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Upcoming A-F Grade From the State

Dear Mineola ISD Families and Community Members,

On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will  release an A–F rating for districts based on data from the 2017-18 school year  mixed with different high school student data from the two years prior. This law, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015, is better known as the A-F Accountability System.

While Mineola ISD believes that schools and districts should be held accountable for providing the highest quality education for students, we encourage parents and community members to use caution when trying to interpret these A–F ratings for the following two reasons:

1.  This “simple” single letter grade is based upon a complicated system of calculations and not easily interpreted or transparent.  The accountability manual has over 50 pages of explanation and calculations that are extremely complicated thus making it difficult to explain why one school is an A and another is ranked as an F.  

2. This grade does nothing to improve our performance nor showcase the growth towards our goals and local objectives, which include more than STAAR scores.  A forced ranking is used as required by law that (5%) that must be identified as failing. Therefore, this A-F grade only serves to compare districts and schools against the state with very different demographics using a one-size fits all system based upon STAAR scores with a specific number required to fail.

While the data from these state reports provides us with information on how to improve related to the state testing, we refuse to let an accountability system based upon one measure define our identity in Mineola ISD.  We do not embrace or recognize a rating or ranking of our schools based on this narrow indicator of a single day performance of our students. This does not measure the quality of our educational program for our students provided by our dedicated staff.

Mineola ISD will continue to use multiple measures to determine the success of our students. Consider this system in relationship, for example, to airline pilots who don’t use a single gauge to fly; they use a multitude of assessments to make accurate decisions to ensure the safety of their passengers. In the same way, a single letter grade for Mineola ISD does not accurately assess the wide variety of factors that are unique to our district and schools beyond the one day a year high-stakes STAAR assessment.

Our focus in Mineola ISD  is to provide a high quality education that far exceeds the limited parameters of this state accountability design. Our schools are so much more than one test, and OUR STUDENTS are SO MUCH MORE than ONE SCORE!   Our goal and mission is to personalize learning for each child and remain responsive to their needs in order for their continuous growth. We also know that when we focus on our students, personalize their learning and not focus on state assessments, the scores will speak for themselves as evident by recent gains this year. We appreciate the opportunity to share in the education of your child and look forward to the continued work to ensure the success of your child in life.  


Kim Tunnell


Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! We are continuing on our quest to be a Destination District in
East Texas with Pride Through Excellence in all we do! Our goal is to create a personalize learning
experience for each and every child in a safe, secure and innovative environment focused on their
academic, social, and emotional growth.

Our theme this year is Mineola – Team One. We are proud of our students and our community and
plan to celebrate the great things happening in our academics and extra-curricular activities. We also
plan to deepen our partnerships with our families and community to enhance our student experiences
and develop their leadership capacity.

New this year will be the presence of a school district police officer to help ensure the safety of our
students and staff. We will also be launching a Student Advisory Council that will help in our
development of a leadership plan as well as planning for the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) of our
students. Both of these initiatives are a result of the Strategic Plan created by the community
committee in 2016.

We also want to expand our Literacy Partner program and welcome our returning and any new
volunteers to come read with our K-3 students. Please contact us at 903-569-2448 if you’d like more

Remember, we have staggered our start and ending times for the campuses to better facilitate pick up
congestion. Our Primary and Elementary Campus Days will be the same as last year - 7:50 a.m. – 3:30
p.m. Our Middle School and High School will be on an 8:00 a.m. – 3:40 p.m. schedule. Our Middle
School and High School share staff so they must be on the same schedule

Thank you for your partnership with us and we look forward to a making this a successful year in
Mineola ISD.

Lessons Learned

Reflection and revision is part of the learning process and eventually leads to success. The Mineola ISD Board of Trustees have maintained their charge to provide for the safety and security of our students in a quality instructional environment that supports every child’s academic success.  


In reflection of the May bond election, we learned many things and have used that feedback to formulate a revised bond proposal set for November 7, 2017.  Input we received from those who responded to the survey as well as conversations within the community included concern over a complicated package with the multiple phases, a lack of clear communication and the financial impact on the community. For many, the message was too complicated and confusing and too expensive. The information about the phases, what the bond amount covered, and how the remaining phases would be covered in the long range plan was not clearly communicated.  We heard that the amount was too high and that the facility “needs” were mixed with “wants” as well and that asking for the maximum amount in tax increases was too much of a burden.  


During this analysis, we also learned that we have a community that supports Mineola ISD and there is an acknowledgement that our school facilities need improvement.  We heard that there is support for a bond proposal that addresses the “needs” and is affordable for the taxpayers.  


The Board of Trustees discussed, met with financial advisors, architects, and through multiple meetings, discussions, consultation and analysis from the May bond election used the feedback to establish three priorities for a new proposal:

  • Reduce the bond amount

  • Reduce the scope of the package to the necessary components

  • Create one package including all construction and remodels


The result is a combined plan that will address all aspects of the facility plan while revising the scope and reducing the amount of the bond package. At the pubic special called meeting on August 15th, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously for a called bond election for November 7, 2017 in order to address the facility needs that will benefit and impact every student PK - 12 in Mineola ISD.  This one bond package includes the renovation of 2 campuses and the construction of a new high school as well as the site development to connect all campuses.  


Knowing that the elementary school is in the worst condition and disconnected from PK-2, moving grades 3-5 to the primary campus is a priority.  In order to create a PK-5 elementary campus, the middle school would need to be relocated.  The high school, while not adequate in providing for the variety of programs needed, does provide the additional size for the 3 middle school grades without using the majority of the buildings with uncontrolled access .  The 4 grades of the high school along with the expansion of the vocational career and technology programs such as health science, auto technician, welding, and construction require specialized classrooms and labs.  In addition, the auditorium, as part of the new high school, would serve as the district auditorium to be used by every campuses to benefit all students.  


This process began 18 months ago with the work by over 82 community members and staff to address the needs on every campus with the most cost effective plan.  Their recommendations were also built from prior recommendations in 2007 and 2014 from independent facilities audits.  The essence of these recommendations to address the safety and security of our students in a quality learning environment still remain, but the method and approach have been revised based upon the community’s feedback.  


