Friday, October 19, 2018

Cinco Parents: Never forget we need you.

"Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless."-Sherry Anderson

Giving back at CRHS as a volunteer makes me a “Granny” to many.

My name is Angell Brown-Fontenot, and Katy has been my home since 1993. I have been called “Granny” for almost 16 years by many. I have 3 biological granddaughters 16, 8 and 2 years.   My volunteer work in the district has spanned many years and many schools. I started as a Williams Wrangler, then a Beck Bulldog and now as a Cougar and the VIPS coordinator at Cinco Ranch High School.

People who know me are aware how grateful I am to always help -  especially when it supports our kids. Here at CRHS we are a very large and growing family community. The connections we make as volunteers with other volunteers and with the education team at CRHS expand the safety net of caring adults who will watch over all my children because they know my kids and they know me.

This granny wears many hats…I’m uber Granny, Dr Granny and volunteering Granny just to name a few. I listen, I help, I hug and support whenever is needed. I've never had to perform surgery but I do carry a Mary Poppins bag filled with anything that someone might need. Need a icepack…. I have it. Just snap to activate. I could totally win on “Let Make A Deal”. I get the benefit of caring for many more “grandchildren” without having to worry about paying for their college.

I know, I know, volunteerism requires time. Between working, caring for kids, managing a home and various after school activities, we are all exhausted enough. Add in social commitments, family time and time to watch a little Netflix, and we have precious little to spare. I wish there were more hours in the day. After all, we are always busy, tired and surely someone else can do it. But there are small opportunities we have before us that make an impact on our children before they are off to college and adulthood. And one never knows how much your attention is felt by other children, not just your own. Our kids may tell us to stay away, but they really love when they can catch a glimpse of us volunteering. It's a point of pride for our children to know that we are invested in their academic success and have a desire to be of help at their school.

Just recently, a dad asked if there was anything he could do to help me with volunteering. I suggested he schedule a long lunch break from work one day to come help with our Wednesday pizza sales. This is an opportunity to see your child in their school environment, hanging out with their friends. This dad's daughter was so excited that he was there and made all her friends come by to see him. The smile on both of their faces warmed my heart. He called me after and expressed the gratitude and joy he felt. “I feel like a Rock Star."  

Your kids really are excited to see you involved at any level and it brightens their day. Parent volunteer involvement affords us the opportunity to learn about others, support the growth and development of our school and enrich the lives of our kids. I see it as extra bonding time, and we have the opportunity to get it while we can. Because tomorrow? They're off on their own, living their lives. And don't you want to see them build upon the legacy of community citizenship we began for them?

I'll see you on campus!

Angell “Granny” Brown-Fontenot

Friday, October 12, 2018

Cinco Ranch: It's a feeling!

When Mr. Cross recently approached me about contributing to the school blog, my knee jerk reaction was to pretend I didn’t see his email. You see, while I consider myself an avid reader, I have never considered myself a gifted writer, so putting myself “out there” seemed terrifying.

When I accepted a teaching position at Cinco this fall, my friends and family were shocked. I confess that as a Katy native, I bleed red. I have been a Tiger fan since I was eight years old when my father started hauling me to Tiger football games across the state. My husband and I are both Katy High graduates, my extended family are all KHS graduates, and most of our friends are as well. You can bet that our daughters have been raised to cheer for the Red and the White and show their Tiger Pride. How could I now cheer for “that school”?

And then a funny thing happened when I arrived on campus for my first meeting in August. Cinco Ranch seemed different – from running around the school on a scavenger hunt with other new teachers, to hearing from student leaders about their school pride and positive campus experiences, to walking across the stage for my Cougar initiation –  I suddenly realized that I had hit the teacher jackpot.

Throughout its history, CRHS has been recognized for its excellent academic achievement, high accountability ratings, exemplary fine arts performances, outstanding athletic programs and is now home to the 2018 Texas PTA Outstanding Secondary Principal. However, the real secret here at Cinco is the family. In just a short period of time, I have found a place I consider my home away from home. The staff, students, and parents make hitting the snooze button a thing of the past. I truly love coming to work each day! The community and culture that is Cinco is difficult to put into words. It’s a feeling – a knowing – an echo in the halls. You can’t understand it unless you are a part of it.

While my heart will always be a Tiger, I have already traded my reds for maroons, and I see my daughters as future Cougars! Thank you for welcoming this Tiger into your den. 

Rachel Tate, English Teacher