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Posts published in “Day: December 18, 2012

Election date set for Senate District 6. Governor schedules Jan. 26, 2013 to replace Gallegos

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry set Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, as the special election date to fill the Texas State Senate District 6 seat formerly held by the late Sen. Mario Gallegos.

Candidates for this special election must file applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2012. The early voting period runs from Wednesday, January 9 to Tuesday, January 22.

The winner will serve a four year term beginning in 2013. Gallegos died of liver disease on October 16, 2012 at the age of 62. This was too late to remove his name from the ballot, and he received the most votes for the position.

Declared candidates for the seat include former county commissioner Sylvia Garcia, state representative Carol Alvarado, and previous Republican candidate R. W. Bray. Also a possible fourth candidate is League City resident Rodolfo Reyes.

The legislature will meet in Austin for a six month session, starting on January 8th. Many serious issues must be resolved and voted on, including education budgets, transportation planning and funding, economic opportunities, and healthcare plans.

The two democratic candidates have already started their campaigns to the public, with statements about their positions on key issues.

Garcia has issued several papers criticizing the Governor for not deciding on an election date. Even now that the date is set, she said the decision is “bittersweet.” “Governor Perry’s delay in his decision means our communities will have no voice in Austin for nearly 10 percent of the 2013 session.” “Make no mistake, this session will begin with an empty seat for Senate District 6 at a time when we will see battles over our children’s education, expanding Medicaid to bring quality healthcare to our families, and fighting for good jobs in the Houston area.” She went on to say it was important to elect a senator with the courage and integrity to stand up to Rick Perry.

Alvarado, who was endorsed by Gallegos and his family, said she was pleased that Perry had set the date, calling it “prompt.”

“In just a few weeks, the Texas Legislature will convene with serious issues facing our state – restoring funding to our public schools, creating good jobs and economic opportunity, making college affordable and protecting our senior citizens,” she said.

“The people of Senate District 6 need and deserve representation on these and all issues, and a January 26th election will give them a senator sooner rather than later.”


Aldine teachers receive awards, recognition

By Mike Keeney,

Contributing writer

The Aldine Education Foundation (AEF) “Surprize Grant Patrol” made their presence felt loud and clear when they arrived at five Aldine ISD schools on Friday, Dec. 7 to award AEF’s first-ever teacher’s grants.
Using tambourines and noisemakers, the “Surprize Grant Patrol” descended on Eisenhower High School, MacArthur Ninth Grade School, Thompson Elementary School, Wilson Intermediate School and Shotwell Middle School to deliver grants totaling $6,555.
The first stop was at MacArthur Ninth Grade School where physical education teachers Cathy Roach, Ermid Benitez and Jeremy Broadway received a $2,952 AEF grant to fund their “Biggest Loser” competition. The “Biggest Loser” competition will serve as the monitoring tool where MacArthur Ninth students will see visible changes and manage their fitness goals.
Next it was on to Thompson Elementary School where teachers Teana Cardin, Nabil Mahboubi and Kelly Sadler received a $603 grant to create an outdoor classroom that will include a human sundial, an interactive clock and a weather station to incorporate math and science TEKS in a hands-on environment.
The AEF noisemakers then headed to Wilson Intermediate School where they delivered a $1,000 grant to teacher Clarissa Taylor. The grant will provide funding for Taylor’s program to increase student literacy and achievement in reading through the implementation of e-readers in small-group workstations within her ELA classroom.

The next stop was Shotwell Middle School where music teacher Michelle Womack received a $1,000 grant that will help her to form the first madrigal singing group in Aldine ISD. While at Shotwell, Womack’s choir students performed for AEF members.
The final stop of the day was at Eisenhower High School where teacher Michaelann Kelley received a $1,000 grant to fund her program of giving her art students their own artistic voices by taking them on field trips to museums, and art galleries during the spring semester.
The teachers who received the grants had to submit proposals to AEF’s Program Committee, which is chaired by former Aldine ISD Superintendent Nadine Kujawa. Other members of the committee are Rose Avalos, Sidney Brewer, Richard Cantu, Jeff Hartman and Jocklynn Keville.
Mrs. Kujawa said it was exciting for the AEF to finally provide grants to Aldine teachers so they can continue to provide innovative program for their respective students.
“This was such an exciting day,” Mrs. Kujawa said. “We have been talking about forming an education foundation in Aldine for quite awhile and it’s so gratifying to finally see all of that hard work turn into a reality. It was such a joy to see the excitement and surprise in the faces of the teachers we provided grants to today. I think our group (AEF members) also enjoyed themselves.”
Joining Mrs. Kujawa on the “Surprize Grant Patrol” were AEF Board Members Dr. Wanda Bamberg, Patti Acosta, Shane Clouteaux, Rose Avalos, and John Cornett. Aldine ISD Trustees who also took part in the grant presentations were Dr. Alton Smith and Marine Jones. Accompanying the “Surprize Grant Patrol” on behalf of the district were Ben Wilson, Dr. Linda Rodriguez, Todd Davis, and Stacey Smith.
For more information on the AEF, or to make a donation, call (281) 985-6078 or visit