More information will be shared at community meetings, on our website and through the media in the coming weeks.  Please contact the district or any board member at 903-569-2448 for questions or further information regarding the components.

Welcome to 2017

Happy New Year from Mineola ISD!  We are so excited about what 2017 holds for our students and our community.  We have many things to be grateful for and had many accomplishments in 2016, most recently with the first State Championship Title in the history of the district!


As we begin the new year, I want to extend a heartfelt appreciation for the partnerships with our parents and our community members.  The outpouring of support is evident in our quality programs and the success of our students, academically and in extra-curricular activities.


Public education at the local level is part of the foundation of our democracy in the United States.  Unlike many countries, we provide free and appropriate education for EVERY child that comes to us regardless of socio-economic status or family background.  Public school is the place where we learn about each other and our differences and come together to learn what it means to be an American citizen.  We instill the long held values of our country and our local communities. 


There seems to be a continuous attack on public education and political efforts, led by those who would profit from the school business,  to privatize our educational system.  While I believe in competition and accountability, many of the new laws, such as HB 2804, better known as the A-F grading system set out to take accountability to a very different level.  While the data from these state reports provide us with information on how to improve related to the state testing, I refuse to let an accountability system based upon one measure define our identity in Mineola ISD.  This A-F State Accountability System has been designed to reflect the quality of a school based on one state test. We do not embrace or recognize a rating or ranking of our schools based on this narrow of an indicator or a single day performance of our students. Our focus In Mineola ISD  is to provide a quality 21st century education that far exceeds the limited parameters of this state accountability design. Our schools are so much more than one test, and OUR STUDENTS are SO MUCH MORE than ONE SCORE!


With a commitment to excellence, Mineola Independent School District will partner with family and community, to provide outstanding instruction, technology and facilities that will produce lifelong learners and leaders equipped to be independent, successful citizens in our ever changing world. I look forward to working together with staff, families, and the community this year in order to fulfill our mission. 


Kim Tunnell

Status of Public Education and Mineola ISD

Status of Public Education and Mineola ISD

With all the recent noise, news and legislative actions in Austin and Washington D.C., it is easy to draw the conclusion that public education is under attack.  The continued increase in unfunded mandates and loss of local control from federal and state agencies makes the priority to provide quality education for EVERY student that comes to our door in a safe environment more difficult.

There are many current issues facing in public education.  In my opinion, the two most critical are the teacher shortage and the overall funding of public schools.

  1. A shortage of teachers entering the field and the difficulty of smaller districts to compete to attract and retain teachers is a critical need.  Low wages are not the only factor. Loss of benefits, attacks on retirement and the high stakes testing environment are also related to why students are not willing to enter this field.  A recent legislative proposal of a required $1000 increase in teacher pay does no more than take away local control as we are left to determine which programs to eliminate to meet the unfunded budget item.  Teachers are state employees and yet their benefits are dramatically less than other state employees.

  2. Funding public schools has been a past priority and a cornerstone of our democracy in the preparation of children for their important role as a US citizen.  In the State of Texas, over 5 million (and growing) students are educated in public schools making us one of the largest states to fund education. Understandably, this is a major portion of our state budget.  Texas ranks 36 out of 50 states in per pupil spending in education (May 2017) with $2,555 less than average per student (May 2017)  the current push for vouchers to privatize and take money from public education will lessen the amounts provided.

I am passionate about public education and know that our mission and ministry changes the lives of our students and future generations.  Education is the great equalizer of opportunity for a choice in life and without it our democracy and quality of life is at stake in Mineola and Texas.  Our commitment to provide a quality education begins with having the best teachers in the classroom with dedicated support for their continual success.  Their worth is not measured only by a high-stakes test score. While we have seen gains in recent years, we know we have continuous work to accomplish in partnership with parents.

Please continue to support teachers and their incredible opportunity to impact the future world one child at a time.  We have plans this year to further engage with our families and community. We welcome your involvement in the process.  We look forward to working in unison towards the goal of becoming a “Destination District” providing a quality education in a safe environment for every child.

Fall is Here!

The cooler weather is upon us as we settle into the 2016-2017 school year.  Each of our campuses are implementing changes as we continue to move forward as a District of Innovation to improve the quality of education for every child.  Our first and most important objective from our strategic plan is “We will ensure all students have a safe environment” in which to learn and grow.  Our students deserve to come to school each day and learn in an environment where they feel safe physically and emotionally and are free from harm.   As part of this important objective, we will be spending the month reviewing safety procedures and working with our students in creating a climate and culture that embodies our core values of Respect and Empathy in a bully-free environment. 


The week of October 16-22, 2016 has been set aside as Safe Schools Week.  We have safety drills planned along with bus evacuation practice to enable our staff and students to rehearse proper behavior in the event of an emergency.  Our school board will be reviewing our Emergency Management Plan and we will also be working with parents and local first responders on our new Standard Response Protocol (SRP).  The procedures came from research asa result of the school hostage and shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Colorado through foundation.  These simple, color coded responses involve four main actions that aretaughtto our students and communicated with our parents and local first responders:


As our Governor, Greg Abbott, stated in his proclamation, “It is critical for schools and communities to work together to not only provide a rigorous, well-rounded education, but also to ensure that our children are safe from harm and able to thrive in their academic environment.”


Schools face the challenges reflected in our society from crime, violence, substance abuse, bullying, and vandalism and these behaviors can impact the educational environment by distracting adults and students away from our prime objective of academic achievement and development of the whole child.  We are committed to working in partnership with our families and our community to create that safe learning environment.  

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!  We are ready to begin a new year as we continue to move forward as a Destination District in East Texas.  Our theme in Mineola ISD this year is “Operation:  Innovation” as we seek to personalize learning for every child through innovative methods. 

Many exciting things have happened over the summer on our campuses in conjunction with the Strategic Plan adopted by the School Board in March of 2015.


