Flour Bluff Schools: A Winning Formula

Education, Flour Bluff, Front Page

Hornet Country

     Why do families flock to Flour Bluff and Padre Island?  Many, it turns out, want their children to attend Flour Bluff Schools, a place with a rich history and a commitment to educating the whole child.  In the beginning, ranching, oil and gas, and the Navy grew this little community nestled between the Cayo del Oso and the Laguna Madre, which in turn grew the school for many years.  Now, the school is returning the favor by continuing to draw people into this unique and strongly independent community that offers a hometown environment for raising kids, one complete with Friday night lights, homecoming parades, a Santa float at Christmastime, and an eclectic group of small businesses co-existing among the giants, such as Walmart, Whataburger, and HEB.

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     The pre-K through early-college school is not like any other. All the campuses and school facilities are within walking distance of each other and are surrounded by quiet neighborhoods, something that has helped keep the kids close in proximity and in spirit.  Students who live within the boundaries of the district but not within walking distance find it easy to be part of the school community since FBISD provides bus service to and from school.  Parents who choose to drop their children at school map out their route and move from campus to campus without having to drive in and out of multiple neighborhoods.

     Flour Bluff students have a reputation for success in academics and extra-curricular activities.  The following is a list of awards received by students and faculty just in the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Accountability Awards

    ECC, Primary, Elementary, Intermediate, Junior High and High School Campuses – Recognized
    District – Recognized

  • High School Academics 

    National Hispanic Scholars – 2 students
    National Merit Commended Scholars – 5 students
    AP Scholars – 12 students
    AP Scholars with Honors – 1 student; with Distinction – 2 students
    Student Congress Team – 3 students advanced to State
    Caller Times/Citgo South Texas Distinguished Scholars – 2 students
    BPA (Business Professionals of America) – 31 students advanced to State; 2 students received Torch Awards
    KEDT Challenge Team – 1 student selected to All Star Team
    Robotics Team – 2 Teams qualified for the Alamo Regional Championships; 2 Pink Lady Robotics students received the
    National Center for Women & Informational Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations Award
    Science Fair – Student placed at Regional and State – Regional: 1st Place in Microbiology and recipient of Valero Energy
    Award; State: 3rd Place in Microbiology and attending Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
    La Posada Art – 7 students recognized – 1 student won overall
    Visionarios Art Competition – 1 student– 1st place
    VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) 1 State medal
    Art Center for the Island – 17 students recognized: 1 Best of Show, 5 students – 1st place; 2 students – 2nd place; 3 students –
    3rd place; 3 Honorable Mention
    South Texas Journalism Conference – Waldron Street Journal Newspaper 2nd place overall; Publication Team Sweepstakes
    Award
    Craft Training Center – 4 students won Top Dog awards in welding


    NJROTC – Received perfect score on their annual inspection
    NJROTC – Placed 2nd in State Competition
    NJROTC – Advanced to the National Academic Bowl in Washington, D.C.
    NJROTC – Unarmed Team 3rd Place Overall and Armed Team 9th Place Overall at High School Grand National
    Championship
    UIL Calculator Team– 1st place in District; 2 Individual Regional qualifiers
    UIL Current Issues Team – 1st in District; Individual Regional qualifier
    UIL Lincoln Douglas Debate – Individual Regional qualifier
    UIL Literary Criticism Team – 1st in District; 1st at Regional; State qualifiers
    UIL Mathematics Team – 1st in District; Regional qualifiers
    UIL Number Sense Team – 2nd in District; Regional qualifier
    UIL One-Act Play 4th place in District
    UIL Poetry Interpretation – 1st at Regional; State qualifier
    UIL Press Conference Team – 2nd Place Feature Photo, 2nd Place Sports Action Photo, 3rd Place Tribute Ad
    UIL Science Team – 1st place in District; Regional qualifier
    UIL Speech – 2nd in District
    UIL Spelling & Vocabulary Team – 1st place in District; 2 Regional qualifiers
    Honorable Mention Sports Feature, Honorable Mention Academic Photo
    HS Cheerleaders – 2nd place Southwest Regional Championship

