERD — After the pandemic shutdowns, the Fourth of July celebration scheduled for Saturday promises to be exciting for everyone.

Sponsored by the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, events will kick off a 1 p.m. with a service by the American Legion Harold G. Davis Post 629.

  • Events scheduled for the day include:
  • Face painting
  • Games
  • Patriotic dress contests for youth, adults and pets
  • Vendors
  • Volleyball and cornhole tournaments
  • Live music

And, of course, the day will cap off with a fireworks extravaganza at 9 p.m.

Vendors can still sign up, and forms are available at the Library, City Hall or the Impact Center Resale Shop.

More information can be obtained by calling (210) 995-7420 or (936) 499-2632.

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Trojans march onward

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The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years with a jubilant toss of their hats at graduation on Saturday, June 12. (photo by Cassie Gregory)The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years with a jubilant toss of their hats at graduation on Saturday, June 12. (photo by Cassie Gregory)

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony was held on Saturday.

Faculty, staff, families and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates who have gone through so much in their school years.

This is a class that saw some of the most tumultuous times in school — and state — history, including Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the record-breaking freeze of Winter Storm Uri.

But through it all they faced the challenges with courage and determination to press on, with positive attitudes and good humor in spite of the obstacles.

Congratulations Class of 2021. You have overcome and we are so proud of you. You will not be stopped.

The COHS band performed for the huge crowd at the Class of 2021 Graduation on Saturday, June 12. (Photo by Stormie Payne)
Band
The COHS band performed for the huge crowd at the Class of 2021 Graduation on Saturday, June 12. (Photo by Stormie Payne)
The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years with a jubilant toss of their hats at graduation on Saturday, June 12. (photo by Cassie Gregory)
Hat Toss 1
The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years with a jubilant toss of their hats at graduation on Saturday, June 12. (photo by Cassie Gregory)
COHS graduate O'Shai Burnett was surprised by his award for perfect attendance all the way from kindergarten through 12th grade. (Photo by Stormie Payne)
Perfect Attendance 2
COHS graduate O'Shai Burnett was surprised by his award for perfect attendance all the way from kindergarten through 12th grade. (Photo by Stormie Payne)
The COHS Class of 2021 Top 10 (1-5) Graduates from left: Valedictorian Marissa Martinez, Salutatorian Ja'Kayla Mimms, Historian Kynadee Benestante, Tiffanie White and Jared Curry. (Photo by Cassie Gregory)
Top 5 at graduation

The COHS Class of 2021 Top 10 (1-5) Graduates from left: Valedictorian Marissa Martinez, Salutatorian Ja'Kayla Mimms, Historian Kynadee Benestante, Tiffanie White and Jared Curry. (Photo by Cassie…

COHS Class of 2021 Top 10 (6-10) Graduates from left: Kandis Martinez, Jacelynn Head, Joseph Lemon, Caitlin Moore, and Jonathan Buchanan (Photo by Cassie Gregory)
Top 6-10
COHS Class of 2021 Top 10 (6-10) Graduates from left: Kandis Martinez, Jacelynn Head, Joseph Lemon, Caitlin Moore, and Jonathan Buchanan (Photo by Cassie Gregory)
COHS Class of 2021 Valedictorian Marissa Martinez addressed her fellow graduates on Saturday, June 12. (Photo by Stormie Payne)
Valedictorian 1
COHS Class of 2021 Valedictorian Marissa Martinez addressed her fellow graduates on Saturday, June 12. (Photo by Stormie Payne)
COHS Valedictorian Marissa Martinez encouraged her fellow graduates to keep moving forward with the knowledge that they can overcome any obstacle. (Photo by Cassie Gregory)
Valedictorian 3
COHS Valedictorian Marissa Martinez encouraged her fellow graduates to keep moving forward with the knowledge that they can overcome any obstacle. (Photo by Cassie Gregory)
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