  • Hiring a music teacher to ensure that every student from K-12 has a quality Fine Arts experience in music. (Strategy #2 and #3)
  • Transitioning to the Skyward Student Information System.  Parents/Guardians are now able to complete the registration process online without filling out multiple forms for each child and have family access to their student’s progress. (Strategy #4)
  • Setting the school day to begin at 7:50 a.m. on every campus.  This will allow for us to maximize the number of minutes within each school day for instruction. (Strategy #1)
  • Implementing the Standard Response Protocol across the district for emergency management to keep our students and staff safe. (Strategy #1)
  • Creating a Middle School campus “Makerspace” area for students to design individual and group projects, learn coding and programming, and create their own products. (Strategy #2 and #5)
  • Creating a Student Center and Commons area along with collaborative spaces on our High School campus. (Strategy #2 and #5)
  • Installing a new basketball court and drinking fountain on the Elementary playground for our students thanks to the partnerships with the PTO and parents! (Strategy #5)                                                                  

Strategy 1:  We will ensure all students have a safe environment.

Strategy 2:  We will ensure a culture of innovation among staff and students.

Strategy 3:  We will ensure a supportive system that develops exceptional staff.

Strategy 4:  We will ensure open communication with the community that is timely and relevant.

Strategy 5:  We will ensure that our facilities support a learner-centered environment.

We are blessed to have a wonderful staff and a supportive community as we prepare for this year.  Our goal is to meet the unique learning needs of our students and prepare them for success in life!  Make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter @Mineola ISD #MISDinnovate.  

Moving forward in Mineola ISD!
Great excitement was evident at the board meeting on April 18, 2016 as the Board of Trustees adopted the 2016 Strategic Plan.  Between the community involvement in the What We Value survey and the participation of 82 community and staff members along with students, Mineola ISD has the course set to meet the needs of our students and prepare them for success in life beyond graduation.  As you can tell for our plan, the education of our students is a community effort. 

Our Vision:  Mineola ISD:  Committed to Your Children, Their Future, Our Legacy


Our Mission:  Mineola Independent School District, in partnership with the community, is dedicated to developing lifelong learners and leaders prepared to contribute to a diverse and dynamic world.


Our Values:  Respect, Empathy, Resilience, Integrity, Ambition


Our Objectives: 

·         All students will benefit by attracting and retaining excellent staff.

·         All students will have the opportunity to develop their individual interests and abilities in a safe and innovative environment.

·         All students will grow through strong community partnerships.


Our Strategies:

1.      We will ensure all students have a safe environment.

2.      We will ensure a culture of innovation among staff and students.

3.      We will ensure a supportive system that develops exceptional staff.

4.      We will ensure open communication with the community that is timely and relevant.

5.      We will ensure that our facilities support a learner-centered environment.


This strategic plan is part of our District of Innovation process as we re-image and design a learning environment to meet each students needs as well as the needs of our community and workforce.  The diverse committee of 30 members will continue to work together to further develop our plan.  We are so grateful for the hard work and collaboration of the individuals helping in this process.  Look for more information in the coming months with the plans as Mineola becomes the “Destination District” in East Texas!  

Welcome 2016-The Benefits of 21st Century

2016 brings a great opportunity for us to make a difference in the lives of our children, our families as well as in Mineola, our surrounding communities, and throughout the world.  While there is so much negativity and anxiety within society, we know through the course of history that individuals who are empowered have a positive impact on those they encounter in life.

Employers share that the need for collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, and communication are needed in the workplace for the 21st century. These skills are critical for success and a necessity in our classrooms.  Public schools also provide the mosaic of humanity and is extremely valuable in preparing our children for life in the real world. The high quality academic learning we supply, along with the opportunity to work together with others through innovation make public education a tremendous asset in communities across the nation..

Nelson Mandella stated that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”   Mineola ISD understands that our legacy is built upon the future educational options we create for every child.  Our school board members, administrators and staff are prepared for the challenge and look forward to fulfilling our responsibility in 2016.  

Mineola ISD:  Committed to Your Child, Their Future, Our Legacy

Mineola ISD: Committed to Your Children, Their Future, Our Legacy

As we enter this holiday season, we are provided with a wonderful opportunity to give thanks and express our gratitude to each other and those around us.  Mineola ISD is truly grateful for the continued family and community support.  It is such a blessing to see the legacy of community pride in our district for our students and staff.  I want to share my appreciation to…

Our Community Thank you for supporting our students and staff!  You volunteer your time in our schools, attend our school functions and events even in the cold and rain, and champion our children with your positive comments about our district out in the community.  I know that many of you no longer have children in our district, but you recognize the value of a quality education and the need for well-prepared students who are active, contributing members once they graduate from Mineola!

Our Families Thank you for entrusting us with your most precious gifts!  We are honored to be part of their educational process.  We understand the importance you have placed with us to ensure that they receive an excellent academic experience as well as great leadership skills to be independent problem-solvers and work with others to achieve their goals and give back to the community.

Our Staff Thank you for your dedication and passion for our children.  You spend countless hours before and after school, on weekends and holidays, and throughout the year to plan and work with our children.  Your efforts are appreciated and your ministry to educate the “whole child” and invest in their success does not go unnoticed!

Our Students Thank you for coming to school each day eager to learn and work hard!  You will be entering a world where the majority of the jobs haven’t been established so your ability to work with others, be creative and innovative, and solve problems is crucial.  Respect for yourself, others, and our school and community is evident in your Pride through Excellence!

Our new vision statement exemplifies our aspiration in becoming the Destination District in East Texas as Mineola ISD:  “Committed to Your Children, Their Future, Our Legacy.”  We are so thankful for our blessings and support!  I encourage you to take a few moments to write a note or make a call to show your appreciation to someone who has made an educational impact on your life!

Have a blessed holiday season!

School Spirit

Homecoming week is always a joyous occasion as alumni return and the community celebrates together and rekindles relationships with fellow classmates, teachers, and staff.  Watching the children and alumni in the parade and enjoying the record breaking crowd at the football game Friday night are examples of what makes being part of Mineola ISD so special.

