Monday, September 19, 2016

Getting the word out: Cinco Style

I worked on the set of Global Vine its premiere season when the "teleprompter" had to be held up by an assistant, when we didn't have professional looking microphones to use, and when we didn't have a studio to shoot interviews much less shows in. As a freshman volunteer with absolutely no knowledge in video production, I was usually one of the ignorant assistants that helped test lighting or audio. I spent the 2.5s of my junior year in Room 2506 writing scripts for the daily shows, and finally, as a senior, I help out with photography, script writing, and video editing. 

While things look much more professional now than they did back in my freshman year, the message Mr. Marrie always tries to hammer remains the same. Our goal was to inform the school about anything and everything we could in a professional manner. Yes, we could make blooper reels once or twice a semester, but we wanted to cover everything from the variety of clubs in our school, the sports teams, and the wonderful staff at Cinco Ranch that make our school amazing. I take more interest in what is happening around the school not only because I am forced to know what the schedule is for the school, but editing the videos for certain groups and researching teams and past sports stats for scripts, my passion and interest for my school has definitely grown. I definitely take pride in everything any part of the school accomplishes. 

I witnessed the shift in Global Vine, the after school shoots transitioning to things we could get down in about 20 minutes during 2.5. We went from a daily show to a weekly show in three short years, with some hype videos thrown in sporadically. We do function a little bit more like a news media room than in the beginning, but we're still a high school classroom. 

Global Vine exemplifies what it means to Celebrate Cinco. All of Cinco. We acknowledge our achievements, and we try to instill the student body with purpose, passion, and pride every year. 

Joanne Chavali

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

…And it feels like Coming Home!!!

Home.  A word we use to refer to the place where we feel safe, respected, appreciated, and loved.  A place we miss when we are gone and feel so happy when we return! I can’t tell you how elated I am to be “Coming Home”!  There are no words that can truly express the happiness I have.  I still wake up in the middle of the night wondering if it has all been a dream.  Relief rushes over me when I realize I’m not dreaming.  I AM HOME!

I have been a part of Cinco Ranch High School since it first opened its doors 18 years ago.  I was the head coach of our volleyball team, and that maroon and white Cinco pride runs deep in my veins. Everything I owned had maroon somewhere on it.  A Cinco Ranch Cougar adorned almost every shirt I wore, and I had maroon high heeled shoes to complete the outfit.  My world revolved around Cinco and the people that are a part of it.

The people… You can look far and wide, but you won’t find a greater group of people.  They are a “Once in a lifetime” kind of people.  They are the kind of people that come into your life and help you to see the sun where you once saw only gray clouds.  They are the people that believe in you so much that you start to believe in you too.  They are the people that love you for simply being you.  It is these “Once in a lifetime” kind of people that have welcomed me back with open arms. What a family!

I appreciated and enjoyed the opportunities I have had the last three years away from Cinco Ranch.  I learned a lot about myself and met and made lasting friendships.  Friendships that I will forever cherish for as long as I live.

However, I am so grateful for this new opportunity… this new part of my life to come back to the place where it all began for me when I first moved to Katy, Texas. Thank you to everyone at Cinco Ranch High School for giving me the pleasure of being your 12th grade principal.  I look forward to working with you, the students, and the parents.  I won’t let you down!  I’m ready to get this show started!!

Like Nina Simone once said, “Yeah, it’s a new dawn! It’s a new day! It’s a new life for me!  Oooooooooooh, and I’m feeling good!” 

There’s no place like home!  I love you, Cinco Ranch!!

Tammy Laurence        

Monday, August 29, 2016

Student voice coming through loud and clear at Cinco

Hi, my name is Taylor Kramer, and I had the opportunity to talk to the new teachers of Cinco Ranch and all of the returning teachers this past week. 

I would like to say it was eye opening how willing the teachers were to listen to all the class officers. They asked questions about how to make their classroom more enjoyable and how to connect more with the students.  It amazed me how many teachers actually used some of the things we talked about.  Almost all of my teachers asked us what kind of learning style we had and if we like to use Canvas or not . Also, all of my teachers talked about the extra curricular activities going on that week. I was so happy to see some of the things we discussed at those meetings actually being used in the classroom. 

It shows that the student body's voice gets heard and that the teachers truly do care about students and the school itself.  If the rest of the school year goes as great as the first week of school did, it will truly be an awesome year to be a cougar. 

Taylor Kramer 11th Grade

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Routine too perfect to mention

A warm hello Cougar families,

The start of a school year is such an exciting time for so many of us.  Beginnings tend to bring smiles, lots of energy, and sometimes a little anxiety.  If you are returning for another year at Cinco, welcome back!  If you are new to us this year, welcome to your new school.  It is a place I am so proud of...a place where we work alongside our parents daily to help young people to be the best versions of themselves while we work to do the same.

