Montgomery ISD Task Force Committee presents Bond Proposal to Board of Trustees

Significant growth projections across district and strong community desire to enhance Career & Technical Education propels committee to recommend bond referendum to school board

A task force committee comprised of parents, students, teachers, school district staff and community members presented recommendations for a May 2022 bond election to the Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees during their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Recommendations from the Community Bond Task Force include projects that will benefit all MISD students, teachers and staff, ensuring comparability, safety and security and growth needs are all addressed.

You can watch the video of the meeting here, or read the recap below:

The proposal contains the following projects:

  • Construction of a centralized Career and Technical Education Center serving both high schools
  • Construction of Elementary School #7
  • Construction of a district Agriculture Science Center
  • Construction of the second phase of Lake Creek HS
  • Land needed for construction of new educational facilities
  • Renovations of aging campuses with special attention to technology, safety and security
  • Improvements to infrastructure needed to enhance technology in every district classroom
  • Replacement and purchase of new school buses to update the district’s aging fleet and improve student transportation
  • Purchase of new equipment needed to enhance Fine Arts programs
  • Facility improvements to campuses to increase comparability across the district
  • Enhancements to districtwide safety and security measures and cybersecurity
  • Design and initial planning work for Junior High School #3
  • Necessary compliance renovations at MISD Athletic Complex
  • Expansion and comparability renovations at MISD Athletic Complex
  • Campus athletic renovations

In September 2021, trustees authorized Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison and district leadership to form the Community Bond Task Force to explore the need for a bond and make recommendations. The decision to form this committee came after trustees received the results of a district demographic study in 2021, which projected a significant growth in the student population over the next 10 years. Trustees also received a comprehensive assessment of district facilities that was performed by Huckabee Architects and approved a new district strategic plan during the 2020-21 school year. All were items that led to discussions surrounding the need for a bond to address growth and facility upgrades and to provide greater capacity to offer enhanced Career and Technical Education and Fine Arts programming.

“Growth in our district is here, and it’s very clear that more is coming,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “In our vision to be the Premier School District in Texas, we must take the necessary steps to ensure that our campuses and facilities meet growth projections and can offer the best educational programs our students need, expect and deserve. The work of this task force committee was a critical step to mapping the future of Montgomery ISD, and I’m thankful for the many hours each of them devoted to developing their proposal.”

Trustees will vote on whether to move forward with a May 2022 bond election at their regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The Community Bond Task Force was made up of parents and staff from each MISD campus, students from both of the district’s high schools, and Montgomery community members and business owners. The committee held six meetings during the fall semester, touring and evaluating facilities and critically evaluating data from the district’s 2021 facility assessment, as well as district growth patterns and projections. Members spent time studying the district’s Pathway to Premier Strategic Plan and discussing the needs of the rapidly growing district. During each meeting, district staff members were available to present information, answer questions and facilitate meaningful conversations.

“I could not be more pleased with how our committee developed the bond proposal that was presented to the Board of Trustees,” MISD parent MaryAnn Coleman said. “Whether the individual committee member was a Lion or a Bear, each person was very intentional in wanting to ensure that this bond would touch every campus and support every student in Montgomery ISD.”

After two of the six meetings, the committee unanimously agreed that, based on the data they had studied, Montgomery ISD is in need of additional capacity and educational facilities to serve current students enrolled in the district, as well as the thousands more projected to enroll over the next several years. The Community Bond Task Force spent their next four meetings developing the details of the bond proposal presented.

“The data and information presented to us made it abundantly clear that we need to responsibly plan for future growth in our school district,” Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and parent to Montgomery High School graduates Shannan Reid said. “Additionally, our community has been vocal in its desire to enhance Career and Technical Education offerings to students to ensure that after high school, every student in our district is well-prepared to step from the graduation stage directly into the college or career of their choice.”