It is great to win games and receive awards, but even greater is to watch our students interact with other teams and display a level of integrity and character.  I received an email from the Superintendent in a 5A district that competed against our band in two recent invitational events.  Our Yellowjacket band took the highest honor in the first competition and came in second to this district by a slight margin last week.  In the email, he shared how amazed he was at the level of community support and kindness of the fans and band members and how he actually got very emotional as he watched our band reach out and congratulate their band.  HIs comments were that our Mineola students, "congratulated us in the most classy, supportive, and sincere way I have ever seen.  I could not stop crying as I witnessed such a positive display of humanity."

I have witnessed our players in volleyball, cross country, and football reach out to assist, acknowledge and take the "high road" when playing other teams and being confronted with poor sportsmanship on occasion.  Our students work together and support each other because of the high expectations and modeling of our staff and community.  The Pride in Excellence within Mineola ISD is alive in well as our students continue to demonstrate character and integrity and true school spirit.  Go Jackets!

School Safety Support

As we remember the events of September 11th, we are reminded that evil does exist in this world and that some have the desire to harm others.  This past week, a suspect was on the run from law enforcement in the county.  We took precautionary measures with a lockdown on our campuses as we have many exterior doors, outside classrooms and buildings, and open campus access.

The safety of our students is of upmost importance and a responsibility that we take very seriously.  Our students’ safety is the reason we check identification before visitors are allowed onto our campuses, the reason we enforce using the crosswalks and walking students to their vehicles, and the reason we take action when any concern presents itself.  While this can be seen as an inconvenience to go into the office with an ID to sign out a student or wait in line to have students picked up, our duty is to provide the best protection possible for every child in our schools. 

In the event of an emergency situation, we have resources to communicate with our parents and the community.  Phone call notifications from our district automated calling system (School Messenger), our message texting service for subscribed members (Remind), and our district website will all be used to provide information and updates from the district.  Mineola ISD has great relationships with the media as well.  KMOO radio, 99.9, and local news stations will also be utilized as necessary. 

We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement and emergency response teams in providing support to our campuses.  They are a tremendous asset for our administrators as we seek to provide a safe learning environment for each student in our district.

Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year!
It is that exciting time of a new school year!  Our staff members have been working hard throughout the summer to prepare for a fabulous year by designing engaging instruction for our students and making sure our classrooms, facilities, and programs are ready. We realize that we are entrusted with precious children and have a tremendous responsibility to work in partnership with our families and the community to ensure that every child achieves at his/her highest level.  We have high expectations, not only for their academic success, but their social and emotional development as well.  We have Yellowjacket pride in excellence in the classroom, on the fields, in competitions, and out in the community. 

Our theme this year is “Heroes in Education” as we recognize how ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things!   We plan for our staff and our students to make heroic efforts this year in all we do.  We will also launch our "Heroes FOR Education" initiative as we recognize those in our community who are advocates for Mineola ISD and public education.  Look for the nomination form on our website in September and be thinking of someone you can nominate. 

Reminders:  Please remember that safety is our first line of business and make sure you watch out for our students and our buses as we travel to and from school.  Friday night, August 28th, the Mineola ISD game will be featured as the DQ/Fox Sports News game of the week in our stadium!   We are advertising a community-wide ORANGE OUT day so join us in recognizing our team.  Tickets are still available at the administration building. 

Don't forget to join me at our first Learning and Listening Tour date on September 18th at 8:15 a.m. in the High School library.  I will be there to gather your ideas and answer any questions you have.

Hot Days of Summer!

I hope you are enjoying your summer and staying cool.  It has been a pleasure this past month to get to know more of the Mineola community, staff, students, and parents and I feel blessed to be part of this wonderful district.  Lots of planning is occurring with many exciting things in store for the year.  Our Board of Trustees has done a tremendous job of setting the goals and objectives for 2015-2016.  A major emphasis will be on the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee with representatives from several cross sections of the community to set the future course of Mineola ISD and create a long range plan.  

Another goal we have is to increase communication with our parents and community members.  In addition to our website, we now have a Facebook page – Mineola ISD and have a Twitter account @Mineola ISD, so make sure you follow us!    I will also begin a monthly “Learning and Listening” tour to meet with parents and community members in order to share information and answer questions about the quality programs and plans for our students.  The first meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 18th from 8:15 – 9:30 in the Mineola High School library.   

Enjoy the summer and find some time to read a great book! 

The Next Step....

Congratulations to the class of 2015!  I wish you all the best as you begin the next phase of your life.  I encourage you to study hard, work tirelessly, and be determined to make a great life for yourself.

Preparations for the next school year began before the 2014-15 school year was even over.  The new Superintendent, Kim Tunnell, will work with administrative staff throughout the summer to ensure another great year for students at Mineola ISD.

I would like to thank the Board of Trustees and all of the faculty and staff for their dedication to this school district.  We truly have an exceptional group of people making decisions for the district, teaching the children, maintaining our grounds and buildings, transporting students, and feeding them. 

Remember to make the most of each day.  It is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!!

Another Great Year!

Another school year is ending, and what a successful year it has been!  I want to thank all of the parents and community members for supporting the children and our school district.  You help make Mineola ISD a great place!

As a reminder, Thursday, June 4th is the last day of class for students.  They will be released early at 1:20.  For those students who have been notified, summer school will begin June 8 and ends June 26. 

The Mineola ISD Athletic Department will offer free sports camps this summer for incoming 4th through 9th grade students.  Please check the website for details.

I feel very confident and excited for the future of Mineola ISD.  Kim Tunnell, the newly appointed Superintendent, is a very positive, dynamic leader and I know our school district will continue to grow and excel under her leadership.

I wish everyone a very safe and happy summer! 


Amazing and Awesome!

