McKINNEY — Some McKinney High School and Faubion Middle School students were surprised to look up from their assignments last Thursday and find a parade of senior adults strolling by.
But, almost universally, curious looks turned quickly to smiles and friendly greetings as the 70 senior adult guests of the 4th Annual MISD Senior Tour made their way around those campuses.
The tour, which has become a popular annual event since its inception in 2011, gives McKinney seniors an inside look at selected campuses to see the educational opportunities afforded McKinney ISD students. In recent years, they have visited each of the MISD high schools and several middle and elementary schools in the District.
It is a day that is marked each year by fresh perspectives.
At MHS, tour participants enjoyed hand massages in the school’s beautiful new cosmetology facility, created water color postcards in art class, served as a jury in the brand new criminal justice courtroom and donned strange glasses to learn about the properties of light in physics classrooms. At Faubion, they enjoyed a choir performance during lunch, witnessed battling robots in an engineering classroom and sampled some of the great learning that takes place every day in various classrooms around the school.
The tour visited art classrooms at MHS where they created watercolor post cards under the instruction of student artists.
Both campuses rolled out some of their finest performers for entertainment. The Harmony jazz choir ensemble took the stage at MHS to perform several numbers, and at Faubion, tour participants wrapped up the day by taking in some outstanding middle school orchestra, vocal and theatre performances.
“I just am so proud of the teachers and the staff and the students in our school district,” said MISD Superintendent Dr. J.D. Kennedy. “It was a lot of fun to showcase what we have here in our system, and Faubion and McKinney High are just two examples of the quality programs we have in our district. It’s heartwarming to hear all of the positive comments from the senior adults that participated in this tour, and hopefully they’ll come again next year.”
Here is what some of those senior adults had to say:
• “I’m very, very impressed with everything the school district’s doing – for what I saw at McKinney High School and the renovations and the wonderful offering of different things for career as well as for college-bound students. I’m very impressed with that.” — Jay Dess
• “I really was impressed with all of the improvements and all the innovative ideas they have at McKinney High School. I was here in McKinney when they built McKinney High – when [the current location] opened in ’86. We thought it was state of the art then and so awesome, but it really is amazing [now] with the cosmetology and all of the different things they offer for the kids. Some of it was over my head, of course, but I was just amazed at the kids and the interest they have in what they’re doing.” — Sue Reeves
• “This has been fabulous. All of the things that the kids need to know at the high school ... I am amazed at the opportunities offered to the children now at high school. My grandson is going to North Texas to be an engineer. They’ve got all of that right here! It’s amazing.” — Marianne Rinn
Student Council members played host to the 2014 Senior Tour at Faubion Middle School.
• “I think this is fabulous. I didn’t know that we’re doing so much in the schools, especially even at this middle school level. But, at the high school, it is just awesome to see how these children are learning to get into business right out of high school. It’s amazing. It’s such a great basis for them to go on to college but with a background that they know that they can aspire to.” — Tom Patrick
• “It’s exciting to see all the opportunities that the students have to collaborate and to focus on the academics with the risk-taking in mind to accomplish their interests.” — Ree McKenzie
• “The schools looked fabulous, and the students were cordial, respectful, talented and overall quite impressive. Our community can be very proud of and grateful for the educational experience it provides.”— Jerry Schumacher
For the students involved, the Senior Tour was a great opportunity to show off their campuses, get to know some of the community’s senior adults and glean some fresh perspective on the educational opportunities they enjoy today.
The Golden Ambassadors of McKinney High School led groups of Senior Tour members to various points of interest and activities around the school.
Abigail Rippee, a member of the Faubion Student Council, said that talking with the tour participants helped her realize that it’s easy to take things for granted. “They were talking about, at lunch, how the [McKinney High School] football team, when they first got it, they didn’t have enough money. And, that’s weird to us because we have robotics club and things like that. And, a football team is just normal, and we expect to have it.”
The tour even provided some new perspective for those who have been in the District for years, providing leadership behind the very opportunities that the Senior Tour showcases.
MISD Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Rick McDaniel spoke to that, “My perspective as a former principal has always been from McKinney Boyd, and now I see why McKinney Boyd has been able to have as much success as they have had because of great feeder schools like Faubion Middle School. They are absolutely loaded with talent and smart kids and a supportive group of parents. So, I was proud to get to show off Faubion Middle School today. Also, I was very proud of McKinney High School. They did an excellent job of showcasing the new building, and the students are obviously very proud to be part of that wonderful building. It’s good for our community members to come in and be a part of that and see their tax dollars and what they’ve been able to provide for our future.”
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About McKinney ISD
One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at mckinneyisd.net.