Terrell Texans are all about gratitude, attitude

DISD
Terrell teacher Jessica Jakovac works one-on-one with Terrell students to sharpen math and reading comprehension skills.

Throughout Denison’s Terrell Elementary school, the messages of gratitude and attitude are everywhere: we are thankful…you are valuable…our children, our school, our community. All are bi-products of the unique culture of kindness, inclusion, accountability and togetherness created by Principal Amy Neidert and her dedicated staff of teachers and paraprofessionals.

“Throughout this school year in particular, we have worked extra-hard to emphasize the positives,” said Neidert. “When we stop and think, which is how we start our days at Terrell, we really do have so much to be thankful for: our families, our health, the beauty of nature, our wonderful community of caring people who give and do so much for us. We constantly remind each other of how blessed we truly are.

Terrell first graders gather in reading nooks and crannies, located throughout their classroom, to enjoy good books while also developing positive social relationships with peers. “Our goal is to give them the tools, confidence and knowledge they need to become life-long learners who are also good human beings,” said Terrell Principal Amy Neidert.

“And when we tell our students that they are valuable and capable, we emphasize that they must never let anyone make them believe differently. Each one of them has strengths and talents that, individually and collectively, make our school, our community and our world a better place. We want our Terrell Texans to grow up knowing that they are strong, capable, smart and valued…and that believing in themselves is one of the most important things they can do.”

Nowhere are these qualities more evident than in Terrell’s classrooms where teachers and students work individually and in groups to support each other and ensure academic and personal success. Teachers constantly move throughout their classrooms, stopping to answer questions, offer assistance, and encourage students to think critically in order to solve complex problems.

Terrell students work daily on classroom reading and math assignments that help them develop strong reasoning and critical thinking skills. The goal: to prepare all Terrell students for success throughout their lives.

“The success they achieve here and the lessons they learn, both academically and in their personal lives, will help sustain them as they move forward and meet new and difficult challenges,” said Neidert. “Our goal is to give them the tools, confidence and knowledge they need to become life-long learners who are also good human beings.”

Terrell first graders in Jodie Maresh’s classroom complete vocabulary worksheets in front of a classroom sign that builds confidence and self-esteem with the words, “YOU ARE CAPABLE”. “We want our Terrell Texans to grow up knowing that they are strong, capable, smart and valued…and that believing in themselves is one of the most important things they can do,” said Principal Amy Neidert.
Terrell teacher Ginny Thornton works daily with her second graders to make sure they are mastering the basic math and reading skills they’ll need to succeed at upper grade levels.