You have heard me say many times, “It is a great day to be alive, and it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket.”  I know success builds success; and I am so impressed at how successful our students have been this year.  Our band has truly been outstanding and for two years in a row they have demonstrated excellence both in the fall and spring.   Sweepstakes is a dream for many, however, for the Jackets, it is reality.   Mineola participates in most of the University Interscholastic League contests; and I am again amazed at the number of students advancing from district competition to regional and state competition. We tripled the number of students advancing from district to regional competition in the UIL District Academic Meet held a few weeks ago.  Congratulations to Elizabeth Vargas who will be representing Mineola High School at the UIL News Writing STATE COMPETITION on May 26th.  

Yesterday, the Mineola City Council recognized the accomplishments of the 2014 Yellowjacket Football Team.   It was such an awesome ride we experienced competing for the State Football Championship at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas!  And now, as I reflect over the entire year, I am thoroughly convinced Mineola has the best students of any district I have ever served in as superintendent.  Amazing and awesome are the first two words that come to my mind as I watch the students compete in academic contests, multiple music competitions, in the vocational and technical contests, the student organizations contests, and in the   sports arena.   The Mineola High School Anchor Club has been named the Outstanding Anchor Club in the State of Texas again this year!  That makes three straight years they have received that award!  Our Lady Jackets won the district championship in softball, and they will now compete in the state playoffs in softball on Thursday and Friday of this week.   I am confident we will have several members of our track team advancing to state completion following the regional track meet being held in Whitehouse on Friday and Saturday.  And, our Yellowjacket baseball team is also making a run at the playoffs in baseball.   I trust you will celebrate the moment with me!

It is a great day to  be alive, and a great day to be a Yellowjacket.

What About Those Tracksters!

The Mineola Track Team is headed to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) regional track meet after winning FIRST PLACE in the district meet and FIRST PLACE the area meet. 

Way to go Jackets!

   The UIL Region II Track Meet will be held in Whitehouse, Texas, on May 1 and May 2, at Whitehouse High School.   We have three of our LadyJackets advancing to the regional meet; Micayla Stanley advanced in 200 M Dash and 100 M Hurdles.  She won first place in the hurdles.  In field events, Taylor Griffin advanced in discus, and Keaundra Meankins advanced in shot put. 

The following Yellowjackets have advanced to the UIL Region II Meet:

In running events, Preston Williams in the 200 M Dash, Cameron Davis in the 400 M Dash, Noah Sneed in the 800 M Run, and Brent Wells took first place in the 110 M Hurdles and 300 M Hurdles.  In the 4X200 M Relay Kourtland Sinches, Dalton Harris, Kartney Hampton and Preston Williams won first place.  First place went to the team of Dalton Harris, Preston Williams, Kartney Hampton, and Brent Wells in the 4X400 Relay. 

Those advancing in field events are:

Kourtland Sinches in Long Jump, Austin Anderson in Shot Put, Lincoln Fischer in Triple Jump, Reagan Fischer and Cameron Hays in Pole Vault, and Brent Wells took first place in High Jump.

2015 was the fifth year in a row the Mineola Yellowjackets brought home the first place trophy in the District Track and Field contest.   At the Region 2, Conference 3A regional meet, the top 2 individuals in each regional contest will advance to the UIL State Track Meet being held in Austin at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas on May 14, 15 and 16.  The UIL selects a ninth person to participate in the UIL State Track and Field contest making a total of nine contestants in each event.  I am confident the Yellowjackets and LadyJackets are going to bring home a lot of hardware from the regional meet with several of our Jackets going all the way to the UIL State Track and Field contest.

Yes, you are right!  It is a GREAT day to be alive, and a GREAT day to be a YELLOWJACKET!!!

Naming a New Superintendent

The process for naming a new superintendent of schools began in December of 2014.  The MISD Trustees selected Texas Association of School Boards Executive Search Services as the firm to lead the search for a new superintendent of schools.   The application began immediately and continued until Midnight on February 24, 2015.  TASB Executive Search Services met with MISD staff and members of the Mineola community to develop a profile for the new superintendent.  Initial interviews began on Monday, March 16th.  The initial interviews are over and the board is currently interviewing finalists for the superintendent position in the Mineola Independent School District.  On Saturday, April 11, 2015, the trustees will name a lone finalist for the MISD superintendent.  At that point in the employment process Texas law requires the trustees to wait at least 21 days before they employ the new superintendent.  The 21 days allows the public time to review the individual selected as the Lone Finalist.  The Mineola Independent School District plans to hire the new superintendent of schools on May 4, 2015.   As the current superintendent of schools, I plan to resign when the new superintendent arrives.  I will continue to live in the community and support the efforts of MISD to be the premiere school district in East Texas.   As I have stated many times, “It is a great day to be alive, and it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!”

Outstanding Teachers of the Year

Each year, the Mineola Kiwanis Club asks every campus in Mineola I.S.D. to nominate one of their teachers for Teacher of the Year.  From this group of outstanding teachers the Mineola Kiwanis select the Teacher of the Year for the district and the nominees to the Regional and State Teacher of the Year contest.  This year, Amy Crenshaw was named MISD Teacher of the yearI am honored to introduce the Mineola teachers of the year to you. 


Kiwanis President Ed Castro and Amy Crenshaw

The nominee from Mineola Primary School and the newly named MISD Teacher of the Year is Amy Crenshaw.   She has served children in the capacity of a teacher for 31 years.  She is an outstanding 2nd grade teacher who centers her class on the individual needs of each child in the class.  Mrs. Crenshaw describes her journey as being a “dream” that is always exciting and filled with new challenges and adventures.  Her innate ability as a teacher is evidenced by her actions, her commitment and dedication.  New teachers gravitate towards Amy Crenshaw because of her talent as a teacher.  I am proud to have Mrs. Crenshaw as our teacher of the year.


