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Martin Walker Elementary named one of five finalists in national contest

Special to Leader-Press
Captain Hook doesn’t have any students walking the plank at Martin Walker Elementary. In fact, gifted and talented students are enjoying not only smooth sailing thanks to the Study Island STAAR prep program that makes learning fun, they a receiving national recognition.
Martin Walker GT students used their imaginations and decorated their computer lab with a Study Island theme, GT teacher Lorraine Pesce said.
“The GT students decided to take on this project because they wanted to create an inviting atmosphere for their school community to enjoy while visiting the computer lab,” Pesce said.
GT student Kameren Jones was very excited to create the island scene.
“(I enjoyed) being artistic and creating tropical animals for the other students enjoy looking at while they are in the computer lab,” the third grader said.
Study Island offers a curriculum using the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills to prepare for the STAAR test. The program supports the learning process in a both small and large group settings using technology with interactive lessons and activities. Students work through the web-based program at their own paces or teachers can guide students through the program. Shannon LaBree is a marketing specialist on Edmentum’s assessment segment team which offers the Study Island program to schools. She said the number and caliber of entries in the decorating contest exceeded the company’s expectations.
“The enthusiastic response from educators and students, as well as the number of entries we received, was nothing short of amazing. We saw great student artwork, creative decorating schemes, originality, and lots of Study Island love in both the K-5 and 6-12 categories,” LeBree said. “With so many outstanding submissions, determining our finalists was no easy task. We asked all Edmentum employees to help out and join in the fun of looking through the photos, videos, and written statements that we received.”
Martin Walker Elementary School was notified by LeBree that its students were named top-5 finalists in the competition. The students were recognized at the December school board meeting with Hawaiian leis placed around their necks by CCISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Burns and Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Katie Ryan and were given finalist certificates.
Fourth grade GT student Patrick Stonebrook didn’t look to winning as his reward for participating.
“I feel that bringing color and a tropical display into the computer lab might just brighten up somebody’s day,” he said.

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