Our Schools

2019-2020 District Blog

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Nearly 1,000 people every day suffer from sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart stops beating. It leads to loss of circulation and loss of consciousness with no blood flow to the brain and other vital organs.  

Several studies have shown the best chance of survival is within the first four minutes of occurrence. That’s why Mansfield ISD Health Services has partnered with Project ADAM  (Automated Defibrillators in Adam's Memory) to help save lives.

Project ADAM is a comprehensive emergency response plan for schools. It was named after a 17-year-old boy from Wisconsin who died from sudden cardiac arrest on the basketball court.

“We have medical response teams on all campuses who are trained with CPR and using an AED (automated external defibrillator) to respond to a cardiac emergency,” said health coordinator Margaret Couldron. “Mansfield ISD is a strong believer in AEDs because we’ve had two instance on our campuses in which we needed to use them. They are truly life saving.”

MISD is now a Project ADAM Heart Safe District. That means all of its schools and facilities have an established emergency plan and response team in place in case of a sudden cardiac arrest situation. 

For each school to become certified, a designated nurse had to put together a response team and place signage around the campus so that the location of the AED is clear.

The nurses also interacted with the local fire department and ambulance service and will engage in emergency drills twice a year. 

“Being a part of Project ADAM is just another way of keeping our kids safe here in Mansfield ISD,” said Couldron.

Project ADAM is a national, non-profit organization established in 1999 with the goal of saving lives through advocacy, education, preparedness and collaboration to prevent sudden cardiac death. Learn more about the initiative here.


The University Interscholastic League (UIL) allowed summer strength and conditioning to begin this week with the proper health protocols in place.

Schools across Texas are not required to participate, but those that do must adhere to the safety precautions put in place.

“We’re requiring kids to social distance, which is one of the rules that the UIL put out,” said Philip O’Neal, MISD athletics director. “We’re checking temperature. Students have to answer questions regarding their health each and every day.”

The steps being taken are very thorough, including the cleaning of facilities before each workout, no sharing of items and frequent hand-washing breaks.

Summit High School coach Channon Hall said it was an adjustment for his student-athletes.

“The students have been away from each other so long, so of course, they want to gravitate toward each other,” the head football coach explained. “They want to shake hands and cut up and all that good stuff.”

One thing Hall said he is reiterating to his team is to understand the process.

“If you want to play football, if you want to play you’re sport, we’re going to have to get this right,” he said. “Our kids are resilient. They really understand what we’re trying to do and the importance of social distancing, so at this point, they’re going, ‘Whatever we need to do to get back on the field or on the court or wherever, we’ll do it.’”

O’Neal said that the safety protocols being done now may be a precursor for athletics opening back up in the fall. It’s something he is enthusiastic about because he knows the importance of students being involved in school.

“Extracurriculars are so important, whether its athletics, fine arts or anything else,” said O’Neal. “That’s an important component of kids growing up and having the opportunity to learn those values that they learn from being a part of that.”

UIL said it will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications to summer activities. View the latest information about requirements here.


While school buildings were closed and distance learning was concluding, one Mansfield ISD librarian decided to take on a major initiative to ensure that students have the opportunity to read interactively.

Read With Me! Mansfield ISD went from a thought to a full-on event in just 22 days. It was held Tuesday, May 26 for all elementary school students.

“It was a time for student to be passionate about reading and for teachers and librarians and community members to share their love of reading with students through an interactive, engaging website,” said Emilie Buske-Ferman, librarian at the Innovative Learning Academy at Elizabeth Smith.

She helped create the website that allowed visitors to listen and read along with more than 67 guest readers.

The guest readers included several staff members, school board members, Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu and other community leaders.

The goal was to read for a total of 20,000 minutes. That goal was exceeded after the participating students logged more than 22,000 minutes read.

“Watching the students listen to these stores, interact, engaged when we’ve been craving that for the last three months was just heartwarming,” she said. ”To hear them excited about books made it a very very special day.”

Buske-Ferman said she hopes the event will help encourage the students to continue reading in the summer.

To help keep the learning going during the summer, Mansfield ISD is providing resources for learning enrichment for students and parents. More information about the resources is available here.


The Mansfield ISD Police Department has been in existence for more than 26 years, providing safety and security for the students, faculty, staff and parents of the community.

Officers and dispatchers work around the clock all year round, and that has been no different since the COVID-19 Shutdown.

However, since buildings are closed to the public, Police Chief Greg Minter said the department’s focus had to be adjusted.

“This is kind of an unprecedented time, so we kind of shifted what our duties were,” he said. “Along with our 24/7 patrol and dispatch, we assisted the schools with feeding programs, parades, deliveries, pick-up situations and things like that.”

The MISD Police Department is a fully-authorized police agency by the State of Texas. The department has more than 50 full-time sworn officers, 16 civilian personnel and 51 school crossing guards.