It was recommended that the proposed projects be submitted to voters in three separate propositions:

  • Proposition A for school facilities, land acquisition and transportation, totaling $312,993.045;
  • Proposition B for renovations and expansion of the MISD Athletic Complex, totaling $8,514,045; and
  • Proposition C for technology devices, totaling $5,400,000; for a proposed total of $326,907,090.

The estimated property tax impact if voters approve all three propositions is projected to be less than a penny increase to the district’s debt service (I&S) rate. The district’s property tax rate is currently $1.26 per $100 of assessed value.

“This was a thorough process that resulted in numerous in-depth, meaningful conversations about what’s needed in Montgomery ISD to provide the quality education this community expects for every student,” Community Member Linda Chilcoat, who also served on the committee, said. “In the end, I’m very confident that the proposal put forward by our committee achieves this goal in a way that supports all students in a fiscally responsible manner to Montgomery ISD taxpayers.”

Montgomery ISD will host two Bond Town Hall meetings on Wednesday, January 26 at Montgomery High School and Wednesday, February 2 at Lake Creek High School. Both will be held in the campus auditoriums from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Information reviewed by the committee and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the district’s Paving Our Path: Bond 2022 webpage.

“I am incredibly grateful for the time, work and dedication each member of the task force committed to this important work,” Morrison said. “The work of this committee has laid the groundwork for projects that would have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of students, for many years to come.”

Project Impact: Mentor Spotlight

Local author participates in Montgomery ISD Mentor Program, encouraging students to follow their dreams

When you look back over your life and see the impact that others have had on your development, are you motivated to give back and make time to mentor other young students that could use that same kind of encouragement and support? That’s the motivation behind this month’s highlighted mentor, Alda P. Dobbs.

Montgomery ISD offers Project Impact, a mentor program for community members to give back to our secondary students that can benefit from an extra role model in their life. Mentors commit to one day a week for a 30 minute lunch period, providing food, conversation and a positive experience in their student’s week.

Alda has been serving as a mentor since 2019, in which she not only brought lunch and the commitment of visiting, but she also used her advanced math skills as a former engineer to help her student with their math homework, ultimately spending time with them as a tutor. COVID brought a pause to the mentor program in MISD in the spring of 2020, but when the opportunity was opened again this year, Alda was one of the first to commit.

“It’s more than just an opportunity to give back,” Dobbs said. “It’s the feeling I have each time I leave, the adrenaline rush of just joy and positivity. And it’s that child, that interaction with that student, that does that for me. When I leave here, I’m usually whistling or singing, and I’m always smiling.”

Alda has two kids in MISD, both elementary students that attend Keenan ES. She says the commitment is just an hour a week when you include travel time and picking up a lunch for the student, but the rewards are life-changing.

“To anyone that would even consider this opportunity, I would say, “Go for it!’ and encourage them to jump right in.” Dobbs said. “There are so many benefits from getting to see life from the perspective of another generation, from a different child. You learn and you grow, and you get to help that child grow as well.”

Alda Dobbs enjoying lunch with her junior high student.
Her hope is to start with a junior high student and build that relationship throughout that student’s time in MISD.

As a second career, Alda has become a 2022-2023 Bluebonnet Award nominated author with her first published book, Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. She has a passion for storytelling and has recorded a piece of her family history in a historical-fiction children’s novel.

“It follows my great grandmother in 1913 and her experiences during the Mexican Revolution and how our family sought refuge in the United States.” Dobbs said. “It takes you on the journey, the trek, through the desert and the chaos of attempting to cross the border.”

Barefoot Dreams is book one of a two book series, with the sequel scheduled to come out next year. The journey will continue and follow her to a refugee camp, and then to San Antonio where 30,000 refugees ended up in 1913. These pieces of historical fiction share about the struggles of adapting to culture, learning a language, finding housing and being resilient.

