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November 4, 2019

Danforth Jr. High Newsletter

Principal’s Message

I don't remember if I ever participated in a "career day" at my high school in the late 70s. It may be because early on I had my mind made up to be a coach and I was laser focused on that career path. I'm fairly confident that if we did have a career day, "social media influencer" was not one of the career paths that would have been discussed. That's a relatively new opportunity that's available for practically anybody. And really, all it takes is a few hundred followers (I imagine a few thousand is preferable) and your off and running and influencing folks to look at something or buy something or think a certain way about something.

The truth is --- like it or not, we're all "influencers" whether we get paid for it or not. Parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, professional athletes.......the list of those who have influence is practically endless. And we don't need a bunch of “friends”, “likes”, or “followers”. As adults, each of us has a tremendous opportunity, or responsibility, to influence those around us. And hopefully our influence is for the good. Before we let the weight of that responsibility overwhelm us, it’s probably helpful to remember it's not necessarily the big things we do, it's just small choices in our daily lives that really add up. For instance, are my grandkids riding in the backseat and watching me text and drive? Do they see someone cut me off in traffic and hear me respond with some language that’s inappropriate and later those words get repeated on the playground or in the classroom? And our children aren’t the only ones paying attention. Our counselor (Mrs. Pharis) and I were discussing this whole "social media influencer" job the other day. We exchanged ideas and thoughts. Today we discovered we had influenced each other to the point that we'd both unknowingly written about the same topic in our newsletters. You'll see her thoughts on this in her "Counselor Conversations".

Last week our students had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Crystal Collier. Part of her discussion was about how the brain continues to develop until the age of 25 and how we need to make sure our children are not exposed to addictive substances during those formative years. Her discussion with students centered on illegal drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs while her discussion with parents that evening mentioned other addictions such as cell phone or pornography addiction. It all sounds scary, and Dr. Collier did a good job of illustrating to our students, and later a few parents, the importance of staying away from anything harmful.

Now let’s get back to the “career” we’ve all chosen. This “influencer” job is a tough one but it’s worth it. We all have the opportunity to model good choices about drugs, alcohol and behavior that reflect the values of our family. And it’s taking place while our students are still at that early brain development stage. It's a tough challenge and while none of us are perfect, the opportunity to "influence" is there for each of us every day - and in most cases - our "followers" are sitting right there in the backseat watching and listening.

Thanks for taking a look at our Newsletter.

Greg Howard, Principal

In the next few days
Thursday, Nov. 7th
Football vs. Cuero – 7thB/7thA games at Cuero; 8thB/8thA games at HOME; B games begin at 4:30 pm

More detailed info about other Danforth activities
From Marie Bernick – Special Olympics Coach The Wimberley Texans Special Olympics bowling athletes competed in Austin this weekend for the Area Competition. Mia Shipman, a first year competitor, brought home the bronze. Mollie Mostyn Willoughby bowled in a competitive group and earned a 4th place ribbon. Sawyer Thompson bowled a strike on his first frame, had 2 of his best games ever, and brought the GOLD. Thank you to coaches, volunteers, parents and supporters for another great season. WAY TO GO TEXANS!

From Katy Huebner – English Department Chair
The tradition continues! Once again our students will contribute refreshments and supplies to the Emily Ann Trail of Lights through their English classes. Donations will earn students one extra-credit test grade to count during the THIRD six weeks. Contributions will be accepted through

Friday, November 15th and are divided among the grades as follows:

Sixth grade – one bag of LARGE marshmallows

Seventh grade – one box of instant hot chocolate

Eighth grade – one package of 8 oz foam cups or one package of black stir sticks

Thank you in advance for your help in making the holiday at the Trail of Lights merry and bright.

From Lori Pharis – Counselor and GT Coordinator
NOTE – this information is for students who have previously qualified as GT
It is time for GT students to decide how they will participate in the GT Program at Danforth.
Each GT student needs to complete the GT selection form. Parents, GT students should come home with this form by Friday, Nov. 8th. Parents can also access the form by clicking
Notice that on the 2nd page of the form (backside) there is a short description of each project option, the due date, and the name of the contact person for questions. Let Mrs. Pharis, the Danforth Counselor, know if any further information is needed. FORMS ARE DUE TO THE COUNSELING OFFICE BY 11/15/19.

From Owen Baldwin – Transportation Director for WISD
If your child is not normally a bus rider and would like to ride home with a friend for the afternoon you must call the bus barn first to see if there is availability. Several of our buses are already at rider capacity and there may not be a seat available for another student. Please contact us at the bus barn at 512-847-2781.

From Meagan Williamson – Yearbook Sponsor
2019-2020 yearbooks are now on sale at $35 with free name stamping!
If you have questions please email me at:

From Jeremy Mauk, Whitley Bone, Kari Winebrenner, Carol Sue Merkin – FCA Sponsors
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meets in the Junior High gym every Friday at 7:15 am. Please join us for games, fun, speakers, and donuts! Everyone is welcome!