Smith Named principal Shepherd Middle School


Shepherd Middle School would like to introduce you to their new principal, Michael Smith. Mr. Smith was named the principal to SMS at last week’s SISD School Board meeting. Mr. Smith replaces longtime Principal, Brenda Cronin, who has taken a position within Shepherd ISD’s administrative offices. Mr. Smith began working at Shepherd Middle School on February 22.

Mr. Smith comes to Shepherd via Beaumont ISD where he served as Vincent Middle School’s Assistant Principal for the previous four years. Before he was worked on the campus administrative team at Vincent, he taught American History, coached junior high sports, and also served as a paraprofessional serving the special education students at Vincent Middle School. Michael also worked as a paraprofessional in Sheldon ISD.

A resident of Sour Lake, Mr. Smith is a 1996 graduate of Hardin Jefferson High School. His Bachelor of Arts Degree and Masters of Education are both from Lamar University in Beaumont. In December, he completed his studies for his Superintendent certification from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches.

Mr. Smith’s wife, Terri, is a Language Arts and Reading teacher at Henderson Middle School in Sour Lake. The Smiths have two sons, Wyatt and Morgan. The family spends their time following the boys around in their sports. The boys are currently playing basketball and baseball.

Shepherd ISD Students Visit Training Facility


Recently, Shepherd ISD Career and Technology students visited Zachery Construction Companies employment and training facility in Deere Park. Shepherd CTE Advisory Committee member and Zachery employee, Mr. Chad LaComb organized the tour. The students heard from leaders in several craft and administrative positions in the company. It was a great experience to hear their job descriptions, starting salaries, how to prepare for employment and even how to apply for a job with the company. The opportunities abound for young people with the “want to”.

On March 1 at Shepherd High School the Career and Technology Department and Economic Development Corporation are hosting a Career and Job Fair for students from 1:30-3:30 pm and open to the community from 4:00-6:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to connect with companies that are hiring and hold positive futures for people with the “want to” .

Shepherd ISD is “Inspiring Success Through Passion and Pride”

Art league winners progress to compete in spring

Julie Meeks was First Place with her “Sailboat” (shown)  and Second Place with her “Ceaser II”.Julie Meeks was First Place with her “Sailboat” (shown) and Second Place with her “Ceaser II”.

The Coldspring Area Art League held the local spring art show earlier this year in March. Winners of the show were eligible to compete in the Lone Star Art Guild Show and Convention this past June 26 and 27. The event was held at the new Klein ISD Multipurpose facility. Approximately 250 people participated in the show with 750 pieces of art entered to be judge...all qualifying at previous local shows and members of the Lone Star Art Guild.

Coldspring Area Art League (CAAL) was well represented from a group of talented artists, friends and neighbors of our community – they brought home ribbons. Among the winners were, Julie Meeks in First Place for her “Sailboat”. Meeks took Second Place with “Ceaser II”. Sandi Osiecki took Second Place for “Ziggy”. John Davis received Honorable Mention for photography with “Reaching Out”, and Steven Brownfield received Honorable Mention for Jewelry - “Alpine Sunset”. Other CAAL members that participated were Patricia Blaike, Susie Wallace, Linda Deeter and Lou Turpin.

The CAAL meets the first Monday of the month at Paradise Grill, 6:00. All artists and mediums are welcome.

Photos Courtesy of
Linda Deeter

Juneteenth Celebration – 150 Years In Texas

By: Gayle Erwin
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The Friends of Hopewell, Inc. once again this year hosted a the Juneteenth Celebration this past Saturday. The group is organized by friends for the purpose of the Restoration and Preservation of African-American Heritage in San Jacinto County. They are a State of Texas Non-Profit (501c3).

Grand Marshall, 109 year old Emma Goolsby Prima of  Point Blank. Riding in the parade but not pictured is 103 year old Cassie (Sonny) Hutchison of Coldspring.Grand Marshall, 109 year old Emma Goolsby Prima of Point Blank. Riding in the parade but not pictured is 103 year old Cassie (Sonny) Hutchison of Coldspring.2015 brings the celebration to another milestone. The history of Juneteenth is celebrated in Texas each year. On June 19 (Juneteenth) 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, thus belatedly bringing about the freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. This message came to Texas over five months late, as President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1865. The tidings of freedom reached slaves gradually as individual plantation owners read the proclamation to their bondsmen over the months following the Civil War.

The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African-Americans about their voting rights. Some of these earlier emancipation festivals were regulated by city authorities to outskirts of some towns. Some Juneteenth Planning Committees collected funds to purchase tracts of land for their celebrations; examples, Emancipation Parks in Houston and Austin. In time, however, Juneteenth was marked as we know it today by festivities throughout the state and neighboring states of Louisiana and Oklahoma and other states, as African-American Texans migrated to those areas.

