Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, June 10, 2005
Early voting hot in school board/enhanced ed election
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
Pecos voters are squaring off at a rapid rate in the ongoing special school board election to break the tie vote between incumbent Billie Sadler and challenger David Flores.
Central to the original tie vote and heavy interest in a usually ho-hum election is the current scrap over the death of the enhanced education program.
Sadler was part of the 4 to 3 majority that voted to kill the program. Flores has promised to try to reinstate the program.
At 9:30 Thursday morning 449 votes had been cast in early voting, which will end at 5 p.m. Friday. Another 21votes had been cast by mail in the contest.
The actual election day is next Thursday, June 16th.
The enhanced program conflict has primarily pitted the school administration and principals against parents.
School Superintendent Ray Matthews and Austin Elementary School Principal Cindy Duke believe Pecos schools are better off without the enhanced program.
“As educators it is our job to educate all students to the best of their ability - all students are enhanced in my mind,” Matthews said during an interview Tuesday where he and Duke were present.
Matthews said that from his point of view there was no difference between having an enhanced program and not having one except that it took the labels off the kids.
“There was not any difference between the enhanced and regular classrooms except labeling the enhanced kids as a little smarter which they may or may not be,” he said.
“At a very young age (success in school) is often more a factor of maturity and parental involvement and experience than intelligence,” Duke said.
Duke said that “higher functioning” students would not be held back while the rest of the students in a class learned the basic lessons.
Higher functioning students will have the same objectives but then can expand on the content (under the new system), she said.
“You cannot teach all kids the same,” Duke said pointing out that even in the enhanced classes the children had different abilities requiring teachers to modify their instruction to the individual child.
Parent and certified teacher Melissa Box disagrees. Box also holds secondary certifications in mathematics and gifted and talented education.
“When we consider a program for any group of students we must consider what is best for that group of students,” Box said in an interview Wednesday.
“Most of the arguments against the enhanced program have hinged on what is best for everyone else. This decision is not in the best interest for this group of students.”
“It has also been suggested that the Gifted and Talented program can substitute for the enhanced program. It cannot. The G/T program has an entirely different approach and purpose,” Box said.
Box said that the biggest problem with the cancelled program was the name.
“Enhanced does not really describe what this program has been. Accelerated is more appropriate. The enhanced program was better for students who were capable of moving faster than the rest of the classmates,” Box said.
Box said that it was a misconception surrounding the debate that the children in the enhanced classes got a “better” education than their peers in regular classes.
“These students were being allowed to move through the curriculum at an accelerated rate - and if they can, why shouldn’t they. Shouldn’t we be proud of them and a program that lets them excel,” she said.
School Board Trustee Amy Miller agrees.
At the April 14 board meeting that resulted in the death of the program Miller said that she believed that students’ needs were not the driving force behind the curriculum and the move to kill the program but rather the pressure to pass the TAKS test.
Miller said that above average students are capable of passing the TAKS test during the first six weeks of school.
Eliminating the enhanced program puts these kids in a classroom spending instructional time preparing to take the TAKS, when they should be receiving instructional time on material beyond the TAKS test.
Miller said that students capable of learning the most would be learning the least without the enhanced program.
Good turnout reported for Job Fair
By ROSIE FLORES
Potential employers were on hand to offer guidance at the Reeves County Job Fair held Tuesday at the Pecos Technical Training Center of Odessa College.
“We’re very excited about this event, we have had a good turnout for the community,” said one of the organizers for the event, Nancy Martinez with American Home Health and Hospice.
Martinez said that there had been a crowd to see the style show that was held at the event.
“Students from WIA (Workforce in Action), which includes 14-15 year olds, demonstrated the do’s and don’ts of the workplace,” said Martinez.
Martinez said that quite a few people had attended the style show, which featured the students demonstrating the dos and don’ts of the workplace. “We had quite a few compliments on that and everybody agreed with the don’ts,” said Martinez.
Martinez said that the exhibitors had expressed their appreciation for the job fair and everybody was pleased.
“All the exhibitors were pleased and expressed their thanks and especially were grateful for the hospitality,” said Martinez.
Martinez said that some of the exhibitors had come prepared to hire people.
