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DeSoto ISD 2020-21 Campus Teachers of The Year

DeSoto ISD 2020 2021 teachers of year

Congratulations To DeSoto ISD Campus Teachers of the Year

To inspire curiosity and consciousness, develop character, build courage, and nurture compassion is the vision of DeSoto ISD for every child and our teachers are one of the main elements by which this vision becomes a reality. While many of DeSoto ISD teachers are dedicated and working tirelessly each daily to mold students and enable them to learn and grow at their highest levels, each year campuses have the arduous task of selecting one outstanding teacher to represent their campus as the 2020-21 Campus Teacher of the Year.

The campus teachers of the year are selected by their peers for their high performance, leadership, innovation, and engagement within their school community.

These teachers are subsequently invited to participate in the application process for the DeSoto ISD District Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year. The district-level winners will be invited to participate in the Regional Teacher of the Year contest.

This year, DeSoto ISD is proud to announce the following DeSoto ISD Eagles as the 2020-2021 Campus Teachers of the Year.

Amber Terrace Early Childhood Discovery and Design Academy

Priscilla Bautista-Torres (PreK-4, Bilingual)

Cockrell Hill Elementary

Terrence Williams ( K-5, Physical Education Coach)

Frank Moates Elementary

Kristy Grimes (Fourth Grade, Team Lead, Self-contained)

Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy

Latrisha Cameron (Fifth Grade, Mathematics)

Ruby Young Elementary

Christina Chavez (K-5, Computer Science)

The Meadows Elementary

Karen Fields (Second Grade, Self-contained)

Woodridge Elementary

Sherrin Womack (Kindergarten, Self-contained)

East Middle School

Tokewisha Allen (Math Interventionist)

McCowan Middle School

Geoffrey Standberry (Sixth Grade, Mathematics)

West Middle School

Leighanne Jones (SPED LifeSkills)

Desoto High School

Karen L. Brown (CTE Dept Chair/CTE Teacher)

District Alternative Educational Program (DAEP)

Tashica Miller (K-5, Elementary Teacher)


The district will celebrate these educators for their excellence at the upcoming board meeting and through social stories on the district’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages throughout the remainder of the school year.

Learn more about DeSoto ISD educators’ approach to instruction and commitment to student academic achievement at www.DeSotoISD.org.

Duncanville PD Seeks Assistance Identifying Murder Suspect

green sedan
Photo courtesy Duncanville Police Department

Police Seek Suspect April 26 Murder In Duncanville

The Duncanville Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying a suspect and vehicle used in a recent murder that occurred on April 26. The suspect vehicle is a Toyota Camry LE estimated 2010-11 with damage on the rear driver’s side quarter panel. Rear drivers side tire also has a paint line from repair work or parking enforcement.
damaged sedan
Photo credit Duncanville Police
Males leaning out car window
Duncanville Police need help identifying suspect
If you have any information on this vehicle, contact Det. Andy Armstrong at 972-707-3836 or [email protected]


Original Press Release April 26

On April 26, 2021 at approximately 1:10 pm Duncanville Police were dispatched to 1110
Explorer St. regarding a potential disturbance between two parties who were not both
on location at that time. Before officers, who had been re-routed due to an in-progress
emergency apprehension of a person needing a mental evaluation, could arrive, reports
of shots fired began to come in for the location on Explorer from multiple callers.

Upon arrival, officers found one person who had been shot. That person was
transported to Charlton Methodist Hospital and was soon thereafter pronounced
deceased. Officers also identified several witnesses and believe there may be another
gunshot victim who may have fled the area prior to officers’ arrival.

Duncanville Police Department says this is an on-going investigation and they believe they have a multitude of leads upon which they are actively following up.

DeSoto Police Arrest Juvenile Suspect For Murder Of Camran Kashawn Collier

News Update poster

Suspect Has Extensive Juvenile Criminal Record

DESOTO, TEXAS — DeSoto Police have a 16-year-old juvenile suspect in custody for the April 22nd Capital Murder of 19-Year-Old Camran Kashawn Collier who had been found fatally wounded in the driver’s seat of his Honda Accord on April 22, 2021 in the 1100 block of Westlake Drive. Police believe robbery was the motive.

Police identified the juvenile as a suspect early on in the case, but the suspect had gone into hiding. The juvenile suspect had an extensive juvenile criminal record and had previously been fitted with an electronic leg monitoring device. The juvenile had removed that device in early April hindering efforts by Dallas County Juvenile Probation to monitor the whereabouts of the juvenile.