The nominee from Mineola Elementary School was Lisa Phillips.  Ms. Phillips is a 25 year veteran teacher.  She teaches 3rd grade students and has been in Mineola ISD for 25 years. She gets excited about reading and she brings both enjoyment and excitement to students whether she is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, Waldo or other book characters.  If you visit her classroom, you will find a warm, inviting classroom that is filled with learning centers and groups of children working on various aspects of literacy.  Lisa Phillips loves children and she loves teaching and learning.  She fills several leadership roles including third grade co-leader, member of the campus-wide leadership team, and researcher for professional learning communities.   Lisa Phillips is a model teacher who always puts students first and goes the extra mile in all she undertakes.


Lisa Miller is the nominee from Mineola Middle School.  She has been teaching 7th grade mathematics and pre-algebra in Mineola for 9 years.  Ms. Miller is a true team player and a member of the middle school campus leadership team.   She actively seeks to support students academically by tutoring her students throughout the day.   Lisa Miller’s school day goes far beyond the normal working hours as she volunteers to serve at school activities, and she is very willing to lend a helping hand to any task.  She loves students and seeks to instill in them a desire to do their very best.  Some people teach for a living and some people are called to be teachers.  Lisa Miller is called to be a difference maker.  She is a model teacher and a dedicated and committed professional.


Jason Goodson is the nominee from Mineola High School.   Mr. Goodson teaches sophomore English and AVID classes, and his students absolutely love his classes.  He has been in the district 5 years.  Jason’s day doesn’t stop at 4:00 p.m.; instead it continues well into the evenings with extra-curricular activities and preparation for the next day. He also serves as the district UIL coordinator and is the official announcer for athletic events in Mineola. He always has a smile on his face and a warm welcome for every student that he comes into contact with. He is a natural encourager and an awesome motivator. He pushes his students to do their absolute best in everything that they do. Outside of the classroom, you will see Mr. Goodson at nearly every school event.  Although he has a wife and family of five children, he gives of himself constantly. He does not do things out of obligation or a desire for notoriety for himself; he does them because he has a passion for our students and for our school. He is a positive role model, and most deserving of this award.

Lisa Phillips - Amy Crenshaw - Lisa Miller - Jason Goodson

I am proud of all of our teachers.  I offer special congratulations to the Mineola Teachers of the Year and wish them well in the state TEACHER OF THE YEAR competition.   They represent the best of the best!  We will honor them at the regular school board meeting in April.

WOW! What about THAT Band

The Mineola High School Band has been clearly outstanding over the past two years. This year began with quality performances week after week by the Mineola High School Band. The “Swarm” demonstrated superior quality each time they performed, and they were at their best when they performed at the UIL fall contest and brought home ALL ONES! The success has been evident in local performances including the Veterans Day program, playoff games, and at local service clubs. It continues in the spring with Ashley Davenport earning “First Chair” in the Texas All State Band Clinic & Concert. Now, for the rest of the story.

At the recent UIL Solo and Ensemble we had twenty-six state qualifiers (up from sixteen last year). And, folks, we had twenty-six FIRST DIVISION MEDALS (up from seventeen last year) and twenty-eight FIRST DIVISION ENSEMBLES (up from 19 last year). How awesome it is to have over 80% of the band members participating this year in at least one event at the UIL Solo & Ensemble! I am so proud of our band students and their instructors.

WOW, what can I say except, “It is a great day to be alive and it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!”

Thank You!

Too often, in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day operations of the school district, I forget to say, “Thank you” to those who are making the day-to-day operations run so smoothly.   As we get ready to take a “break” from our teaching and learning to enjoy the onset of spring, I want to thank each and every employee of Mineola Independent School District.   With your commitment to excellence and with the support of our trustees, parents and patrons, we are making a difference in the lives of 1,600 students, one student at a time.  Teaching and learning is a not a program; it is a journey.  Thank you for making this year a meaningful journey, and a journey that will be remembered as a high-watermark year for the students in the Mineola Independent School District.  THANK YOU!

January is School Board Recognition Month

January 2015 is School Board Recognition Month.   It is a time when each of us can thank the seven elected leaders who deeply care about the success of Mineola ISD students.  Our trustees are extraordinary people who voluntarily tackle the enormous job of governing our four schools.  This year our theme for School Board Recognition Month is “A Work of Heart.”  Their actions and decisions affect the present and future lives of our students.  Please join me in recognizing the service trustees voluntarily give to the students in the Mineola Independent School District.  Mineola ISD is truly blessed to have men and women of character who lead the district on the road to excellence.


President Regan Brandon 




Vice-President Dr. John Abbott  


Secretary Rodney Watkins 


Carlist Brinkley 


Dr. Kyle Gully  


Holly Mischnick  


Jill Quiambao 


As citizens who serve children and represent this community, individual school board
members face complex and demanding challenges.  Few people fully understand the scope and far-reaching implications of board members’ responsibilities.  We should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women, and focus attention on the crucial role these elected leaders play in the education of our children.  

They establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, assure schools are accountable to the community, and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. This entails an endless string of meetings and school functions to attend, reports, agendas, proposals, and other information to read and study; and a host of difficult decisions to make. 

I am so proud to be part of a school district where trustees put students first.  My salute to the trustees this year includes a huge thank you for working so well with community, parents, staff, and students.   We can be proud of the seven elected trustees serving the public school children in Mineola ISD.  Please join me in thanking these dedicated men and women for giving their hearts and hands for our children!



Welcome Back, Happy New Year, and Thank You!

Welcome back to school!  2014 was a fantastic year!  It will be a year remembered with fondness and special memories.   As this new year begins, I want to take an opportunity to say, “WELCOME BACK, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and THANK YOU!”  Thank you for all you have done for me and my wife, Gayle.  We are so glad to be a part of the Mineola community and the Mineola ISD family.   Being a part of the Mineola ISD family is so very special!   The students, parents, staff, trustees and the patrons of this district are truly outstanding and wonderful people.   Serving as the interim superintendent of schools for the past 2 ½ years has been a rewarding and very satisfying experience.   2015 will bring change as a new superintendent is selected; however, I will be here as a patron of Mineola and a devoted Yellowjacket supporter for the rest of my life.   There is no other place in world I would rather be than in Mineola.  Thank you for the support you have given me to serve the students, staff, patrons, and community members of Mineola.  Thank you for your commitment to excellence and for your support of public education.  Make 2015 one of the greatest years in the history of your life and in the history of Mineola.  WELCOME BACK, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and THANK YOU!


