Don Orser is our newest VISD orchestra teacher to join our team on April 2, 2014. He comes to us from Ojai, California with 20 years of strong and diverse experiences as a music educator. We are happy to welcome Mr. Orser and his family to Victoria and the VISD team.
As a side note, Mr. Orser wanted to make sure his transition from Ojai Unified School District to VISD was as smooth as possible. This included him traveling back to California on April 12, 2014, to take his Ojai students on their spring contest trip. The students from Ojai Unified School District had a wonderful trip/contest, winning and receiving top awards. Although his students miss him greatly, we are proud and honored to welcome Mr. Orser to our Fine Arts Team.
Matilija JHS Advanced Strings from Ojai CA went to Heritage Festival in San Francisco on April 12, 2014. They received 1st Place Gold Rating, Best-Over-All Orchestra, and The Spirit of San Francisco Award.
Our Employee of the Month for April has had a very busy few months. In January, Candace Coyle was the district coordinator for the Victoria ISD Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Show. In March, she and other teachers from Victoria ISD traveled to Houston for the large show. In Houston, she saw one of her students earn the top award for an art piece that was opted out of the auction. She also cheered on the other VISD students who had work on display, including Victoria West’s Ben Fogal, whose art work advanced to auction and sold for almost $37,000! To close out the great day, the VISD show was “Super Show” which is the best local art show in the HLSR Art Show circuit.
The next weekend, it was on to Austin, when Candace was named Best of Show at the Art Institute of Austin’s Third Annual Art Educators Appreciation Show. The theme of the show is “What Those Who Teach Can Do.” It is a gallery show celebrating those who give of themselves in educating high school students in all that the arts and media have to offer.
And, then last weekend, she was one of the VISD teachers who accompanied four VISD students to the State VASE competition. She saw one of her students bring home a first for the region with a Gold Seal and Jim Henderson Memorial Scholarship.
Interestingly enough, the nomination for her as Employee of the Month did not have anything to do with any of those awards. She was nominated for Employee of the Month by a grateful parent who praised Candace for being willing to work with her daughter on a special project. It should be noted that the daughter is not a student at Victoria East, but Mrs. Coyle was willing to mentor her as a teacher after school.
Candace Coyle will be honored at the April Board meeting on April 17.
This past weekend four VISD students (Kirby Edwards, West, Heidi Shay, East, Katie Staff, West, and Kati Thomas, West travelled to Bryan, Texas to participate in the VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) State competition. All four students received a 4 rating, qualifying them for State. At the State level, they were judged again amongst artwork from around the state of Texas.
- Kirby Edwards, Victoria West, received an Excellent Rating of 3.
- Kati Thomas and Katie Staff, Victoria West, received a Superior Rating of 4.
- Heidi Shay, Victoria East, received a Distinguished Rating of 5, qualifying her for a Gold Seal.
In addition to Heidi’s Gold Seal, she was also honored with the Jim Henderson Memorial Scholarship of $500.00. Only two students are selected for this prestigious award. Mr. Henderson was the Founder of VASE in 1994. Each year his widow personally selects her two favorite pieces from the show, and Heidi was one of the recipients. Congratulations to these remarkably talented VISD Fine Arts students!!