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School News

North Lamar loose change drive benefits Kiwanis annual project

School NewsGreg Higgins

In lieu of having a canned food drive this year, North Lamar Independent School District held a school-wide loose change drive with the proceeds going toward the Kiwanis Club of Paris Food Drive.  The pocket change collected by students will help with food baskets for those in need during the holidays.  Shown accepting a check in the amount of $858.22 from North Lamar representatives, Launa Doyaland Carla Coleman, from left, are Rudy Kessel, David Nichols, president, and Robert High

Patients are the real winners of the Crosstown Blood Drive

School NewsGreg Higgins
 Radley Crutchfieldand  Josie Zumalt  were among the students recruited to give blood at North Lamar High School.  

Radley Crutchfieldand Josie Zumalt were among the students recruited to give blood at North Lamar High School.  

In a friendly competition to help boost the blood supply at Carter Blood Care, North Lamar High School and Paris High School held drives last week collecting a total of 193 units.  North Lamar came in with 111 units of blood while Paris had 82 units.  Just one pint of donated blood can help save as many as three people’s lives, so 579 lives can be impacted from the blood collected between the two districts.  

NL Jean Days Help Feed Lamar County Residents

School NewsGreg Higgins

North Lamar ISD teachers and staff members recently raised $805 through their ‘Jean Week’ campaign for the Downtown Food Pantry.  According to Operations Director Chuck Burton, pictured left, 3,220 meals will be provided through this donation.  North Lamar representative Tammy McGuire, center, made the presentation to Burton and Downtown Food Pantry Executive Director Alicia Jallah

NLHS Students to Audition for Texas All-State Choir

School NewsGreg Higgins

Thirteen students from the North Lamar High School choir have qualified to audition for the Texas Music Educators Association All State Choir.

          Qualifiers beginning front row left are Kayden Yates (4th chair), Amanda Dean (1st chair), Ellie Ables (1st chair), and Reyna Hildreth (1st chair); middle row, Jerron Newberry (1st chair), Josh Kok (4th chair), Sean Gist (1st chair), and Jenna Gould (4th chair); and back row, Ben Dong (5th chair), Seth Carter(1st chair), Seth Jones (2nd chair), Parker Freeman (2nd chair), and Kyle Stanley (1st chair).

“North Lamar singers claimed seven first chairs, which is a remarkable accomplishment,” said NLHS Choir Director Rebecca Hildreth.

The students will auditionon January 13, 2018, at TAMU-Commerce for a spot in the highly esteemed Texas All State Choir.  Hildreth is accompanied byPat Fowzerat the high school andRaven Minterat Stone Middle School.


School NewsGreg Higgins
 North Lamar ESL Coordinator Kortney Melton congratulates Bailey 5th grade Social Studies and Reading/Language Arts teachers  Angelia Kennedy  and  Kim Lacey  on passing their ESL certifications. 

North Lamar ESL Coordinator Kortney Melton congratulates Bailey 5th grade Social Studies and Reading/Language Arts teachers Angelia Kennedy and Kim Lacey on passing their ESL certifications. 

In an effort to promote continuing education for North Lamar teachers and ensure quality equitable education for its growing population, English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) teachers that specifically work with students in the English as a Second Language program are studying for and taking the state certification test to become certified to teach English Language Learners.

"It is a smaller population of students that attend North Lamar schools, but a significant one,” said North Lamar ESL Coordinator Kortney Melton. “We now have over 100 students including those that are in the ESL program and those that have exited the ESL program but are still being monitored."

North Lamar ISD's English as a Second Language program has grown in numbers over recent years.

 North Lamar High School English instructor LaDonna Davis receives a congratulatory gift and balloon from  Kortney Melton , NLISD ESL Coordinator, for passing her ESL certification. 

North Lamar High School English instructor LaDonna Davis receives a congratulatory gift and balloon from Kortney Melton, NLISD ESL Coordinator, for passing her ESL certification. 

"Ten years ago, we had less than 30 students,” said Melton.  “Now we have almost 70 that are in the program, plus additional students that are being monitored."

