, Port Arthur, Texas

April 21, 2011

Superintendent talk: Choirs reflect well on schools, parents

Johnny E. Brown
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — The choirs from Sam Houston and Booker T. Washington Elementary Schools recently participated in the Children’s Music Festival of Houston.  The judges’ critiques of both choirs were quite complimentary and consisted of comments that are generally reserved for choirs that are rated as “Superior.”  Students received certificates of participation and the choirs received trophies. On April 18th, Mrs. Arceneaux was notified by email that the Sam Houston choir also won the “Bravo Award for Outstanding Behavior During Entire Festival” and that special award is forthcoming! We thank Mrs. Houston and Mrs. Arceneaux for all the work they put into after-school preparation of our children for this event.  We also thank Mrs. Sprayberry for providing the piano accompaniment for both choirs, the principals and parents for their support, and the students for being so teachable (in all respects).

The District held the Parent Involvement, Volunteer and Sponsor reception on Tuesday, April 19, at the Lamar State College-Port Arthur Carl Parker Center. The reception honors those that give of their time unselfishly to our students. The guest speaker of the afternoon was Barbara Babineaux, mother of NFL players, Jordan and Joshua Babineaux. Her message of persistence in spite of adversity was the highlight of the reception. The mother of five lost her husband almost 20 years ago and though she struggled, she stayed true to her faith and to her duty as a parent and a provider for her children. Today, all five of them are college graduates and very successful.

We thank our volunteers and sponsors for their dedication to our students. We know that often times being a volunteer or sponsor is a thankless job, but we want to personally thank you for all that you do for our District. We would also like to thank Mrs. Babineaux for that moving speech. Babineaux, as well as her five children, are all products of PAISD and a testament to what our District can produce. Lastly, we would like to thank Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Support Services, Melvin Getwood; Coordinator of Parent Involvement and Professional Learning, Dr. LaWanda Finney and their staff for coordinating this wonderful event. The community always looks forward to it every year.

Many performers come to the Southeast Texas area. The Southern University concert band performed a concert at Memorial High on April 20th.  Southern University was founded April 1, 1880 in New Orleans, Louisiana and later moved to its current location in Baton Rouge in 1914. The program was well organized and the band students demonstrated a "touch of class" that could only benefit all of those who were in attendance. The band was outstanding and as a special treat, Memorial choir director, Glenda Alfred, sang a piece for the audience. We thank Fine Arts Supervisor, Marjorie Cole; Memorial High Band Director, Trent Johnson and Memorial High principal, Ramona Lee for their assistance with this event.

Every teacher in PAISD is special, but there are some that stand out from the rest. Each year, our campuses elect a “Teacher of the Year” and “Rookie of the Year” and out of that group, a District-wide elementary and secondary teacher of the year is selected. This year, we had a phenomenal group of campus teachers. On Thursday, April 21st, the District held their “Teacher of the Year” breakfast at the Holiday Inn Park Central. The District-wide “Teachers of the Year” were presented for the first time to a packed crowd. The 2011-2012 elementary “Teacher of the Year” is Marcie Guarnere, a Pre-K teacher at Tyrrell Elementary and the secondary “Teacher of the Year” is Karen Moore, an English/Language Arts/Reading seventh grade teacher at Abraham Lincoln Middle. We congratulate all of our “Teachers of the Year” as the honors are well deserving. We continue to boast having the best teachers in the State of Texas and this proves it.

The District was closed for the Good Friday holiday on Friday, April 22nd.

Dr. Johnny E. Brown is the Superintendent of Schools for the Port Arthur Independent School District.