FISD staff active on boards, organizations, programs of choice


Friendswood ISD has just completed a successful school year and many faculty and staff join students in having a restful, relaxing summer. For others on staff, they actually are part of other important groups and organizations that rely on their expertise during the fall and spring as well as the summer months.
Friendswood Junior High teacher Mary Marrow teaches math at Alvin Community College two nights a week.
Janine Morris, Friendswood High School math teacher is on the board of directors for the Texas A&M University’s Aggie Educators Network.
Meredith Wise, broadcast communications teacher at FHS, is on the TIVA (Texas Industrial Vocational Association) Board as a District Director.
Westwood-Bales music and choir teacher Laura Rachita is the Elementary Vice President of the Texas Choral Directors Association.
FHS Soccer Coach Laura Peter is the Region 3 Director of TASCO, the state soccer coaches association and this month becomes the Secretary for the organization.
FHS art teacher Mary Wise finds time to be on the Parks and Rec Board for the City of Friendswood.
FHS Choir director Janwin Overstreet-Goode is the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) President Elect for 2013-2014, the President for 2014-2015, and Past President 2015-2016.
In 2004,  FHS AP United States History teacher Dianne Hanegan is as busy outside of class as in class. She was selected as a “Reader” for ETS (Educational Testing Service) and the College Board and has  served as a “Reader” for the past 8 years.  This year (2013) she has been promoted to “Table Leader” which will require that she arrive two days in advance to train before all other “Readers” arrive.   She will be in charge of 7 “readers” at her table for the duration of the reading.   Over 1,200 college and high school teachers attend the AP US History grading in Louisville, KY each year to read and score over 450,000 students’ essays.
In the Fall of 2012, Hanegan was contracted by ETS to write new questions for the United States History TExES  (Exit Exam) for Teacher Certification.
Hanegan is also the Membership Chairman for the Jane Long Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  This summer, she will attend Continental Congress in Washington, D.C. (June 25th – 29th).
Special Ed teacher Jann Davies and her husband are the Houston Area Alumni Chairman for Brigham Young University.  They coordinate events for 3000+ alumni including activities for new students, sporting events, cultural events, and speakers in Houston.  They also provide grants and scholarships for students attending BYU.  They offer service opportunities and supplies to different organizations such a Texas Children’s Hospital and Quilts for Kenya.  They have a board of approximately 20 people.  Together they have been the chairmen for the past six years.
Westwood Bales Gifted and Talented teacher Stacy Mueller is a trainer for IIM (Independent Investigation Method). The Independent Investigation Method (IIM) is a teaching model that guides primary, elementary, and secondary students through the research process. IIM empowers one to combine  required curriculum with vital research skills, choosing from options for integration of state standards, the length of study, and students’ grade, skills and learning styles.
WW-B counselor Barbara Gruener serves as a National Schools of Character (NSOC) site visitor for the Character Education Partnership out of Washington D.C.  Her duties include reviewing the applications of NSOC finalists, then visiting those schools to evaluate them to see if they’ve met the standard for the distinction of National School of Character. The reports she writes are submitted to a National Review Panel as the last step of the NSOC process. Not only has this position taken her to Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Dallas, Missouri, and New Jersey, but it has also introduced Gruener to some promising practices in the area of character development that the campus has  been able to implement as they strengthen their character education efforts at Westwood-Bales.
A second outside position that Gruener holds is being a regular guest author for the Character Counts! Character Educator. She submits a monthly post to the Josephson Institute of Ethics for review, editing and ultimately publication onto their blog. Those posts can be read at:
Director of Communications Karolyn Gephart serves as Secretary to the Greater Houston Area Association of Education Foundations (GHAAEF) as well as chairing the Education Foundation category at the state level through the Texas State School Public Relations Association. She often presents at State conferences on both school public relations topics as well as successful trends in marketing for Education Foundations.
These are a few examples of the many ways FISD personnel are involved outside of FISD.
Leadership roles outside the daily workplace are often a trickle down from administrative role models. This is very true in Friendswood ISD.
FISD Superintendent Trish Hanks is the current President of the Texas Academic Decathlon Board and recently completed her service as the Region IV Study Group Chairman for the Texas Association of School Administrators.  She is involved in the TASA Visioning Institute and several statewide professional associations.
She is a TASA Mentor Superintendent and is currently mentoring two new superintendents in other districts.
What is done for others becomes part of the individual involved and enriches both their lives and those around them. In FISD, students benefit from the expertise of so many who are so involved in their subject area and in other organizations of interest.