2nd-Graders Get Dirty In Gloyna’s Garden
If Wylie student Ray Rivera has learned anything from working in Gloyna’s Garden at Wylie Elementary, it’s that gardening gets you really, really dirty.
“Our hands were so dirty,” the now 3rd-grader said, during an interview this past spring. “We had to dig it out. We had to pick it apart and put it all down, and we had to dig it wider. There was a ton of mud on my leg.”
Which of course, only heightens the appeal of the garden for most 2nd-grade students.
Gloyna’s Garden is a small area behind the school by the playground where students get hands on experience with planting and growing various flowers.
“This garden was made for a teacher who passed away,” Ray said.
That teacher was Ray Ann Gloyna, a beloved Wylie elementary teacher who died in a car accident in 2007. Gloyna’s Garden was created in 2010 as a way to memorialize and honor Gloyna. Last year, Wylie’s 2nd-grade teachers took over the garden’s maintenance.
“We decided to take it on as a 2nd-grade project and go with her favorite colors, Wylie purple and gold, and just slowly add to it each year,” said teacher Susan Coker, who oversaw the project last year.
“It was trial and error at the beginning of the year,” she said. “Every class was going to come out here. We learned in the fall that having 22 kids come out at one time means a lot of things get trampled.”
So instead, students went out a few at a time throughout the year.
To kick off the project, Karen Light, a master gardener, came out and talked to the 2nd-graders about gardens and how to prepare the soil. Then the students had to prepare the beds for new plants, including picking weeds.
“You have to get the root,” said student McKenna Smith. “If you don’t get the root, it will keep growing.”
Then the students replaced the old soil.
“We put in healthy soil,” said student Elle Hall. “We had to dig out a bunch of old soil with our hands. Then you have to be careful when you plant.”
McKenna also helped with that process.
“I helped dig out the soil and put the soil on the plants,” McKenna said. “It was actually really easy and fun. It was lot of fun.”
The students planted such things as catmint, petunias, pansies and Texas Sage. The garden now includes three flowerbeds with a path between them. A tree has a memorial in Gloyna’s honor. Texas Sage grows along the fence line, and a picnic table is nearby for visitors to sit and enjoy the garden. Coker said she hopes to see the garden continue to grow.
She said the garden is a great way for the students to learn about plants, soil and fertilizer in a hands-on way that sticks with them much longer than learning in a classroom.
“They have had so much fun with this,” she said. ”They’ve worked so hard.”
Ray agreed that the garden was way better than sitting in a classroom.
“I would rather do this than do school,” he said. “I would rather do this and pick weeds.”
McKenna said the project has taught her to “be responsible and try to not drop plants.”
And it has taught her that gardening is dirty work.
“You have to get messy when you plant – always,” McKenna said.
A garden is an apt way to remember Wylie teacher Ray Ann Gloyna because she always brought a ray of sunshine to her class and to her fellow teachers.
For 14 years, Gloyna taught Wylie’s transitional first-grade class, a special class for students who completed kindergarten but struggled and were not quite ready for first grade. She is remembered as always smiling.
“She genuinely loved the children in her class,” said Wylie teacher Laynie Cogburn. “She made each child feel loved everyday. She created an environment where the kids felt safe and smart and just like everyone else.”
Cogburn said that Gloyna made learning fun for her kids.
“She would act for the kids, talk in a microphone like she was a TV program. She kept them entertained and excited about what she was saying. The kids were intrigued with her. They were having a blast, they felt loved and because of that, the academics just came.”
Gloyna was on her way to visit her mother when she was killed in a car accident in 2007. Her fellow teachers came up with the idea for Gloyna’s Garden and several businesses pitched in to make the garden a reality. It’s a concept she would have loved, Cogburn said.
“She wouldn’t think she deserved to be honored because that’s how she was but she is truly the best teacher I have seen in my experience,” Cogburn said. “She would be so happy the children are taking the time to have fun and do something outside in her honor.”
Cogburn is now one of the 2nd-grade teachers whose students get to work in the garden, and she always takes the time to tell them about the special teacher whose name it bears.