  • Junior High Academics

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    MathCounts Team – 1st place in Region (31st consecutive year) #10 out of 80 teams in state
    TMSCA (Texas Math Science Coaches Association) – 1st place in State (31st consecutive year)
    TMSCA – 2 students were State champions
    TMSCA – 7th grade – 1st Place Sweepstakes (Team); 1st Place Number Sense (Team); 1st Place Calculator Application
    (Team); 1st place Number Sense (Student); 8th grade – 1st Place General Math (Team); 1st Place Science (Team); 1st Place
    Number Sense (Student); 1st Place Calculator Application (Student)
    UIL Academic Meet – 7th Grade: 1st Overall; 1st Calculator Applications; 1st Number Sense; 1st General Math
    UIL Academic Meet – 8th Grade: 1st Overall; 1st Calculator Applications; 1st Number Sense; 1st General Math; 1st Science;
    1st Spelling; 1st Listening
    UIL Academic One-Act Play – 3rd Place
    Texas A&M Kingsville Javelina Cup Scholarship winners – 7 students
    Regional Science Fair: 2nd place Physics and Astronomy and 3rd place in Plant Sciences
    Science Olympiad – 2nd place at regional meet
    Science Fair – 2 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Scripps Regional Spelling Bee Winner; Advanced to Regional Bee
    Voted Reader’s Choice 2015 by the Corpus Christi Caller Times

  • Performing Arts

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    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All District Band – 28 students
    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Region Band – 21 students
    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) All Area Band – 7 students
    HS TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) Region Orchestra – 4 students
    HS UIL – Region Marching Band Division 1 rating; qualified for Area Marching Contest
    HS UIL – 27 Division 1 rating for Solo and Ensemble
    HS UIL – 12 Instrumentalists and 2 Twirlers advanced to State Solo and Ensemble
    HS UIL – High School Symphonic Band UIL Contest Division 2
    HS UIL – High School Honors Band UIL Contest Division 1
    HS UIL – High School Wind Ensemble UIL Contest Division 1
    TMEA All-State Choir auditions – 23 District members / 9 Region members / 3 Area members / 1 alternate to State
    HS UIL Solo/Ensemble – 17 students and 1 Madrigal Ensemble received 1 ratings / 5 soloists and 1 Madrigal Ensemble
    advanced to State
    HS UIL CHOIR Concert/Sight-reading:
    Varsity Treble Choir – Division 2 on stage and Division 2 in sight-reading
    Varsity Tenor-Bass Choir – Division 3 on stage and Division 4 in sight-reading
    Varsity Mixed Choir – Division 3 on stage and Division 2 in sight-reading
    JH UIL Band Concert/Sight-reading –
    Honors Band received 1 on stage and 1 in sight-reading (9th consecutive Sweepstakes)
    Symphonic Band received 1 on stage and 1 in sight-reading;
    Concert Band received 2 on stage and 3 in sight-reading
    JH UIL Band Solo/Ensemble – 37 students received 1 solo ratings
    JH All-Region Band – 28 students qualified
    HS All-Region Band – 1 JH student qualified
    HS All-District Band – 2 JH students qualified
    JH All Regional Junior High/Middle School Choir – 22 students
    JH Mixed Choir received a ‘2’ in Concert and a ‘2’ in Sightreading
    JH Treble Choir received a ‘1’ in Concert and a ‘2’ in Sightreading

