Cougar Excellence Awards for October


Crosby, TX (October 16, 2023) - The Crosby ISD Board of Trustees recognized recipients of the Cougar Excellence Awards for October 2023. 


Each month, HEB generously donates a $25 gift card to our students of the month. Chick-fil-A of Crosby also donates a prize pack for our students, teachers and paraprofessional of the month.

New this year, each student of the month receives a yard sign courtesy of Wendy's and Oberoi Holdings. We want our entire community and neighbors to know the great work these students are doing in our District.


Students of the Month: Nicolas Ochoa (CKC); Rhett Patterson (NES); Madelynn Newcomb (BES); Brin'Leigh Stringfellow (CES); Carson Westbrooks (DES); Valentina Fuentes (CMS); and Kaylie Jo Hill (CHS).

From Crosby Kindergarten Center, 4-year-old Nicolas Ochoa. Nicolas is a joy to have at CKC. His Pre-K teacher, Mrs. Romero, says, he is always so eager to engage in the lesson or activity of the day. He is always willing to help his peers or teacher when they need assistance. He participates and encourages classmates to do the same. Our class is glad to have him as a friend and CKC is proud of this Cougar rockstar!

From Newport Elementary, 5th grader Rhett Patterson. Principal Price says Rhett is the definition of Cougar Excellence. He is smart, kind, and a born leader. No matter what's going on around him, he stays true to himself and walks with integrity. As a member of the student council, he can be seen serving his peers and his campus through various student0led projects. Though he has accomplished a lot at such a young age, his most important job is ensuring that his younger brother is well taken care of. As a big brother, he makes sure that his younger sibling navigates the halls successfully. Rhett is truly one of a kind!

From Barrett Elementary, second grader Madelynn Newcomb. Principal Ornelas says Madelynn is our very own ray of sunshine. She greets every student, teacher, and other staff members with a smile. Madelynn is a shining example of how to be a friend. She is a hard worker in the classroom, and always willing to help others. If there is something that needs to be done, she is the first  to volunteer. Madelynn exhibits a positive vibe that is contagious. She represents all attributes of the BES creed (ROAR - Respect, Outstanding Character, Always safe and Responsible). Way to go, Madelynn,

From Crosby Elementary, Brin'Leigh Stringfellow. Brin'Leigh is a 3rd grade student at CES.  Hard-working, caring, and bubbly are all words one could use to describe her. Brin'leigh is always the first to reach out a helping hand to a friend, or teacher, in need.  She never backs down from a challenge, and she has a smile that can light up any room. Her teacher, Ms. Armstrong states that Brin'Leigh is a true joy to have at CES, setting a wonderful example for her classmates and other students on campus. She is just precious inside and out.  Keep ROARing Brin'Leigh, we are proud of you. 

From Drew Elementary, fifth grader Carson Westbrooks. Principal Tisdom says Carson consistently demonstrates a commitment to doing what is right, setting a stellar example for his peers. As a proud member of the Honor Society, Carson embodies the values of academic excellence and integrity. He takes great pride in his academic achievements, always striving to excel in his studies. His dedication to his schoolwork is not only impressive, but also inspiring to others around him. Carson truly embodies the spirit of excellence and responsibility. He is also the newly-elected Vice President of the National Elementary Honors Society. We are so very proud of you.

From Crosby Middle School, 8th grader Valentina Fuentes. Principal Lozano says Valentina excels academically and consistently demonstrates positive behavior and a strong sense of responsibility in managing her honors classroom, athletics, and electives. Being an A honor roll student and only missing one day in the nine weeks showcases her resilience, a quality she models daily. We are proud to have her as a valued Crosby Middle Cougar family member!

From Crosby High School, senior Kaylie Jo Hill. Kaylie is a proud member of the Class of 2024. She is an honors student at CHS and she leads The Big Red Machine as the Drum Major. Kaylie Jo and the entire Big Red Machine had an excellent performance on Saturday at the Regional marching band contest. They will travel to Baylor University later this month to compete in the state military marching band contest. Principal Hadnot says Kaylie has shown exemplary leadership skills as she excels both on and off the field. She is as precise in Intermediate Algebra as she is with her baton. Going into her senior year, Kaylie ranks in the top 10 of the class of 2024 with a GPA of 4.627! All of her teachers raved about how excellent she is as a student and how she is a natural leader in the classroom. Kaylie is Cougar Excellence and she exhibits the Cougar Way every day! 


Teachers of the Month: Mrs. Vicky Holland (NES); Mrs. Jaime Grettenberg (CKC); Ms. Lesa Keltz (CES); Ms. Dorothy Madison (DES); Ms. Lenlee Ordner (BES); Ms. Jessica Hefner (CMS); and Mrs. Tess Humphries (CHS). Not Pictured: Ms. Valerie Perry (NES) and Ms. Thersa Summers (CES).

From Crosby Kindergarten Center, Mrs. Jaime Grettenberg. Affectionately known as “Mrs. G,” she joined CKC last year and has quickly become part of the Crosby family. She is dedicated to her work and students. Principal Minor says she is a team player who motivates everyone and is on a quest to see growth. She uses innovative teaching practices to ensure student success.  She sends PD opportunities to her colleagues, volunteers to assist with school committees and functions, and is an all-around go-getter. Pre-K students love telling Mrs. G goodbye as they leave, because they can’t wait to see her again the next day. 

