NEW Jody Addy, 2014-2015 Excellence in Teaching Winner - (HUNTSVILLE) -- Excellence in teaching was recently recognized within the state prison system as the Windham School District (WSD) Board of Trustees honored three outstanding correctional educators during its meeting in Austin. The three finalists in the 2014-2015 WSD "Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching" initiative were nominated by their peers and selected through a rigorous screening process. Click here to access WSD news release.
NEW Local School Giving Students a Second Chance - Windham School District was recently featured in a "Second Chances" report on KVIA-7 ABC news in El Paso. Reporter Evan Folan spent time in the Sanchez State Jail speaking with Windham staff and students about their success stories. This link takes you to this September, 2015 report.
NEW Kids or Criminals: Growing Up and Getting Out - Former Windham School District student Garrett Stanley shares an update of his life, reflecting on the effect of education on his current life success. You can read this story by Diane Jennings and Jennifer Emily here.
NEW CHANGES at Windham School District - Most residents can recall four school districts within the county - Navasota, Anderson-Shiro, Iola and Richards – but there are actually five fully operational districts in our community.
Mason Staggs: Education during incarceration leads to long-term employment, life success - Former offender Staggs’ success story frequently inspires incarcerated graduates in Windham School District (WSD). Staggs himself was incarcerated for close to 10 years within TDCJ, serving time on the Ferguson, Hughes and Middleton units. He has now been on the outside for 18 years.
WSD partnership with San Antonio Food Bank enriches graduates, gives back to community - The San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) recently held a commencement ceremony for students participating in the Texas Second Chance Warehouse Program. This partnership between Windham School District (WSD), Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the SAFB allows currently incarcerated offenders to participate in a 100-hour course. They work with pallets, forklifts and customer orders, learning “all of the ins and outs of making the SAFB an effective, smooth-running, logistical operation,” said SAFB Chief Development Officer Michael Guerra.
Get ready to join Windham School District. Make a positive difference in countless lives through the 2015 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)! - SECC is a two-month charity fundraiser that allows state employees to conveniently make monetary donations to charities of their choice, helping those in need. The SECC will be held Sept. 1 – Oct. 31. SECC involves many state agencies and entities, and WSD is a well-known as a generous supporter. Last year WSD employees contributed an amazing $11,884, proving WSD a leader in giving.
WSD meets families in PACT Conference Oct. 3 - The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) will be hosting a free informational conference for offenders’ families and members of the general public on Oct. 3. The Public Awareness — Corrections Today (PACT) conference will be held at the Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Center in Huntsville and will be coordinated by the TDCJ Ombudsman Program. Windham School District will be offer a presentation from 1-3 p.m. at the conference, as well as provide one-on-one information and resource materials to participants.
WSD participates in Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM) training with SEDL-AIR - Windham School District leadership staff recently participated in Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM) training supported by the National Department of Education Research Centers and offered by SEDL, an affiliate of American Institutes for Research (AIR). SEDL is a nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination organization based in Austin.
Tracy brings workforce knowledge, WSD family history to encourage graduates at Travis State Jail in Austin - Graduation speaker Don Tracy offered an invaluable blend of workforce training, education experience, and family history to Windham School District (WSD) GED and vocational graduates at the Travis State Jail in Austin earlier this year. As director of business operations and marketing for the Austin Community College (ACC)’s continuing education division, Tracy is a 15-year veteran of human resource management and workforce education.
WSD Librarians Partner with ECHO Newspaper, Promote Reading, Literacy for Offenders Librarians from Windham School District are promoting literacy and learning to general population offenders within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. WSD librarians take turns contributing to a new “Library Corner” feature in The ECHO, the monthly newspaper created by and for TDCJ offenders.
Teacher Recruitment Award - The Teacher Recruitment Award grants 8 hrs of administrative leave to any WSD employee who refers a teacher applicant that results in a hire. In order to receive 8 hrs of administrative leave, the referring WSD employee will need to give a teacher applicant referral form to the applicant. The applicant will turn in the completed form with his/her application. The teacher applicant referral form must be completed and signed by the applicant AND WSD employee making the referral.
Guest speaker Diaz tells Torres Unit graduates: 'You are authors of future' - Torres Unit GED graduates were encouraged to break the cycle of crime and recidivism by a special guest from the GED Testing Service. Rafael Diaz served as commencement speaker for Windham School District (WSD) vocational and GED graduates at the Torres Unit in Hondo, sharing his personal story with honorees.
