A positive impact: Mentors help guide students at PPISD

Cole Warren said he had two mentors when he was a young man. A college professor filled the role in one of those mentor slots, and the other mentor works in the Frisco ISD. He could go to them for wisdom about life or career concerns. Warren, counselor at Pilot Pilot Intermediate School, and other educators have started a mentor program in which volunteers are sought to spend time with children at the school. “The point really is to get these kids somebody they can bounce things off,” he said. “It really doesn’t necessarily have to be a mom, dad, teacher or a principal.” An indication of how much of an effect a mentor made for Warren: He ate lunch with his college professor once a week for

DOGS keep watch

Aubrey ISD expands program to include middle school grades As the students came off buses in front of Aubrey Middle School on a recent morning, a man in a gray T-shirt was waiting to welcome them. The kids gave the man smiles and high fives as they entered the school building. Most of them didn’t know exactly who he was, but they knew the gray shirt meant he was a WATCH D.O.G.S. dad and that he was going to spend the day volunteering at the school. The Aubrey ISD has had WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) at Brockett and Monaco Elementary schools for the last six years. The program was recently added at the middle school. “I like the presence of the dads,” AMS guidance counselor Tina Mi

Wheeler waiting to go to rehab hospital

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and in this season of giving thanks, Tommy Wheeler says what he appreciates the most are his four children: daughters Trinity and Tatum and sons Gavin and Carson. “I’m used to seeing my kids every day, being around me all the time,” he said. “My kids are what I miss the most. Right now, I only get to see them once or twice a week because of their busy schedules." "That’s definitely what I miss the most.” Wheeler, who lives in Pilot Point, suffered severe injuries in a car wreck south of Pilot Point on Sept. 14 and has been hospitalized since. Dave Wheeler, Tommy’s brother, has been looking after Tommy’s children, driving them to school and activities. D

Shaped by war

Dennis Duesman served in the Marines in the Vietnam War and today wears a Marine Corps cap that was made in a communist country. Duesman, who lives in Pilot Point and is a 1964 graduate of local schools, laughs about the cap when talking about his experiences in the war before Veterans Day. “It was boring as heck and then scary as hell, and I wouldn’t do it again – I wouldn’t want to do it again – but I wouldn’t take anything for the experiences I had,” he said about Vietnam. Veterans today enjoy better treatment by the public than when he served 50 years ago, he said. “When we came back, there were no ‘welcome homes’ or anything,” he said. “In fact, we just didn’t talk about it. We kept eve

Good dog

'AISD elementary using dog to reduce stress on students' As a professional dog trainer, Dawn Mellick has seen first-hand the effect that dogs can have on people, especially children. With four children who have gone through the Aubrey ISD, including two sons currently at the high school, Mellick saw a need for a therapy dog at the campuses. “I have seen therapy dog programs work so well at other schools,” Mellick said. “My number one goal was to train Daisy to bring her into Aubrey ISD to help with stress during finals, to give some extra attention to kids, to start up a reading program.” Daisy is Mellick’s 21/2-year-old blue heeler/lab mix that she has trained since she adopted her from a r

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