From Newport Elementary, Mrs. Vicky Holland. Principal Price says Mrs. Holland is like an architect. She is continuously designing new ways to form her classroom into the unique structure that it is. She leads her classroom through project-based learning, provoking her students to think deeper and engage in ideas at a higher level. Mrs. Holland's influence is not limited to only her classroom. Mrs. Holland is working to create a culture of reading at NES. She has recently launched a reading challenge for students so that they are recognized by the number of words read. Countless students have already made it to the 100,000-word club thanks to Mrs. Holland, who is leading by reading with them. 

From Barrett Elementary, Ms. Lenlee Ordner. Ms. Ordner serves as the reading interventionist for Barrett Elementary and has made exceptional contributions to the school community. Principal Ornelas says Ms. Ordner is a teacher who advocates for all learners and is a driving force in helping our students become stronger readers through lessons that encourage critical thinking and creativity. She is  a source of motivation and support for her colleagues as she leads in disaggregating data, presenting instructional strategies to enrich reading instruction, and serving as a mentor to new teachers. She is a catalyst for teamwork and collaboration, instilling a sense of unity among her peers. Thank you, Ms. Ordner for always working hard to make BES better every day. Our students are lucky to have such a dedicated educator in their corner.

From Crosby Elementary, Ms. Lesa Keltz. Ms. Keltz is a Reading Interventionist at CES.  She leads grade-level planning for Reading each week and is always looking for new and innovative ways to teach curriculum to our students. Principal Kratky-Fox says she is a valuable resource for our teachers and is always willing to lend a helping hand.  She can be found during her conference period researching best practices and creating ways to organize data and track student progress on the TEKS. On November 3rd, Mrs. Keltz will present to educators from across the state at the 2023 Education Mega Conference in Houston put on by the National Literacy Institute.  Not only is CES lucky to have Ms. Keltz working with our staff and students, but her expertise will be shared with state educators, creating a positive impact on student learning across Texas.  Thank you Ms. Keltz for being a LEAD LEARNER.

From Drew Elementary, Ms. Dorothy Madison. Ms. Madison is dedicated to delivering an exceptional Physical Education program for students. Principal Tisdom says one of Ms. Madison’s notable achievements is her ability to build strong relationships with her students. This connection has had a significant impact on the classroom environment, as evidenced by a remarkable 100% reduction in discipline referrals. Ms. Madison's commitment to professional growth and her skill in cultivating positive student-teacher relationships make her a deserving recipient of the Teacher of the Month recognition. 

From Crosby Middle School, Ms. Jessica Hefner. Principal Lozano says Ms. Hefner is an exceptional asset to our school and community. Her unwavering dedication and commitment shine through as she ensures students are well-represented in the yearbook and actively engaged in events. Furthermore, she goes the extra mile to keep staff and students well-informed. Her tireless efforts in showcasing our school on social media have had a significant impact, making our community fully aware of the incredible developments at Crosby Middle School. Ms. Hefner is at the helm of our much-anticipated annual Autumn Fest, scheduled for this Friday. It's an event you will want to attend! She also serves on Superintendent Patterson’s Teacher Advisory Committee, and we can speak from personal experience that when Ms. Hefner is asked to do something, she always goes above and beyond. Congratulations.

From Crosby High School, Mrs. Tess Humphries. Mrs. Humphries is a lead teacher at CHS. She is a student council sponsor who has helped to promote and grow the organization to more than 100 students. Homecoming week is a huge undertaking for student council, and she made it look easy! She is very involved in school culture as she participates in helping with convocation, pep rallies, dress up days, and anything else that is asked of her. Principal Hadnot says we appreciate her willingness to change plans at a moment's notice. She is loved by her students, held in high regard by her colleagues, and receives rave reviews from the administrative team. This year's Crosby High School motto is EPICC, Every Person Impacts Cougar Culture, and I’m quoting here “Mrs. Humphries is an exemplary example of epic enthusiastic energy!” Thank you for making a positive impact at CHS!


This month’s paraprofessional of the Month is Ms. Graciela Hernandez. Principal Hadnot says Ms. Hernandez joined CHS last year from CKC and hit the ground running!  Ms. Hernandez is one of the kindest, most helpful, and resourceful people on campus.  White House 1 Office is the busiest house due to its central location in the building.  She handles the constant flow of student and staff traffic in and out of the office with ease.  Ms. Hernandez anticipates every possible need of Mrs. Weaver and Mrs. Kondo. She assists with LPAC, 504, discipline, attendance, and the everyday needs of students and staff. She greets every person with a smile! She is truly one of a kind and absolutely a blessing to Crosby High School.


The Board of Trustees recognized our community members for October 2023. The “Barrett Station Economic and Community Development Organization" became saviors of the Barrett Station Summer Youth Enrichment Camp. BECDO is a non-profit that answered the call when the vital youth program was at risk of being canceled. Not only did it continue, but as you’re about to see in the video below, the camp is thriving.

Crosby ISD staff members who worked at the Summer Camp were recognized as well with commendation letters from Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey.