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#IAMCTE Success Stories
PHS Students Recognized for Safe Driving PSAPosted by Kyndall Jirasek on 9/25/2019
September 25, 2019
A public service announcement created by a group of students at Pflugerville High School has officially been recognized by the State of Texas. On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation honored the students before a Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee meeting.
The students from PHS won a district-wide PSA contest last spring to promote awareness of distracted driving. Their video “If You Can’t Text And Walk, Why Text And Drive” won the “My Road My Future” PSA video competition held by the district in partnership with Travis County ESD No. 2 and PfISD Police Department.
The team of students recognized by TDLR were Jacob Claxton, Michael Hornsby, Mac Bain, Lily Bitner, Alex Vo and Ava Carrasco, and the TDLR presented each of them with a certificate of merit after their PSA was shown during the committee meeting. Then committee members had a chance to express their gratitude and tell the students how they have inspired change.
Brian Francis, executive director of TDLR had high praise for the students, saying their video will save lives on Texas roads by creating more awareness about what to avoid doing when your cell phone rings, beeps or buzzes while driving.
“When it goes off, we feel like we have to do something, we have to answer. And what you put on the screen, it’s going to save lives,” Francis said. “Every two hours and 25 minutes someone dies on a Texas road. Every one minute and seven seconds, there is a crash on a Texas road. You just did something to break that. You did something to change that cycle.”
The students’ video featured two students walking down the hall at school while texting and looking down at their phones. Messages flashed across the screen asking where the students were. As the students turn a corner, they crash into each other – with sound effects of screeching tires and crashing metal – before their belongings are scattered on the floor.
Francis told the students he had a 15-year-old daughter who is currently learning how to drive and he plans to show her the video “96 times in a row” to drive the point home of how important it is to avoid driving distracted.
PHS junior Alex Vo said he learned the value of teamwork while creating the video and that he never dreamed their video would be able to influence as many people as it did.
“I think the biggest thing is that I’m really happy that our message was able to be put out there,” Vo said. “I never expected it to have this type of reach. I just thought it was some school project that we were going to do. It’s really cool to see that it does have a significant impact on a lot of people’s lives, and that’s going to help people be safe on the roads.”
The students learned about the contest and worked on the video during Mr. David Robb’s audio and visual productions class. As their teacher overseeing the project, Robb was blown away by what the students were able to produce and continues to be overwhelmed by the recognition they are receiving.
“This is one of those examples of the sort of project that we strive to do in the classroom. By that I mean, we’re trying to create things that can be seen outside of the classroom environment and simulate real world environments and situations,” Robb said. “And for these students to produce a video that has already been seen by thousands of people and has a message that truly can save lives and change dangerous behaviors on the roads, as a teacher that makes me incredibly proud.”
This spring marked the second year of the My Road My Future partnership with Travis Co. ESD No. 2 and the first year to include a video contest. The winning video received more than 2,800 views on YouTube during the contest and now has a total of more than 3,400.
2019 My Road My Future PSA Contest Winner
Pflugerville HS: “If You Can’t Text and Walk, Why Text and Drive?”
Lily Bitner, Mac Bain, Ava Carrasco, Jacob Claxton, Michael Hornsby and Alex Vo
Facts & Figures
· Travis County, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported a 12% increase in deadly crashes in Travis County from 2016 to 2017.
· AAA reports distraction was a factor in 3 out of 5 moderate-to-severe teenage crashes in 2015.
· The population group most likely to text and drive is young adults (up to age 34), according to the Pew Research Center.
· According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,450 deaths as a result of distracted driving in 2016.
· NHTSA estimates 9 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries every day from distracted driving.
Texas Roofing, Board Member Mitchell honored by Career and Technical Association of TexasPosted by Kyndall Jirasek on 8/14/2019
Aug. 14, 2019
Pflugerville ISD business partner Texas Roofing and PfISD Board Member Renae Mitchell were honored July 18 at the Career and Technical Association of Texas awards luncheon in Houston.
PfISD Career and Technical Education nominated Texas Roofing for the association’s Business-Education Partnership award, and Trustee Mitchell for the Champion for CTE award.