“I hope the garden will always be there as a reminder of what a teacher should be, how precious she was while she was here with us, how hard she worked for her children, and a place for her family to go to remember her loving personality and her laugh because she always laughed and smiled no matter what,” Cogburn said.
Some of Wylie’s most creative students have used the more scary side of their imaginations to cook up a host of new horrors for this year’s Runway of Terror.
The annual haunted house is a fundraiser for Wylie’s Destination Imagination program, and the fun starts Oct 9.
This year’s theme is CarnEvil.
“It’s a carnival/circus theme,” said Trisha Eichler, a longtime DI volunteer who heads up the effort. “We’ve got a lot of different things. We’ve got clowns of course. We’ve got your midway and a big top – stuff you would see at a carnival. We’ve been planning it since November.”
Runway of Terror is open from 8 p.m. to midnight every Friday and Saturday evening from Oct. 9 until Oct. 31. Cost is $10 per person; however DI is offering discounts for any police officer or firefighter with credentials.
All ages are welcome.
“We’ve had little kids come through that love it, and we’ve had adults that were terrified,” Eichler said. “We try to keep it family friendly.”
Runway of Terror is located at 4886 Newman Road. To get there from the Wylie area, take Loop 322 North toward I-20. When you reach I-20, go under the overpass and turn right. The haunted house is about a mile or so down the feeder road. The turn for Newman road is just past the Blue Stop building. Head up Newman Road about half a mile and the hangar is on the left.
For more information, go to runwayofterror.com or see their Facebook page at www.facebook/runwayofterror or call (325) 261-0723
Fall Festival Fun
Wylie is the place to be for Fall Festivals as many churches host some type of fun fall event. Here are the ones we knew of as of our press deadline in September. Look for additions on our Facebook page as other events are planned.
Beltway Park Baptist Church
Beltway Park Baptist Church, 4009 Beltway South, will host its annual Barn Dance from 5-7:30 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 31.
Special guest at the event will be FX Live!, an interactive game show for the whole family. The event also will include bounce houses, games, prizes, food and much more.
Admission to the event is one canned food item per person.
Zion Lutheran Church
Zion Lutheran Church will have a different twist for its Fall Festival.
The church will have one service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct.25, followed by a German style dinner around 11:15 a.m. The event will include an auction by the church youth to help raise money for their Panama mission trip.
Wylie Baptist Church
Wylie Baptist Church Children’s Ministry will host a “Trunk or Treat on Oct. 25 from 5-6 p.m. in the parking lot behind the church just north of Wylie’s Early Childhood Center.
The event will include hot dogs, drinks and popcorn.
For more details, contact the church office at 692-3206.
Wylie students soon will be heading back to school, and already the district is gearing up for a new year. At the high school, band students are participating in early morning practices; football players are toiling in the heat, and the volleyball teams are starting their seasons. Cross Country and tennis players also are back at work.
At the other campuses, teachers are preparing their classrooms, and district administrators are putting the finishing touches on repairs and improvements that were accomplished during the summer.
School starts Aug. 24, and parents also need to be preparing for the big day. Here are 10 tips that can help.
- Register New Students
New Student Registration is Aug. 6 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Wylie High School, 4502 Antilley Road. After Aug. 6, families can register at the Wylie Administration Office from 9-11 a.m. or from 1-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Administration Office is located between the Early Childhood Center and the old gym at the corner of Buffalo Gap Road and Antilley.
Parents can speed up the registration process by filling out some of the paperwork online before heading to the school to register. Go to the Wylie website at www.wyliebulldogs.org and click on the enrollment tab at right. Your registration time will be considerably shorter if you will do this PRIOR to coming to register.
When you do come to register, please bring proof of residency (MUST be a gas, water or electric bill, or a house contract or lease agreement), immunization records, a Social Security card, birth certificate, a parent or guardian’s driver’s license and previous school records, if applicable.
- Tour Campuses, Meet Teachers
One of the best ways to ease your child’s first-day fears is to attend Meet The Teacher night, or in the case of older kids, tour the child’s new campus.
Meet the Teacher night will be Thurs., Aug. 20 at the following times:
4:30-5:15 p.m. – Pre-K at the Early Childhood Center.
