Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Innovation Showcase is Sensational Success for PTISD

Article by Reese Gordon rgordon@news-journal.com
View entire article at Longview News Journal website

Pine Tree High School students Kennedy Sampson, Cole Collins and Daylee Hood were busy frosting cupcakes blue and yellow Tuesday night. Enrolled in a culinary arts class at Pine Tree High School, the three were among many student groups to show off their skills for the district’s first Innovation Showcase night. “We are in the kitchen almost every day,” Sampson said. “We do a lot of baking, and we learn kitchen safety and how to manage the kitchen.”

Sampson said the Innovation Showcase shows the district cares about the students. Hood said it gives younger students in the district a preview of their future as high school students.

Daya Hill, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Pine Tree ISD, said the entire district bought into the concept.

“It was an idea when I was hired in July,” she said. “This takes the place of our curriculum night in the spring semester. The first week back from Christmas, we paneled people, and everybody said they would do it. Everyone just started talking about the fabulous things that could be done, and this is what it turned into.”

Amy Brown teaches Art 2 and a photography class at Pine Tree High School.  She said the Innovation Showcase night “shows people what the kids are learning.”  “I was excited because this is the perfect place to let parents see a project we have been working on.”  

That project, Brown said, is one where third-grade students were asked to create a monster in their minds, draw it and write about it.  “Those drawings are then sent to the high school, and my students use them to make models from modeling clay,” she said. “They are then packaged by our our digital media students. We plan to have them animated, and the third-grade students will get to narrate what they wrote.”

Tonika Jackson’s daughter, Tiana, is a seventh-grader at Pine Tree Junior High. 

Jackson said the student art projects impressed her.  “Great to see art still in school,” she said. 

“It’s really cool and lets you know what they’re doing in class. They’re working and having fun as well.”

While visiting different sections of the school Tuesday night, Jackson said she came across second-graders playing flutes to recorded music.  “They were keeping up with the sound and the beat,” Jackson said . “I think they will be experts by the time they get to high school.”

Laynee Orms, senior art enthusiast at Pine Tree High School, said students have a growing opportunity to showcase their talents.  “I wish we could have done something like this to further our time in art,” she said. “ It is fun to see all the kids getting to express their thoughts and abilities. The community gets to see the talent of our students, and the parents get to ask questions of the students and get to know the students and teachers. I think it’s an overall great thing for the community.”

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