Crosby’s Hendrix Memorial Library; Veterans honored

Hello East Harris County and Crosby ISD families,

The blessing of the Thanksgiving season is upon us, and my heart is full of seeing so many wonderful happenings in Crosby ISD. Let’s jump right in.

We were so proud to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Don Hendrix this month. Dr. Hendrix served as Superintendent of Schools in Crosby ISD for more than 21 years, from 1986-2007. Dr. Hendrix was superintendent when I was a student in Crosby ISD, and he was also became one of my college instructors. He lived and breathed Crosby ISD. On November 10, our communities came together to officially name the library at Crosby High School as “The Dr. Don Hendrix Memorial Library.” Dr. Hendrix once told his friend of 65 years that the greatest honor for an educator would be having a library named after him or her. Dr. Hendrix now has that. At the ceremony, Dr. Hendrix’s oldest son, Dean, his widow, Maryland, and former Crosby ISD Superintendent, Mr. Mike Joseph, shared stories about his love of learning. Dr. Hendrix was raised by a single mother, and he spent every day as a child in a library. His curiosity and love of discovery were lifelong passions until his passing in 2021. Future generations of Crosby High School students will now walk through the entrance bearing his name, each time they arrive to check out a book, listen to an author, or spend quiet time reading. Thank you, Dr. Hendrix, for your legacy of exceptional instruction at Crosby ISD.

This month, our students – from the smallest Cougars in Pre-K and Kindergarten to our graduating seniors – put on a patriotic program in honor of Veterans Day and Crosby / Barrett Station veterans and their families. We celebrated veterans, from those who just left active duty all the way up to the 86-year-old great-grandfather of one of our students. Harris County is home to the largest population of veterans in Texas, and the Crosby ISD celebration at Cougar Stadium is one of the largest ceremonies by a school district in our region. We thank them for their service and sacrifice.

Crosby High School’s Culinary Arts teacher, Chef Vasso Espinosa, was the featured speaker at the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon. She hosted a “Turkey Talk.” Chef Espinosa shared some secrets from the kitchen of our student- run restaurant, the Cougar Bistro. Her secret to mouth-watering turkey is lots of herbs and butter tucked directly under the skin of the centerpiece bird. During the time in the oven, the turkey meat incorporates the wonderful flavor from the seasonings of rosemary, thyme, and sage. Yum! Our culinary arts students are also celebrating a generous donation of $2000 from Skero’s Furniture that is helping purchase an industrial steamer for the CHS kitchen. We also want to thank Trusted Insurance Group for choosing the Cougar Bistro to host their Thanksgiving company lunch, catered by our students. There’s nothing better than CommUNITY cooking.

This month, staff members on each campus spent their Staff Development Friday learning, eating, laughing, and learning some more. At Drew Elementary School, teachers closely examined data points regarding student performance. Their analysis included identifying areas of improvement and then tailoring their teaching strategies to suit student needs. At Crosby Middle School and Newport Elementary School, the campus-wide training focused on the benefits of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system, including new strategies for rewarding positive behaviors more effectively. At Crosby High School, teachers trained on STAAR test administration, special programs, 504 accommodations, and Apple Pencil with our Technology Services trainers. Our campus administrators had a development session by Region IV focused on how to build efficacy on their campuses, or zero in on what’s needed to help students reach their potential. Staff Development Fridays also include optional wellness sessions. We love seeing our staff have a chance to participate in a rotating wellness class each month.

One housekeeping note. We are currently seeking input on a survey for the 2024-2025 Academic Calendar. We are asking one question: do you prefer a four-day instructional week or a five-day instructional week? We have a link to the survey embedded in the District’s weekly “Cougar News Now” newsletter. The newsletter can be found in an email from the District and posted on our social media platforms.

I hope the start of the holiday season is a joyful time for our students, staff, families, and communities. Thanksgiving reminds me that we all need moments to ponder our gratitude and acknowledge all those who are blessings in our lives. From the Crosby ISD family to your family, Happy Thanksgiving.

We are Moving Forward! Go Coogs!

Paula Patterson
Crosby ISD Superintendent