5:30-6:15 p.m. – Kindergarten at the Early Childhood Center.
6-6:45 p.m. – 1st & 2nd Grades at the Elementary.
6:30-7:15 p.m. – 3rd & 4th Grades at the Intermediate.
7-7:45 p.m. – 5th Grade at the Middle School. (6th-graders do not have Meet The Teacher.)
Class lists will be posted at each campus by 2 p.m. on the day of Meet The Teacher for students in pre-K through 5th grade. Students in 6th grade and up will receive their class schedule the morning of the first day of school.
Students who will be attending the Middle School and Junior High campuses for the first time can tour the campuses on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Get Your Supplies
If you have not yet gotten your child’s school supplies, the school supply lists can be found on Wylie’s website. Go to www.wyliebulldogs.org and click on the parent link along the top. Scroll down to select school supplies. (Many of the stores also have the lists available.) You could also just click HERE.
Each year, Texas offers one weekend in August where school supplies can be purchased tax free. This year’s tax-free weekend is Aug. 7-9. On these three days, school supplies, clothing, shoes, backpacks and some other items can be purchased without paying tax on the items. That’s a nice savings on every item, plus many stores offer sales on this weekend to attract shoppers, which means even more savings. See our Facebook page for links to the comptroller’s list of items that are tax free.
High school students and some Junior High students will get school supply lists from teachers on the first day of school. Parents may want to have a few basic supplies ready in anticipation of what will be required – items such as 1-inch binders, paper, spirals, etc. This might help you avoid rushing out on the first night of school and fighting crowds of other parents who are also trying to find these last minute supplies.
- Campus Info
Wylie’s campuses are relatively unchanged from last year. The start and end times remain the same, as do the administrators and the most important people on each campus – the secretaries. If you are new to a campus, check to see what time your new school starts and ends, as it might be different from the previous campus. Here are the start and end times, and other important information about each campus.
Hours: 8:15 a.m. -3:40 p.m.
Principal: Tommy Vaughn.
Asst. Principal: Aaron Amonett.
Asst. Principal: Tim Smith.
Asst. Principal: Shauni Vaughn.
Secretary: Amy McIntyre.
Hours: 8:20 a.m.-3:35 p.m.
Principal: Rob Goodenough.
Asst. Principal: Will Brewer.
Asst. Principal: Shauni Vaughn.
Secretary: Lisa Albert.
Hours: 8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
Principal: Phil Boone.
Asst. Principal: Ricky Bacon.
Asst. Principal: Kim McMillan.
Secretary: Cheryl Henderson.
Hours: 8:15 a.m.-3:25 p.m.
Principal: Terry Hagler
Asst. Principal: Mike Kerley
Secretary: Virginia Weems
Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Principal: Robin McPherson
Assistant: Lisa Bessent
Secretary: Kathy Bunkley
Early Childhood Center
Hours: Pre-K – 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Kindergarten – 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Principal: Lisa Salmon
Secretary: Donna Lang
- Find Your Bus Stop
All students in the Wylie school district are eligible to ride the bus, and finding out when and where that bus will pick up your child has become very easy.
Last year, Wylie partnered with a new company designed to help the district with its ever-growing number of bus routes, and consequently, bus route information is now electronic and easily accessed through the district’s website.
Wylie assistant superintendent Craig Bessent said the program worked very well last year, and the system will remain basically the same this year, although some of the routes could be slightly different. The routes are adjusted each year to add new homes – a task that is difficult considering the large number of houses being built in Wylie each year.
“It worked great, but we’re just trying to improve a few things,” Bessent said. “Our district is changing so fast.”
Parents can find which bus their child rides, where the bus stop is and what time the bus arrives by simply going to the Wylie website.
If you have trouble, information will be available at Meet The Teacher night, where computers will be available in the computer lab to help families learn to access the information. You also can call 338-8380 or 370-1804 to get help.
- Be Prepared for Traffic
First-day traffic is horrible, so be prepared. If you take your child to school, leave early and be prepared for delays.
Traffic is especially bad in these locations on the first day: Highway 83/84 and FM 707, Highway 83/84 and Antilley and Antilley and Buffalo Gap Road.