Production for festivities for this year began with the preparations by the Friends of Hopewell, Inc. many months ago. This years festivities began at 9:00 am on the front courthouse steps which were patriotically decorated for the event.

The Emancipation Program was opened by Mrs. Lillie Lunnon-Bosom, opening the event ceremony to all attendees. Rev. Rayfield Jefferson eloquently delivered a prayer of thankfulness for the many blessing bestowed upon the African-American race as a result of the proclamation, allowing freedom to those that were slaves in 1865. The action that has also assured the generations after that they have not had to endure the status of slavery.

Welcoming all to the event was Mrs. Ester Elmore-Wynn. Commissioner Ray McCoppin, representing San Jacinto County, presented the proclamation that was approved by Judge John Lovett, and the County Commissioners, earlier in June to declare the Juneteenth Celebration with the official proclamation. Young enthusiasts Christy and Carson Combs read the Emancipation Proclamation. The American Legion Post 629 represented by Dale Everitt, presented a Juneteenth flag for the flag ceremony. Everitt indicated that the flag would fly at the courthouse until Sunday afternoon and then placed in the courthouse for future celebrations. The flag ceremony included the singing of the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, led by Minister Carolyn Walker-Jefferson. The event Emancipation Program segment concluded just in time for the continuation of the events – the Juneteenth Parade.

The parade began at Old Jones High School and went to the San Jacinto County Fairgrounds. The parade was the best ever commented shop owner – Cora Standley. The Grand Marshall’s of the parade were, Emma Goolsby Prima, who will be 110 on August 5 of this year. Also serving as another Grand Marshall was Cassie (Sonny) Hutchison, who is age 103. The attendees were in awe to be able to honor these two individuals. Floats, trail riders, cars, trucks, and the like were all in the parade to celebrate Juneteenth.

Festivities for Juneteenth then moved over to the unveiling ceremony for The Hopewell Center of San Jacinto County. The center is still under construction, but was opened and enjoyed on this day of celebration. The program began with Minister Carolyn Walker-Jefferson. The ceremony included singing, and a status report of the center. Dale Everitt and Rebecca Hammond made a historic presentation to the Friends of Hopewell on this celebratory day. A lovely dinner was provided by Friends of Hopewell, Inc. A day of blessings and love was partaken of by the showing of the those attending this memorable occasion for both the Friends of Hopewell and the 150 Years of Freedom.

Students were inspired by Clutch the Rockets mascot to do their best

Rockets Mascot

James Street Elementary and Coldspring Intermediate students were inspired and encouraged to do their best by a visit from the Houston Rockets' mascot Clutch on Friday, April 17. Clutch and his partner Rockets Ranger presented students with testing tips and motivation in a fun, exciting program that everyone enjoyed. Angela Ballew and Janet Sanve were responsible for planning this awesome assembly to get students pumped up and ready to go for STAAR testing! (Photos by Barbara Bounds)

Award winning artist remembered

Contributed by: Linda Deeter
Coldspring Area Art League, President

The recent death of Mary Basye Nicklow will leave a tremendous void in the Coldspring community, but her memory and love of art will live on.

Mary Basye NicklowMary Basye NicklowAfter studying art privately for many years, watercolor became the chosen medium of Mary Basye Nicklow. A serious artist since 1976, this international award-winning watercolorist had numerous one-woman shows in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. For several years, she was represented by the prestigious DuBose Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Mary's artwork is included in many corporate as well as private collections. It can be seen gracing the walls at our local Bank of San Jacinto County and numerous other locations. A native Texan, she made her home in Coldspring. Mary's subject matter varied from rural landscapes of East Texas to the sometimes stark scenery of the Big Bend area of West Texas. Her still life and portrait paintings have been widely accepted and in more recent years she had completed a number of large floral paintings. Her love of nature and love of God was evident, not only in her art, but in her life!

Mary was a signature member of the Texas Watercolor Society, Watercolor Art Society of Houston, The International Society of Artists and had her work accepted for competition by the American Watercolor Society in New York. She was a Charter Member of Coldspring Area Art League, and a member of Lone Star Art Guild.

Mary was deeply involved in art in the Coldspring community. She loved sharing her art and she loved encouraging others to pursue their artistic talents. Mary, along with 11 other charter members, established the Coldspring Area Art League 2012, with a mission to "encourage the diversity of art". She loved participating in the League's numerous community activities and delighted in sharing her knowledge of art with children at the Creative Kids Art Camp each year. She demonstrated for the League, always shared her "artistic opinion" when asked!