Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Sofia Guerrero!

Congratulations to Landrum's "Teacher of the Year," Mrs. Sofia Guerrero!

A graduate of the University of Houston, Mrs. Guerrero is in her second year of teaching 7th grade Math here at Landrum. After being a student observer here three years ago, Mrs. Guerrero decided to come back to Landrum to student teach under the mentorship of 8th grade math teacher and Landrum veteran, Jennifer Roth.
LMS Principal Steven Speyrer & Mrs. Guerrero

Class photos of hard work
This teacher does nearly the impossible...she gets 7th graders to enjoy math! Her wall is covered with positive messages from students who are appreciative of the hard work she puts in with them. This inspiring teacher continues to push students to do their best by creating systems and structures to support student learning. She and her students created "social contracts" by period to build a normed community of learners. A positive class culture pervades her room as further evidenced by pictures of students on the wall that make up the classroom decor.

Mrs. Guerrero helping students in the afternoon heat.
Mrs. Guerrero incentivizes her class by publicly tracking class-wide scores. She plays on the competitive nature of middle-schoolers to push them to achieve more than they think possible of themselves. This includes her two Study Skills classes that combine math instruction with brain-based methods to best help students retain information. In addition, this gem of the 100-hall helped develop the"Problem Solving Model" used in all math classes here at Landrum to provide students a tool to guide their thinking when tackling difficult math problems.

Class created "social contracts" for behavior norms

Publicly tracking student results to incentivize growth.
"Sofia is a dynamic, heart-driven teacher who focuses on the needs of her kids," effuses math Assistant Principal Brian Shillingburg. She continues this work both during school and after school hours.

Following the dismissal bell, Mrs. Guerrero continues to work by holding after school tutorials and running an ACE After-School program called "Art with Math Magic." In this class students create art using mathematical concepts. Mrs. Guerrero is also part of the "Quinse" program which works with young ladies from both Landrum and KIPP on understanding the tradition of and preparing young women for their quinceañera, an important event in Hispanic culture.

Congratulations again to the growth-minded, value-adding teacher, Mrs. Sofia Guerrero!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Landrum Orchestra Plays for Nursing Home

The Landrum/KIPP Middle School Orchestra shared beautiful music with the residents of the Concierge Luxury Skilled Nursing Facility for National Nursing Home Week. Sixty-two orchestra students ranging from 5th - 8th grade played their instruments for an enthusiastic audience under the direction of their teacher, Ms. Katie Hemphill.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Jaime Trigo!

A fourth-grade teacher at Memorial Drive Elementary and the choir director at Landrum Middle School are Spring Branch ISD’s Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year. The annual awards were announced at the Service Awards employee recognition event held May 6 at the Omni Houston Hotel Westside.

In addition to their Gold Apple awards, Memorial Drive’s Anne-Louise Smalling and Landrum Middle’s Jaime Trigo will each receive a $2,000 professional development stipend from SBISD and a separate $1,000 cash award provided by First Community Credit Union and Centerpoint Energy this year.

In his final Service Awards ceremony, Superintendent Duncan F. Klussmann announced the two winners after students praised all eight Teacher of the Year Finalists in personal speeches.

Fourth-grader Michael O’Shell told the ballroom crowd of more than 450 that Ms. Smalling helped him organize his folder to look as neat as a football coach’s playbook. “She makes all of her students feel really good about themselves. When we miss a question, she picks us back up and gets us back on track,” he said.

Michael, her student, was the one who helped calm nerves up on the ballroom stage before students spoke and Elementary Teacher of the Year winners were finally named. “It’s OK, Miss Smalling, I’ve got this!” Michael told her before his personal remarks. 

“Isn’t he amazing? And to think, I have 18 just like him,” Anne Smalling told the crowd. “Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am a product of Spring Branch – Hollibrook Elementary, Spring Woods Junior High and Northbrook High School Class of 1996.”

The proud graduate of SBISD schools was encouraged and inspired along the way by several of the district’s current school principals. They include Northbrook High’s Randolph Adami, Memorial Drive’s Jennifer Jordan and Meadow Wood’s Pamela Redd.

A graduate in history and Russian at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, she later earned alternative certification at the University of Houston-Downtown. She has taught seven years in the region, including one year at Memorial Drive Elementary.

Landrum Middle A Capella Choir member Alex Paz said that Jaime Trigo had molded the campus choirs into some of the best at the middle-school level in SBISD. “Mr. Trigo, you call us rock stars, but we never knew that we were. You saw the potential we had to become great and, thanks to you, we are an amazing choir,” he said.