For the last two weeks, DeSoto police have been actively searching for this juvenile and sharing important information with neighboring police departments. On Wednesday evening, May 12, 2021, Dallas Police officers located the juvenile in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas and took the suspect, who was armed with a handgun, into custody. DeSoto Police would like to thank the Dallas Police Department for their assistance in getting this dangerous juvenile into custody and off the street.

Due to this case involving a juvenile as the offender, there is no other information that can be released at this time.

Register Now For DeSoto Mayor’s Summer Reading Club Tails & Tales

Tails and Tales poster

2021 Mayor’s Summer Reading Club Tails and Tales

The kids are counting the days until summer break and the sweltering Texas heat isn’t far behind. As most of us parents know the first few days without school the kids find ways to entertain themselves, but by week 2 they begin to utter the all to familiar word “I’m bored!”. The solution, a stack of books waiting to be read.

Take a break from the screens and build your imagination with books and the annual Mayor’s Summer Reading Club for 2021. The reading club program runs May 29th- July 24th, 2021. Join us for a summer of reading, prizes, and virtual engagement for kids, teens, & adults! But you don’t have to wait, pre-register NOW at www.desotolibrary.readsquared.com. This program is free and open to all ages. For more information visit the library website at www.desotolibrary.info or call 972-230-9666.

The sky’s the limit on how many books you can read this summer, and it’s fun to have a little family competition. This year all the fun and activities will begin on May 29th, beginning with a “zoo-per” exciting farm animal petting zoo and more at the Summer Reading Kick-Off Party on Saturday May 29th, 2021 from 1-3 pm behind the library in the amphitheater.

So, what are you waiting for, register your kids and save the date for May 29 and come out to the library for Tails and Tales!

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island,” Walt Disney.

DeSoto’s Peace Officer Memorial Service Brings Community Together

DeSoto Police Memorial service
DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor reads a proclamation Wednesday morning at the DeSoto Police Station for Police Week, May 9 to 15 and Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15 Photo Credit Rita Cook

DeSoto Honors Fallen Peace Officers With Memorial Service

DESOTO – The City of DeSoto Police Department held its Peace Officer Memorial Service Wednesday morning at the department’s flag poles in front of the building.

As the rain ceased to allow for the short ceremony, DeSoto Police Chief Joe Costa opened the ceremony with a brief statement about the importance of Police Week. The week runs May 9-15.

DeSoto Mayor Rachel Proctor was in attendance to read the city’s proclamation also introducing DeSoto’s City Council members in attendance at the ceremony.

The Proclamation read by Proctor reminded that “We honor all those who wear the badge and keep the peace.”

She read the first known line of duty death was in 1786. Since that time over 24,000 United States Law Enforcement Officers have “made the ultimate sacrifice” with an average of one death every 54 hours somewhere in the United States in the performance of their duties.

Texas leads the country in most lives lost with 2,080 officers.

The mayor reminded citizens to remember the law enforcement officers in DeSoto by “supporting their work” and by showing sincere appreciation and to make every effort to express thanks.

“By working together we can achieve a better and more secure future for our children and grandchildren,” Proctor said.

Chief Costa received the proclamation saying “Thank you Mayor, appreciate that. We gather together today to pay tribute to those officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty. Last year the dreaded 2020 we lost more officers than ever before not only did we lose officers to accidents, assaults and crimes, but we lost many others to a pandemic called COVID-19. There were 360 officers who lost their lives last year in the line of duty.”

Following the proclamation the DeSoto Fire Department Color Guard stepped in and then the DeSoto Police Honor Guard lowering the flag and a 21-gun salute.

DeSoto Lieutenant Melissa Franks played the bagpipes.

The benediction led by DeSoto Police Chaplain Genette Wheeler reminded the men and women in law enforcement in attendance from not only DeSoto, but also Midlothian and Glenn Heights “You guys are appreciated more than you will ever know and we from the bottom of our hearts say thank you for the work you continue to do.”

Tomorrow Parkland Will Offer Pfizer Vaccine to 12-15 Year Old’s Without Appt.

Parkland logo

No Appointment Required

DALLAS – Beginning May 13, Parkland Health & Hospital System will administer the Pfizer
COVID-19 vaccine to children between 12 and 15-year-old. Individuals over the age of 12 can receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine without an appointment at the following locations:

  • Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S. Polk St., Dallas, 75232 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.,
    Monday – Saturday.
  • Dallas College-Eastfield Campus, 3737 Motley Dr., Mesquite, Dallas 75150 between
    7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday – Saturday.
  • New Parkland Hospital, 5200 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, 75235 between 10 a.m. – 6:30
    p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday or between 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Monday,
    Wednesday, and Friday.

