All posts by John Starkey

Texas community colleges launch Texas Guided Pathways

Austin, TX — The Texas Success Center (TSC), a division of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), is pleased to announce the partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Greater Texas Foundation, T.L.L. Temple Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation to launch an ambitious five-year effort to implement Texas Pathways reform across all 50 community college districts in the state.

Texas Pathways is an integrated, system-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences that guides each student effectively and efficiently from the selection of their high school degree program, to entry into higher education, to attainment of high-quality credentials and careers.

Texas Pathways is patterned after the American Association of Community College (AACC) Pathways Model launched nationally in 2015. Texas Pathways is built upon three important design principles.

1) colleges’ program redesigns must pay attention to the entire student experience, rather than to just one segment of it,

2) a guided Pathways redesign is a framework that helps unify a variety of reform elements around the central goal of helping students choose, enter, and complete a program of study aligned with their goals for employment and further education, and

3) the redesign process starts with student end goals for careers and further education in mind and “backward maps” programs and supports to ensure that students are prepared for employment and education at the next level.

The opportunity for quality employment and a rewarding adult life largely depends upon completing an academic credential. The state’s new plan for higher education 60x30TX, recognizes that for Texas to remain competitive and prosperous it will need 60 percent of its 25- to 34-year-olds to hold a quality certificate or degree by 2030.

“Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) is pleased and excited to support the TSC’s Texas Guided Pathways initiative. GTF supports efforts to ensure all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete a postsecondary education. The design principles of Texas Guided Pathways embody each of the components of our mission in a highly structured, scalable, and student-focused way. We look forward to working with TSC on this important endeavor to improve education outcomes for students across the state,” said Ralph Rushing, Chair & Interim Chief Executive, Greater Texas Foundation.

“Community colleges play a critical role in educating our future workforce, and thirteen colleges in East Texas serve about 25 percent of all Texas community college students. Pathways will ensure more Texans succeed in college and that our region is economically competitive,” said Dr. Wynn Rosser, President & CEO, T.L.L. Temple Foundation.

“Building on emerging research and experience in the field, Texas Pathways reflects the Texas Success Center’s commitment to support all 50 Texas community college districts’ student success efforts through a comprehensive implementation of this model,” said Dr. Cynthia Ferrell, Executive Director, TSC. She continued, “And we are so very grateful for the support of our partners at these incredible foundations as we all work to make all make Texas students successful.”

“We expect that Texas Pathways will have an enormous impact to students and the state given its scale across the more than 700,000 students who attend a Texas community college. It has the potential to radically change how students enter and get through the higher education system and efficiently achieve a quality certificate or degree,” said Jacob Fraire, President & CEO, Texas Association of Community Colleges. 

SOURCE Texas Association of Community Colleges

Keep Irving Beautiful seeks volunteers for annual Trash Bash

Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) invites the community to attend the 26th annual Trash Bash on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers will meet at T.W. Richardson Grove Park, along the Campion Trails, for a morning of community service, food, and fun. For the sixth consecutive year, the Trash Bash is being held in conjunction with National Public Lands Day, and will be one of many similar events occurring across the country that day. The nation’s largest single-day event for public lands raises awareness of environmental issues like litter, and encourages everyone to lend a hand to make a difference in their communities. Volunteers of all ages are invited to participate. KIB will provide supplies such as litter pickers, trash and recycle bags, and gloves. Lunch will be provided after the cleanup, and volunteers will have the opportunity to register for prize drawings and learn about reptiles, fossils, and water conservation at various exhibits. KIB is also holding a canned food drive to benefit the Baptist Benevolent Ministries of Irving (BBMOI). Volunteers who bring a canned or other non-perishable food item to donate will receive an event T-shirt (while supplies last).

T.W. Richardson Grove Park is located at 333 E. Interstate Highway 635 (LBJ), Irving, TX 75039.

Please register online by Sept. 22, at For more information call the Keep Irving Beautiful office at (972) 721-2175.

SOURCE Keep Irving Beautiful

New statewide law prohibits texting while driving

AUSTIN – Effective Sept. 1, texting while driving is illegal across the state of Texas as the result of a new texting-while-driving ban passed during the 85th Texas Legislative Session. The law prohibits motorists from reading, writing or sending electronic messages while driving.

“One in five crashes in Texas is caused by distracted driving,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “We are pleased the Texas Legislature recognizes the extreme danger caused by texting and driving. The new law sends a very clear message to Texans to put down their phones and focus on the road. We are hopeful this new law will help save lives and reduce injuries.”

Last year, 109,658 traffic crashes in Texas involved distracted driving. Those crashes resulted in 455 deaths and 3,087 serious injuries.

