Katy Texas Community Blog

Browse the Katy topics below for insights, thoughts, and opinions from Katy Area residents and local bloggers. If you're interested in writing a blog for Katy Magazine, email editor@katymagazine.com.

 

105 Years Young: Honoring Redell Patterson Scott

Katy’s centenarian Redell Patterson Scott shares personal experiences from the past century

Written by Holly Leger

Any resident who has lived in Katy for the past decade has seen the city grow and change dramatically. But that’s nothing compared to the changes that Redell Patterson Scott has seen. The 105-year-old woman moved to Katy in 1919 and has resided here ever since.

Born on March 27, 1910 in Pattison, Texas, Redell Patterson Scott lived through the Great Depression, both world wars, and the civil rights movement. In her lifetime, Redell has seen the invention of the toaster, hair dryer, car radio, color TV, and many more.

Born on March 27, 1910 in Pattison, Texas, Redell Patterson Scott lived through the Great Depression, both world wars, and the civil rights movement. In her lifetime, Redell has seen the invention of the toaster, hair dryer, car radio, color TV, and many more. Photo by Amy Salvato

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25 Ways to Stay in Joy

DEFINITION OF JOY: (NOUN) A SETTLED STATE OF CONTENTENTMENT, CONFIDENCE, AND HOPE

Your kids are arguing, the house is a mess, and you have to get everyone fed and make sure homework is finished before heading to evening extracurricular activities. Oh, and don’t forget to get that laundry out of the dryer before it wrinkles. If you’re like most Katy families, life can get so busy, it’s sometimes a struggle to and joy in everyday things. Here are 25 ways to practice seeking joy in every little moment and become a happier and healthier you.

1. Practice Daily Gratitude
From your first thought in the morning to your last one in the evening, always look for things you’re grateful for.

2. Redirect Your thoughts
Our moods go where our thoughts lead so each time your mind starts heading in a negative direction, practice redirecting it to something positive.

3. Spend Time Outdoors
Studies show that being in nature revives us and positively aspects our minds. Plus, it gives us a healthy dose of oxygen and vitamin D.
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4,000 Pieces

Autistic teen, Grant Manier, transforms scrap paper into stunning works of Eco-Art

Written by Meagan Clanahan

Katy, Texas News – From magazines to wrapping paper and tissue boxes to puzzle pieces, 18-year-old Grant Manier sees more than just paper. He sees a medium that can be brought to life through hours of work fashioned into amazing collages. He is now one of the country’s most exciting emerging artists with statewide accolades. Even more amazing, he’s done it all with a diagnosis that most would consider a disability.

Grant is grateful for the opportunity to have his work displayed at galas, conferences, and public events Photo by Manier family

Grant is grateful for the
opportunity to have his work
displayed at galas, conferences,
and public events
Photo by Manier family

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A Day in the Life of Paige Searcy

Katy, TX – November 2, 2016

Teenage Katyite turned Hollywood actor shares about her Katy roots and life on the silver screen
Written by Kennan Buckner|Photography courtesy of JPI Studios and Marlow Photography

A typical day for recent high school graduate Paige Searcy includes getting her hair and makeup done, running lines with her co-stars, and taping scenes for Days of Our Lives. Searcy was born in Katy and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. “I attended Franz Elementary School which is right down the street from my old Katy home,” she says. “Two of my favorite Katy memories are my sixth birthday party at our community pool on Lavenderwood Drive, and sitting in the passenger seat of my dad’s Golbow’s Garage tow truck chasing down cars that needed a tow.” (more…)

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A Letter from Katy ISD Communications Regarding Terra Kubala and Trent Weber

Katy, TX News (December 6, 2014) – The Katy ISD Communications department has issued a letter regarding the tragic deaths of Terra Kubala and Trent Weber:

“Dear Parents and Guardians,

The faculty and staff of Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch High School are deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of  two students who tragically lost their lives in a vehicle accident over the weekend. We ask that you please join us as we extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the families as they mourn their loss.

Grief counselors will be on campus on Monday to help our school community deal with this loss. We will be doing everything we can to help your child and our staff through this heartbreaking experience.

Over the next few days, you may wish to encourage your child to express his or her feelings and listen attentively. It will be helpful to recognize the various steps that we all go through in the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s reaction to this loss, please contact your child’s teacher, school counselor or any member of the administrative staff. Thank you for your concern and support during this difficult time.”

Katy ISD

*Katy Magazine would like to express their deepest sympathies for the families of these students, and send wishes for comfort and healing in this time of incredible loss. 

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American Ninja Warrior Artis Thompson

Katy, TX – November 14, 2016

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Select photography by Anetrius Wallace and NBC Studios

Inspiring athlete and amputee, Artis Thompson III, is a winning example of dedication on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior

Artis Thompson III, whose goal is to be the next American Ninja Warrior, stretched his physical and mental strength to the limit and inspired amputees and others all over the world. He competed on the NBC reality TV show and says he will be going back for more. This powerful Katyite demonstrated that no obstacle is too great. km_oct-nov_16_artis-thompson_am-ninja-warrior_photo-by-anetrius-wallace-48

Thompson, who is also a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Katy, accepts no excuses from his clients, or himself. He boxes and plays semi -professional football with the Fort Bend Storm. Like many athletes, he spends hours in training, sprinting, doing calisthenics, and working on his upper body strength, all with a prosthetic leg.

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Announcing the 2016 Hall of Honor Inductees

Katy, TX – December 16, 2016 From Jeff Stocks, Principal of Taylor High School:

In May 2015 our graduating senior class officers decided that their class funds would go to the creation of a Hall of Honor which would recognize prominent alumni of Taylor High School. So that summer we launched the James E. Taylor Hall of Honor which is located in a prominent hallway in the school. Our inaugural class of inductees included some really amazing people. (See the blog post from November ’15 for the list.) We invited this inaugural class of inductees to a ceremony which included a pep rally, school tour, and luncheon in their honor, and on-field recognition at a home football game. What transpired was incredible!

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Beyond Bethke

Katy, TX (April 26, 2017) – Katy ISD namesake and career educator, Catherine Bethke, continues to fuel a love for reading and passion for learning in students.

Written by Lacey Kupfer Wulf | Select photography by Anetrius Wallace

Catherine “Gigi” Bethke has devoted her life to young children, literacy, and reading. She developed reading intervention programs and a literacy library to help all students feel the same love of reading she has, allowing her to reach students beyond her kindergarten class. Carrie Lowery, principal of Catherine Bethke Elementary (CBE), adds, “When students are comfortable with literacy skills, their world is opened up for learning geared toward their passions.” It is little wonder why Bethke was chosen as the namesake for Katy ISD Elementary 39, which opened in August 2016.

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Blue Brunch at Centerra Ranch Montessori School

Katy, TX (October 25, 2016) Centerra Ranch Montessori School in Katy invited local law enforcement officers to their facility to show their appreciation and respect. Officers visited with students, let them sit in their vehicles, and explained the various technology they used. Students had a great time meeting officers and learning more about what they do. Owner Angeline Labbè-Auzenne adds, “We wanted our children to tour their police cars in hope of dismissing any anxiety our young children may have recently developed.”