Alda has been sharing her book with MISD students as a guest speaker at Montgomery JH and is scheduled to do the same at other campuses across the district this spring semester. More importantly, she shares her personal journey of how she followed her dreams of becoming an author, after not learning to speak English herself until she entered public schools in San Antonio as a child. She speaks of her research and the commitment required to follow the process of publishing a book and she also encourages the students to follow their dreams, proving that it’s never too late to put your passion into something you care about. In this regard, Alda is a mentor to so many students, and we are excited to honor her as a member of Project Impact.

If you’d like to learn more about Project Impact and becoming a mentor for students in Montgomery ISD, please contact Courtney Dyer, Director of Community Services for MISD at courtney.dyer@misd.org.

Seven Montgomery ISD choir students named to Texas All-State Choir

All-State honor reflects students’ extraordinary commitment to musical excellence

Four Montgomery HS choir students and three Lake Creek HS choir students have each earned the prestigious honor of being named to the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir for 2022.

“The choir departments at both Montgomery and Lake Creek high schools are phenomenal programs full of extremely talented individuals,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “Receiving such high praise at the state level is highly commendable and Montgomery ISD is very proud of these students, their directors and the work they have put in to represent not only themselves, but all of Montgomery.”

Seniors Anna McKaughan, Landon Pate and Cassidy Ruda, and Junior Kaitlyn Reeves are members of the Montgomery HS Varsity Choir and the Montgomery Madrigals, under the direction of Heather Orr. This is the first time for Cassidy and Kaitlyn to perform as members of the TMEA All-State Choir, as Anna will be performing for her second time and Landon, his third.

“These students have shown so much dedication, focus and resilience in this competitive process and I am so proud of their work ethic,” Orr said. “Making the Texas All-State Choir is an individual honor that also brings honor and acclaim to the Fine Arts and Choir programs at Montgomery High School.”

Seniors Madison Berg, Patrick Hermes and Mary McCreary are members of the Lake Creek HS Choir Department, under the direction of Cameron Carnley. This is Madison and Patrick’s first time to perform as a member of a TMEA All-State organization and Mary’s second time.

“Making an All State Choir is the highest honor an individual choir student can achieve in the state of Texas,” Carnley said. “Mary, Madison, and Patrick have all grown into fine musicians over the past four years and I am beyond proud of their determination and pursuit of excellence. Our theme at Lake Creek High School this year is “Premier is Here,” and these students have proved that true.”

All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. These students were chosen for this prestigious honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at District, Region, Pre-Area, and Area levels. TMEA sponsors the Texas All-State audition process to promote students’ dedication to their musical knowledge and skill and to encourage educators to support their students in this development.

This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA Regions. Over 70,000 individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in eight TMEA Area competitions. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to a TMEA All-State music group.

Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the Texas All-State competition. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. Only the top 2.6% of musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians; 1,875 students selected to perform in one of 18 ensembles.

These All-State students participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally recognized conductors during the TMEA Clinic/Convention and will perform with the Texas All-State Choir in San Antonio, Saturday, February 12, 2022 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Their performances for thousands of attendees will bring this extraordinary process to a close.

For the All-State concert schedule and conductor information, go to the Performances section of http://www.tmea.org/convention.

A Conversation with Dr. Morrison: Season 2, Episode 2

It’s time for our mid-term check-in with Montgomery ISD Superintendent, Dr. Heath Morrison.

Watch as Dr. Steven Meeker sits down with our district superintendent and discusses major topics for this school year. Topics include the continued ways in which a school district has to deal with the COVID pandemic, the creation of the 2022-2023 Academic Calendar, the 2022-2023 budget process, a possible Bond election in May of 2022 and more. 

Montgomery ISD Education Foundation’s “Grant Express’ awards over $43,000 to district educators

Twenty grants were awarded to bring creativity and innovation to MISD classrooms

The Montgomery ISD Education Foundation awarded a total of $43, 298 in grants for innovative projects to educators across the district today.

Members of the MISD Education Foundation Board of Directors, MISD Trustees, district staff, and foundation donors formed the MISD Education Foundation “Grant Express”, taking a Montgomery ISD bus from campus to campus surprising educators with news that innovative classroom projects they had applied for in the fall would be funded by the Foundation.  

