MARK PORTERIE — Enjoy this Port Arthur ISD twist on a Christmas visit favorite

Published 12:46 am Saturday, December 4, 2021

‘Twas three weeks before Christmas, when all through the town,

Not a campus was closed for miles around.

Class projects were hung in the halls with care

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With hopes those who saw them would stop, read and stare.

The children were nestled all snug in their desks;

Those visions from Tik Tok not allowing ’em to rest.

Teachers wearing glasses, instructional coaches with pens

Had just settled down for PLC’s with admins.

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,

Counselors sprang from their chairs to see what was the matter.

To the nurses’ offices, they ran a mad dash.

RN’s opening up boxes of sanitizers and masks.

The sun in the sky shone down on the swings.

Titans running and jumping like their shoes had wings.

When, what to the principal’s eyes should appeal?

A big yellow bus rolling on six fat wheels!

With a young, strong driver, so lively and quick.

Was he sent to Port Arthur from old St. Nick?

Swift as a Titan’s sword, students came.

As they boarded the bus, he called them by name:

“Now, Jaylen! Now, Jaycee! Now, Justice and Josue!

On, Cameron! On Thien! On, Kaitlyn and Dulce!

Into your seats! Make your seatbelts click!”

They took off in a flash — but not TOO quick!

The district continued preparing for its special date:

Symphony of Southeast Texas featuring our Musiqua Tate.

A gala of fine artistry December 7th — that night.

At Wilson Early College — just follow the lights.

While seniors are prepping to go off to college,

Juniors add resumes and interviews to their knowledge.

Sophomores and sponsors have toured universities.

Freshmen at The Nine learned to cope with adversity.

Book fairs and art clubs and food donations,

Tutorials and showcases at Lincoln and Jefferson.

Basketball games are happening at secondary schools.

Then tennis, track and soccer — won’t that be cool?!

Remember to restock your child’s face masks.

This protection against Covid is something we ask

Of parents and guardians who truly do care.

We want all to be healthy and safe everywhere!

This quarter of school is going to end soon.

Study for your exams — grades will be over the moon!

And over the break, take time to relax.

Spend time with your family; eat your favorite snacks.

Get plenty of rest; take naps everyday.

Help someone less fortunate to find their way.

Good music and movies and good times with friends.

Let go of your grudges; if needed, make amends.

It no longer matters if y’all disagreed.

Release all your stress if you love to read.

Good books will take your anxiety away.

Come Jan. 5th, be ready to slay

the dragons of Covid and learning gaps it caused.

Together, schools and families refuse to pause

In our quest to propel all our students towards success.

Those two weeks off, we must decompress.

I’m pleased with the progress we continue to make.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good break!

Dr. Mark Porterie is superintendent of schools for the Port Arthur Independent School District. He can be reached at