The Mineola Yellowjackets are playing in the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas!!  The game time for the 3A, Division I Championship Game is 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 18th.

We have plenty of tickets for sale at the Mineola ISD Administration Office.  Adults $12 Students $8.  Any child over the age of 1 is required to have a ticket.  We will sell tickets until noon on Thursday, December 18th.  All tickets at the gate are $15.

Once again, I am proud to say, “It is a great day to be alive, and it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!"   GO JACKETS!

State Quarterfinals Here We Come!

When the State Football Playoffs started there were 64 teams in 3A, Division I.   As of today, there are only eight left.  Shallowater and Brock are in Region 1, Mineola and Pottsborro are in Region 2, Rockdale and Cameron Yoe are in Region 3, and Hallettsville and Edna are in Region 4.    The Mineola Yellowjackets showed both poise and composure as they defeated Pilot Point to win the Regional Semi-final game in Forney last Saturday by a score of 34 to 27.   The Jackets now move to the State Quarterfinals in 3A, Division 1.  They take on the Pottsborro Cardinals at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 6th at Royse City ISD Stadium.  Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and may be purchased at the gate.   

The Mineola Yellowjackets are just two wins away from playing in the State Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on Thursday, December 18th.  Every high school football player and high school coach dream of playing football in December.   Well, here we are, playing in December.   Please come and watch the Jackets as they play for the Region 2 State Football Championship in Royse City on Saturday, December 6th.  Go Jackets!  We are proud of you.

Also, there will be a Community-wide Pep Rally on Thursday of this week at the Gazebo in Downtown Mineola following the Mineola Christmas Parade that starts at 5:30 p.m.   It is an exciting time for our students, parents, and patrons of the district.  Come and join us Thursday evening and don't miss the game in Royse City on Saturday!

Once again, I am proud to say, “It is a great day to be alive, and it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!"



The Yellowjackets win over the Commerce Tigers was more than impressive; it was wonderful.    Our Jackets won the game 42 to 14.  The State Playoffs started with 64 teams eligible to compete for the title of State Champion.    The Mineola Yellowjackets have won the title of Bi-District Champions, and now they are Area Champions.  Yes, it is "sweet 16" time.  There are only 16 teams left in the race for the State Championship in 3A Division I.


The Mineola Yellowjackets will now play Pilot Point in Forney on Saturday, November 29th at 2:00 p.m. for the Regional Semi-Final Championship.   The game will be played at "Forney City Bank Stadium" in Forney, Texas. Mineola will be the visiting team.



It is, once again, a great day to be alive, and a great day to be a Yellowjacket!   Go Jackets!



H. John Fuller

Yellowjackets are Winners!

WOW!   The Yellowjacket win over the Prairiland Patriots was impressive.  Our Jackets won the game 52 to 14.  The State Playoffs start with 64 teams eligible to compete for the title of State Champion.    The Mineola Yellowjackets have won the title of Bi-District Champion, and they are part of a group of 32 teams vying for the State Championship in AAA, Division I Football.


The Mineola Yellowjackets will now play the Commerce Tigers in Royse City on Saturday, November 22nd at 2:00 p.m. for the Area Championship Crown.   The Commerce Tigers defeated the Farmersville Farmers 22 to 7 last Friday night.  The Tigers begin the Area Championship Game with a 7-4 record while the Yellowjackets have an 8-3 record and have now extended their winning streak to 8.   The winner of this game will be among the 16 best teams in 3A, Division I Football in the State of Texas ("Sweet 16").   I say, "Keep on Keeping on, Yellowjackets."


Remember, the Yellowjackets will play Commerce on Saturday, November 22nd at 2:00 p.m., at the Royse City High School Football Stadium. Tickets will be $6 for adults and $4 for students. District passes along with passes for coaches associations, senior citizens, and military will be accepted.  The stadium is located between Greenville and Rockwall next to Royse City High School on FM 2642 at IH 30 East (Exit 79) in Royse City, Texas.  A map of the stadium is attached to this email.  Mineola will be the visiting team with parking on the east side of the stadium.


It is, once again, a great day to be alive, and a great day to be a Yellowjacket!   Go Jackets!



H. John Fuller

Clearly Outstanding Students!

Our students are clearly outstanding! October and November have been special months for the entire Mineola community, but especially for our students. Mineola FFA won the District Leadership Sweepstakes Award!  That means they scored more points than any other school in the district (22 schools).  Seven Mineola teams advanced to Area competition:  Greenhand Chapter Conducting - 1st place, Agriculture Advocacy - 1st place, Senior Creed Speaking - 1st place, Greenhand Quiz - 1st place, Senior Chapter Conducting - 2nd place, Agriculture Issues - 2nd place, Senior Quiz - 3rd place.  Outstanding work, Mineola FFA!

Our band students entertained us at ballgames, competitions, and at civic events. The Mineola Band Program has moved to a superior level of performance, and the "Pride of the Swarm" is buzzing throughout the community. I was one proud superintendent when I watched a spectacular performance by the Mineola High School Band in the UIL Area Marching Band Contest in Mt. Pleasant. It did not surprise me when each of three judges awarded the Mineola Marching Band a superior rating; yes, ALL ONES!  Way to go Mineola Band members!


And then there is the Lady Jacket Volleyball team.  The Lady Jackets are a great group of athletes who gave the Mineola fans more than their money's worth this year. They were the Runner-Up Champions when district competition ended this year; however, they were the only team from District 14AAA to survive the first round of the Volleyball State Playoffs. They went on to be the Area Winners.  It was heartbreaking to see them lose to Van Alstyne in the third round of the playoffs; however, I was so proud for our girls and proud of our girls because of the effort and the commitment they made representing our school in a clearly outstanding way throughout the season.  Way to go Lady Jackets!