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Celebrating the Opening of Katy ISD’s New Jenks and Bethke Elementary Schools

Katy, TX – November 22, 2016 Over the past few weeks, Katy ISD hosted dedication ceremonies for two of their newest schools, MayDell Jenks Elementary and Catherine Bethke Elementary. The Katy community, Board of Trustees, Fort Bend County officials, and the namesakes themselves, MayDell Krivacka Jenks, and Catherine Gigi Bethke, were all in attendance.

bethke-photo

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CEO Shares Strategy for Success with Katy College Students

Katy, TX News (March 2, 2017) – When it comes to working toward a successful business, Sam Zavary says the key is planning, planning, planning.

That was the message of the Exclusive Furniture CEO’s presentation Thursday night at the University of Houston-Victoria Katy Campus. Zavary shared his knowledge with UHV students, alumni, faculty and staff, and community members as part of the UHV School of Business Administration Distinguished Speaker Series.

“The Distinguished Speaker Series gives UHV students access to some of the wisdom and personal experiences of leaders in the business world,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “Sam Zavary’s presentation was full of insight and advice that reinforces many of the concepts taught in our classrooms. We are grateful for his participation in the series.”

Zavary began selling furniture 18 years ago in a 2,000-square-foot store. Now, the company has access to 250,000 square feet of space, including warehousing and seven Exclusive Furniture locations throughout Houston.

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Cinco Ranch High School’s CRyptonite Robotics Teams Up With Sewa International to Promote Science and Technology to Young Immigrants and Refugees

Katy, TX – October 26, 2016 The Cinco Ranch High School FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Team 624 (CRyptonite) recently collaborated with the Houston chapter of Sewa International to organize a science event at the Katy ISD Robert Shaw STEAM Center (RSC) to foster interest in science and technology among children. The event was devoted to youth involved in ASPIRE – a Sewa program that provides education and mentoring services after school for young refugees and immigrants.

crhs-cryptonite-lh5d9511-2-sewa_event

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City of Katy Launches New Communications Platform

Katy, TX News (January 29, 2015) – The City of Katy has selected Blackboard Connect, a leading mass notification platform, to facilitate important communication and emergency preparedness. The first community-wide test call will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2015.  A test call to business will launch at 2 pm and the test call to residents will launch at 6:30 pm.

The City of Katy implemented Blackboard Connect so that officials can stay connected to residents and efficiently provide them with direction in the event of severe weather warning, planned and unplanned all-hazard events or community events as well.  Using Blackboard Connect, officials can record and send an unlimited number of personalized voice messages to home phones, businesses, local agencies and mobile phones in just minutes. The service also sends email, text messages (SMS) to mobile phones and posts on Facebook, RSS feeds and Twitter channels. Messages can also be sent to TTY/TDD devices for people who are hearing impaired.

“Keeping our community safe and informed is our top priority, which is why we need to be able to communicate with residents quickly in an urgent situation,” said Maria Galvez, City of Katy’s Emergency Management Coordinator.  “Katy•Connect, powered by Blackboard Connect enables us to communicate efficiently with residents in just a matter of minutes, helping save valuable time, use resources efficiently and protect our community.”

City officials can target each message to an unlimited number of groups. Authorized users can also use the system’s geo-mapping and group subscription features to contact residents based on specific geographical locations and interests, helping ensure recipients receive relevant, targeted information.

“With Katy•Connect – powered by Blackboard, we know our residents are receiving the information that matters most to them, whether it’s an urgent situation or routine community update,” said Mrs. Galvez. “I strongly encourage residents to register their contact information and update their message preferences into the system’s secure database so they are prepared to receive important notifications.”

Publicly available primary residential and business phones in the City of Katy will automatically be included in the system. However, to ensure the City has the most up-to-date contact information, including cell phone numbers and email addresses, residents should visit the City of Katy website at www.cityofkaty.com  and click on the link that says “SIGN UP NOW – SERVICES BY BLACKBOARD CONNECT” in the KatyConnect portal and provide their complete contact information. Users should also manage their message preferences by indicating their preferred mode of contact, language and message topics. You may also opt-in to receive information directly from the PARKS & RECREATION portal as well as PUBLIC WORKS.  Those without Internet access are encouraged to call 281-574-8638 to provide their current information. Residents with call blocking services should add that phone number to their approved number list to ensure they receive important notifications from the city.  All opted-in SMS messages will be sent from a 23177 or 63079 number.

“Targeted communication is the best way to keep residents safe and allows them to receive the information that matters most to them,” said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard’s administrative platform group. “With Blackboard Connect, administrators can ensure the right messages get to the right people.”

For more information about Blackboard Connect, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/connect.

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City Of Katy Mayoral Election Voting Information

Katy, TX (May 5, 2017) – Polling locations for the City of Katy mayoral and city council election.

Election Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Ward A
Katy City Hall
901 Ave. c

Ward B 
Katy Municipal Courthouse
5432 Franz Rd.

Click here to see the most current City of Katy Ward map.

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Dancing Your Way to Fitness

From ballet to Zumba, Katyites dance for fun and better health

Written by Elizabeth Padgett | Photography by Reinaldo Medina

KM June July 15_Dance to Fitness_Connolly Dance Arts_by Reinaldo Medina 24

Getting fit doesn’t have to include weights and typical workout routines. Many Katyites have found the path to better health and fitness with the rhythms of music, whether they are two-stepping to country songs, gliding within the romance of a ballroom, or having a Zumba dance party. If upbeat, fast-paced dancing isn’t your style, perhaps the graceful movements of ballet will suit your tastes better. Not to be overlooked, the stretching and toning of muscles during this form of exercise will increase flexibility, ultimately leaving you with an improved shape.

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Elks State Sweetheart

On May 6th, in Addison, TX at the Texas Elks State Association (TESA) State Convention, Tammy Iund was crowned 2015-16 State Sweetheart. Tammy, along with all of the Elks lodges in the Gulf Coast District, raised more money for the Texas Elks Camp than any other district in the state! How much more? Over $40,000 more with a total of more than $119,000!!!! Second place was awarded to the North Central District who raised $78,000 and third place went to Pan —- with $75,000 raised.

Tammy Iund - TESA 2015-16 State Sweetheart

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Explosive Blessings – The Rebekah Gregory Story

 

Two years ago, a terrorist’s bomb at the Boston Marathon blew Rebekah Gregory’s life apart. Now, the local mom is using the tragedy to inspire others and live a life without limits.

Written by Susanna Donald | Select photography courtesy of Rebekah Gregory

When the first bomb exploded at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Rebekah Gregory and her 5-year-old son, Noah, were just three feet away. They were waiting to see her boyfriend’s mom cross the finish line, and Noah was bored. “It was so crowded, and I wanted to keep him right by me,” she recalls. “I told him to sit on my feet and pretend he was a scientist looking at rocks in the pavement.”
That decision saved Noah’s life. Moments later, Gregory’s legs shielded her son from the brunt of a massive explosion that killed three, injured more than 260 others, and filled the nation with an all-too-familiar fear.

Rebekah today with  her son Noah, age 7

Rebekah today with
her son Noah, age 7

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Founder and Owner, Michael Guevara Named as One of America’s Premier Experts

Katy, TX – December 8, 2016

Michael Guevara, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch and North Katy, has recently been named as one of America’s PremierExperts® in recognition of his knowledge and passion in music.