Alex Paz, Jaime Trigo, & Dr. Klussman

Alex also praised the music teacher for helping him think of himself as a choir and school leader, rather than “Alex, the kid who is always in trouble, or the kid who doesn’t care about nothing. You truly made a difference in my life, and in choir members’ lives.”

“I believe God put me in this school for a reason,” Mr. Trigo said in deeply emotional remarks. “These students don’t have the best opportunities available, save for those we give them at school. . . . I came here and said that I would be here for a year, then I stayed for another, then another. Six years later, I realized that I had fallen in love with these kids, and I knew that they really needed me.”

Mr. Trigo graduated from small South Texas schools and went on to study at the University of Texas at Austin before earning his bachelor’s degree in music some years later from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. He has taught choir since 2009 at Landrum Middle.

As this year’s Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, Trigo and Smalling will next represent the district in regional competition. If successful, they’ll compete later at the state and then the national level. They will also represent the district in the 2016 Houston West Chamber of Commerce competition.

In addition to these two honored educators, other SBISD Teacher of the Year Finalists this year were Patricia “Trish” Jenkins of Bunker Hill Elementary, Patricia Kassir with The Bendwood School, Lou Ann Timmreck of Rummel Creek Elementary, Maggie Fuchs of Spring Woods High, Leslie Iler of Memorial High, and Rony Reyes-Torres of Academy of Choice.

A new nominating process for Teacher of the Year resulted in hundreds of nominations from district students, parents and teachers, submitted via an online nomination site. At each campus, teachers voted anonymously for nominees who met district priority goals. SBISD’s Teacher of the Year Committee named finalists after reviewing applications. Finalists were interviewed and voting held to decide the top two choices.

Also honored at the Service Awards were this year’s Principals of the Year. They are Robye Snyder of Hunters Creek Elementary and Randolph Adami of Northbrook High School. They were chosen by their peers based on established goals and objectives.

Serving as this year’s masters of ceremonies at the dinner gathering were Monica Day and Parker Kelly from Memorial High’s Class of 2016.

Stephanie Walton with the Spring Branch Education Association (SBEA) presented the annual Red Apple Award to representatives of the SpringSpirit Baseball organization, which has created highly acclaimed student mentoring and sports training program to serve youth in the Pitner Road area apartments and neighborhood.

Other speakers included Joyce Roberta “JR” Miller-Alper, also of SBEA, who spoke in tribute to Dr. Klussmann’s years as superintendent. Former Teachers of the Year Naomi Ford and Nicole Harris were featured in video remarks.

Memorial High School Theater students were featured in a special dinner performance. Nicole Morgan directs this group. The Landrum Middle School A Cappella performed song selections during the Years of Service Recognition for longtime employees and retirees. Choir director is Jaime Trigo.

SBISD Community Relations Officer Linda Buchman honored retirees by sharing that retirees between May 2014 and this month have a combined 2,741 years in education with an average number of years in education of 26 years.

Based on the educators’ service in SBISD only, retirees averaged 20 years of service and 2,078 years of serving the SBISD community and students. “If you consider that SBISD is not even 70 years old, you have, on average, served for nearly a third of the district’s history,” she told gathered guests.

View video highlights of this event >>

Special Remarks: Anne Smalling of Memorial Drive Elementary

“Isn’t he (Student Speaker Michael O’Shell) amazing? And to think, I have 18 just like him. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am a product of Spring Branch: Hollibrook Elementary, Spring Woods Junior High, and Northbrook High School Class of 1996. (Mr. Adami, I remember you as a Social Studies teacher at Spring Woods. Congrats!)

“I want to start by saying thank you to my mother, my first teacher. She taught me that being a teacher and a mother means that you must balance your time wisely, and love your students as you would love your children. It has been an incredible lesson to learn, and I think it has made me a better teacher.

“Secondly, I vividly remember the powers that be at Northbrook High School announcing that we were participating in “Teacher for a Day.” I jumped on the opportunity, and I chose to become my AP European History Teacher. She was a teacher I adored, a teacher who inspired me to love history, and a teacher that made me understand that a teacher should inspire greatness in everything they do. I owe a very special thanks to Jennifer (Patterson) Jordan who was my amazing teacher-leader then as well as my amazing principal-leader now.