  • Athletics

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    HS Football – 3 way tie for 3rd place in District
    Shriner’s All-Star Football Game – 5 athletes selected to participate
    All-Star Coastal Bend Coaches Association Basketball Game – 1 boy athlete; 2 girl athletes participated
    HS Volleyball – Area Champions, Regional Quarterfinalist; Freshman District Champions
    HS Volleyball – All State Academic Team – 11 students
    HS Volleyball – Max Preps Player of the Year – 2 students
    HS Team Tennis – Undefeated District Champions 9 years in a row; Area Champions; Regional Qualifiers
    HS Spring Tennis – District Boys & Girls Champions; Regional Qualifiers; State Qualifier
    HS Cross Country –1 Girl Regional Qualifier
    HS Boys Basketball –District Champions; Area Finalists
    HS Girls Basketball – Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Regional Semifinalists
    HS Girls Basketball – All-Region and All-State Teams for Texas Girls Coaches Association – 1 student
    HS Golf – Academic All District – 7 students
    HS Girls Track – 2nd in District, 3rd in Area; & State Qualifier
    HS Boys Track – 2nd in District; 2nd in Area; Regional Finalist & State Qualifier
    HS Girls Swimming – District Champions; Regional Qualifiers; 6 State Qualifiers
    HS Girls Swimming – 1 student Academic All American; 5 students Academic All-State
    HS Boys Swimming – 2nd in District; 4th at Regionals; 6 State Qualifiers
    HS Boys Swimming – 2 students Academic All-State
    HS Girls Soccer – 1st place in District; Bi-District Champions; Area Finalists; 5 students Academic All-State
    HS Boys Soccer – District Champions; Bi-District Champions; Area Finalists; 5 students Academic All-State
    HS Baseball – 2nd in District; Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Regional Quarter Finalists
    HS Softball – 2nd in District; Bi-District Champions; Area Champions; Quarter Finalists; Regional Semi-Finalists
    JH 7th & 8th Grade Girls & Boys Swimming – District Champions
    JH Volleyball – 8th Grade “A” District Runner-up; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th “A” District Co-
    Champions; 7th “B” finished 3rd in District
    JH Football – 8th “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th “B “ Undefeated District Champions; 7th “B” District Co-
    Champions
    JH Boys Basketball – 8th Grade “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th
    Grade “A” Undefeated District Champs; 7th Grade “B” District Champions
    JH Girls Basketball – 8th Grade “A” Undefeated District Champions; 8th Grade “B” Undefeated District Champions; 7th
    Grade “A” 2nd in District; 7th Grade “B” 2nd in District
    JH Girls Track – 8th grade 1st in District; 7th grade 2nd in District
    Athletic Signings: 1 student in Volleyball @ University of Georgia; 1 student in Softball @ University of Houston at
    Victoria; 1 student in Football @ Texas A&M Kingsville, 1 student in Football @ Sam Houston State University; 1 student
    in Football @Texas Lutheran University; 1 student in Baseball @New Mexico Junior College; 3 students in Baseball
    @Schreiner University; 1 student in Baseball @Howard Payne University; 1 girl student in Basketball @Simpson College; 1
    girl student in Basketball @Coastal Bend College; 1 boy student in Soccer @University of North Georgia; 1 boy student in
    Soccer @Texas A&M University-Texarkana; 1 girl student in Swimming @Centenary College of Louisiana; 1 boy student in
    Track @Naval Academy Preparatory School

  • Early Childhood Center

    Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner

  • Primary School

    Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner

  • Elementary School

    Science Fair – 6 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair – 1 Regional Science Fair Winner
    UIL Academics – 3rd grade: 1st place Music Memory and 1st Place Sweepstakes; 4th grade – 1st place Music Memory, 1st Place
    Art (Student); 1st place Art (Team); 1st Place Sweepstakes

  • Intermediate School

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    Science Fair – 13 students advanced to the Coastal Bend Science Fair
    Science Fair 4 Regional Science Fair Winners
    UIL District – 5th grade: 1st place Maps, Charts & Graphs; 1st place Science; 1st place Number Sense; 1st place Listening; 3rd
    place Sweepstakes Trophy
    6th grade: 1st place Sweepstakes Trophy; 1st place in Maps, Charts and Graphs, 1st place Listening, 1st place Chess Puzzle,
    Calculator and Art; 2nd place Spelling, Number Sense, Dictionary and Math; 3rd place Science
    TMSCA (Texas Math and Science Coaches Association) – 1st place at State
    Staff Awards
    James McMinn – Region 30-5A Basketball Coach of the Year
    Catherine Graham – ESC, Region 2 Elementary Teacher of the Year
    District Awards
    Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) – Superior Rating

 

Flour Bluff ISD is in the middle of a $48 million facilities bond project approved by voters in 2012 and started in 2013.  In addition to some much needed upgrades to the existing facilities, a field house (complete) and natatorium (under construction) are part of the big picture.

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  Go Hornets!