“Even before the job fair began we had individuals come in and ask about jobs and we had the opportunity to pair them up with employers,” said Martinez. “So it worked out really well for both, because it was a good match for both,” she said.
Rene Gomez, manager of Auto Zone, said that their booth was offering applications for summer help.
“Usually in the summer, business picks up and we plan to hire summer help,” said Gomez.
Gomez said that the other Auto Zone’s in the area also had positions open.
“If they fill out the application here, but want to relocate to Odessa or to some other community with one of our other companies, we can forward that application to them,” said Gomez.
Gomez said that there was an Auto Zone opening up in Odessa and they would be needing more help. “There’s also a new one opening up in San Angelo,” said Gomez.
Gomez said that the company is looking to expand.
Claudia Juarez, of Odessa, with the Crisis Center, said that their booth was for informational purposes only.
“We deal with volunteers,” said Juarez. “I’ve only been here and hour and already I have five volunteers,” she said.
Juarez said that she was pleased with the turnout and is planning on organizing a class for the volunteers.
“It’s a 30-hour volunteer training course and I’ll be coming to Pecos to organize it,” she said. “It’s going really good,” she said.
Marilyn Jenkins, with the Professional Truck Driving School, based in Odessa, said that they were really pleased with the turnout at the job fair.
“We were here two years ago and were really successful in recruiting students,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins said that that the international company was based in El Paso since 1996.
“We work with different agencies,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins said that a representative from Covenant Trucking was on hand at their booth to recruit employees. “They are here ready to hire individuals who already have their licenses,” said Jenkins.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Ray Matthews said that the school district had several openings. “We have some openings for teachers, but also for some of the other departments within the school district,” said Matthews.
Matthews said that the district also takes applications for substitute teachers throughout the year.
“We have applications right now for every department in the district,” he said.
Representatives with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services was on hand with applications for food stamps along with TexCare applications for health care.
The event was sponsored by the Permian Basin Workforce Development Board, Pecos Technical Training Center of Odessa College, Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce, Reeves County Hospital, Texas Health and Human Service Commission and American Home Health.
Night in Old Pecos set for June 25
By ROSIE FLORES
Music, fun, games and especially plenty of food will be available at the Annual Night in Old Pecos scheduled for Saturday, June 25.
“We already have 17 booths, which is pretty good,” said organizer Debbie Thomas.
Thomas said that the committee is still taking bids for music until June 17.
“We need both live music and D.J. services,” said Thomas. “We would prefer a nice mix of music,” she said.
Thomas said that the group is working on something new that will be added to the list of events for this year.
“Along with the regular events, we are working on a new project,” she said.
A full array of entertainment will be featured at Windmill Square between 6:30 and midnight.
Individuals who would like to sign up for the talent show can do so by going to the Chamber of Commerce office at 111 S. Cedar or by calling them at 445-2406.
The Talent Show will be divided in to three age groups: ages six and under; 7-12 years of age; and 13-18 years of age.
“There will be a prize in each category,” Thomas said.
Thomas said that they will be spotlighting a local talent.
RCDC III employees will have a variety of games for the youngsters, according to Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Gholson.
“This is great, because we want to have plenty of entertainment for the youth,” said Gholson. “They will have several games,” she said.
Booths are still available and anybody interested can contact the chamber.
“Volunteers are still needed to help with the booths and to help in other areas,” Thomas said.
Golden Girl and Little Miss Cantaloupe nominees will be performing at the Windmill Square, along with a wide array of talent being featured.
“We are brining in vendors from out of town, which is really nice,” said Gholson.
Rockin S Pony Express will be featuring pony rides, pictures and leather items in the park area.
A ferris wheel and train will be at the event for the younger crowd.
Some of the food items include funnel cakes, hamburgers, gorditas, fajitas, turkey legs, fries, tacos and more.
Booths will feature a variety of items including toys, novelties, sunglasses, caps, visors and T-shirts.
Well-wishers predict breast lump is benign
By Peggy McCracken
Listening to the experience of others who had benign lumps removed from their breasts, I fully expected that mine would turn out the same way. After all, this was me. Peggy McCracken. I eat right, exercise and take Lipitor. How could I have a serious disease?