It is because of this growth and the wonderful amount of native languages that kids are bringing to North Lamar that Melton is able to award stipends for teachers that meet specific requirements. Additionally, the ESL budget will reimburse those teachers if they pass the ESL certification exam.

Continuing, Melton said, "It is a wonderful feeling to be able to promote cultural diversity.  We have approximately ten different native languages in our district that students speak while at home in addition to English.  If we can embrace the different ways to teach these specific students using best practices, then all students will benefit because English as a Second Language strategies are overall best practice strategies for any content area and any grade level."


NL’s Shannon advances to FFA area competition

School NewsGreg Higgins
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Melody Shannon, a senior at North Lamar High School, recently competed in the District FFA Leadership Development Events (LDE) at Northeast Texas Community College in Titus County.  She placed second in the Senior Creed Speaking event and will advance to the area competition on Wednesday, November 15 in Marshall, Texas.

Leadership Development Events focus on creating situations for members to demonstrate their abilities in public speaking, decision making, communication and their knowledge of agriculture and the FFA organization.  Team and individual events are used to reinforce what is taught in agricultural science classrooms. 

In Creed Speaking, a member presents the FFA Creed from memory and answers questions about its meaning and purpose.  This event is just one way to boost self-confidence, earn recognition, and develop powerful, organized and professional communication skills.  All LDE events have elimination rounds at the district and area meets before the state level competition.


Retired sergeant to address NL student body and guests

School NewsGreg Higgins

Gary Gentry, a retired sergeant from the Army, will be keynote speaker at the North Lamar High School Veterans Day program on Tuesday, November 7 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the gym.  Veterans, active military personnel, and the community are invited to attend.

Gentry, who enlisted as a combat engineer for the Army in 1988, was assigned border patrol of the Iron Curtain for two years in Germany.  Later he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and deployed to Saudi Arabia where he fought in Desert Storm.  Upon returning to the states, he was assigned to the First Division in Fort Riley, Kansas, “The Big Red One” as they are known.  He exited the military for a short time only to rejoin after September 11, 2001. 

Gentry is employed as a First Assistant in Cardio Thoracic Open Heart Surgery.  He and his wife, Leeigh, have lived in Paris for 15 years.  They have three children and one, Samantha Ballard, who is a library assistant at NLHS.

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Tickets on sale for NL Theatre’s production of Big Fish

School NewsGreg Higgins

Tickets are now on sale for North Lamar High School Theatre Department’s production of Big Fish.  Show dates and times are November 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. andNovember 19 at 2:30 p.m.  All performances will be at the NLHS Auditorium.

The musical, Big Fish, is the story of Edward Bloom (played by Josh Kok), a man who leads an extraordinary life and tells larger-than-life stories to his son, Will (played by Seth Jones andCarter Jackson).  Will, who is getting married and soon to have a child of his own, doesn’t know whether to believe his father’s tall tales of meeting witches, kissing mermaids, joining the circus, or even that his father proposed to his mother, Sandra (played by Kylee Hilliard), in a field full of daffodils. The stories create a strain on Edward and Will’s relationship, and Will tries one last time to find out the truth when Edward’s health begins to decline. 

Tickets to Big Fish may be purchased by contacting Terry Price at 903.737.2003 x 1031 or or Launa Doyal at  Reserved ticket prices are $15 or $20 each and general admission are $10 each.

Educating students to make a difference

School NewsGreg Higgins

Organization representatives from the community gathered at Stone Middle School during Red Ribbon Week to encourage students to get involved. The mini group fair focused on organizations that build character while making a difference in the community.  Above, Lee Jane Walker talks to seventh grader Brooklyn Jones and Stone instructor Misty Ford about Wyldlife.  Other groups represented were ETCADA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Stone Middle School Counselors, Bold & Brave, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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NED Show sends positive message to students

School NewsGreg Higgins

Aaron Parker Elementary recent had The NED Show as a schoolwide character education assembly.  NED, a loveable cartoon character whose name is an acronym for Never give up. Encourage others, and Do your best, uses yo-yo tricks to deliver a story and message that’s both entertaining and unforgettable to students.  Above, fifth grader Logan Alexanderresponds to the performer’s question by stating you should always stand up for people who are being bullied when they can’t stand on their own.  His response earned him a yo-yo.

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