Cameron Connection sees great input from community; next meeting Sept. 18

By Lindsey Vaculin

General Manager


Topics ranging from music education to job training were discussed during the first Cameron Connection on Sept. 12 at Simon George Hall.

The Cameron Connection is a new initiative for Cameron ISD to solicit input from parents and community members about how to help CISD students. The next meeting will be Monday, Sept. 18, at O.J. Thomas. 

“The first meeting turned out great with good input from the community,” CISD Superintendent Allan Sapp said. “We hope everyone has a chance to make it out to one meeting.”

Several attending asked if CISD currently has a program to prepare students that aren’t necessarily going to college for a career and about technical training. 

The district has a track for students to study for a career in medicine and several courses that will help those students to gain certificates and be ready for a job in medical fields and other things such as welding.

Reginald Bedford, Health Science teacher at YHS, said that his programs focus on getting those students into technical education that aren’t necessarily wanting to go to a four-year school. Certificates are offered that allow students to go out and get a job. Students can graduate with a high school diploma and Associate’s degree at the same time.

James Anderle, owner of Anderle Lumber, said a concern that there is in the construction trade is that maybe the school district could initiate a construction trades program. He said there aren’t enough people to do trades – plumbing, electrician, builder. 

He said that those trades offer a good living and there needs to be preparation to get those that aren’t interested in going to a four-year college into the trades or technical college.

Cameron Junior High Principal Wendy Mahan said at the junior high level students are taking a career path course that will prepare them to see what career will fit with their interests. CJH also offers enrichment classes to open students eyes to what is available. They are trying to give them a brief introduction to what they can do at the high school level.

Community member Neil Bhakta suggested having more dedicated time for students to prepare for UIL events. He also asked about what is being done with the advisory board.

Bhakta and Jesse Lavan voiced concern over what is being done to help students that may be behind the rest of the class. 

CISD staff said that they do focus on those that are falling behind in certain subjects by taking those students for more one-on-one instruction with a teacher to give them extra time. There is also intervention time so those students have a time with the teachers to address where they are struggling.

Other topics discussed were:  

- The question was also asked about why the bilingual program wasn’t offered to English speakers also, saying it should be open to everyone not just ESL students.

- Why is the music program not continued from the elementary school into junior high? Is there a possibility of a choir program?

- Is there a way to help parents with filling out forms such as FAFSA and registering for ACT/SAT tests and looking for scholarships for those that don’t have a computer or internet access?

CISD board member Greg Hoelscher asked if there was anything that the district can do for parents to help them to help their children?

The event’s purpose is to solicit input from the community. Sapp said the information will be gathered and help with a plan for moving forward to give the students the best education possible.

“This is about our student that really is our future,” Sapp said. “We aren’t here to solve problems at this meeting. This is about information gathering.”

There are also meetings set for Oct. 10 at Bea’s Kitchen and Oct. 16 at the Cameron Elementary/Junior High Library.