All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian authorized to consent for the minor.

Those over the age of 14 have the option to create a MyChart account if they would prefer to schedule an appointment at one of the vaccine sites. Those needing help with their MyChart accounts can call 214-590-7000 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Individuals will need to bring a valid ID and minors must be accompanied by an adult who has permission to consent for the minor.

Parkland Pediatrician Recommends Kids Get Vaccinated ASAP

“We highly recommend parents get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Parkland
pediatrician Cesar Termulo, MD. “This is a very important step toward ending the spread of
COVID-19. By vaccinating our children we’re not only protecting them but we’re also protecting their parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and their classmates.”

To make it more convenient for Dallas County residents, Parkland is bringing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Dallas County neighborhoods. A mobile COVID-19 vaccination event will be held on Saturday, May 15 in Northwest Dallas. Those over the age of 12 can receive their first dose of the vaccine without an appointment between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at David G. Burnet Elementary School, 3200 Kinkaid Dr., Dallas, 75220.

Parkland will return to the site at the same time on Saturday, June 5 to administer the second dose.

ROISD Board Approves Raises for 2021-2022 School Year

Red Oak ISD School Board
Photo credit Red Oak ISD

Starting Salary for ROISD Teachers $52,500

(RED OAK, TX) — The Red Oak ISD Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of increasing salaries for teachers and staff, the most influential element of student learning. The Board has been transparent in their desire to express to employees that they are appreciated and valued.

Superintendent Brenda Sanford and the administrative staff presented the 2021-22 proposed salary schedule recommendation for approval at the May 10th Board Meeting. The approval will increase the teacher salary schedule by $1,500 per step and the new starting salary for Red Oak ISD teachers will be $52,500. All other employees will receive a 3% increase based on the midpoint of their pay grade range.

Current teachers will move to the next step and receive both the $1,500 increase and the step increase. Teachers above the Salary Schedule (over 30 years experience) will receive a $600 longevity increase.

“This marks the third year of substantial raises for Red Oak ISD teachers and staff,” stated Board President John Anderson. “I applaud the Board for their vision and the administration for this proposal. We must invest in our most valuable asset toward providing the best education for every Red Oak ISD student.”

ROISD Moved Into Competitive Hiring For All teachers With Pay Increases

Red Oak ISD provided $3,000 teacher raises each of the past two years (for those on the salary schedule) in addition to 2-3% raises for other staffing categories. Starting teacher pay has increased from $45,000 in 2018-19 to $52,500 this coming year – an increase of $7,500! All salary schedule steps through Step 30 have also subsequently increased and the district has moved into competitive hiring for all teachers.

In addition to the teacher salary schedule being increased, the pay plans for other employee groups have been reviewed to ensure a competitive pay range. This has resulted in some of the pay ranges being updated. Some employee groups have also been reviewed to ensure they are in the proper pay range.

“The Board knows that our teachers and staff deserve competitive pay and the administration has worked hard to continue to explore savings, staffing ratios, and revenue sources to offer the third major raise in three years. I thank the Board for their goal to reward our educators and staff across the district,” said Red Oak ISD Superintendent Brenda Sanford.

The approved salary structure increases will be effective for the 2021-22 school year.

Amanda Perry Named Head Volleyball Coach at Cedar Hill High School

Amanda Perry headshot

Building a Volleyball Program

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Amanda Perry has a plan for Cedar Hill High School Volleyball excellence.

She said it starts with building a program that still believes it can win a set – even when it is trailing by five, 10 or 15 points.

“We want to be the team that opponents are scouting and watching our film,” Perry said. “We want to be that team that nobody looks forward to playing on the court. Our teams will be composed and mentally tough on the court.”

Perry met the returning Cedar Hill High School Volleyball Players – including seven sophomores – on Tuesday and will have an official Meet & Greet next week.

“After interviewing several people, we wanted someone who would connect with the girls, really care about them and get the program to the next level,” Cedar Hill Athletic Director Melanie Benjamin said. “It’s going to be an exciting time for volleyball at Cedar Hill.”

Perry comes to Cedar Hill from Class 5A Everman High, south of Fort Worth. At Everman, she went 48-23 in two seasons and missed the playoffs by just one match, twice. Prior to her arrival, Everman had never won more than two district matches in a season.

Cedar Hill looks to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and win its first postseason match since 2012.

Perry grew up in the small town of Venus – 15 miles southwest of Cedar Hill on U.S. Highway 67. She played basketball and volleyball at Venus High, earning a basketball scholarship to Adams State in southern Colorado. She transferred to Lubbock Christian, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, from the West Texas-based university.