Monica Bennett-Oakley: In Cognitive Intervention class, persistent Windham teacher helps woman change life choices, change destiny - "You have changed my life forever, Mrs. Bohne," Oakley told her former Windham School District teacher, Pam Bohne. "What you told me in class changed my life. What you taught me was, 'If you change your choice, you can change the reaction to everything that is going on in life.' Thank you so much!"
Fighting hunger in Southwest Texas: State jail offenders complete culinary training program at San Antonio Food Bank - Hunger is a serious issue in Texas. Thousands of underprivileged children and homeless persons throughout the state get up hungry, go to bed hungry, and never know anything else in between. However, the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB), partnering with Windham School District (WSD) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), is doing its part to fight hunger in Southwest Texas. These entities have united efforts to build a bridge of hope, inspiration and rehabilitation in the community. This bridge is called the Culinary Training Program, and its home is the food bank.
San Antonio Man Receives Governor's 2015 Criminal Justice Volunteer Award - (AUSTIN) – Charles M. Fisk of San Antonio, Texas was presented the “Judy Burd – Windham School District” Award during the Governor’s 2015 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today. The award was presented by Oliver Bell, Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. “We’re grateful for the efforts of these award recipients,” said Livingston. “These everyday heroes are making a profound and lasting impact on the lives of individuals across the State of Texas.”
"Lock up to lift up". Rep. James White encourages offenders, families from six prisons to continue success - "One good quality decision will set the standard for you to make another quality decision the next day," said Rep. James White (R-Hillister) to GED graduates from Windham School District (WSD). As Vice Chair of the Texas House of Representatives Corrections Committee, White visited prison to urge graduates to continue to make quality decisions and reach for new challenges: vocational training, community college, college, diplomas and degrees.
Nate Williamson showing offenders the path to self-improvement - "Life is serious. Freedom is serious. Employment after incarceration is serious. Education is the thread that will enable offenders to tie all of this together," said former Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) offender Nate Williamson.
Abilene TX News KTSX - School district gives offenders an education behind bars - ABILENE, Texas - Imagine having never sent a text message or not knowing what a computer mouse does, that's the case for many people in prison. A program - that you may not be aware of - is giving inmates an education behind bars with the hope that learning will keep them from coming back. Windham School District is targeted to offenders in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice without a high school diploma or GED. It started as a social experiment in 1969.
Huntsville Item - Windham School District’s 2015 graduates grateful for a second chance in education - On Saturday morning, 39 inmates gladly stepped forward into a life of greater opportunity through the privilege of education. Held in the Estelle Unit’s Chapel, the graduation ceremony took on a church-like atmosphere.
Briscoe and Cotulla’s graduation: A step in the right direction - WSD, in partnership with Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC), is helping reduce recidivism through education. The fruits of this labor were seen at the Briscoe and Cotulla units’ GED/vocational and college graduation ceremony recently held at the Briscoe Unit.
Isaac White: 'Life was waiting for me!' Business owner credits vocational classes as foundation for success after release from prison “I was 18 years old, convicted of aggravated robbery with a weapon, and knowing I would possibly be in prison until I was 26. I knew I had to make plans for the rest of my life. I knew after I was released, I had to get out and make a living.
State Rep. J.D. Sheffield hopes to see Hughes Unit graduates ‘at the top’ Rep. J.D. Sheffield, R-Gatesville, was commencement speaker at the Jan. 17 Windham School District (WSD) GED graduation at the Hughes Unit. The 21 GED recipients were acknowledged by Sheffield for the academic progress they have made while repaying their debts to society.
Windham partners with Mullin ISD, TDCJ. Begins new High School Diploma program in prison - Texas’s first in-prison High School Diploma (HSD) program in more than 30 years is underway, with a new class of 42 female HSD graduates recognized in December, 2014. This unique program began with approximately 30 other young women earlier in the year, thanks to a unique partnership among Windham School District (WSD), Mullin Independent School District (ISD) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
Training leading to real jobs: Major Appliance Service Technology - Major Appliance Service Technology students at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville learn mechanical, electrical and electronic principles related to the diagnosis, service and repair of major appliances.
HUNTSVILLE ITEM: TDCJ’s Windham School District: Safe, successful stories being told here now - Time heals all wounds, or so it’s been said. Some say time covers wounds with scar tissue. The pain lessens, but it’s never truly gone. A look back at a terrifying prison siege.