Michael Guevara has recently been acknowledged by America’s PremierExperts® as one of the leading experts in his field. America’s PremiereExperts® recognizes leading experts, across a wide array of industries, who are willing to provide information and education to consumers as a public service.

michael-guevara-214x300
Michael is a composer, musician, speaker and business mentor. He is a founding member of the Katy Jazz Association and member of the Katy Jazz Festival Committee. In 1986 he received his Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance, and he moved to Houston to begin his career in insurance.  Throughout the years he taught children to play the piano when his scheduled allowed. In 2006 Michael and his wife, Berta, opened their first school of music, The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch, which is inclusive of being the only founding school of Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in the greater Houston area.  The Conservatory of Music currently teaches more than 25,000 lessons a year and was recently named as “The Best Music Studio / Lessons in Katy for 2016.”

 

 

Courtesy of Dicks and Nanton Branding Agency
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Free Coffee for Katy ISD Teachers

Katy, TX News (March 8, 2017) – Teachers can get their coffee fix every Monday during the school year at one of these McDonald’s locations.

Seven Meadows
7104 S. Fry Rd.

Cross Creek Ranch
6748 FM 1463, Fulshear

Spring Green
27140 Cinco Ranch Blvd.

Stop by and present a school ID for a free small McCafe coffee.

 

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Friday Night Lights

Spotlighting the students who transform Katy’s Friday nights

Written by Ashley Lancaster and Kirsten Cornell | Select Photography by Craig Moseley   

Katy, TX News – The stands fill with fans of all ages donning their school colors and faces painted with their favorite players’ numbers and armed with pom-poms, foam fingers, and signs. Athletes who have trained for years grind their cleats on the soft AstroTurf as they stare down the 120 yards to the goal line. Dozens of anxious students polish their instruments and fluff their plumes as they go over the spirit numbers one more time. It can only mean one thing: It’s Friday night, and the game is about to begin.

KM_F_14_FNL_SLHS_11_ASC_4003_PSE-3388449824-H_photo by Craig Moseley

Mascots are responsible for learning stunts, cheers, and getting the crowd going on Friday Night

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From Katy to College Station, and Back Home Again

Growing up in Katy was one of the best things my parents could have done for me. I was raised a Winborn Eagle, A Katy Tiger, and a member of girl scouts, KYF, and more. Although I didn’t get to fulfill my dream of being a Katy Tiger, I was still able to appreciate everything Katy had to offer. However, besides a great education and amazing town experiences from little league games to the Katy Rice Harvest Festival, my most favorite treasures are my friends.

College station
Diane Winborn Eagles to Texas A&M Aggies
(Left to Right: Ashley McElmurry ’15, Brecklyn Gordon ’15, and Stephanie Ellis ’15)

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From Trash to Treasure in Katy, Texas

Katy artist Kathleen Wedemeyer makes it her business to turn other people’s trash into treasure and inspires with her messages of hope and faith

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Select Photography by Country Park Portraits

KM_DecJan_14_people of passion_Wedemeyer, Kathleen-115_photo by Country Park Portraits

Wedemeyer learned how to weld to better hone her skills

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Full Circle

Katy, TX (February 20, 2017) – Childhood cancer survivor and Seven Lakes High School graduate, Samantha Loos-Polk, goes back to where it all began.

Written by Anna-Catherine Rose | Select Photography by John Glaser

 

The afternoon Samantha Loos-Polk was training at the gym was like any other. In preparation for an upcoming Taekwondo tournament, the then 13-year-old freshman at Seven Lakes High School and second-degree black belt was performing strength and conditioning training. But when she swung a dumbbell as part of a squat exercise, she immediately felt pain in her back and knew something wasn’t right. The events that followed, and the diagnosis that awaited her, would change the course of her life forever.

KM_Feb March_17_Samantha Loos-Polk_Photos by John Glaser (5) copy

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Good News in Katy, Texas

Katy, TX (March 29, 2017) – Katy Magazine gives a shout-out to all the good news happening in our community.

Compiled by Katy Magazine’s Editors

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Holiday Spending Gotchas & How to Avoid Them

Katy, TX  – December 7, 2016 A recent survey found that Americans plan to spend more than half of their total holiday budget on non-gift items like holiday decor, entertaining and gifts for themselves. While incorporating these expenses into your holiday spending plan is smart, it’s easy to overspend in these areas and break your budget while wrapping up the rest of your gift list.

Fine-tune your holiday spending by avoiding these common gotchas and start the new year without a massive credit card bill.

1. Self gifting.
According to the National Retail Foundation, nearly six in 10 Americans plan to buy gifts for themselves, spending around $140, up 4% from last year and marking the second-highest level of personal spending in the survey’s 13-year history. If you get in the habit of buying a gift for yourself every time you pick one up for a loved one, you’re going to find yourself over budget and in debt. When you find yourself reaching for an impulse self gift, give yourself 24 hours to consider the purchase. Chances are the urge to buy that unnecessary present will pass and you’ll save yourself big bucks. Alternatively, you can add the item to your wish list and help a loved one with their holiday shopping!

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Hurricane Season Links, Tips, and Information

Katy, TX Blog (May 30, 2017) – The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. During these months, Texas is more susceptible to powerful and destructive tropical storms and hurricanes. The City of Katy encourages everyone to assemble a disaster supply kit of emergency supplies including:

  • First-aid kit
  • NOAA Weather Radio or battery-operated radio
  • flashlight
  • necessary medications
  • non-perishable food items
  • bottled water

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James E. Taylor’s 7th Annual Katy ISD Ag Olympics

Katy, TX – November 17, 2016

Taylor FFA started the Ag Olympics for all the Katy ISD high school FFA students back in 2010 when they had just a handful of students participate. This year the event has grown to 355 FFA students from all 7 Katy high schools competing against each other in fun Ag related games, hence calling Ag Olympics. The teams are made up of students from each school and compete for points at each of the 10 different games.

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Julian Salinas Continues to have Rolling Success

The mother of Julian Salinas, a young bowler formerly featured in Katy Magazine’s summer 2011 Notes and News section, recently updated us on her son’s current endeavors.

As a fifth grader at Hubenak Elementary, Salinas is staying busy both academically and through outside extracurricular activities. Over the past few years, Salinas has continued to practice, compete, and improve his bowling game, helping him become one of the top ranked bowlers in his age bracket in Texas. Salinas currently bowls with three different leagues – COYSL Youth League at Times Square Entertainment in Katy, SSS Sport League at Copperfield, and HS Travel League with the regional high school bowlers in Katy/Houston.

Through bowling, Salinas has won awards and over $2500 in scholarships that will go towards his college fund. During summer he will compete against the best bowlers in the country in the USBC Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, NY.

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Katy Area High School’s Head Football Coaches

These local leaders share how they keep their teams energized and motivated to achieve victory on the field, in the classroom, and in life

Written by Kelly Boldt|Photography by Anetrius Wallace

Katy, TX News – Football coaches aren’t just drill sergeants. They are also mentors, counselors, motivators, and strategic planners. Each one of Katy ISD’s head football coaches has a different approach to their team, but a common thread is woven into each of them – their families. They are described as patient, tolerant, and understanding. The most important message is that behind every good coach is an amazing Katy family. Here is a quick glimpse of our Katy area high school coaches (in alphabetical order).