“Lastly, I want to say thank you to Pamela Redd. Seven years ago, she took a chance on me to teach first grade. I did that for six years and loved it. She surprised me by moving me to fourth grade. Although I experienced hesitation at first, she reassured me I’d be excellent, and of course, I put my faith in her. She was right, I love fourth grade, and it was the very best choice for me!”

Special Remarks: Jaime Trigo of Landrum Middle School

“Wow!  I know all those who know me right about now are saying ‘Oh no, they gave him a mic!!!!  First, I’d like to congratulate the Elementary Teacher of the Year winner and finalists, the Principals of the Year, as well as the other finalists sitting behind me. You know that everyone who knows you knows that you are all winners for what you do every day. Let’s all give them a round of applause!

“Humbled, honored, thankful, appreciative, excited are but a few words that describe how I feel right now. I’d like to thank my administrators, Ms. Thomas and Mr. Speyrer, for being here to support me and our kids who will perform for us in a moment.  Without them none of this would be possible.  The other Landrum faculty and staff here to support us exemplifies that we are truly a family. 

“My sister and brother-in-law, and especially my daughter, who is the inspiration of my life and made me who I am today.  When I became a single dad back when she was 3 years old, I decided to raise her on my own, and doing that was the toughest thing I ever did in my life. After going through that, it made me so strong that I feel I can achieve anything.  All other problems are dwarfed in comparison.  I now feel I can do anything because of her. 

“I’d like to thank Dr. Klussmann for always supporting the arts with all his heart and soul. Helping create the SKY Partnership was a fantastic achievement that all others throughout the nation now study us as a standard in public school and charter school collaborations.  I live it and foster its development every day, and feel blessed to be at the forefront of such an elite educational philosophy.

“I am a man of many faults.  I am an imperfect man.  I am a man who makes mistakes every day.  I have lived on that premise my entire life, having grown up in a small South Texas town and not having every opportunity exposed or available to me.  Coming from very humble beginnings, my father, who is now in heaven, was the hardest working man I’ve known.  He instilled in me the desire to work so much harder than those around you in order to overcome your shortcomings, in order just to catch up to those who were better off.  I can’t stop working so very hard, that now, even when I’m ahead, I still go 1,000 percent before stopping sometimes to realize that I actually am very far ahead.  That work ethic is passed on to my students, who live the very same humble lives.

“I believe God put me in this school for a reason.  These students don’t have the best opportunities available to them, save for the ones we give them at school.  It is my duty to show them that they, too, can be superstars and can achieve anything that they set their minds on. I came and said I would be here for a year, then I stayed for another, then another.  Six years later, I realized I had fallen in love with these kids and knew that they needed me. 

“Every day is a life lesson in my class. It is my responsibility to show them what the real world is like, and to show them all the opportunities out there that await them.  They have risen to the challenge, knowing that I set the bar extremely high every day.  You can’t rest ever or someone else will take your place, your job, your scholarship, your trophy, your everything. They now know that someone is on their side to give them and show them these opportunities.  I love them with all my heart.

“Thank you, everyone, who help our youngsters become better people and contributors to our society.  I am truly proud and honored to work by your side. Thank you very much!

Monday, May 4, 2015

All-Region Choir

Left to Right: J. Trigo, Taylor, Luis, & Emmanuel
Three of our own Landrum Lions were earned spots in the All-Region Choir Concert on Saturday, April 25 at Cy-Lakes High School in Katy. Students Taylor S. (7th grade), Emmanuel M. (8th grade), and Luis C. (8th grade) represented our school well in this choir that includes the best of the best choir students in our choral region. Landrum’s choir teacher, Jaime Trigo, has worked hard with these students all year and was thrilled to learn that three of Landrum’s students (the most ever!) were chosen to participate. Congratulations to all!

Landrum Choir with renowned guest choir director, John Hemmingway

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Very Special Conversation

As the bell rings at Landrum Middle School, students pour into the hallways from every direction.  The hallway is suddenly engulfed by the sounds of excitement and chatter. Students dash left and right as they dart into their assigned classrooms. Just as quickly as it began it's over, replaced by a soundtrack of sneakers and sliding chairs, the familiar greetings as teachers welcome students to the day's lesson muffled through closed doors.

In Evan McQuirns' class the excitement, while subdued, still pervades the atmosphere. McQuirns, smiling broadly, ushers students to their workstations to begin the day's assignment. The click of key stokes and the glow of monitors hints at the day's activity. Today, McQuirns' students will participate in a conversation. They've already spent class time developing questions to ask their virtual visitor, and now they will have a chance to finally ask them. While a simple conversation doesn't sound all that groundbreaking, this one is.