The Montgomery ISD Education Foundation’s grant program is designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative instructional approaches that will enhance the educational experience for students. Members of the Foundation spent the past several months developing an enhanced grant program that promotes collaboration between departments and a robust application process.


“Support from our Education Foundation is instrumental to enhancing innovative learning in our district,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “The creativity of our teachers and staff and the generosity of our Foundation to fund the dreams our educators have for students is an enormous benefit.” 


MISD Education Foundation Executive Director Tiffany Ortiz formed a grant sub-committee to evaluate and research nearly 40 grant proposals that were submitted through the application process. This committee included members of the MISD Education Foundation Board of Directors, district leadership and nine individuals who have children enrolled in the district or are local business owners actively involved in Montgomery ISD.


“The Foundation is extremely grateful to the members of the grant sub-committee who helped us with our final selections,” Ortiz said. “Their knowledge and support ensured that all grants are beneficial and in the scope of Montgomery ISD’s curriculum, as well as campus and district improvement plans.” 


In total, the twenty grants awarded will fund innovative classroom projects that will support thousands of students throughout the district’s ten campuses. The grant awards included eight individual educator grants, five instructional team grants, five campus grants and two multi-campus grants.

Lincoln ES received the following grants:

A New Spin on Learning- Campus Grant- $2,266

Future Scientists- Campus Grant- $1,525

Getting Back to the SWING of Things- Campus Grant- $621.09

Sensational Sensory Kids- Instructional Team Grant- $2,204

Montgomery HS received the following grants:

Wheels for Ceramics- Instructional Team Grant- $4,999.20

Men of Montgomery Choir Fest- Grant for All Secondary Campuses- $3,000

Montgomery ES received the following grants:

Learning Alive Rug- Individual Educator Grant- $468.96

Listening=Learning- Individual Educator Grant- $1,494.52

Oh the Things You Can Think- Multi-Campus Grant- $5,000

Relating Through Rhythm- Individual Educator Grant- $1,896.65

Keenan ES received the following grants:

Coders and Computational Thinkers- Individual Educator Grant- $1,518

STEM for ALL- Campus Grant- $3,449.98

Oak Hills JH received the following grant:

Choir Media- Individual Educator Grant- $1,407.95

Lake Creek HS received the following grants:

Improved Intonation for the Band- Individual Educator Grant- $600

Molecular Model Kits- Individual Educator Grant- $254.85

Madeley Ranch ES received the following grants:

Let’s Go with the FLO!- Campus Grant- $2,340

Flexible Seating for Flexible Learners- Instructional Team Grant- $3,166

Stewart Creek ES received the following grant:

Drums, Dance and Drama- Individual Educator Grant- $1,448.75

Montgomery JH received the following grants:

Our World and Beyond- Instructional Team Grant- $1,722.17

Leveling Up Literacy- Instructional Team Grant- $3,915.01

“The purpose of our foundation is to enhance what our amazing educators are already doing in their classrooms,” Ortiz said. “Today we were able to complete a process that was only possible thanks to the donations of our local business community, our Montgomery ISD families and every person that has played a part in our fundraising efforts this past year!”

Montgomery ES receives food service upgrade for Bearcat students

Originally built to serve middle school students, Montgomery ES has been in need of an updated food distribution line for several years. Thanks to the resourceful management and planning of Montgomery ISD’s Child Nutrition department, the need for a more efficient and student-friendly experience came true over the winter break.

On a typical school morning, lines would be stretched through the length of the cafeteria. As Montgomery ES Bearcats came for breakfast this morning, the lines were shorter, the students were served more efficiently, and each child was able reach the self-serve items they desired.

“This is not only a beautiful new display that will provide a warm and inviting atmosphere for meal time,” Principal Bobby Ingalls said. “Being more efficient, it will give the students more time to sit and enjoy their meal, while also allowing our littlest learners to be served more easily, able to reach and see the food selections.”