Don Clayton – Cinco Ranch High School

Cinco Ranch head coach Don Clayton loves working with and helping to develop athletes. “It’s not a job; it’s a calling,” explains Clayton, who has been with the Cougars since their first football season in 2000. “I love the way football mirrors real life. You work hard to succeed and also learn along the way that you will get knocked down, but you have to get right back up and get after it again.”

Discipline is also important for Clayton, as is intensity and a high level of commitment from his players and staff. This undertaking is not limited to the field. “We are here to supplement and reinforce what parents do in raising their children,” says Clayton. “We try to be a positive influence to keep them on the right track.”

KM_F_14_coach profiles_Cinco Ranch HS_Don Clayton (4)_photo by Anetrius Wallace

Coach Clayton has been Cinco Ranch’s head coach since it’s opening in 1999
His wife Rhonda is a teacher at Randolph Elementary

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Katy Cowgirls

Donned in tiaras and cowboy boots, the Katy Cowgirls celebrate over 70 years of tradition

Written by Ella Hearrean | Photography courtesy of Katy Cowgirls

Katy, TX News – Carla Fisher was in fifth grade when she watched the Katy Cowgirls perform for the first time and told her parents, “I want to do that.” Eight years later, as a senior line captain of the mounted drill team, the Katy High School junior says, “I’ve learned leadership skills, gained friendships, and I feel proud carrying the flag during parades and performances.”

Katy Cowgirls Carla Fisher, Addy Alucema, Gretta Brong, and Jennica Davis

Representing the Community
This year, the organization of Katy ISD student horse-riding performers marks over 70 years of representing their hometown and school district at community events. Its 27 riders, whose ages range from 8 to 17 years, don their trademark tiaras and hats and present choreographed patterns at events like the Katy Rice Harvest Festival and Special Children’s Day. The culmination of their hard work is the annual presentation of the flags at the Katy Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Anita Mancini, director of the Katy Cowgirls for the past 11 years, attributes the success of the group to the diligence of its members. “These girls are the cream of the crop. Most are in advanced academic classes and are involved in other school and social activities, but they are dedicated to their horses and to each other. They are learning to be leaders.”

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Katy ISD 2017 Board Election Dates and Information

Katy, TX News (April 19, 2017) – The dates for early voting and election day for the 2017 Katy ISD Board election have been announced. The Board is comprised of seven members who are elected at-large to fill available positions. In accordance with the provisions of the Texas Education Code, a person may not be elected as a trustee of Katy ISD unless the person is a qualified voter.

An individual seeking election as a member of the Board of Trustees must have been a resident of the state for 12 months and a resident of the District six months prior to the last date on which the candidate could file to be listed on the ballot. The following persons have filed as candidates for the upcoming election.

Dates, candidate information, polling information, and more below.

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Katy ISD Art Students Recognized by NASA

Katy, TX (January 10, 2017) A Katy ISD student’s dream of sending something into outer space has become an “out-of-this-world” reality when her artwork is selected by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to become a part of a space calendar.

sylvie-mei-lim

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Katy ISD Honors High School Seniors with Awards of Excellence

Katy, TX (June 1, 2017) Katy ISD recognized 88 high school seniors who were chosen by their campus administration for their dedication, perseverance and achievement during the 2016-2017 school year. Alongside each one of them, an outstanding teacher, who was selected by the student, was also acknowledged for having a profound impact in that student’s life.

These students are the finest example of the character and commitment of the Katy ISD community. Their passion for excelling embodies the Katy ISD mission and vision to prepare and inspire each student to live an honorable, fulfilling life….to create the future.

“The accomplishments of this senior class are outstanding,” said Superintendent Lance Hindt during the ceremony. “It is gratifying to know that Katy ISD will be well represented in colleges, universities, the military and the work force throughout our nation.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 Awards of Excellence winners!

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Katy Legacies

Four multigenerational families trace their roots back to the community’s first settlers

Written by Ella Hearrean | Select photography by Sara Isola

Katy, TX News – Back when there was only one high school and the Firethorne community was a series of rice fields, four well-known Katy families planted roots in a community that they would spend generations investing in. They have built a legacy that impacts not only their families but future Katyites as well.

The Fussell and Schmidt Families
As a child, Sandy Fussell Schmidt watched the buzz of downtown Katy from her mother’s antique shop. She remembers the excitement when her father, Katy’s first volunteer fire chief, heard the siren. “Anyone who had a business was a volunteer. Men from the hardware store and grocery store would come running out in their aprons.”

Schmidt’s small town roots began in the early 1900s, when both of her grandfathers settled in Katy, one as a rice farmer and one as a grocery store owner. Her family has long since been prominent members of the community. Her mother, Blanche, served as the Chamber of Commerce secretary; her uncle, Durwood Fussell, began what is now Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union from his desk drawer as business manager of Katy ISD. Her uncle Mel Jordan, a lifelong rice farmer and rancher, still calls Katy home, along with 38 of his 51 family members.

The Fussell and Schmidt families are founding members of Katy and many of their descendants still live in the area

The Fussell and Schmidt families are founding members of Katy and many of their descendants still live in the area

Her immediate family is just as deeply rooted. Her husband, Hank, served as fire chief, a city council member, and mayor. Her son, Trey, works at Schmidt Funeral Home, and her daughter, Kris, and son-in-law, Arturo Gonzales, are both doctors in the area. “Everyone has always been active and knows what’s going on with everyone else,” says Schmidt.

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Katy Magazine Announces Katy People of the Year Awards

The publishers of Katy Magazine honored 10 extraordinary citizens at the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s general assembly meeting

Katy, TX December 13, 2016—Today, Katy Magazine officially announced their People of the Year award winners at the Katy Area Economic Development Council General Assembly meeting held at the Education Support Complex. Ten outstanding Katy area residents were presented with awards in front of a large audience of business and community leaders at the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s monthly assembly meeting. The 10 honorees are also featured in the Dec/Jan issue of Katy Magazine and will be showcased in their upcoming Katy Business Magazine launching in early 2017.

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Katy Magazine’s Girls’ Night Out Fun Guide

Katy, TX Blog (May 23, 2017) – From dining and dancing to shopping and painting, here are some of our favorite places to connect, unwind, or kick up your heels in Katy.

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Katy Students host Teacher Luncheon

A handful of dedicated Katy High School students eagerly await the rush of teachers and staff to come. The time is 10:15 AM. With tables decorated, and salad, desserts and 30 pizza boxes set out, KHS Student Council is ready to host their second annual Teacher Luncheon.

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The previous year, a simple pizza lunch was served solely to teachers and hailed as the first time the entirety of the teachers had been fed students.

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Katy was a rail-road town, a poem by George Knaak

Dear Editor,

I married a beautiful lady here in Katy, last December. She encouraged me to write poetry, after my brain surgery a year ago, to keep my mind (what’s left of it) sharp. So I began to try & then began to post what I wrote on my Facebook page.