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Anchors Aweigh: The Story of Flour Bluff NJROTC

Corpus Christi, Education, Flour Bluff, Front Page

NJROTC 5The following article was written and submitted by Cdr. Armando Solis, Senior Naval Science Instructor at Flour Bluff High School.  Upon his retirement from the Navy in 1993, Commander Solis was selected as the inaugural Senior Naval Science Instructor at Flour Bluff High School  and was tasked to commence the start-up of the unit in June of 1993.  From day one, the program exceeded all expectations.  It was selected as the best new program in 1993, and has been recognized as a Distinguished Unit every year since 1994. (Follow links to view their record, more pictures, and a documentary film by Jack Hodges and Jacob Martinez, also entitled “Anchors Aweigh: The Story of Flour Bluff NJROTC.”)

NJROTC 9

Twenty-three years ago this June, the doors to the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training (NJROTC) program at Flour Bluff High School first swung open. It was a quiet grand opening, with only the inaugural instructor for the unit being present for its inauspicious beginning. The school did not know what was expected of them, and neither did I as the Senior Naval Science Instructor. Shortly after my arrival, pallet after pallet of material commenced arriving, and only my son and I were there to receive it. Even though it was summer, it didn’t take long for inquisitive future cadets to start checking out the activity that was taking place in the new NJROTC spaces. As quickly as those first recruits poked their heads into the building, they were just as quickly put to work, and established as “plank owners” of the nascent program. They were an energetic bunch, and they had total faith in their new instructor. Inwardly, I hoped that their faith in me would not be misplaced. We all worked hard to ensure that when school started in the fall that our new home would be ready to accept every student that wanted to undergo a new and challenging adventure.

NJROTC 2
NJROTC is a student leadership laboratory. The development of those leadership skills is facilitated through the use of military drill. The rationale for that approach is that drill is a great way for students to learn to work with a diverse group of individuals and then to mold them into a cohesive, focused unit. One difficulty in executing that plan is that this Naval Officer, in particular, (and Navy officers, in general) had not drilled since first entering the Navy almost 22 years previously. How was I going to teach drill? Knowing my limitations, I checked at the local Marine Reserve Unit at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and was fortunate enough to find a Marine Staff Sergeant assigned to that unit who had just come off an assignment as a Drill Instructor at Marine Boot Camp. He volunteered to help me out two or three times a week.  As he helped instruct my students, he was secretly instructing me. I quickly found out that I truly loved the beauty that drill presented, and as a consequence I soaked up as much as I could, as quickly as I could.

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As strange as it may sound, I found I enjoyed dissecting the mundane and innocuous details of the Marine Corps Drill Manual. This new-found passion led to a logical conclusion; I became the coach for the Flour Bluff NJROTC drill teams. I pushed drill team kids extremely hard. I may not have fully understood that what I was asking these kids to achieve was nearly impossible for them, and they were too naïve to realize that what I was asking was probably beyond their capabilities. The result, however, was that they felt that if I was asking for them to accomplish something, then it followed that I must believe that they could achieve it, and in most cases they did. They reached heights that no first-year program had ever achieved, and most programs have never come close to achieving what these kids did in their first year.

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Flour Bluff NJROTC became an Honor/Distinguished Unit in its second year, even though the Navy had originally mandated that a minimum of three years was required to attain that status. For the next 21 consecutive years, we have maintained Distinguished Unit status. Also, in the second year, Flour Bluff NJROTC competed and won its first State Championship, and never relinquished that title for the twenty years that followed. In 1997, Flour Bluff NJROTC won its first Navy National Championship, a title it kept for the ten consecutive years. In 2000, Flour Bluff NJROTC won its first All Military Service National Drill Championship, the first of a total of 16 All Service National Champions that it has won since. In 2013, Flour Bluff NJROTC won the Navy National Cyber Patriot Championship in Washington, D.C. In 2015 and once again in 2016, the Flour Bluff NJROTC Academic team qualified as one of eight finalists for the National Academic Bowl Championships in Washington, D.C. Twice the Navy League selected our program as the Best Navy JROTC program in the nation.

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We have had cadets receive appointments to the Naval Academy, to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, to the Air Force Academy, and to the Merchant Marine Academy. Scores of cadets have earned ROTC scholarships to Harvard University, MIT, Rice University, University of Texas, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, and many other colleges and universities throughout the United States.