While distracted drivers risk injuring or killing themselves and others, they also now face penalties under the new statewide law. A first offense is punishable by a fine up to $99; any subsequent offense carries a fine up to $200. Drivers should be aware that some cities have additional ordinances that are more restrictive. Exceptions to the new law include emergency communication or electronic messaging when the vehicle is stopped.

For those under 18 years of age, Texas law already bans all cell phone use while driving, including hands-free, except in the case of emergencies. Additionally, drivers are currently banned from texting and using hand-held cellular devices while driving in school zones. School bus operators also are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present.

To help educate the public on the new law, TxDOT will be posting information on portable roadside message signs as well as permanent signs along interstate and U.S. highways.

SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation

Irving High School Football Weekly Roundup: Week 3

Irving vs. Little Elm, lost 10-34

Takeaway: Little Elm picked Irving apart through the air and took advantage of 4 turnovers to go up 28-0 by the half and cruise to a big win. 

Key Tigers: The lone spotlight for the Tigers was RB James Miles, who picked up 139 yards on the ground on 16 carries, including a 76 yard touchdown run.

Next Tigers Game: Irving (1-2) @ Duncanville (3-0)
*Thurs, Sept. 28th at 7pm

Irving PPG – 19.0
Duncanville PPG – 45.0

Irving Points Allowed Per Game – 32.0
Duncanville Points Allowed Per Game – 10.3

Irving Yards Per Game – 158.0
Duncanville Yards Per Game – 459.7

Irving Yards Allowed Per Game – 273.0
Duncanville Yards Allowed Per Game – 199.3

MacArthur @ Rockwall-Heath, lost 9-48

Takeaway: Rockwall-Heath picked up 350 yards on the ground, including four touchdowns on the ground, as Rockwall-Heath picked up the big home win. 

Key Cardinals: QB Brion Lopez was 10 for 18 with 116 yards and an INT and also rushed for a score.

Next Cardinals Game: MacArthur (1-2) @ South Grand Prairie (1-2)
*Friday, Sept. 29 at 7:30pm

MacArthur PPG – 12.0
South Grand Prairie PPG – 17.3

MacArthur Points Allowed Per Game – 33.3
South Grand Prairie Points Allowed Per Game – 23.3

MacArthur Yards Per Game – 264.7
South Grand Prairie Yards Per Game – 235.7

MacArthur Yards Allowed Per Game – 316.0
South Grand Prairie Yards Allowed Per Game – 287.7

Nimitz @ Richardson, won 43-35

Takeaway: Tied at 14 heading into the second quarter, the Vikings took a second quarter lead on great special teams play and never looked back. 

Key Vikings: QB Chance Hernandez was 13 for 16 with 86 yards. He also ran 11 times for 60 yards and two scores. RB Derrick Hamilton rushed 18 times for 106 yards and a score, and RB Willie Lawson rushed 8 times for 51 yards and a score. Camron Henderson and Justin Sherman broke the game open for the Vikings, returning a 100-yard kickoff return and 50 yard punt return for touchdowns, respectively. 

Next Vikings Game: Nimitz (1-2) vs. Grand Prairie (1-2)
*Friday, Sept. 29 at 7:30pm

Nimitz PPG – 26.3
Grand Prairie PPG – 22.7

Nimitz Points Allowed Per Game – 36.3
Grand Prairie Points Allowed Per Game – 32.3

Nimitz Yards Per Game – 300.7
Grand Prairie Yards Per Game – 304.3

Nimitz Yards Allowed Per Game – 337.7
Grand Prairie Yards Allowed Per Game – 354.3

District 7-6A Standings:

DeSoto 3 0 0 1.000 1-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 W3 +61
Duncanville 3 0 0 1.000 2-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 W3 +104
Cedar Hill 1 2 0 0.333 1-0-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 W1 -24
Grand Prairie 1 2 0 0.333 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 L2 -29
Irving 1 2 0 0.333 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 L2 -39
Irving MacArthur 1 2 0 0.333 1-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 L2 -64
Irving Nimitz 1 2 0 0.333 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 W1 -30
South Grand Prairie 1 2 0 0.333 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 L1 -18

Set the date!

Irving Main Street Event
September 15 – 6 to 10 p.m.
September 16 – Noon to 5 p.m.

Irving Heritage District 217 S. Main St. Irving, TX. Free Admission, Free Parking.This annual street festival in the heart of the Irving Heritage District celebrates the hometown feel of Irving with attractions for all ages. Each year thousands of people attend this family affair, which offers live music, the Manifolds on Main Street Car Show, free rides and activities for children, food and shopping.