I call them T.P.O.T.D, which stands for “The Poem Of The Day” in abbreviation. I refer to my postings as “Fruit from the Poet’s Tree” and today’s plucking was inspired by how much I’ve come to love Katy. I was born in Austin & still maintain a house there. I tell Roxanna (my sweet, amazing bride) that it’s now our vacation home, since we are in Katy the vast majority of our time.

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Katy’s Broadway Star

Former Taylor High School student and Broadway veteran, Kearran Giovanni, dishes about her life as a wife, mom, and actress

Written by Kirsten Cornell

Katy, TX News – Growing up in Katy, Kearran Giovanni filled her days with cheering on the Taylor High School Mustangs and driving down Mason Rd. heading to the local movie theater with friends. “I love the hometown feel of Katy,” says Giovanni. “It’s a place that stops in time as far as family values go.”

KM_SU_14_Kearran Giovanni_IMG_1353 Final 9 X 12_Photo by Marta Elena Vassilakis

Kearran Giovanni cheered at Taylor High School, before moving to New York and becoming a successful Broadway actress
Photo by Marta Elena Vassilakis

The Early Years
Giovanni didn’t always picture herself as a flourishing actress. In fact, she had a completely different path in mind. “I had solid plans to attend Rice University and become an ob/gyn,” she says.

Focusing on dance, gymnastics, and cheer, she has fond memories of attending Becky’s Academy of Dance where she did a majority of her training. “I met some of my closest friends in the dance company, and I still go back and visit every time I’m in town,” she adds.

It wasn’t until she attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston her senior year that she even entertained the thought of acting. “I didn’t really perform anything ‘theatrical’ until college,” laughs Giovanni, who attended the College of Conservatory Music in Ohio. “I was more focused on dance and gymnastics.” It was in Cincinnati that she discovered her love for musical theatre, and a new path for her life became clear. (more…)

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Katy’s Next Top Model in Katy, Texas

Tommie Cross-Holmes, a Mayde Creek graduate, is accomplishing his dream of modeling in New York City

Written by Cherri Northcutt | Photography courtesy of Tommie Cross-Holmes

Growing up as a student at Mayde Creek Elementary, Tommie Cross-Holmes never imagined that he would one day live in New York and have a successful modeling career. “As a kid, I was always playing outside with friends,” Tommie remembers. “My mom even got walkie-talkies so she could let me know when to come in for dinner. The only problem was, I had to stay within range,” he says.

“Tommie loved to read and play football,” his mother, Denita Holmes shares. In fact, his love of sports led him to Katy Youth Football where he met some of his lifelong friends. His dad played golf, so Tommie started playing in seventh grade. Tommie adds, “I also played football and ran track through junior high and high school.”

KM_DecJan_14_Tommie Cross-Holmes_Editorial shot by photographer Phyllis Lane

Tommie Cross-Holmes, a graduate of Mayde Creek High School, is making a name for himself as a model in mainstream editorial after moving to New York City

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Katy’s Texans Cheerleader

Katy, TX (October 24, 2016)

Cinco Ranch graduate, Brianna Garcia, shares her dream and journey to cheer for the big leagues.

Written by Debbie McDaniel | Select photography courtesy of See What Develops

As a child, Brianna grew up watching the Texans play football and remembers the anticipation of going to the stadium with her dad every season. Brianna was starstruck by the cheerleaders and couldn’t wait to be one of them. “Ever since I was little, I would tell him, ‘I can’t wait to try out for the Houston Texans Cheerleaders as soon as I turn 18!’” Her dad, Joey Yadi Garcia, has been a season ticket holder since day one, when the team first took the field as the Houston Texans. When Brianna heard her name called as one of the Texans Cheerleaders, she felt a rush of adrenaline like she had never felt before.

brianna-garcia-by-kevin-hoehne-see-what-develops-3brianna-garcia-by-kevin-hoehne-see-what-develops-1brianna-garcia-by-kevin-hoehne-see-what-develops-2

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Katy’s Top Models

Katy, TX January 17, 2017

Models don’t just live in Milan, Paris, or New York. There are stunning and talented models who were raised or live right here in Katy.

Written by Lacey Kupfer Wulf 

Modeling is not an easy profession. It comes with harsh criticism, working long hours in uncomfortable clothing or weather, and demanding bosses. These five beautiful girls and women share how to look past the hard stuff and revel in the spotlight of being a top model.

Legendary Model
Tatiana LaBello, formerly Tatiana Anderson, is a model with ambition. By age 9, she had over 150 trophies in modeling, beauty pageants, dance, pep squad, cheerleading, and baton twirling. She even taught aerobics classes in Katy at age 14. After graduating from Katy High School, LaBello became a professional cheerleader for three major sports teams: the NFL Denver Broncos, the NBA Houston Rockets, and the USFL Houston Gamblers; wrote a fitness book, and received many fitness pageant titles.

 

KM Dec Jan 16_Katys Top Models_Tatianna Anderson (16)

Photography by Michael Helms

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Katy, Texas Freebies & Discounts

Katy, TX (March 9, 2017) – Everybody loves a freebie now and then. We’ve tracked down all the places in Katy to get a free product, service, or meal. Take a look!

BIRTHDAY

Applebee’s – Get one free birthday entree.

Arby’s – Diners get a free small shake with any purchase on their birthday.

Auntie Anne’s – One free birthday pretzel.

A&W Restaurants – Get a free root bear float on your big day.

Baskin Robbins – Get one 2.5 oz ice cream scoop on the house for your birthday.

BJ’s Restaurants – Birthday boys and girls get a free pizookie dessert.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Free snack-size wings.

Camp Bow Wow Katy  – All birthday dogs will get a free bath, a “Happy Birthday” bandanna, and a photo on their Facebook page. No credits – baths must be given on your dog’s birthday. (Dogs must pass all camp requirements.) Visit campbowwow.com.

Chuck E. Cheese – Birthdays get 100 free tickets.

CiCi’s Pizza – One free buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet and a regular drink.

Corner Bakery – A free cookie or bakery sweet.

Denny’s – Their Grand Slam Breakfast is free on your birthday.

Fuddrucker’s – $5 off your check, and kids receive free burgers on their birthday.

Great American Cookies – Get a slice of cookie cake at no charge with the purchase of a regular drink.

Grimaldi’s – Get a large, one-topping pizza for free on your birthday.

IHOP – Birthday diners get a free stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity pancakes.

James Coney Island – Enjoy a cheese coney on the house on your birthday.

Jason’s Deli – Receive a $5 discount on your check.

La Madeleine – Get a free pastry on your special day.

Landry’s Seafood House – Choose from a complimentary appetizer or dessert with the purchase of an entree.

Marble Slab Creamery – Receive a free small cup or cone.

Marco’s Pizza – Anyone celebrating a birthday can get a free medium, one-topping pizza.

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Free Bundtlet cake on your birthday.

Olive Garden  – Get a free app or dessert with the purchase of two adult entrees.

Panera Bread – Get any bakery item at no charge on your birthday.

Rainforest Cafe  – Birthdays get a free appetizer with purchase of an entree.

RedBox Movie Rental – Complimentary Blu-Ray or DVD rental.

Red Lobster – Go in on your birthday and receive $5 your check with the purchase of two entrees.