Director of Child Nutrition, Lena Neugebauer, and Assistant Director Krista Scott, have been budgeting for this need and began the planning and development of this upgrade in the summer of 2021. Working with Chrane Foodservice Solutions on design, as well as ModuServe and Kommercial Kitchens for implementation, the former food line was demoed and the new install completed in just three days during our district’s winter break.

“The design and the details are not only more efficient for our students and staff,” Scott said. “The waterless wells and upgraded design are more cost effective, energy efficient, safer for our staff and will require less time when our employees clean up after each meal service.”

Montgomery ES serves about 350 breakfasts and over 400 lunches each day, making them the campus in Montgomery ISD that serves the highest percentage of their student population. This improvement to the service line will benefit them for many years to come.

“This is a big project for our Child Nutrition department,” Neugebauer said. “Serving our students nutritious meals is our top priority in contributing to their ability to learn each day, but it’s also very important that we do so in the most streamlined way possible. Seeing the efficiency and ease for the students this morning makes it worth every bit of the effort!”

Board of Trustees Meeting Recap: December 14, 2021

The Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees met for their regular scheduled meeting tonight.

Below are highlights of the meeting:

Special Recognition of Debbie Whitaker

In honor of her retirement after 23 years of service to Montgomery ISD, Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison and the Board of Trustees gave a special recognition to the Superintendent’s Secretary, Debbie Whitaker.

Debbie has worked in Montgomery ISD since 1998, having opened Montgomery High School with then-principal Bobby Morris. In 2002, she was named Secretary to the Superintendent and has worked as the administrative assistant to another four superintendents through her tenure in this position.

The role of Superintendent Secretary requires an abundance of responsibility, supporting the superintendent and the seven members of the MISD Board of Trustees. She manages the calendars of these individuals, as well as the senior leadership team and the ten campus principals. In addition to being the Superintendent’s Secretary, she has also held the role of District Investment Officer and until this school year, she managed the records and financials for the Montgomery ISD Education Foundation.

“While we are all thrilled for Debbie as she opens a new and exciting life chapter, her calm presence and friendship, and incredible knowledge of Montgomery ISD will be greatly missed,” Dr. Morrison said. “We celebrate her outstanding career, thank her for her years of service and dedication to Montgomery ISD and wish her all the best in the adventures that await.”

Trustees Presented with Results of District’s Financial Audit

During the meeting, trustees were presented with and accepted the results of the district’s annual fiscal year financial audit. The district’s third-party audit firm issued a clean audit that resulted in a significant deposit of revenues into the district’s general Maintenance and Operations fund. The increase to the fund balance was a result of additional revenues and efficient management of the district’s budget. Additionally, when financial ratings are released next year, the district expects to receive high marks as a result of the audit.

“Sound fiscal management is an area we highly prioritize as a district and Board of Trustees,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “We are extremely pleased by the results of this year’s audit, and the deposit into the general fund balance is a clear indication that our financial house is in order and the district’s budgets are being managed responsibly and effectively.”

Secondary Course Selection Guide Approved

Montgomery ISD Trustees also adopted the 2022-23 academic year secondary Course Selection Guide, which includes additions to course offerings at both the high school and junior high school levels.

Each spring, current and incoming students at the secondary level select courses offered in the district’s Course Selection Guide. Key changes include adding additional Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Credit courses, including the AP Capstone Program, which encourages students to enroll in and take exams for AP courses.

Increasing the number of students participating in at least one advanced academic course is a stated goal in the district’s Pathway to Premier strategic plan.

In addition to increasing AP and Dual Credit course offerings, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) section of the district’s course guide has been enhanced to more adequately reflect how CTE courses offered by MISD are connected to career pathways and industry-based certifications. The changes to the course selection guide include additional offerings in Animal Science, Ag Mechanics, Plant Science, Architectural Design, Entrepreneurship, Manufacturing, STEM and in Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security.