Now for the icing on the cake, the Mineola Yellowjackets are ready to run the tables in the State Football Playoffs. They play Prairiland at Texas A&M - Commerce Football Stadium this coming Friday night. The Yellowjackets are on a 7-game-winning streak and are the Champions of District 8 in Conference 3A, Division I. The Yellowjackets will play Prairiland on Friday, November 14th, at 7:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M Commerce Football Stadium. Tickets will be $6 for adults and $4 for students. District passes along with passes for coaches associations, senior citizens, and military will be accepted. The Prairiland Patriots finished the season with 5 wins and 5 losses and advanced to the playoffs from District 7 in Region II, AAA, Division 1. Congratulations to the Mineola Yellowjackets.


I was once again a very proud superintendent when our high school Robotics team competed in the Region VII meet in Kilgore.  Three of our teams placed in the event, winning one 1st place, one 2nd place, and one 3rd place award.  They will now advance to the next level of competition.  Great job, Mineola High School Robotics Teams!


And, while all these extra-curricular and co-curricular activities have taken the front row seat in the news media, our students and teachers have been working diligently and very intentionally improving our instructional program.


Our success is building more success.  It is exciting to be in a community where students are leaders and where students are so successful in all of their endeavors.   Hang-on!  It is going to be a wonderful and productive year!


As I have said many times, "It is a GREAT day to be alive, and it is a GREAT day to be a YELLOWJACKET!


H. John Fuller


Two Celebrations!

Friday night, the Mineola Yellowjackets completed a perfect 5-0 District Championship and now move into the State Playoffs.  The Yellowjackets will play Prairiland on Friday, November 14th, at the Texas A&M Commerce Football Stadium.   Tickets will be $6 for adults and $4 for students.  District passes along with passes for coaches associations, senior citizens, and military will be accepted.  The Prairiland Patriots finished the season with 5 wins and 5 losses and advanced to the playoffs from District 7 in Region II, AAA, Division 1.  The Mineola Yellowjackets go into the playoffs with a 7-game winning streak and a 7:3 overall season.  Congratulations to the Mineola Yellowjackets.  


Saturday evening was also very special for our students.  The Lady Yellowjackets Volleyball Team defeated the Lady Lions from New Boston in four games in the 2nd round of the State Playoffs in Volleyball.   The Lady Jackets now advance to the regional quarter-finals in the State Playoffs in volleyball.  


The Lady Jackets will play at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 11th at the Commerce High School Gym.  The Lady Jackets will play the Lady Panthers from Van Alstyne.  Tickets will be $5 for adults and $3 for students.  District passes along with passes for coaches associations, senior citizens, and military will be accepted.  The Lady Panthers represent District 13-AAA in region II, and finished the regular season with a 4:4 district record.  They defeated Queen City to advance to the regional quarter-finals. The Lady Jackets finished district with a 7:3 district record are 12:9 for the season.   Go Lady Jackets!


Yes, it is a great day to be alive; and, it is a GREAT DAY to be a YELLOWJACKET!

Congratulations to the Lady Yellowjackets!

Congratulations to the Lady Yellowjackets Volleyball Team! They defeated the Lady Tigers from Commerce and now advance to the 2nd Round of the State Playoffs.

The Lady Yellowjackets will face the Lady Lions from New Boston in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday. The game will start at 5:00 p.m. in the Mt. Pleasant High School Gymnasium. Prices for admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for students. Texas High School Coaches Association, Texas Girls Coaches Association, Senior Citizen, and District passes will be accepted.

New Boston and Mineola finished district play with identical district records having 7 wins and 3 losses. If possible, please go to Mt. Pleasant on Saturday and support the Lady Jackets!

Congratulations Lady Jackets!!!

Congratulations to the Lady Yellowjackets Volleyball Team! They defeated the Lady Tigers from Commerce and now advance to the 2nd Round of the State Playoffs.

The Lady Yellowjackets will face the Lady Lions from New Boston in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday. The game will start at 5:00 p.m. in the Mt. Pleasant High School Gymnasium. Prices for admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for students. Texas High School Coaches Association, Texas Girls Coaches Association, Senior Citizen, and District passes will be accepted.

New Boston and Mineola finished district play with identical district records having 7 wins and 3 losses. If possible, please go to Mt. Pleasant on Saturday and support the Lady Jackets!

Report Card Pick-up Coming Soon!

This school year is marching on at a rapid pace!  October 3rd is the end of the first six weeks.  Report card pick-up is scheduled for October 13th for all campuses from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  Parents are asked to meet with their child’s teacher and get their report card.  The primary and elementary school teachers will contact each parent to schedule a time to meet.  Parents of high school and middle school students may come any time between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  There will be school personnel available to assist you in getting to the right classroom.

As the school year progresses, I want to stress the importance of parents and guardians being actively involved in the education process.  The time you spend with your child is the most important gift you can give them.  Whether it is helping with homework, time management, being organized, setting goals, or just encouraging them, every effort you give makes your child’s life better! 

And, remember, it is a great day to be alive, and it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!!!

"Thank You"
On this second day of school in 2014, I am extending a BIG “THANK YOU” to Chief Bittner and the entire Mineola Police Department.  The first day of school is always hectic and challenging due to increased traffic and changes from campus to campus.   This year Mineola ISD faced a new challenge with the temporary closure of West Patten Street.   The first day was a challenge; nonetheless, all of our students arrived prompt and safe.

With the help of the Mineola Police Department, I am thrilled to report that the second day of school in Mineola ISD was one of the best I have ever experienced.  There was very little traffic backup on Loop 564, and the backup that did occur never reached State Highway 80 or the Mineola Central Office.   I want to personally thank and praise the Mineola Police Department for helping with the traffic congestion.   The only waiting was between 7:25 p.m. and 7:55 a.m., and it was minimal. 


I also would like to recognize the Mineola ISD staff for their help monitoring and aiding students each day as they arrive to school and depart in the afternoon.  We truly have a great team of employees in every department and on every campus who work together to make it all happen!


It is a great day to be alive; and, it is a great day to be a Yellowjacket!

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