Rita’s Italian Ice – Get a free regular Italian ice on your big day.

Schlotzky’s  – Redeem one free sandwich on your birthday.

Smashburger – Enjoy a hand-spun shake on the house with the purchase of an entree.

Smoothie King – Birthdays can purchase a 20 oz. smoothie for only $2.99.

Starbucks – Free hot or cold drink, bottled beverage, or food item on your birthday.

Taco Cabana – Birthdays get a free flauta plate that includes three chicken flautas, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour crea,guacamole, and two tortillas.

Texas Roadhouse – Chow down on a free appetizer or sidekick of ribs with the purchase of an entree on your birthday.

Which Wich – Redeem a free small sandwich on your birthday.

Wing Stop – Enjoy a free order of large fries on the house.

Zaxby’s – Birthdays will receive a free Nibbler sandwich.

Zoe’s Kitchen – Enjoy a free entree on your special day.

NOTE: Please visit individual websites for more details – as most offers are valid only through e-mail subscriptions or app downloads. 

TEACHERS/SCHOOLS

Barnes & Noble – Teachers get a 20% discount on qualifying purchases when they are a part of the B&N Educator Program.

Leafology Tea Lounge Katy – Katy ISD teachers and faculty will receive 25% off a menu item when they present a valid ID. Visit leafologytealounge.com.

McDonald’s – Katy ISD teachers and faculty will receive a free small McCafe coffee when they present their school ID during the 2016-2017 school year. (Participating locations – see our blogs page for details.)

Katy Budget Books  – Teachers will receive 20% off in-store pick-up or school delivery when they order new books for their classrooms. They also have a Used Book Credit Account that has been donated to public school teachers for the purchase of used books for the classroom. Visit katybooks.com.

Michael’s – Teachers can get 15% their entire in-store purchase.

Peter Chang Restaurant – Katy ISD teachers and faculty can receive 10-50% off in January and August. Visit peterchangtx.com.

Texas Roadhouse – Teachers can get 10% off their meal every Tuesday with a valid school ID.

Verum Vi CrossFit Katy – Full-time teachers and students receive 10% off of their membership.


MILITARY/FIRST RESPONDERS

24 Hour Fitness – Active, reserve, and retired military and dependents receive 10% off their membership, and free workouts on Memorial Day weekend.

A&W – Active military can present valid military ID for a special discount at their Katy store. Details vary by location.

Aeropostale – Active, retired, and reserve military and their dependents get 20% off their purchase at any store nationwide.

Anne Taylor Loft – The Katy Mills Mall location offers 15% off full-priced items for active, reserved, and retired military and their dependents.

AT&T – Active, reserve, and retired military as well as veterans will receive a 15% government discount with a valid military or VA ID. Veterans must show a copy of your DD214 at all Katy locations.

AutoZone – Offers free shipping for online orders for any FPO or APO address for active, retired, and reserve military. Check with individual Katy stores for additional military discount programs.

Banana Republic – Their Katy Mills location offers 10% off in-store purchases on the first Monday of every month for active, retiree, reserved, veterans, and dependents.

Bass Pro Shop – From the 15th to the 22nd of every month, active, retired, reserve, veterans, and dependents can receive a store-specific discount when they present active military ID or DD214. Discount does not include reels, electronics, firearms, ammunition and reloading equipment, scopes, bows, arrows, taxidermy, gift cards, Tracker boats, Mercury motors, or ATV’s.

Camp Bow Wow – All military personnel receive 10% off all boarding and day camps, and 5% off of retail services. Just show proof of employment for the discount to be applied. (Dogs must pass all camp requirements.) Visit campbowwow.com.

Country Park Portraits– Active military personnel can receive a complimentary portrait session and 8 x 10 photo when they present a military ID.

Eddie Bauer – Active, retired, and reserve military and their families can receive 10 – 15% off in-store purchases. Must ask about veteran discounts at your location.

El Pollo Loco – Military service members receive 15% off of their order.

Goodwill – Offers 30% discounts to first-responders and their families every Friday.

Lowe’s Home Improvement – They offer a 10% military discount to active military, retired veterans, and immediate family. Must present a valid DD214 or other proof of service. Personal purchases only.

Michael’s – Military and immediate family can receive 15% off their entire in-store purchase when they present a valid military ID.

Peter Chang Restaurant – Police officers can get discounts in  April and October, family members of military in the month of May, and firefighters (regular, volunteer, and family) in the month of September. Discounts range from 10 – 50 percent and valid occupation ID is required. Visit peterchangtx.com.

Texas Roadhouse – Military members get 30% off their meal every day.

Verum Vi CrossFit Katy – Police, firefighters, EMT, and active military receive 15% off of their membership. Veterans receive 10% off of their membership.

WellPet Center Veterinary Hospital – Pets of active or veteran military and public service members get 15% off of their service.


SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNTS
Applebee’s – Diners aged 60 and up can get 10 to 15% off their meal at certain locations.

Burger King – Ages 60+ receive 10% off their order plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – AARP members get 15% off their entire meal.

Denny’s – Most locations offer 15% AARP members who are 55 and older.

Dunkin’ Donuts – AARP members get a free donut with the purchase of a large or extra large coffee.

El Pollo Loco – Seniors 60 and over receive 10% off their order.

Fuddrucker’s – Get 10% any senior platter if you are over 55 years old.

IHOP – They offer special pricing on breakfast items for diners over 55.

Office Depot/Office Max – AMAC members get 10% off office products.

Stein Mart – Shoppers over the age of 55 get 20% every Monday.


Please call to verify these deals and offers, as some vary by location or require an app download or coupon to redeem. 
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Katy, Texas High School Prom Dates

Katy, TX News (April 19, 2017) – 2017 Prom Dates for Katy Area High Schools

  • April 22
    – St. John XXII College Preparatory at Dukessa
  • April 28
    – Strake Jesuit College Preparatory at Lakeside Country Club
  • April 29
    – Morton Ranch High School at Hilton Houston Post Oak
    – Tompkins High School at the Westin Galleria
  • May 12
    – Houston Christian High School
  • May 13
    – Faith West High School at the Clubhouse at Firethorne
    – Katy High School at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
  • May 20
    – Cinco Ranch High School at The Westin Galleria
    – Mayde Creek High School at Hilton Houston Post Oak
    – Seven Lakes High School at The Citadel
    – Taylor High School at The Corinthian
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Katy, TX News – Former Katy Tiger Wins 2014 Grey Cup

Katy, TX News (December 16, 2014) – Bo Levi Mitchell, a 2008 graduate of Katy High School, recently led the Calgary Stampeders to a 20-16 win against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and took home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award during the 2014 Grey Cup Canadian Championship Football Game.

Bo Levi Mitchell

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Ladies’ Night Out

The fabulous fun guide for moms, wives, and ladies all over Katy.

Written by Ashley Lancaster
Every now and then, it’s good to get out and enjoy some fun times with your best girlfriends. Whether you’re discussing a new book, taking part in some retail therapy, or dining at a trendy restaurant, here’s a list of delightful ways to relax, recharge, and reconnect in Katy.