The Junior High Course Selection Guide also has a change in Career and Technical Education. Students will now take one of five courses that align with high school CTE pathways, including Principles of Applied Engineering, Agriculture, Health Science, Human Services, and Business, Marketing & Finance.

“Continuing to grow and enhance Career and Technical Education opportunities for students in Montgomery ISD has been a major focus of district leadership and our community, and our Course Selection Guide reflects this priority,” Dr. Morrison said. “We believe that every Montgomery ISD student, when they receive their diploma, should be well prepared for the college or career opportunity of their choice, and CTE is critical to this value we hold as a district.”

Presentation on Goal 2: School Safety

During Board meetings, district leaders present updates to the Board of Trustees on the progress of various goals, departments and priorities in the strategic plan.

Montgomery ISD Chief of Police Stephen Phillips, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and Innovation and Director of Community Services Courtney Dyer presented an update on Goal 2, which encompasses school safety.

You can see the update on Goal 2 presented to the Board of Trustees here.

Board Approves Healthcare Plan in Accordance with New State Law, SB 1444

Earlier this year, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1444. This bill states that Texas school districts who participate in TRS ActiveCare insurance may no longer offer more than one healthcare provider. Currently, Montgomery ISD offers healthcare coverage options under both TRS ActiveCare and Texas School Health Benefits Plan (TSHBP) and this new bill requires the district to select one provider by December 31, 2021.

Montgomery ISD Benefits and Employee Relations Coordinator, Teresa Tipton, has spent the last two months presenting the plan options to each campus and department to provide information and gather feedback and input. The district also issued a survey to all staff asking for their feedback regarding healthcare options. In her presentation to the Board of Trustees, Tipton shared the results of that survey as well as the plan summaries, premium information and her reports from meeting with both TRS ActiveCare and TSHBP. The results of the survey can be found on the district’s website.

After thorough analysis of both healthcare options, Mrs. Tipton presented the district’s recommendation to move forward with TSHBP as its sole healthcare plan provider. The board approved the recommendation, and this change takes effect at the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Lake Creek Senior performing her way to the Grammy Ballot

Attend any Lake Creek HS choir or theater program and one special voice is going to stand out and impress. Lake Creek senior Lexi Delahoussaye has been performing and singing since she was just four years old, when her parents first realized she was made for the stage.

“Since she was little, her singing and confidence has always left people in awe,” Lexi’s father Todd Delahoussaye said. “It does me too, but I’m most impressed with the hard-working perfectionist that has the innate ability to sing directly to your heart and soul.”

After moving to Louisiana at age seven, Lexi started with a vocal coach and joined a singing group that performed at various venues, while also participating in Community Theater programs with her local church. Her father’s favorite performance was when Lexi was just seven, in which she sang the National Anthem, spur of the moment, at a company Clay Shoot in front of 2000 adults, leaving the audience speechless.

Coming back to Texas in sixth grade, Lexi began her journey as a choir student in Montgomery ISD and has worked under several MISD choir directors, having attended Montgomery Middle School, Montgomery JH, Oak Hills JH and Lake Creek HS. She is now a student in two varsity level choir classes and also serves one class period as assistant to LCHS Choir Director, Mr. Cameron Carnley. She says that her most influential person in her music career is Mr. Carnley and his slogan that “We Sing to Inspire” is something she will carry with her always.

“Lexi is talented, but beyond that she is extremely hard-working and humble,” Carnley said. “She wants our programs to truly be the best and loves to learn by accepting constructive criticism. She is kind and intelligent and it is truly a gift to be able to teach her.”

As a freshman at Lake Creek HS, Lexi was a member of the school’s first theater team, helping lead the team to State in UIL One Act Play and earning 5A State Best Performer for her lead role as Becca in Rabbit Hole, in which the team placed seventh. She has continued to lead the theater program with lead roles in other plays including Vintage Hitchcock and The Memory of Water, as well as playing the iconic role of Miss Scarlet in the fall production of Clue and The Ghost of Christmas Past in their current production, A Christmas Carol.