Chief Minter noted that what makes his officers special is the connection they have with students. 

“Most of our officers who are assigned to campuses know just about every kid, and they know them by name,” he said. “They form relationships. They bond with the students, so that’s a passion that we have. We’re thinking of the students as much as the teachers, as much as the staff, and we can’t wait for things to get back to normal.”

Following the executive order given by Gov. Greg Abbott on April 17, schools across the state were told to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Distance learning will continue. For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.


When more than 2,700 Mansfield ISD seniors woke up on Wednesday morning, they stepped outside to see yard signs of support.

Getting the signs to that many homes was no easy feat. It took the work of about 150 volunteers to finish the task in two hours.

“We had so many people want to volunteer once a little bit of the word got out,” said Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu. “We have staff members, people from the Education Foundation, and our school board is here.”

The signs were delivered on May 6 to graduates of Frontier High School, Lake Ridge High School, Legacy High School, Mansfield High School, Summit High School, Timberview High School and The Phoenix Academy.

Board President Karen Marcucci said she’s grateful for all the community support and was enthusiastic about giving the class of 2020 a visual token of love.

“We usually have so many celebrations, and many of them have been canceled or rescheduled,” said Marcucci. “It’s really exciting to be a part of this this morning, so we can really let each and every senior know how much they mean to us here in Mansfield ISD and that their story matters.”

Seniors who received the sign said it brought them a glimmer of hope after a tough end to an educational chapter.

“The latter half of your senior year is the bigger part. That’s where you’re really able to enjoy yourself and the last few moments you have there,” said Isaac Richins, senior at Legacy High School. “To have that kind of torn away—not for anyone’s fault—it kind of hurts. I’m glad to see, and I appreciate that the district is still trying to help us out and make our senior year as good as it can be.”

Superintendent Dr. Cantu noted that she is amazed at the resiliency she has seen in the MISD seniors and she was honored to be part of the communitywide effort.

“Our goal was to show them that we love, and we care, and we just feel really badly for everything that they’re going through and for what their experience is. We are just so happy and blessed to be able to do that.”

Following the executive order given by Gov. Greg Abbott on April 17, schools across the state were told to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Distance learning will continue. For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.


Her online class sounds more like a music session than a science lesson, but Legacy High School’s Arlevia Davis said the songs have become a staple in her teaching style.

“Singing is a research-based, proven method to help students remember content and information. How did you learn your ABCs? You sang your ABCs,” said Davis, who has taught science at the school for six years.

Her students know that when they learn about science, it’s only a matter of time before a song—usually to the tune of a popular hit—will follow.

“She likes to come up with songs and parodies to teach us about everything we need to know,” said freshman Kassidy Kaluf. “It’s super helpful because in class, it makes it easier to pay attention to; and on tests, it’s super easy to remember information when it’s all in a song. This helped me out a ton this year.”

Davis said she’s not naturally an outgoing person, so when she decided to teach through song many years ago, she had to come up with an alter ego who could live up to the challenge. She named her rockstar alias Sciyonce.

“I like to think of Sciyonce as cool,” Davis explained. “Sciyonce is my alter ego. Sciyonce gives me the confidence to do what I do in the classroom to help my students.”

And her efforts do not go unnoticed. Her students know that whenever they need help, she’s one tune away.

“Even though Mrs. Davis has her own personal life, she’s always there for her students anytime we need to talk. Even when it’s not school related, she’s there to help,” said freshman Autumn Hurta.

Davis said although she misses being able to see her class in person, she is happy to be able to connect with them online. 

“I’ve heard students say they really enjoy coming in and checking in and just the structure of the (online) class altogether,” she said. “We come in, have a good time, get to see each other and say, ‘hello.’”

Following the executive order given by Gov. Greg Abbott on April 17, schools across the state were told to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Distance learning will continue. For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.


During this time of distance learning, teachers at T.A. Howard Middle School have found innovative ways to keep students engaged in learning.

Through the use of social media, educators were able to participate in something that they’ve seen the students do all year—social media challenges. It was a way to meet the students where they were.

“We’ve created challenges throughout the week,” said Principal Erica Gorruso. “Our latest one, and very popular one, was our TikTok challenge. I emailed all my teachers and encouraged them to participate to maintain those positive interactions with our students.”

The challenges had the educators dancing along to or lip syncing with popular songs. Teachers who join the weekly challenges said students have been pleasantly surprised.

“I was actually kind of excited about it because some of my students this year have been teaching me [TikTok challenges] throughout the year,” said Roata Chap, eighth-grade science teacher. “I think it’s a great idea to build that community because a lot of teaching is about building those relationships with the kids.”

Apart from the challenges, band students took part in a virtual concert to stay connected. 