Catch up during  dinner and a free outdoor movie  at Central Green Park in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch

Catch up during dinner and a free outdoor movie
at Central Green Park in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch

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Leadership In Katy, Texas Education

An inside look at Katy ISD’s dedicated board of trustees

Written by Shetye Cypher | Photography courtesy of Katy ISD

As one of the fastest growing communities in the nation, Katy ISD is the perfect combination of long-standing tradition and a cutting edge approach to learning. Through collaboration, commitment, and a desire for greatness, the Katy ISD board of trustees is always striving to provide the best educational experience possible for Katy students.

KM_14_Katy ISD Board of TrusteesGroup 4x5 Large

The Katy ISD Board of Trustees (Back Row from Left to Right: Charles Griffin, Ashley Vann, Joe M. Adams, and Courtney Doyle. Front Row from Left to Right: Rebecca Fox, Bryan Michalsky, and Henry Dibrell.)

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Local Chick-fil-A Restaurant Awards 100th Leadership Scholarship

Katy, TX – November 21, 2016 Chick-fil-A®, Inc. has selected Katy resident Avery Fontenot as a recipient of the chain’s $1,000 Leadership Scholarship, making her the 100th nominee of Chick-fil-A Operator, Rusty Wylie, to receive the award.

scholarship

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Logan’s Fight for Life

Katy, TX Blog (May 8, 2017) – After weighing two pounds at birth and suffering multiple organ failures, Logan Buelna proves that life is worth fighting for

Written by Meagan Clanahan | Select photography by Candace Cook

For Dr. Molly Obergfell and Dr. David Buelna, the early stages of their first pregnancy with their son Logan was picture perfect by all medical standards. After meeting at Kingsland Animal Hospital where they were both employed as veterinarians and subsequently marrying in 2013, they were overjoyed to be expecting their first son. They never expected the twists and turns that would come when he burst onto the scene in the early hours of June 18, 2015.

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M.A.D.D. Moms

After losing her son in a tragic car crash in 2006, Katy mom Carol Levin is on a mission to end drunk driving

Written by Gail G. Collins | Select photography by Sara Isola

“It’s as bad as you think it is,” Carol Levin says, describing the loss of her son to a drunk driver. “He was an amazing person, and we’ll live his life in the best way we can. We need that.” It’s why Levin got involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

KM June July 15_MADD_Carol Levin Maddshirtwithpic by Sara Isola copy

Katy mom Carol Levin encourages drivers to realize the lasting effects of substance-impaired driving

 

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Making Katy PONY History: Six-Year-Old All-Star Team to Compete in World Series

Katy, TX (July 13, 2017) – The Katy Disciples 6U All-Stars team is going to the PONY World Series in Youngsville, Louisiana on July 13-15.  “What makes this so special is that it is the first six–year-old team to make it from the Houston area,” says Shaye Mathew, one of the team parents.

Submitted by Neil & Shaye Mathew | Edited by Katy Magazine

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Marriage Through the Ages in Katy, Texas

Katy couples whose love has withstood decades share how living happily ever after is not a fairy tale, but a choice of commitment

Written by Tassie Hewitt | Select photography by Juliana Evans

Demanding jobs, health issues, and money worries might mean the honeymoon is over for some couples, but these Katy husbands and wives have found the secret to wedded bliss. They agree that while falling in love is easy, staying in love requires commitment and hard work. It was 1941 when Boyd and Emily Baker met at a Christmas party in Flint, Michigan. “I was asked to sing ‘White Christmas,’” says Boyd, who was 15 at the time.

KM Feb March 15_Marriage_Boyd and Emily Baker8 by Juliana Evans copy

“About the middle of the song, I looked down and there was a pretty young lady in a blue flowered dress. It was love at first sight.” Emily, age 13 at the time, grew up as the oldest of 17 children in her family. The couple courted for seven years, during which time Boyd went away to college and was drafted into the Navy. “Every time I returned, she was there,” says Boyd, who grew up during the Great Depression. “I never had anyone as faithful in my life. I was lucky.” The couple, now married 66 years, started out living in a 500-square-foot trailer at a time when $13 bought a week’s worth of groceries.

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Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary’s “Outbackers of the Month”

Katy, TX – October 24, 2016  

“Outbacker of the Month” is Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary ‘s most prestigious award. Kilpatrick Outbackers exhibit “Koalaty” character: they always lend a helping hand, have a smile on their face, serve as role models, and go above and beyond to make OKE an exemplary school. Each month, one student from each grade level, a staff member, and a volunteer are selected “Outbacker of the Month.”  Our September  Outbackers are teacher Rhonda Miller, students Edward Barbee, Grayson Sanchez, Declan Hoeferlin, Racheet Bedi, Caroline MacLellan , Tyler Cline and volunteer Felicia Schubert.

okeoutbackerphoto

 

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Parent Support of the 2014 Katy ISD Bond

Katy ISD parents Vince and Pam Zinnante speak out on the Katy 2014 Bond Election

Written by Pam Zinnante

Katy, TX News –  We have lived in Katy for 35 years, and have seen multiple bond issues approved to relieve overcrowding in schools. My husband and I were pleased to vote in favor of the bond that provided relief to the south side of Katy when there was an outcry that Cinco Ranch High School had hit over 3,400 students and would grow to almost 3,800 students by the time Seven Lakes High School was due to open. Within a few years, fast growth indicated the need for yet another high school serving Katy ISD south of I-10, and a community that should not take sides rightly voted in favor of another school and additional improvements and spaces to benefit all students district-wide. (more…)

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Pay it Forward with Donations to Katy ISD Police “Teddy Cops” Program

Katy, Texas (March 22, 2017) – Officer Luis Santiago with the Katy ISD Police Department delivered 20 “Teddy Cop” Bears to some of our students today! Their goal is to give every PPCD, ECAP, YCAP, Lifeskills & TIP child in our school district a Police Officer Teddy Bear … specialized with a uniform and Katy ISD Police Officer badge!

In the first 5 months since the program was started, they raised over $11,000 to purchase 497 bears for students at 23 KISD elementary schools. They still need to purchase about 600 more bears for 14 more of the KISD elementary schools.

We are asking for your help to PAY IT FORWARD! Please consider making a donation for this wonderful program! You may send donations to the NCE front office. We will accept cash or checks (payable to Katy ISD), or you may purchase a gift card from the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Katy Mills Mall where the bears are made.

Here are a few pictures from this morning! More pictures can be seen by visiting the Nottingham Country Elementary School Official Facebook page.

Thank you in advance for your help, and thank you Katy ISD Police Department for the bears!!

Courtesy of Katy ISD

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Rickett’ Rocketing Success

Katy, TX Blog (June 5, 2017) – Seven Lakes High School graduate Caitlin Ricketts is now traveling the world modeling for top name brands

Written by Debbie McDaniel 

As a young girl growing up in Katy, Texas, Caitlin Ricketts only dreamed of the life she’s now living as a model for the Wilhelmina Agency in New York City. “I love being from Katy and I’m so happy I have all of my family still in Katy to come home to,” she says. She grew up in Katy ISD, attending Roosevelt Alexander Elementary School, Beckendorff Junior High School, and Seven Lakes High School. “I have lived in New York City for years now, but Katy will always be my home and a place to bring me back to reality.”

