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TSPRA Newsletter Issue 61 for Web

ISSUE 61 - June 1, 2011


- Jump to: Still discussing education at the Capitol

- Jump to: Thank you so much!!!

- Jump to: Get involved!

- Jump to: Member Spotlight

- Jump to: Events

- Jump to: News

- Jump to: Sponsor Column


   
Still discussing education at the Capitol 
In case you missed yesterday's EduLege, Gov. Perry called a special session this week (through June 29), primarily to address public education and Medicaid funding. What started as an attempt to simply distribute the $4 billion in cuts to schools outlined in the state budget, has turned into a more broad look at the funding system for at least the next two years.

Please note: many of the education issues that previously died in the regular session (teacher furlough, non-renew policies, charter schools, textbooks, etc.) are allowed to be revived in the special session. BUT, the refiled bills must be found to be germane to the list of priorities outlined by Gov. Perry for the special session.  

We will continue to watch the Capitol goings-on and will send out the EduLege as needed, not necessarily on Mondays and Thursdays. To catch up on what you may have missed, check out the EduLege archiveunder News & Reports.

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 THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
We just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for all the hard work you do. We know yours can be a thankless job planning banquets, communicating test results, updating required website information, filming hours and hours of graduation ceremonies and so forth this time of year.

While the public education waters have been anything but calm this year, we are consistently impressed by the poise and professionalism you all share, while still some how finding time to help TSPRA and your fellow members in need. You all are amazing and we look forward to forging through the years ahead with you!

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 Get involved!
Looking for opportunities to get involved--boost your professional stock, build relationships with your fellow public school communicators or broaden your horizons? Volunteer with TSPRA!

Each year we depend on members to chair or participate on one of our many committees (annual conference, CTPS, accreditation, marketing, professional awards, etc.). If you would be interested in serving on a committee in the future, please email us and let us know!

Or if you're looking to build your writing portfolio, or have a particular interest in/affinity for blogging, the TSPRA blog is looking for member bloggers for the 2011-12 year. Trust me, you don't need to be an expert to do this! Email us and we'll fill you in on the (minimal) requirements.

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Member Spotlight
As the school year is quickly winding down, we understand that several of our longtime TSPRAns will soon be retiring. And after years of bragging on behalf of their districts, employees and students, we thought it appropriate to take a moment to brag on their behalf.

 Bob Massey
Killeen ISD
bobmassey_3405Bob Massey will retire June 30 as a longtime and committed member of the Killeen ISD staff and TSPRAn. As a true testament to a career spent selflessly praising the works of others in his district, when we asked Bob to talk about himself and his career, he instead chose to sing the praises of TSPRA and the many wonderful people he's worked with through our organization.

Bob said that after 26 years as a TSPRAn, having been a Most Valuable Member, three-time executive board member and committee member several times over, TSPRA was truly a family for him. "For a newcomer or veteran, TSPRA was the strongest support base around where there was always someone to answer questions, provide a shoulder to cry on and supply the therapy of a listening ear," he said. "No problem or challenge was too big or too small to share with a fellow TSPRAn."

One memory he shared fondly was the outpouring of calls he received from TSPRAns in 1991 to make sure he was okay the day of the Luby's massacre, where a man drove his truck into the local Luby's cafeteria and opened fire on the patrons. It was that support he needed to in turn help support his district and community recover from the deadliest shooting rampage in American history, save the Virginia Tech massacre.

Bob said that he will spend retirement deciding what he wants to do when he grows up. Otherwise, one thing he is sure to do is maintain the friendships he has built with other TSPRAns, which he said are his most cherished.

To read the whole Q&A with Bob, please see below.

What is your official last day with Austin ISD?  Official last day is June 30, 2011.  My plan was to remain in school PR for about five more years but my job was eliminated and my contract not renewed due to a reduction in force in Killeen ISD.

Will there be a reception in your honor?   I’m not aware of anything.

How many years were you with Killeen ISD?  Communications Assistant-2 years (Lubbock ISD); Public Information Coordinator-21 years (Killeen ISD); KISD-TV Writer/Producer-3 years (Killeen ISD).

What are your plans upon retirement?
  Decide on something to do when I grow up.

How many years with TSPRA?  I’ve been a TSPRA member for 26 years. I was a member of the executive board three times, mentoring committee, conference committee and audit committee. Of all the organizations of which I’ve been a member, TSPRA will always be the most cherished.

What are you going to miss the most?  There were two fondest memories: (1) the year that I was selected Most Valuable TSPRA member and (2) the speech that Chuck Hornung shared when he became TSPRA president.   There are so many people in this group that I love and owe a great deal of thanks for their encouragement.  I will especially remember the number of people who called and made sure I was o.k. on the day of the massacre at Lubys.  There are so many I could mention but I will choose three: First, my mentor and close friend Riney Jordan.  This marvelous man has stayed by my side through thick and thin.  The prime gift that he gave to me and all of us was laughter and a magical way of telling stories about his life.  Secondly, They come as a pair so I mention them both at the same time: Steve Knagg and Reavis Worthham.  To Steve for his sense of humor and the wisdom of a seasoned veteran.  Reavis, who also shared his own unique kind of humor and a person that I felt was a true friend.   To every person I ever called and said, “Help” I express my gratefulness.  The rest of you that I will always cherish I say, “You know who you are.”  Bless you.  

Any last words you would like for us to share with TSPRAns?  For a newcomer or veteran, TSPRA was the strongest support base around where there was always someone to answer questions,  provide a shoulder to cry on and supply the therapy of a listening ear.  No problem or challenge was too big or too small to share with a fellow TSPRAn.  This organization was a true family.

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Events

June 8, 11:30 am
TSPRA Far West Regional Meeting
@TBA
June 9
TSPRA Houston/Beaumont Regional Meeting
@TBA
June 16, 10 am - 3 pm
TSPRA Executive Committee Meeting
@TSPRA state office
June 21, 8 - 10:30 am
TSPRA San Antonio Regional Meeting
@North East ISD
July 10-13
NSPRA National Seminar
@San Antonio Marriott

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News
Texas students show dramatic growth during TAKS era
Teacher furloughs fair game for Special
Charity, foundation endowments continue to recover, survey finds
Army computers find new use in schools
Budget Notes: Racing to finish school finance

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Sponsor Column 

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jjennings@schoolreach.com

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