Traffic also is especially bad at the Early Childhood Center because most parents want to walk their child to class on the first day of kindergarten. Parents are encouraged to leave as soon as possible to ease the parking and traffic problems.
Traffic flow is expected to remain the same at all campuses, although the traffic flow at the high school will change around October when construction begins on the new classrooms.
Parents, please be cautious of children and courteous of other drivers and when applicable pull forward as far as possible to allow room for other cars.
- Prepay for School Lunches
Lunch and breakfast prices will go up 25 cents this year. The new prices are:
Pre-K through 4th grade – Lunch is $2.50; Breakfast is $1.75.
5th-grade through High School – Lunch is $2.75; Breakfast is $1.75.
Adult Visitors – Lunch is $3.50.
Reduced Lunch is $0.40.
Reduced Breakfast is $0.30.
(Free/Reduced lunch applications are available in each campus office or online under the Child Nutrition tab.
Parents must prepay for their children’s lunches. You may prepay in the cafeteria, school office or you may use the Pay Online link through Family Access. Payments can be made by cash or check and should be made payable to the school cafeteria. Please include your child’s name, account number and the parent name on each check.
- Get Your Vaccines/Medical Plans
Parents whose children need immunizations should get those done prior to the first day of school and then bring their updated shot records to the office on the first day. You can get immunizations at the health department, 850 North 6th St., or from your physician or at the walk-in clinics (call the clinics to check before going as some vary). Some vaccines also are available at Walgreens.
See the Wylie website for information on which vaccines are needed and when. The immunization info is at the right.
Also, if your child has asthma, food allergies, diabetes or seizures, you and your doctor must have an action plan in place prior to the first day of school, and your campus nurse must be informed of that plan. Please bring an updated action plan form to your school nurse. The forms also are available on the Wylie website. (Click on departments at the top; then health services and look for the health and athletic forms link on the right.)
- Sign Up For Adopt-A-Bulldog
Wylie students in Kindergarten through 6th grade will not want to miss participating in the popular Adopt-a-Bulldog program this fall.
Adopt-A-Bulldog is a program of the Wylie All-Sports Booster Club that allows students in Kindergarten through 6th grade to “adopt” a varsity football player (if a boy) or a varsity muggette (if a girl). The younger student encourages the varsity player through notes, drawings and their attendance at home football games. The student will receive a photo button featuring his player, and a jersey with the player’s name and number on it.
The student also will receive free admission to home games by wearing his Adopt-a-Bulldog jersey. Throughout the season, students will have opportunities to interact with their players or muggettes following each home game.
For details on how to enroll in the program, go to the Booster Club website at www.abilenewyliebulldogs.com.
- Wylie Pup Squad
Wylie girls going into kindergarten through 6th grade have an opportunity to participate in the 2015 Pup Squad Cheer Camp.
Participants spend Saturday morning, Aug. 22, working with high school cheerleaders learning several cheers. Then they get to perform at Meet The Bulldogs in Bulldog Stadium on Aug. 25.
The cost is $30, and all participants get a Pup Squad T-shirt.
The cheer camp is from 9-11:15 a.m. at Wylie High School.
Click here for the pup squad registration form. The form has instructions on how to register through the mail. The form also can be dropped at the High School.
Wylie Dominates District All-Stars
Wylie Little League’s All-Star teams were impressive during the Texas District 5 All-Star tournament with three teams winning District Championships and two others advancing all the way to the championship game.
Wylie’s Little League (11-12-year-old) team, the 10-11-year-old team and the Intermediate team all advanced to the Sectional Round in hopes of earning a spot at state. Here’s a look at each age division.
11-12-Year-Olds (Little League)
The team went undefeated in the tournament and dominated, scoring 66 runs and only allowing 11 in five games. The team started out with a 16-1 win over Sweetwater, followed by an 11-4 victory over Eastern.
The team beat Dixie 14-4, and then beat Snyder 13-1. That set up a rematch with Eastern in the championship game, and Wylie took care of business winning 12-1.
The team advanced to play at Westside Little League in the Section 2 tournament; however, those results were not available at deadline.
