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Posts published in “Day: November 6, 2007

Aldine ISD dedicates new school

Family members, friends and colleagues gathered to share in the joy of Leonard and Glenda Marcella during the official dedication ceremony of Aldine ISD’s newest intermediate school that bares their name.
Leonard and Glenda Marcella Intermediate School opened its doors in August becoming the district’s 10th intermediate school serving fifth- and sixth-grade students.
The Marcellas devoted 37 years of service to the students, staff and Aldine community as Leonard served on the Aldine ISD Board of Education for 10 years and Glenda devoted 20 of her 27 years in public education supporting educators by using her talents as a technology specialist.
Both of them thanked the current Board of Education for naming a school in their honor.

“We want to thank the board for bestowing this honor on us,” Leonard said during his remarks.
The Marcellas also challenged the school’s staff and community to make Marcella Intermediate a shining star in the field of education.
“I challenge you (the Marcella staff) to make this school one of the best in the state,” Leonard said. ‘It was our honor and pleasure to serve you and this community.”
Like her husband, Glenda said she was humbled to have a school named in their honor.
“We can think of no better legacy to leave our children and grandchildren than to have a school named after us. This school will be here long after we are gone. I hope all of you can find ways to give back to your community,” she said.
The dedication ceremony began with introductions by Ben Wilson, assistant superintendent of community and governmental relations. Marcella students Tieka Baldwin and Joey Johnston led the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the pledge to the Texas flag, which was followed by the reciting of the school creed by student Malik Johnson. Marcella assistant principal James Allison delivered the invocation, which was followed by principal Kathy Sandoval who delivered the occasion address.
Band director Carrie Hitt and the Marcella Percussion Ensemble then performed, which was followed by the dedication address delivered by Sandoval.
Board President Marine Jones then officially dedicated the school on behalf of the district, which was followed by the acceptance of the school by student Joey Johnston, teacher Wanda Roberson, parent Maria Castaneda and business partner Kerri Stessel of Firestone Tires.
Following the Marcella’s address, students Daniella Carrizallez and Morganne O’Hemeng unveiled the portrait of the Marcellas that will hang in the school.
The Marcella Faculty Choir then performed “Wind Beneath My Wings” before Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg delivered the closing remarks.

Marvin’s Angels help an Angel at Orange Grove Elem.

NORTHEAST HOUSTON– Angel Martinez is a brave and happy young boy, a student at Orange Grove Elementary on E. Mt. Houston in the Aldine ISD.
But Angel has had a serious health problem since he was one year old, bone cancer. He lost an arm to the disease when he was only three.
Yet he faces life with a smile and bravery that lifts all around him: his family, classmates, teacher Norma Leza, and principal Betty Morrow.
And Angel had a dream, to see some snow and to take a trip to Disney World. His wishes were made known to Channel 13’s Marvin’s Angels, and Lori Reingold and Melanie Lawson from the station came to talk with Angel, and film his story, which was presented on Channel 13’s news. They enlisted the help of some of their “Angels”, including the McIngvale family from Gallery Furniture, and Paul Carpenter of Ice Express.
So last month, the school had 2 inches of snow, made by Carpenter with 5000 pounds of ice and a snow machine. Linda and Laura McIngvale were also on hand for the event, and Angel’s classmates and he got to make “snow angels” by lying in the snow and waving their limbs.
Then a limousine took Angel and his family, including a favorite aunt that flew in from Chicago, to the airport and a fantasy week at Disney World Florida.

A visit from a red-tailed hawk

Several days ago my six-year-old Old English Sheep Dog, Maggie, and I were out playing and walking in the yard. She saw her friends, Bonnie and Bear, coming our way and suddenly I was alone. I headed for the top of the riverbank and spotted what I thought was a brown plastic bag blowing around near the bank.
I headed in that direction to pick it up when it suddenly spread its wings slightly and moved. I’m smart enough to know plastic bags don’t have wings. It was a bird and a rather large one standing some 15” to 18” high. Also rather stoutly built. We introduced ourselves and Henry, or Henrietta I forget which, informed me it was here for a short visit.
This was certainly not our usual backyard visitor along with the wrens, robins, sparrows, doves, cardinals, etc. I decided, if this bird was going to stay Linda was going to have to set out a larger, much larger, bird feeder!

I approached the bird and at about 20 ft. it moved and fluttered atop of some empty barrels my neighbor had stored there for a boat dock. I kept walking in its direction and it made no effort to fly away or tell me to stay away. At one point it jumped two or three barrels in my direction. We were about 8 ft. apart. I’m not up on my bird types but I knew from its curved beak and talons it had to be a hawk or eagle. My guess was hawk.
As I talked to Henry he moved around the edge of the yard and I decided to retreat to the house and my camera. When I returned, with Linda, Henry seemed to be gone. After some visual searching we spotted him sitting atop the fence that encloses our side yard. I took some photos as Henry posed on the fence not six feet from me. Out of respect for the talons I decided not to go any closer even though the bird made no attempt to move away or fly.
I decided it had to be either sick or had a wounded wing. We went into town, got the photos developed, and stopped by for a cup of coffee While there two or three men informed me it was a Red-tailed hawk which is not that unusual here, particularly in the spring and fall, while in transit. It was a new visitor to our property.
Coming back home I searched my book on birds, published by the Brooks Bird Club a few years ago. There, I found it is an “Uncommon summer resident and winter visitant. Numbers of migrants are seen in the spring in March and in the fall in November….In recent decades it has become more numerous during the breeding season.” Now that I think back I guess that is one of the large hawks I have seen flying over the river a few times.
I was also informed it was not a good visitor as it is capable of killing, and eating, cats and small dogs, as well as squirrels, ground squirrels, etc. At 45 pounds I wasn’t concerned about Maggie and her two neighborhood friends are taller and about the same weight.
The next morning we found Henry about twenty feet off the ground in a white-pine tree further down the riverbank. The last couple of days we have seen nothing of our unusual visitor. Guess Linda won’t need a super-sized bird feeder after all. It was a beautiful bird of prey but I guess I’m glad Henry moved on!
Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!
Don Springer is a writer for the Charleston, West Virginia newspapers, but he and his wife often visit in Crosby & Houston. He can be reached at touchlife@