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Rocking for a Cure: Cancer Patients Get Distraction from Treatment with Music Therapy Made Possible by Generous Guitar Donation

Katy, TX – December 7, 2016

Patients at Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center now have access to hands-on music therapy thanks to a multiple guitar donation from Joan Holst and Michael Fuller, of Fuller’s Guitar, a guitar store located in Houston’s Greater Heights. Fuller and Holst were inspired to make the donation by their friend, Paul Jardell, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at the Center. The guitars will be available as a musical diversion for patients to play while they receive treatment. They will also be used by the Center’s music therapy support group.

memorial-hermann

“It’s important to me that the patients are engaged in the music, not just by listening, but by participating,” said Maegan Morrow, music therapist with TIRR Memorial Hermann, who also dedicates some of her time to Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-TMC. “By picking up a guitar during long treatments, it can be a distraction that puts the brain in a more positive state. Some patients might already know how to play guitar, but now we have the resources if someone wants to learn as well. We are so grateful to Fuller’s Guitar for their generous gift.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Special Pals Announces 2017 Red White & Rescue Calendar

Katy, TX – November 22, 2016 Special Pals is taking pre-orders for their 2017 Red White & Rescue Calendar, a project helping to fundraise for the shelter.

special-pals

The Red White & Rescue Calendar is a collaboration between first responders and Special Pals. The calendar features first responders from the Katy, West Houston, Richmond, Rosenberg, and Fulshear areas along with their own adopted dogs, or adoptable dogs from Special Pals.

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Superhero Survivor

Katyite Joshua Martinez shares the story of his battle with colorectal cancer

Written by Clare Jensen | Photography by Anetrius Wallace

Katy, TX News – People often take their lives and daily activities for granted, discrediting illness as too far removed to affect them. But then one day, they are taken by surprise, and the certainty of having a next breath becomes not quite so certain. This was the case for Katyite Joshua Martinez.

OPENER 2014-07-28 KM Inspiration Joshua Martinez by Anetrius WallaceT

 

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Suzette’s Students

Dedicated Cinco Ranch Junior High teacher Suzette Steward is named Teacher of the Year on Live with Kelly and Michael

Written by Susan Perini | Select photography by Melissa Crowder

Katy, Texas News – When Lisa Clements nominated Suzette Steward for the National Teacher of the Year Award from the daytime talk show Live with Kelly and Michael, she wrote, “You just have to meet her. [Suzette] has more energy, passion, and love for kids than you will find in any other human being.”

Clements should know. She is the mom of one of the many children whose lives have been impacted by Steward’s passion and dedication during her years teaching in Katy ISD.

Suzette Steward, a special education teacher at Cinco Ranch Junior High, was named as the National Teacher of the Year on Live with Kelly and Michael

Suzette Steward, a special education
teacher at Cinco Ranch Junior High, was
named as the National Teacher of the
Year on Live with Kelly and Michael

 

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Texas Sized Family

Lena and David Carlberg share how they manage their daily routine with 10 children

Written by Holly Leger | Photography by Sara Isola

Katy, TX News – “Alyssa, Annie, Aidan, Alec, Andrew, Adam, Ashton, Abigail, Addison, Adrian…” No you’re not listening to a nursery rhyme; that is breakfast roll call at the Carlberg home. Lena Carlberg still finds it hard to believe sometimes. “I didn’t plan it that way,” she laughs. “I wasn’t ever going to have 10 kids.” She and her husband, David, are proud parents of six boys and four girls, ranging in age from 1 to 16 years old.

Planning A Family
David and Lena met in 1996 while working at the Olive Garden. A couple of years later, they began dating. Soon both wanted a family, but had slightly opposing views on the matter. Lena’s mother came from a family of seven. Lena and her two brothers have fond memories of being surrounded by their cousins at family gatherings. “I remember crying and begging my mom to have more [kids],” Lena says.

Lena and David Carlberg with their children, Adrian, Annie, Alyssa, Addison, Abigail, Alec, Aidan, Ashton, Adam, and Andrew

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The Adventures of Baby Beckham in Katy, Texas

Katyites Steven and Stephanie Poss’ premature son Beckham faces a life-threatening “medical mystery” and survives

Written by Stephanie Poss | Select photography by Kristen Richards

It’s been said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” The greatest news in the world was that our family of three would be growing to a family of four. Beckham Neil Poss was due to arrive in mid-October 2013. As any expecting parents, my husband Steven and I could not be happier. We immediately started preparing his room and our daughter for the change of not being an only child anymore. During pregnancy, I threw up so much I ended up on complete bed rest. I went into preterm labor in early August, and we began shots to help build his lungs and trying to stop the labor.

KM Feb March 15_Stephanie and Beckham Poss by Kristen Richards 18 copy

On August 24 Beckham arrived, weighing just over five pounds. Beckham was quickly rushed to the NICU. When a child is born, you want to hold and cuddle them, but a NICU mom can’t. Each day he improved. As parents, we lived for the few times we got to hold Beckham. We struggled to not feel helpless. One month after being born, he was released to go home. He was strong enough, or so we thought.

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The Importance of Grandparents

Katy families share their thoughts on “The Importance of Grandparents.” Four ways they enrich the lives of their grandchildren.

Written by Heather Lowrie | Select photography by Sara Isola

A grandparent inspires, educates, and loves unconditionally. This special relationship is created in love and forged by family ties that can’t be broken. Carl and Norma Lenz remember how they felt when they got the wonderful news that they would be grandparents. “An overwhelming feeling of excitement and awe came over us,” says Norma. “That was shortly followed by an awareness of the responsibility to be the best grandparents we knew how to be.” (more…)

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The Katy Lady Cavaliers Lacrosse program’s 2015 Senior class have signed/announced where they will be attending college!

Nikki Wood– University of Montevallo in Alabama and will play Division II lacrosse on a scholarship.

Samantha Farrell– University of Montevallo in Alabama and will play Division II lacrosse on a scholarship.

Marisa Braden– University of Texas, Club lacrosse

Tobi Dipelou– University of Oklahoma, Club lacrosse

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The Real Taylor Thi

Katy, TX (February 6, 2017) – With a brand new music video, “The Real Me,” out and an EP on the horizon, this Seven Lakes High School senior is headed for stardom.

Written by Ashley Lancaster

Ever since attending her first concert with her father, Greg Conklin, at the age of 4, Taylor Thi has been consumed with a passion for performing and songwriting. “We saw James [Vernon] Taylor, and I was so amazed by all the cheering that I turned to my dad and asked him why everyone was making noise. He said, ‘See that man up there? They’re clapping for him.’ Ever since then I’ve wanted to be a singer.”

KM_Dec Jan_17_Taylor Thi_Taylor_Brown6380_photo by David Gaona

Photo by David Gaona

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Two Katy Teachers Place in Houston Marathon

Katy, TX (January 23, 2017) – Two teachers at British International School in Katy, Texas did exceptionally well at the Houston Marathon earlier this month. Mr. Tim Barnett (primary, year six) placed second in his age category and third place overall with a race time of 39:20 and Mr. Ben Brown (primary, year one) placed second in his category at the Choco Loco 10K.

 

Houston Marathon

 

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