Willow SpringsMiddle School

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 Welcome to LeopardLife newspaper, Rosette yearbook, and Willow Springs photography all part of the journalism program at Willow Springs Middle School.   You can follow our award-winning publications, student work on Instagram as Chez.Sanders.Students or online at https://leopardlife.net/.

My class website, Willow Springs Journalism, can be viewed at https://sites.google.com/a/lovejoyisd.net/willow-springs-journalism/.


 As a journalist and educator, I am determined to find creative ways to help students succeed with individualized and differentiated instruction.  It is my goal to teach students to use their voice to make an impact and difference through effective communication and technology usage as informed digital communicators and young journalists. I believe all individuals are capable of great things to share with the world and are responsible for doing his or her own part.  This classroom is a great place to begin sharing their knowledge acquired with me in Room C505 as well as their prior knowledge of writing, art and design from previous teachers and mentors, combined with their own individual inherited gifts. It is my belief that being a good journalist is a community service in educating the public for the common good. 


Our news website and newsmagazine LeopardLife (www.LeopardLife.net ) is a 16-page tabloid issue, printed quarterly. It has twice recently won a Star Award through ILPC for excellence in journalism service for news and information support of the community for years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. The publication has consistently received highest critiques of first class and distinguished merit as well as Best of Show through ILPC and JEA/NSPA (Journalism Educators Association and National Student Press Association.) 


The staff of the yearbook, Rosette,  have won national photography awards through Jostens, placed in the Jostens Look Book and received top-notch ratings and accolades through ILPC, JEA/NSPA as well, including several Best of Show awards at national journalism conventions.


Students in photography learn a wide range of composition and technical photography skills, develop an impressive photo portfolio and have opportunities to support the newspaper and yearbook staffs with their photos. Several of my photography students earned national awards for their photography. 


Personally, I joined Lovejoy ISD in 2008 and opened the middle school journalism program that year, formerly at Sloan Creek Middle school, which is now Sloan Creek Intermediate.  I am the technology and communications department lead at Willow Springs.  


Prior to becoming an educator, I was a journalist, an editor, and a communications director. I hold a Master's of Education degree, graduating with a 4.0 from Abilene Christian University in educational leadership with an emphasis on leadership and conflict resolution.  My undergraduate degree is in journalism from the Texas A&M University system with a minor in political science. I am certified in school principalship, instructional leadership, and in conflict resolution/mediation, secondary English, Language Arts and Reading, and in Journalism 8-12.  


 I live in the district and have three daughters ages 22, 19 and almost 16. One daughter, Lauren, graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in communications and works in missions in Boise, Idaho and Southeast Asia as an event and communications director for a non-profit that fights human trafficking.  Jillian is a sophomore environmental science major at A&M, where she writes for The Battalion student newspaper and was editor in chief of The Red Ledger at Lovejoy High School many years. Madeline is a sophomore at Lovejoy High school, where she runs Cross Country and Track, is on the award-winning Red Ledger Newspaper Staff as the news and opinion editor.  Madeline also excels in art.  I am one proud mom, of course. 


My morning coffee, reading, the outdoors and health/fitness are among my favorite things.  It is going to be a great year in journalism. You are going to love it here.