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I will never take credit for the success that our program has enjoyed. Even the most skillful of sculptors cannot create a masterpiece without first being provided with a magnificent piece of marble with which to work. Our success starts and ends with our students. I give much of the credit of our success to those kids who first joined me in starting our program back in 1993. They were willing to work hard; they were willing to persevere through extremely tough times; and they demonstrated a dedication and a commitment that has become the bedrock of our program. The legacy that those young men and women created has been passed down from one generation of Flour Bluff cadets to the next. Our kids do not know how to quit, and because of that determination, Flour Bluff NJROTC will always shine as the example that others strive to emulate.

NJROTC solis_pavillion

Related article:  NASCC 75th Anniversary Celebration

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NASCC 75th Anniversary Celebration Update

Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Front Page

The following is an update from the Public Affairs Office of NASCC:

NASCC 75

     Robert William “Bob” Barker, former Navy fighter pilot and television host for “The Price is Right,” regrets that he will not be able to travel to Corpus Christi for the Naval Air Station’s anniversary celebration March 12, 2016.

     “I spoke to him on the phone yesterday afternoon, and he feels terrible that he won’t be able to make it,” said Capt. Steve Banta, NASCC commanding officer. “He hurt his back, and his doctor says he is not well enough to travel.  Having him participate was an added plus to our anniversary celebration. However, the theme of the event is, and always has been, the cooperation and partnership with the City of Corpus Christi that we’ve enjoyed for the past 75 years.  NAS Corpus Christi wouldn’t be here today without the support of the city and this outstanding local community.”

     Corpus Christi’s civic leaders gave the Navy an added incentive to build here in 1940:  640 acres of undeveloped city land added to what the federal government would purchase. The city also gave $2 million to help with the cost of construction.

Fence line at the construction site of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, July 1940, Lexington Road and Flour Bluff Drive Source: National Naval Aviation Museum
Fence line at the construction site of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, July 1940. Source: National Naval Aviation Museum

     The 75th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, March 12, is free and open to the public. NASCC’s Main (South) Gate will open at 10 a.m. The official ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez as the keynote speaker. The ceremony will end at noon with a flyover of historic and current naval training aircraft.

     A variety of static displays, including naval aircraft and historic automobiles, as well as other family-friendly activities and entertainment will be held throughout the afternoon on the NASCC seawall. Entertainment from the local community includes the championship Flour Bluff High School NJROTC drill team, the FBHS dance team and cheerleaders, and numerous other groups.

     Military entertainment includes demonstrations from the Marine Air Training Support Group-22 USMC Martial Arts Program, NASCC Firefighters, NASCC Military Working Dog teams, and a Search and Rescue demonstration by the U.S. Coast Guard.

     There will be games and activities for children as well as food trucks selling refreshments.

     A free concert will begin at 4:30 p.m. with Costello, a local Texas country band, followed by Country Singer/Songwriter Sara Evans at 6:30 p.m.  The day’s celebration will conclude with a fireworks display beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Reminders:

  • Saturday, March 12, the Main (South) Gate to NAS Corpus Christi will open at 10 a.m. to the general public.
  • Driving on the installation, visitors must have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  • Visitors will be directed to parking adjacent to the ceremony site.
  • All are reminded that they may not bring: coolers; backpacks, large bags, tents and large umbrellas; animals, unless they are service animals; weapons of any kind; alcoholic beverages; cooking equipment; skateboards, bikes, and roller blades; illegal drugs or paraphernalia; fireworks; and kites, balloons and radio-controlled devices.

Costello

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Sara Evans

NAS 1941
Pass & Review – First graduation exercises held aboard the naval air station Nov. 4, 1941. (Photo from Doc McGregor collection, courtesy Corpus Christi Public Library)

NAS Pilots
“Many of the aviators who fought and died in the great naval battles in the Pacific, the battles that ultimately won the war, were trained at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station.” Murphy Givens

An aerial view of Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, as it appeared on January 27, 1941, seventy-two years ago today. The air station was commissioned in March 1941.
An aerial view of Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, as it appeared on January 27, 1941. The air station was commissioned in March 1941.

For more information about the NAS Corpus Christi 75th Anniversary Celebration, call the Public Affairs Office at (361) 961-2674 or 961-3420, or visit the Facebook page “NASCC Anniversary.”

Related articles:

Anchors Aweigh

Captain Steve Banta Talks about NAS CC 75th Anniversary at March FBBA Meeting

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