“Lexi is one of those students who is not only superbly talented, but she has the strong work ethic to match,” Lake Creek HS Theater Director Robert Ramirez said. “At the end of every rehearsal she asks if there is anything that needs to be done. She clearly has a deep love and respect for the theatrical process and that comes across in everything she does.”

In addition to school theater, Lexi has been with Main Stage Productions and Class-Act Productions, with roles in plays including Hunchback of Notre Dame and Beauty and the Beast. When asked who her biggest fan is, she didn’t hesitate to say it is her dad, who is always encouraging her and challenging her to try new things.

“Lexi is an old soul,” Mr. Delahoussaye said. “Her ability to display emotion, whether singing or acting, blows my mind. I must have seen her in Rabbit Hole 20 times her freshman year, and it got me every time!”

Lexi Delahoussaye stars as Becca in Rabbit Hole, in which she was awarded 5A State of Texas Best Actress in a One Act Play. Pictured with her is co-star Samuel Irving in the role of Howie.

Last year, at just 17 years old, Lexi joined the Sarah Kelly music school and would participate in “Singing on the Lawn” in Market Street, performing for local crowds. Her father encouraged her to take a songwriting class and with the support of Kendal Mays, Lexi wrote the lyrics to her first solo, Watercolor Memories. It was produced by Jonas Ekman (Sweekman) and released on the school’s own record label, Sweekman Artists. The school submitted the song for consideration in the “Best Pop Solo Performance” category for the 2022 Grammy Awards and it appeared on the Grammy Ballot. Though it did not get an official nomination among the names Justin Beiber, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande, it is a huge accomplishment for a young student trying out song-writing for the first time.

Lexi is looking forward to studying Musical Theater in college. She has been accepted to each school that she has applied to and is narrowing down her choices based on their Musical Theater programs, knowing that the stage is where her passion lies.

“Lexi is talented, yes. But she is also a pleasant individual with great ideas,” Ramirez continued. “Because of that, you just want to work with her, and I think that will serve her well as she begins her journey into the professional world of acting and performance.”

Montgomery JH Jolly Trolley raises money to support campus Angel Tree students

The Jolly Trolley can be seen on campus at Montgomery JH each Friday, selling snacks and drinks to staff to raise money for their program’s Community Based Instruction (CBI) opportunities. The Functional Academics and Life Skills students receive the opportunity of service, expanding their social skills while working together to interact with the Montgomery JH staff that purchases from their cart.

Seeing a need on their campus and an opportunity for a community service project, Life Skills teachers Kristal Enyart and David Donenfeld helped their students add a Hot Chocolate Bar to their menu for the previous two Fridays, with the students using the proceeds to adopt two Angle Tree students.

“Doing Jolly Trolley, the kids get to learn so much interacting with the general ed population,” Mr. Donenfeld said. “But with this opportunity, they are also getting to learn to give back.”

Students spent time practicing how to measure the water and hot chocolate, while also separating and organizing inventory, decorating the hot chocolate bar and developing the skills to properly greet teachers and staff.

After the money was raised, the students were taken on a CBI trip to Walmart to shop for their Angel Tree students. With the direction and support of teachers and paraprofessionals that joined them for shopping, the students followed the wish lists, helped pick the best gifts and even used voting methods when everyone didn’t agree on the right shoe or pant selection. Working together as a team they filled carts with gifts and wrapping supplies, as well as Jolly Trolley supplies for this week’s service.

“Taking our students shopping allowed them to practice their social skills and shopping within a budget,” Mrs. Enyart said. “Most importantly, they were able to learn about giving to others.”

When the shopping was completed, students earned a Pizza Shack lunch as their payment for the Jolly Trolley job, rewarding their hard work. They returned to campus and spent the afternoon wrapping the gifts and celebrating a job well done.

“This project was a win-win-win for all involved,” Mr. Donenfeld said. “The students win with this experience, our Angel tree students are gifted with needs and wants, and we get to be a part of something great with our kids.”