Ballet Folklorico at Cozby Library
September 16, 2 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a performance by Sima Ballet Folklorico! Stop by the Cozby Library and Community Commons to enjoy the bright costumes and traditional Mexican music and dance. All ages welcome to attend.

AT&T Byron Nelson announces record net proceeds for Momentous Institute

Dallas – The Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas recently announced the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson raised a record $6.8 million. Proceeds from the tournament will help continue building and repairing social emotional health for kids and families through Momentous Institute.

The tournament has raised over $155 million for Momentous Institute since 1968, helping to transform more than 100,000 kids and families’ lives.

“This year we set out to make the AT&T Byron Nelson’s final year in Irving our best yet, and to celebrate our long relationship with the Irving community and the Four Seasons,” said Tim Costello, 2017 Tournament Chair. “We are grateful to the countless people who came together to make sure we raised the most we could for the kids and families we serve through Momentous Institute.”

The Salesmanship Club of Dallas has owned and operated Momentous Institute since 1920 and began operating the PGA TOUR event in 1968. Momentous Institute directly serves more than 6,000 kids and family members annually through therapeutic and educational services.

In order to change the odds for far more children than could be served directly, the organization extends its social emotional health expertise by investing in research and offering training nationwide.

The 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson will be held May 14-20 at its new location at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.

SOURCE Salesmanship Club of Dallas

Irving High School Football Weekly Roundup: Week 2

Irving @ Bishop Lynch, lost 7-48

Takeaway: Bishop Lynch got out quick and often in an impressive run attack and turnover hungry defense that forced Irving to three fumbles. 

Key Tigers: QB DJ Stephenson struggled behind center and was 4 of 14 for 27 yards through the air and 3 rushes for 2 yards. On the ground, RB James Miles rushed 18 times for 27 yards. 

Next Tigers Game: vs. Little Elm (2-0)

MacArthur vs. Plano, lost 13-49

Takeaway: Plano limited mistakes and put up 35 points before the half to take control of this game early.

Key Cardinals: QB Brion Lopez was 8 for 15 with 55 yards and a pick. He also rushed for a score. RB Gabriel Sanders rushed 11 times for 75 yards. WR Tyson Hardin had 2 catches for 40 yards. 

Next Cardinals Game: @ Rockwall-Heath (1-1)

Nimitz vs. Richardson Pearce, lost 15-38

Takeaway: Despite nine penalties, a balanced offensive attack including 251 yards through the air saw Richardson Pearce win big. 

Key Vikings: QB Chance Hernandez was 7 for 12 with 83 yards and a touchdown. RB Derrick Hamilton rushed 16 times for 93 yards. RB Billy McGee rushed 7 times for 58 yards and a score. WR Damarcus McGowan had 4 receptions for 68 yards and a score.

Next Vikings Game: @ Richardson (0-2)

District 7-6A Standings:

DeSoto 2 0   1.000 0-0- 2-0- 0-0- W2 +34
Duncanville 2 0   1.000 1-0- 1-0- 0-0- W2 +66
Grand Prairie 1 1   0.500 0-1- 1-0- 0-0- L1 -8
Irving 1 1   0.500 0-0- 1-1- 0-0- L1 -15
Irving MacArthur 1 1   0.500 1-1- 0-0- 0-0- L1 -25
South Grand Prairie 1 1   0.500 0-0- 1-1- 0-0- W1 +1
Cedar Hill 0 2   0.000 0-0- 0-2- 0-0- L2 -32
Irving Nimitz 0 2   0.000 0-1- 0-1- 0-0- L2 -38

Set the date!

Butterflies and Busy Bees
September 13, 6-7:30 P.M.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about the pollinator garden at the Make A Wish Foundation in Las Colinas, 6655 Deseo, Irving, TX 75039. A dedicated team of Dallas County Master Gardeners have developed and maintained this garden for six years.

The evening will begin with two Master Gardener speakers. Barbara Andersonwill talk about the history of the partnership between DCMGA and MAW – how and why the garden was started, how it has grown, and what it means to the Make A Wish Foundation. Linda Seidel, a past DCMGA President, will speak about the benefits of planting pollinator (host and nectar) plants.

A self-guided tour of the garden will follow, with Master Gardener docents, plus a plant list and diagram of the garden. Come enjoy the evening in this beautiful setting and take ideas home to use in your own gardens. This event is free and open to the public

Ballet Folklorico at Cozby Library
September 16, 2 p.m.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a performance by Sima Ballet Folklorico! Stop by the Cozby Library and Community Commons to enjoy the bright costumes and traditional Mexican music and dance. All ages welcome to attend.