Windham partners with Mullin ISD, TDCJ. Begins new High School Diploma program in prison
Texas’s first in-prison High School Diploma (HSD) program in more than 30 years is underway, with a new class of 42 female HSD graduates recognized in December, 2014. This unique program began with approximately 30 other young women earlier in the year, thanks to a unique partnership among Windham School District (WSD), Mullin Independent School District (ISD) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
TDCJ offenders who were incarcerated at the time they had nearly earned a diploma were given an opportunity to attend classes at the San Saba Unit, with WSD providing desks, computer equipment and high school software. Mullin ISD provided the teaching staff for these students behind bars, who met the eligibility criteria for enrollment in Mullin ISD courses, according to Texas Education Agency guidelines. WSD provided administrative oversight, and TDCJ provided classroom space and security services. The program opened on February 18, and the first graduation of 27 took place in June amid cheers from graduates, parents, and teachers. Contagious pride in accomplishment and intense emotions were on display as each student received their diploma from Mullin ISD and a certificate of completion from WSD. The program’s second class of 42 diploma recipients was also recently honored at San Saba, along with eight GED recipients.
Students in this program gain course credit in subject areas needed for the Texas HSD. Diplomas are awarded when all coursework and required state assessments are passed.
"We are exceptionally proud of these graduates for working hard to earn their diplomas despite tough circumstances. They have turned their negative situations into personal, family success stories," WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter said. "Mullin teachers have provided excellent instruction to these young women, and their families have given the women the backing needed to make positive changes in their lives. This becomes a better story for generations to come. We thank TDCJ and Mullin ISD for the exceptional support they gave to make this program a reality."
San Saba High School Partnership
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PRISON EDUCATORS HONORED FOR EXCELLENCE
BEHIND THE RAZOR WIRE
Excellence in teaching is being recognized within the state prison system as the Windham School District (WSD) announces the selection of Jody Addy of the Robertson Unit (Abilene) as the 2015 Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award winner. Addy and finalists Martha Estrada (Sanchez State Jail, El Paso) and Brent Frailicks (Moore Unit, Bonham) were nominated by their peers and selected through a rigorous screening process. The Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award is named for Dr. Lane Murray, pioneer superintendent of the WSD, which was formed in 1969.
“We are proud to recognize the Excellence in Teaching winner and finalists as some of the best correctional educators in the state,” WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter said. “Recognizing excellence in teaching is one of the most important things we can do. It is our privilege to honor these top three teachers, along with their peers across the state, for making WSD a success. Their enthusiasm, skill and dedication are inspirational to all of us, and life-changing for their students.”
Winner Jody Addy teaches literacy skills in the Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) lab at the Robertson Unit, Martha Estrada teaches a Literacy II/III class at the Sanchez State Jail, and Brent Frailicks is a Cognitive Intervention teacher at the Moore Unit.
These three teachers will be honored at the October WSD Board of Trustees meeting in Austin and will also represent WSD at Correctional Education Association meetings, staff development trainings, and other public gatherings sharing current information about correctional education.
Abilene Reporter News, Tim Chipp
KTXS-TV, Alecea Rush
Excellence In Teaching 2014-2015