JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville ISD took time Friday morning to celebrate people who shaped its past and an upcoming school year that will include two new campuses.
The class of 1961 graduate said he was pleased to return to Jacksonville ISD and see that things were still going in a positive direction.
“With the (Jacksonville Education Foundation) and school board, I have no doubt it will continue on that path,” he said.
Ms. Martindale, a stage and television actress who won the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, was introduced by Sissy Austin, who described her as “loyal,” “a true friend,” and “kind-hearted.”
Ms. Martindale was involved in cheerleading and drama and was crowned “Football Sweetheart” as well as “Miss Jacksonville High School.”
After taking the opportunity to lead audience members in a cheer, the 60-year-old told them her memories run deep in Jacksonville ISD.
“I was nurtured and made to believe anything and everything was possible …” she said, adding that she also felt challenged.
“The foundation for my future was in place.”
In elementary school, she said she remembers her physical education teacher who taught students to march in formation, and in junior high school, she recalled being put in a body brace after being diagnosed with scoliosis.
“It was made of steel and leather, but the gift given was teachers (and) students never treated me like anything changed. It enabled me to view the world in a different way, and truly that changed my life,” Ms. Martindale said.
She also had a message for students: “Dream big and remember to use all the wonderful things this school district has to offer.”
One grant went to Rhonda Parker, a kindergarten teacher at East Side Elementary School, to establish a reading garden at the new East Side Elementary School, which opens this school year.
The other went to Jodye Herring, a sixth-grade math teacher at Nichols Intermediate School, to institute a math rotation strategy, where students will rotate through math learning stations.
New Influential Indian awards also were presented to Margo Martindale, Pete Lammons, Lindy Finley, Susan Phillips and Nelda Lake. Kirk Sadler and Jan Gowin were recognized as Distinguished Indians. Jacksonville ISD’s mascot is the Indians.
Influential Indians are described as “members in the community that have been recognized as having made a real difference in education in Jacksonville.” Public Relations Coordinator Marc McCloud said via email that someone becomes an Influential Indian by someone making a donation to the Jacksonville Education Foundation of $1,000 or more in their name.
Students even took part in the convocation and helped get employees excited about the year, with one young student saying, “The pride starts at an early age. Once an Indian, always an Indian.”