I was recently listening to a Lady Antebellum song called Heart of the World.  In it they sing of "routine too perfect too mention." I love that line.  It reminds me that this time of year is when we find ourselves talking about getting back into a routine after the summer break.  Often routine can seem like such a mundane word, but as I listened to the song, I felt such joy in that simple phrase   I think it's because the routine of coming to a place everyday where I get to work with young people and teachers/staff who care so deeply for those young people is a routine too perfect to mention.  A routine that touches my life deeply.

Each family's daily routine throughout the school year may look somewhat similar yet possesses significant differences I would guess.  Even routines can make us unique.  I hope whatever your routine is for the start of another school year, you are able to take time to appreciate and enjoy the moments that make up those routines.  Those moments make up a lifetime, and parents, we know how quickly those moments can pass.

Our routine at Cinco will continue to be to teach, challenge, nurture, and care for our students.  It's a routine that has made this school, while not perfect, such a special place. I hope your routine this year finds your child sharing stories of learning new things, making new friends, strengthening current friendships, competing, performing, growing, serving, caring, and loving.  Those are routines that makes life worth living.

Speaking of routines, our Celebrating Cinco blog is back for its second year.  Be on the lookout for weekly posts from students, staff, and parents. Occasionally the principal might even share a thought or two.  I wish your family a joyful start for this school year.  Go Cougs!

James Cross, Principal #CPOE

Purpose...It drives us.
Passion...It fuels us.
Pride...It defines us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Journey of a Cougar

It has been my honor to speak to every student who has walked across the stage as a graduate of Cinco Ranch High School.  What a great privilege it has been to celebrate with our students on this high point in their lives!  Our interactions range from a simple question of, “Is this you?” as I hand the student a name card for the reader to one last imposition as we check pockets for prohibited items to tear-filled hugs as we recognize the obstacles many of our kids have overcome.  What may seem at the time as a small, inconsequential exchange is actually the highlight of each school year!  I have the opportunity to represent each teacher, coach, librarian, counselor, custodian, paraprofessional, superintendent, landscaper, security guard, nurse, help-desk technician, school board member, school resource officer, and principal who has ever been involved with the education of the student and offer my congratulations.  We have all worked in our own unique way to ensure that each student whose name is called is prepared to succeed in the world outside of Cinco Ranch.

When thinking about my role at graduation, I am reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln as he honored those who fought at Gettysburg, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”  Graduation, as with all things in the school business, is not about what we, the adults, say, it’s about what the kids did!  Kids, and their parents, will not remember the speeches, songs or presentations of the ceremony—just that their name is called and they received a diploma.  Actually, graduation is not that much different than each day at school in this regard.  Each day, hundreds, if not thousands, of good people work hard to be certain that the kids of Cinco Ranch have everything they need to be successful.  Many more have been diligently working for a dozen years (or more) in support of these kids and others still striving for success.  As important as all this is, what people ultimately remember is the accomplishments of our students!

Isn’t this why we work from the time kids arrive that very first August until that very last June?  Our reward is that look of sheer, unadulterated joy when a kid first realizes he is successful and that all the hard work has paid off.  Sometimes that look happens in a small group in the corner of a classroom and sometimes it happens in a stadium in front of thousands.  We’ve seen the look after presentations, games, competitions and other public events, but my favorites are the private moments—when a special needs student learns to write her name; when a struggling mathematician finally learns the quadratic equation (and why it matters); when a pre-K student learns all the colors; when a young historian figures out why the Roman Empire fell and how it compares to the United States; when a budding research scientist determines what happens when you add water to acid; or when a developing writer has his work “published” on the classroom bulletin board.  It’s the small, everyday victories that make us all come back each day!

So, as we complete another year I want to thank each person who, “is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; …who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”  

David Calfee, Assistant Principal "Proud Cougar for Life"

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Daring Greatly...with a twist

40 years ago, at the enlightened age of 17, I remember telling friends in my homemaking class that all I wanted to do was raise children: LOTS of them. That's all. I distinctly remember telling them it was going to take a SCHOOL BUS to transport all of the children I would have.  Might sound a bit old-fashioned to some, but I honestly and truly meant it and so looked forward to doing just that.

So, since my parents, who grew up in the depression, wanted every one of their six children to attain a college education, no matter the sacrifice on their part, I decided the best college degree I could pursue would be one in education. Makes sense, right? So, after graduating from Boling High School in 1977, a graduating class with 81 students, I proceeded to pursue a degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Well, I achieved the degree and loved every aspect of that process, but in order to achieve my ultimate goal... I sort of needed a husband. 