The school’s band director, Nathaniel Neugent, had each student send in a recording of different parts of a composition. Nuegent then compiled it in a video editor and shared it with the school band,

“The kids certainly missed playing together, and it’s one way we can make that happen and have that feeling of togetherness again,” he said.

Following the executive order given by Gov. Greg Abbott on April 17, schools across the state were told to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

Distance learning will continue. For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.


Update: Chennedy Carter was chosen as the No. 4 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. She was selected by the Atlanta Dream.

When Coach Kit Martin first saw Chennedy Carter handle the basketball on the courts of Timberview High School, she knew she was witnessing a special student-athlete.

“I feel like she was born to play this game,” said Martin, head coach of the girls basketball program. “She is a natural in every way. She has tremendous instincts. And on top of that, she has incredible athleticism and skills that she’s worked to develop that are just at another level.”

Carter crushed records at Timberview High School and helped lead the team to two state championship games. 

Later at Texas A&M University, the three-time All-American set a school record for most points scored in a game and ranks second in scoring in program history in just three seasons at the college. 

Carter decided to forego her final season of college play and declare for the WNBA.

“She’s predicted to be a lottery pick, which means she'll be one through five; and there's been a lot of excitement and conversation about where she'll go,” Martin explained.

The coach said Carter is an outstanding person on and off the court, and she is proud that the Timberview High School athletics program has been able to produce notable top athletes.

“This is a very elite level that this particular group, and Chenedy, will be a part of,” Martin continued. “We’ve had people excel at the collegiate and professional level, and I’m honored that I was able to be a part of that.”

The 2020 WNBA Draft airs on Friday, April 17 at 6 p.m. CST on ESPN. Martin said she will be watching it and getting ready to congratulate Carter for being drafted into the league.


Although Mansfield ISD teachers cannot be physically in the classroom during this coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown, they are still finding creative ways to teach and stay connected with students.

Mary Costa, P.E. teacher at Martha Reid Leadership Academy, did fitness challenges with her kids every week in class. When distance learning began, she wanted to find a way to keep that tradition going.

"Once we started this extended break, I was trying to find a way to still incorporate those challenges with the kids, so I made my first Facebook video," Costa explained.

She said she received such a great response from her video that she created her own P.E. YouTube channel.

"By making these videos, I was able to reach the kids and still make those strong connections and become their greatest cheerleader and their biggest fan," said Costa.

The coach noted that although her classes may look different now, her goal is still the same.

"Exercise should be fun, and if I can help it to be fun, I love it!"

At Erma Nash Elementary School, pre-kindergarten teacher Marisela Aramino wants to keep the love of learning going for those young minds. 

She is finding unique ways to spark conversation, expand vocabulary and get them ready for kindergarten.

"Their minds are little sponges. They're muscles that we began growing and expanding, and we want to keep that going," said Aramino.

Literacy and numeracy are a big part of the day-to-day lessons. Aramino said she is also using this time to teach her kids positivity despite the circumstances.

"I create weekly check-in videos, where I ask my students to tell me what they're happy and grateful for, and I share what I'm happy and grateful for."

The pre-K teacher said the students are at the beginning of their academic career, and she is continuing to build upon that knowledge through different home activities that can be done with or without the internet.

For the health and well-being of the Mansfield ISD community as measures continue to be taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), MISD schools, offices and facilities will remain closed.

The district will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with health officials and local authorities to determine a safe date to reopen.

For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.


Mansfield ISD teachers and students had no clue that the days before Spring Break would be the last time they would see each other for a while.

Schools never reopened because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In fact, Texas Governor Greg Abbott closed schools through April 3, which later extended to a closure through at least May 1.

MISD launched its distance learning on March 23 to keep the learning process going, but teachers wanted to do something special to show families how much they are missed.

Before the shelter in place order that is now in effect in several counties, various Mansfield ISD schools hosted teacher parades.

“It was like teacher appreciation week and student appreciation week all in one,” said Jenny Roberson, principal of Judy K. Miller Elementary School.

Teachers caravanned through neighborhoods honking their cars, holding signs and waving to families. The kids waved back frantically as they saw all the familiar faces.

"They were jumping up and down, they were cheering like they saw celebrities coming down the road," explained Willie Wimbrey, principal of Annette Perry Elementary School. "Teachers and staff needed this just as much as the parents and students needed it."

The staff members kept social distancing in mind and did not share a ride. Students and parents were asked to not come close to the parade, and each student had to be accompanied by an adult near the front of their home.

Despite what is going on in the world, Lea Boiles, principal of Elizabeth Smith Elementary School said the teacher parades gave the community hope.

"It really helped us to face this with a smile in our hearts and on our faces and know that we really do love each other," said Boiles. "We were able to share that love with the community around us."

For the health and well-being of the Mansfield ISD community as measures continue to be taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), MISD schools, offices and facilities will remain closed.

The district will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with health officials and local authorities to determine a safe date to reopen.

For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.