Once Dr. Bang got the matter of the mixed-up mammogram straightened up, he recommended a biopsy to determine if the lump were indeed benign. He sent me to Reeves County Hospital, where I registered at the front desk, then was sent to the nurses’ station. They gave me an 8:30 a.m. appointment for the next day.
Arriving at the appointed time, I encountered the Poitevints and Staffords in the waiting room. I’ve gotten so bad on names that I won’t try to get their first names right.
Dr. Bang stuck his head in to say hello and inquire how I felt. Fine, I said.
After a long wait, a nurse came in and asked if I could call someone to pick me up, because Dr. Bang wanted to give me the sedative Demerol.
“I don’t want Demerol,” I said.
Soon I was taken to the operating room and told to strip to the waist. Have you noticed that there are no hooks for clothes, purses, and other paraphernalia that patients have to carry? Not in any doctor’s office, operating room or lab have I found a place to put my stuff, except on the floor or a chair. This room didn’t even have a chair.
Dr. Bang tried to be gentle, but that needle probing around in my tender body part did not feel good. Since I had refused the Demerol, I wouldn’t have dared complain, so I just gritted my teeth and prayed for endurance.
“Does that hurt?” asked the good doctor.
“Yeesss,” I gritted out.
Soon it was over, and I drove home, ate lunch, then went to the office and did a day’s work; glad I did not take Demerol, which would have made me too drowsy to drive or work.
Martinez receives B.S. degree
One Pecos resident received a degree from Southern Arkansas University recently.
On Friday, May 13, Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia,
conferred degrees to 278 students.
May graduates from Pecos at SAU include, Ricky M. Martinez, with a B.S. in exercise science.
Of those students, 64 graduated with honors. Students attaining a grade point average of 3.50-3.74 graduated cum laude, students who earned a GPA of 3.75-3.89 graduated magna cum laude, and students who earned a GPA of 3.90-4.00 graduated summa cum laude, the highest honor bestowed.
Lamb deployed to European area
Navy Airman Stephen Lamb, son of Sandy A. and James Lamb of Pecos, recently deployed to the European Central Command maritime area of responsibility in support of The Global War on Terrorism, while assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Saipan, homeported in Norfolk, Va.
Lamb and his shipmates will work with allies to detect, disrupt and deny international terrorist organizations the use of the maritime environment. They will also to build regional security and long-term stability.
Amphibious assault ships like USS Saipan deploy throughout the world to maintain U.S. presence and provide rapid response in times of crisis. They serve as a highly visible deterrent to would-be aggressors, and are equipped with the most versatile and powerful weapons available.
Lamb is a 2003 graduate of Pecos High School of Pecos and joined the Navy in August 2004.
Moody named as All-American Scholar
The United States Achievement Academy announced that William M. Moody of Pecos, has been named an All-American Scholar.
The USAA has established the All-American Scholar Award Program to offer deserved recognition to superior students who excel in the academic disciplines. The All-American Scholar must earn a 3.3, or higher, grade point average. Only scholars selected by a school instructor, counselor, or other qualified sponsor are accepted. These scholars are also eligible for other awards given by the USAA.
Moody, who attends Pecos High School, was nominated for this national award by Charlie J. Wilson.
He will appear in the All-American Scholar Yearbook, which is published nationally.
“Recognizing and supporting our youth is more important than ever before in America’s history. Certainly, winners of the All-American Scholar Awards should be congratulated and appreciated for their dedication to excellence and achievement,” said Dr. George Stevens, Executive Director of the United States Achievement Academy.
The Academy selects All-American Scholars upon the exclusive recommendation by teachers, coaches, counselors, and other qualified sponsors. Once awarded, the students may be recognized by the USSA for other honors.
Moody is the son of Claude and Elaine Moody of Pecos.
Grandparents are Evelyn Carlson of Pecos and Cora Moody of Pecos.
Perkins, Fowlkes announce July wedding
Stacie Perkins and Shawn Fowlkes are announcing their engagement and play to marry July 1, at the Alexis Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.
The bride-to-be is the daughter of Mrs. Stephen J. Perkins of Rio Grande City. She is a graduate of Pecos High School and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sul Ross State University in Alpine.
The groom-to-be is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Fowlkes of Pecos. He graduated from Pecos High School and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Sul Ross State University in Alpine.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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