Perry decided her coaching path would be volleyball, and she served as an assistant at both Midlothian and Burleson Centennial, respectively. During her time at Midlothian, Cedar Hill was a district opponent.

Last season, the Lady Longhorns had so many freshmen on varsity that it affected the Junior Varsity and Freshman Teams. The team won its first two matches last season and was competitive in several other ones.

Due to COVID-19, there weren’t any non-conference tournaments for the Lady Longhorns.

Perry follows DaVarika Johnson, who was the head coach in 2019 and 2020 and an assistant coach in 2017 and 2018.

“My experience here helped me grow and sharpen my character,” Johnson said. “I’m ready for the next phase of life.”

In addition to coaching, Perry will teach Special Education at Cedar Hill High School.

Denton County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist Now Open to Individuals 12+

Denton County COVID 19 waitlist

12+ Up Can Join Denton County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist

May 12, 2021 – Denton County Public Health’s (DCPH) Vaccine Interest Portal waitlist is now updated to allow all individuals ages twelve and above to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine at DCPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics. Appointments will be available for self-scheduling of individuals 12 and older first on the DCPH waitlist on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. Additional appointment times and locations will be added in the following days.

“This exciting announcement is one more step in the right direction. We immediately worked to open our Vaccine Interest Portal to now accept those ages 12-15 and will make appointments available for parents and guardians to select from,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said. “We continue to work to ensure eligible individuals have access to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as we all work together on a path to ending this pandemic.”

The FDA has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals 12 and older, but, at this time, both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are only authorized for individuals 18 and older. Eligible individuals are encouraged to join DCPH’s Vaccine Interest Portal waitlist as well as check with their primary care providers, pediatricians, and/or pharmacies, as vaccines are currently available at multiple providers and pharmacies throughout Denton County.

Kids 12-17 Must Be Accompanied By A Parent/Guardian

Parents and/or guardians must accompany minors 12-17 years old to DCPH vaccination clinics. DCPH emails weekly updates on Friday afternoons to those on the DCPH waitlist who have yet to be invited to a first dose appointment.

For local COVID-19 vaccine information or to join DCPH’s Vaccine Interest Portal Waitlist, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19vaccine. To locate providers and pharmacies within Denton County with COVID-19 vaccines available, visit vaccines.gov/search
and/or dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine

For questions or concerns, DCPH’s COVID-19 call center can be reached in English and Spanish at 940-349-2585, Monday – Friday 8 AM – 5 PM

New Ellis County Communications Network Enables Rapid Emergency Response

Communications tower
Photo credit Corey Rogan, Public Information Specialist

New Communications Network Enabled Rapid Emergency Response

Ellis County, TX – Following a tornado that touched down near Forreston on May 3rd, 2021, Ellis County’s emergency services led a coordinated and efficient response, thanks to a newly-integrated public safety communications network. By investing in a new communications tower, a new dispatch system, and improved mobile radios, the county enabled various volunteer, municipal, and county-level emergency service organizations to communicate with one another in real-time for a unified response operation.

The new network, which first went live less than two weeks before the tornado, quickly proved its worth in emergency situations. For the first time in Ellis County, first responders from multiple agencies communicated directly with one another via a county-wide network rather than waiting for messages to be relayed across different sub-channels and uncoordinated radio towers. The potential for miscommunication and delay of vital information was greatly diminished, and the task-delegation process for emergency services was streamlined.

Network Saves Time, Saves Lives

“Without a doubt, the new public safety communications system enabled our first responders to reach those in danger much more quickly,” said County Judge Todd Little. “For what it cost, the network is saving our citizens that much more in damage – and lives.”

Located near Forreston, the network’s new radio tower operates in the 700 MHz spectrum, so its signals can penetrate thick foliage, concrete barriers, and most man-made structures with ease. As Ellis County’s population expands into growing suburban communities, the 700 MHz signal will ensure that emergency responders continue to receive clear messages even in areas with dense development.

The integrated radio system also conforms to the FCC’s Project 25 program, which established digital standards for public safety communications that include the latest encryption and data-transfer protocols. The whole system is backwards-compatible with existing radio infrastructure, so there is no one point of failure for the county’s emergency communications.

The night of May 3rd, Ellis County’s new public safety network was put through its first major emergency situation when a tornado crossed over I-35E and damaged vehicles, injured drivers, and destroyed several mobile homes near the highway. A county-wide alert was issued over the emergency network, and within minutes, every available emergency responder in the county knew his or her role. Damage control, search & rescue, and recovery efforts were carried out with a high degree of efficiency through the next morning.

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