Texas Roofing has supported the Geometry in Construction program at Hendrickson High School with donated materials, tools and guidance on how to install metal roofing on the many projects we have completed.
Mitchell was elected to the Pflugerville Board of Trustees in 2016 and is starting her second term following a successful reelection in May 2019. Her focus includes targeted efforts to assist students who perform below grade level.
She supports district CTE programs through participation in celebratory events, active engagement on the CTE Redesign Committee and is a CTE advocate in the community. As a member of the Pflugerville Economic Development Steering Committee she actively promotes CTE programming and works to build connections with regional business/industry partners.
EMT Academy receives $300,000 in grantsPosted by Kyndall Jirasek on 7/15/2019
July 15, 2019
Participation in Pflugerville ISD’s EMT Academy has tripled over the past two years, and thanks to its success in preparing students for a career in emergency services the District received nearly $300,000 in grant donations to help fund the program.
The Workforce Solutions Capital Area on Thursday awarded a grant from Texas Workforce Commission to give PfISD and the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation agreed to provide matching funds of $150,000.
Checks were presented at PCDC’s Business Pfirst Quarterly Breakfast as part of the Texas Workforce Commission’s High Demand Job Training grant program, meant to build regional workforce capacity in healthcare industry and prepare high school students for high demand occupations.
The two checks add up to a total of $295,424 and the money will be used to purchase equipment and training materials for the EMT Academy.
“Pflugerville ISD is proud to expand the EMT Academy through new partnerships with the Texas Workforce Commission, Capital Area Workforce Development Board and the Pflugerville Economic Development Corporation while continuing our already strong partnership with the Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2,” Killian said. “The money we receive through these donations will help us purchase equipment and more that will help students become certified EMTs upon graduation.”
PfISD Director of Career and Technical Education Traci Hendrix and PfISD Board of Trustees President Vernagene Mott also attended the gathering. Hendrix said the EMT Academy continues to be a program that makes an immediate impact on the students upon graduation as the District provides an educational opportunity that can lead to employment right away.
“I’m so excited to see how much the EMT Academy has grown,” Hendrix said. “We have tripled our participation over the past two years as our students continue to see the value and opportunity we provide through this program. Students can become certified EMTs before they graduate high school and they are being placed in internships and full-time positions where they can then make a difference in the community.”
Some graduates of the EMT Academy are putting that certification to use in college as they continue their education.
The program was initially offered at Connally and Hendrickson high schools in its first year and added Pflugerville HS last year. The EMT Academy will expand to all four high schools this fall when Weiss HS welcomes its first senior class.
For more information on the PfISD EMT Academy visit PfISD.net/emtfire.
PfISD students among engineering scholarship winnersPosted by Kyndall Jirasek on 7/8/2019
July 8, 2019
The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) recently recognized Pflugerville ISD high school students among the winners of its 2019 TAME Scholarships.
TAME annually awards scholarships to high school senior TAME Club members who have competed in a STEM competition and who will attend an accredited college or university to study a STEM subject. TAME STEM competitions are held annually across Texas, each spring semester.
Honored were the following PfISD students:
- Hadis Askari (Pflugerville High School): ConocoPhillips TAME Scholarship
- Britnie Lee (Hendrickson High School): ConocoPhillips TAME Scholarship
- Bendy Medawar (Pflugerville High School): University of Texas at Austin TAME Scholarship
- Kierstynn Melton (Pflugerville High School): Texas Tech TAME Scholarship
- Helen Vo (Pflugerville High School): University of Texas at Austin TAME Scholarship
- Jordan Washington (Pflugerville High School): University of Houston TAME Scholarship
- Neil Whitely (Connally High School): ConocoPhillips TAME Scholarship
Dixie Ross is the Pflugerville High School TAME sponsor, assisted by Nancy Wein. Efrain Lopez is Connally High School TAME sponsor, while the Hendrickson TAME sponsor is Mary Plaisance, supported by Joseph Ortiz.
Our congratulations to our student scholarship winners!