McQuirns' class will have the unique opportunity to talk to students who are attending college, and ask them questions about their personal experiences. Using SKYPE, a video conferencing technology, students in McQuirns' class interact in real-time with college students around the nation. From questions about how to pay for college, choosing a major, and scheduling classes, to what the food is like in the dorm cafeteria, the opportunity for Landrum Middle School students to participate in a two-way dialogue about the college experience is building awareness, opportunities and confidence that didn't exist before.

As the lights dim and the monitor display pops up, a face appears in front of the entire class on the big screen. There, smiling and ready to answer any and all questions, is a real honest-to-goodness college student. McQuirns calls on his students to join him at the camera and ask their questions. During SBISD's GenTX Week (Oct. 7-11), Landrum Middle joined schools across the district, to participate in a wealth of activities geared toward raising awareness about college and career planning.

The SKYPING exercise in Mr. McQuirns' class, while part of a week-long exercise revolving around post-secondary planning, is just one of the many examples of how SBISD educators, staff and community are actively transforming the definition of success for our students and school district. Spring Branch T-2-4, a goal to double the number of students who graduate and go on to complete some form of higher education, has turned what may have once be only a week-long activity into a fundamental approach to education and modeled instruction in SBISD.

From conversations between student and their teachers, to exchanges between parents and campus educators, to active engagement by community partners and volunteers, all members of the Spring Branch community are coming together to help students realize and achieve their highest potential. It's no longer a question about if a student will go to college, it's now a question of about where and how.

For information on how you can support T-2-4, or to see Spring Branch T-2-4 in action, visit our website at:

Landrum Fall Festival Marks Successful Revival

The Landrum Lions Alumni Association Committee hosted the first Fall Festival at Landrum Middle School in more than a decade recently. The festival held on Nov. 2 ranks as an amazing revival story all its own, raising thousands of dollars for new scholarships to benefit seniors who graduate from Northbrook High School and are Landrum Middle alumni.

 Last year, the association awarded six student scholarships. This year, the group hopes to award even more awards as support from fund-raising events like the festival and community donations add up in the weeks and months ahead. The fund-raising event supports the Spring Branch T-2-4 goal to double within five years the number of graduates who earn a technical, a two-year or four-year degree that supports their career dreams. The last Landrum Fall Festival was held 15 years or more ago, organizers said.

The Landrum Fall Festival kicked off the day with the Dia de los Muertos 5K Fun Run. Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann blew the race whistle. Next up, eight student soccer teams competed in a soccer tournament for the top title. In addition, three live bands performed including Alpha Dogs, El Ejemplo and Pulso Electrico.

The bands kept the crowd pumped and energized throughout the festival run. A separate car show included classic models, hot rods, low riders, low rider bikes, and racing cars. Food options ranged from delicious enchiladas, plátanos fritos, chicharrones, corn in a cup, sausage on a stick and tamales to nachos, frito pies or American-style hot dogs.

Other gastronomical delights included cold snow cones, cotton candy, candy apples and pan de muerto. As parents filled themselves with homemade food, their children enjoyed games and bounce houses. Booths set up by vendors, companies and school groups and organizations were also popular attractions. “Many of those that attended claimed the festival brought on a sort of small-town feeling.

This success couldn’t have been possible without the help and tremendous commitment of numerous faculty members, students, parents, alumni, friends and family members,” said committee member and festival organizer Andres Bautista. In addition to Bautista, Landrum Lions Alumni Association Committee members are Aby Flores, Yolanda Macias, Mari Olivarez, Lenin Santana, James Girard, Priscilla Griffin, Molly Haas, Daniel Lopez, and Lenin Santana. All are reported eager to host the second annual Landrum Fall Festival next year.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't miss it!

Landrum Middle School invites area students and families to participate in two upcoming events:

LMS "Sí Se Puede" College Series

Landrum Middle School will host a college preparedness seminar on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Various break-out sessions will be held. Students from all SBISD high schools are invited to attend. Please RSVP with Andres Bautista at 713-251-3700 or email:

2013 Fall Festival

We are having a fall festival all proceeds from the festival will benefit the Landrum Lions Alumni Scholarship. As part of the festival, we will have a fun run, soccer tournament , car show, health booths, food booths games, and live performances by Alpha Dogs, El Ejemplo, & Pulso Electrico.

For more information, contact the campus or Andres Bautista at 713-251-3700, or by email at:
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