Fast forward six years, and voila! I found my prince, Leonard Morrison. Leonard and I have always believed God "arranged" our marriage, and we both wanted LOTS of children. So, we knew I needed to get my masters very quickly before we started having babies.  Thus, I got my MA in public school administration in record-breaking time. Fast forward through some wonderful parts and some hard stuff…  And, now that I am retiring and reflecting on my years as an educator, well, I still think I would have been an amazing momma to a bus load of kids. OH WAIT! Over these 35 years, it HAS indeed taken many, many buses to transport my children. I have loved so many kiddos; I have treasured so many staff members; I have worked for outstanding principals; and I have partnered with many of my children's parents. 

So, in daring greatly, sometimes the plans change. But the plans are still so good, and I have absolutely NO regrets. 

Thank you, Cinco family. I have cherished this time with you and will now DROP THE MIC for the next generation to pick up and carry on. Go Cougars!

Cheryl Morrison, Freshmen Assistant Principal
Proud Cinco Ranch Cougar

Monday, May 2, 2016

My American Dream

When I first stepped off the plane from England, I was scared and worried. The uncertainty that was before me was one that I had not known before. I never thought that I would have the best two years of my life. In 2014 I joined Cinco Ranch High School as a junior. When I first entered the school, the size of it blew my mind. Culturally, going from a small school in England with a size of 500 children to a school of 3,200 scared me, and so did the thought that I was an outsider trying to fit in, but I was wrong. Everyone I met was so welcoming: the teaching staff, the pupils and more importantly the soccer team. 

The first thing that drew me towards going to Cinco was the strong reputation for its successful soccer program. Soccer in England was my passion, I was quite apprehensive to try out, but when November came I tried out and was honored to make the varsity team.  The squad was full of talented individuals, and much to my own surprise, I found myself starting most games in the center of midfield. I was welcomed by the team instantly and began to make strong bonds with teammates, a group that I saw as my brothers. It was a very successful season, every game we wore the Cinco jersey with pride and were able to get the results we needed. Despite tough times when games drew close, the hard work and leadership saw us go to penalties on two separate occasions. The determination and skill shown by the team lead us further and further into the playoffs.  We made it through the playoffs with a perfect record of no losses and were set to go to state. It was one of the best experiences of my life; to know we had gone from more than 100 teams in Texas to the final 4 was mind blowing. 

Travelling to state and staying together was an unforgettable experience, bringing the team closer and leaving long lasting memories. We successfully made it to the state final against a difficult Brownsville Rivera team, sadly we lost. Tears filled my eyes but I was so proud of our achievements, to come this far was a great experience and even though we lost, it was the best season I had ever had as a player. The season came to an end, and it was devastating to say goodbye to my first true friends I had made in America, but I will never forget our final goodbye and the words they said “Take it all the way next year, make us proud”.

This year, a tough off-season began and we knew we had to fight and come together in order to be successful once again. We lost some key players, but talent and the strong bond between players still remained.  We fought hard through preseason with minimal ties and loses, it wasn’t a perfect season as it was last year.  Unfortunately we finished district at a slight low with two losses and a second place finish. However, this motivated us to work harder.  The team responded well when the playoffs came this year, the hunger and passion to go further and to complete what we failed to do last year has driven us to where we are now. We battled against two tough teams of Seven Lakes and Northshore to send us to the regional final versus Elsik. Despite tiredness the team gave it their all throughout the game. I was honored to head in the winning goal with 15 minutes to play and I knew we could hold on. The feeling of making it to the State tournament for the second time was extraordinary, we had created history, and we were the first boys’ team in Katy ISD to make it back to back to state. It was a wonderful achievement.

I am proud to say that I have had the best two years in my life as part of the Cinco Ranch Soccer Program, I have made long lasting friends and memories I will never forget. I have to add that we could not have done it without an amazing coach. Coach Whitfield has been the best coach I have ever worked with. His desire to win, his intelligence to help us become better individuals, both on and off the field, and finally his kind heart helped us be the successful squad we are today. The close bond he formed with each and every one of his players helped us find success on the field and off. It will be sad to say goodbye to a coach that has had such an impact on my life, but I know he will continue to bring success to the program. 

In conjunction, the support from both the pupils and the community has been fantastic, to look up at a filled stand is what drives us to win, not only us, but for the school. As state draws closer, I know that win or lose it has been a phenomenal experience, and I wouldn’t want to spend it with any other team. I am proud to have played soccer for Cinco Ranch High School, and I have for sure lived my American Dream.

Brady Johnston, Senior CRHS

Note:  Brady and our Cinco Ranch Boys' Soccer team played a phenomenal state semifinal match again an undefeated and eventual state champion Coppell team, but came up short in a 1-0 defeat. Both boys' and girls' soccer teams had incredible seasons, and we are extremely proud of them all!