Members of the team are Dash Albus, Landon Bailey, Reece Gooding, Jaxson Gregg, Reid Heuerman, Riley Hood, Reed Hughes, Teige Mitchell, Walker Piland, Colby Tanner, Landon Tant, Ry Yates and Landon Williams. Manager is Jason Heuerman.
The team also was dominant, allowing only two runs in the entire tournament and scoring an amazing 69 runs in only five games. Wylie went undefeated in pool play, beating Dixie 10-0, Clyde 20-0 and Sweetwater 16-1. Wylie and Sweetwater advanced to the double-elimination bracket round, and Wylie dominated in both games, beating Sweetwater 15-0 in the first game and 14-1 in the second.
The team was scheduled to play in the Section 2 Tournament in West starting July 15, but those results were not available at deadline.
Members of the team are Jacob Cole, Parker Fourney, Brooks Gay, Trey Gomez, Aden Kincaid, Kaden Landeros, Kadin Long, Carson Perez, Jaxon Rutledge, Kaeden Sands and JT Thompson. Manager is Andrew Cole.
The Wylie Intermediate team only had two teams in its division, and it dominated both. The team beat Clyde 6-0 and Jim Ned 24-11 in the first round and then beat Clyde again 14-3. Because both Clyde and Jim Ned suffered two losses, Wylie won the championship outright and did not have to play Jim Ned in a second game.
The team advanced to the Section 2 tournament at University Little League where it battled Prosper and Arlington SW American for the right to advance to the Texas West State Tournament. Arlington beat Prosper in the first game, and then Wylie beat Arlington by a score of 22 to 12. Arlington beat Prosper again to eliminate them, setting up another game between Wylie and Arlington. Wylie won that game 10-0 to claim the Section 2 Championship. The team began play at state on June 16, but those results were not available at press time.
Members of the team are Colby Boyle, Jaxon Burnett, Kallan Christopher, Tanner Gallimore, Harrison McCoy, Parker Moore, Austin Petree, Chaney Tucker, Jaxon Watts, Cade Weaver, Colten West and McCord Whitaker. Manager is Tony Tucker.
Wylie had two All-Star teams entered in the 9-10-Year-Old tournament, and both teams did so well that the two teams had to play each other to see which team would go to the championship game.
The Wylie White team only lost to one team in the tournament – to the eventual champs, Dixie. Wylie White beat Cisco 17-1 to start the tournament, and then beat Breckenridge 3-1. After a 15-10 victory over Snyder, the Wylie White team met Dixie in a game featuring the last two unbeaten teams in the tournament. Dixie won 6-0, sending Wylie White to the loser’s bracket, where they met Wylie Purple.
Wylie Purple won its first game of the tournament 12-2 over Southern, followed by a 9-4 victory over Albany. Then Wyle Purple met Dixie and lost 20-2. But the team climbed up the loser’s bracket by beating Eastern 10-3 and then winning a nail-biter 7-6 over Albany. That put Wylie Purple into the game against Wylie White, with the winner getting another shot at Dixie.
The game was very close, but Wylie White pulled out a 7-6 victory. In the championship game against Dixie, Wylie White fell 7-3.
Members of the White Team are Reese Borho, Symon Bilbo, Landry Carlton, Cade Fellows, Auston Gray, Harrison Heighton, Paden Johnson, Lane Justice, Cooper Mellott, Ryan Price and Hays Sipe. Manager is Chad Sipe.
Members of the Purple Team are Carter Beard, Braydon Burkett, Kason Christopher, Cayden Clay, Joshua Cole, Henry Curington, Mason Kerby, Cooper Mascorro, Sam Walker, Luke Watts and Cord Yates. Manager is Jason Watts.
Junior League Tournament
Wylie did not have an All-Star team in the Junior League tournament.
Senior League Tournament
Wylie and Northern were the only two teams entered into the tournament. Northern beat Wylie 15-1 and 11-1 to win the championship. Members of the Wylie team are Caden Cartwright, Kade Dickson, Cason Grant, Hayden Hammer, Sam King, Mason Montgomery, Blake Smith, Jared VosWinkel, Preston Williams and Duke Womack. Manager is Jack King.