DISD salutes excellence with awards, celebrations

Teachers and staff at Houston Elementary rolled out the red carpet for students on “Rock Your School” day, which featured a grand welcome to campus followed by a day of special treats, activities and celebrations.

When it comes to finding positive and engaging pathways to success, no one does it better than Denison ISD’s award-winning teachers and students – even during a pandemic.

Before the start of the 2020-2021 school year, DISD’s teachers and curriculum coordinators brainstormed about ways they could keep students engaged, encouraged, well-adjusted and successfully learning while also keeping them socially distanced, masked and safe. Not an easy task with significant populations of both in-class and at-home learners, but in true Yellow Jacket tradition, everyone stepped up and met the year’s special challenges -- with plenty of time left to celebrate.

Hyde Park students participated in a fun and interactive “Write the Room” English Language Arts project during Glow Day activities that featured learning in darkened classrooms illuminated by glow lights.

“We knew we all had to lean on each other, collaborate and work hard to keep all our students engaged and learning on schedule,” said DISD Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott. “All students, regardless of whether they learned at home via Zoom or in classrooms, had to adhere to strict attendance rules, attend virtual or in-person classes as well as tutoring and remedial sessions when indicated, stay current with in-class and homework assignments, and take and pass exams on schedule. We also had to regularly monitor the health conditions of students and staff, enforce quarantine rules, submit reports and adhere to ever-changing health guidelines. It was a monumental task for our people to keep up with everything while also ensuring successful learning – but they got the job done, always with positive attitudes. As we near the end of our most challenging school year ever, I am so proud of all our staff members…who also found the time and energy to celebrate and honor our students’ many successes and achievements.”

Denison High School cheerleaders and athletes welcomed DISD elementary students to school on Fridays, part of a program designed to instill self-esteem in young students while motivating and inspiring them to do and be their best. Pictured are DHS cheerleaders who welcomed students coming through the door, then posed for photo ops in the foyer.

On campuses across the district, the awards ceremonies and celebrations have been non-stop. All elementary campuses hosted celebrations at the end of each nine weeks, presenting grade-level awards to top students in math, reading, science, English Language Arts and other subjects as well as citizenship, hardest worker, best helper and other positive behavior awards. DHS athletes and cheerleaders teamed up and masked up to welcome elementary students to school on Fridays, inspiring, motivating and encouraging them to do and be the best people possible.

Other special events and activities have included Book Character Days, Carnival Week at Mayes, Camp Goddard for DISD 5th graders, an upcoming Elementary Play Day, Career Day, “Say No To Drug” campaigns that included Camo day, Favorite Sports Team day, Favorite Hero day, Spirit day and many others, including Houston Elementary’s “Rock Your School Day” when staff members rolled out the red carpet from curbside to the front door, then lined the sidewalk to welcome kids to school with elbow bumps and big smiles – followed by a day filled with special treats, great music, surprise activities and tickets to VIP events.

A group of proud Terrell Texans showed off their recognition bracelets and coveted Lone Star Awards for excelling in such subjects as Reading, Math, Science, Hard Worker, and Classroom Citizenship. “As we near the end of our most challenging school year ever, I am so proud of all our staff members…who also found the time and energy to celebrate and honor our students’ many successes and achievements,” said DISD Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott.

“It was very important to all of us that we include our virtual learners in our Bulldog Bash celebrations at the end of each nine weeks,” said Houston Principal Kyle Uber. “We provided a Zoom link so our home-bound students and families could join us. It’s been a busy and very challenging year, but in many ways, very rewarding. We’ve had to lean on each other, and that’s brought us all closer together… and more grateful for our schools, our community and each other.”

Numerous awards ceremonies still lie ahead, including Carnival Day at Mayes, DISD Elementary Play Day on May 17th, Awards Celebrations at B. McDaniel Intermediate School and Scott Middle School, Denison High School’s much-anticipated Awards Day, a Scholars Among Us dessert reception, Pathways graduation on May 21st, and DHS graduation at Munson Stadium on May 22nd – all in compliance with current health guidelines.

Scott Middle School’s “Spirit Day” was part of the school’s annual Red Ribbon Week which is devoted to anti-drug awareness and prevention. Other special days included Camo Day, Tie Dye Day, Twin Day and Career Day.