2015-03-26 / Youth

Finding Marlin pride everywhere

Education notes
Lisa Shelton

Lisa Shelton Lisa Shelton Marlin pride! It is a way of life at Port Aransas ISD. It may be so imbedded in our daily lives that one might not even notice it. I became consciously aware of it recently when my girls said they wanted to wear a Marlin T-shirt every day during Spring Break so people would know they live here. I thought, “Awesome!” I was very proud of them for wanting to show their allegiance to their alma mater. But then it got me to thinking, what is Marlin pride?

Our mascot, the Blue Marlin, is the largest of the Atlantic marlins and one of the biggest fish in the world. The blue marlin is considered to be the most recognizable of all fish. It’s beauty is shown proudly with a strong body of cobalt-blue and silvery- white accentuated by a pronounced dorsal fin and a long, lethal, spear- shaped upper jaw. Blue marlins are among the fastest fish in the ocean and are judged as the holy grail of sport fishermen.

There is no wonder as to why PAISD chose the Blue Marlin to be the district mascot. But it is wonderful that our students embody qualities that reflect the majesty of this fish. Beginning with the very youngest of our students, the teachers and staff teach the whole child numbers, words, art, music and technology combined with life lessons, empathy, healthy living and leadership skills. Vertical learning has been a goal for PAISD for several years and it works. Vertical learning is the style of teaching where what is taught this year builds upon what was learned last year; one grade level seamlessly leads right into the next. The teachers in elementary work hand-in-hand with teachers in middle school while those teachers are working with high school to bring the student through 13 years of quality learning.

This united effort allows PAISD students to expand their horizons beyond the classroom. Marlin pride is nurtured in some great ways. Traditional and new programs and activities are offered for students to explore their interests and talents. Here are just some of the things our students are active in: sports, UIL, history club, choir, band, K-Kids, Builder’s Club, Student Council, Key Club, National Honor Society, Planeteers, Marlins in Action, welding, debate team, theatre plus so much more.

Marlin pride can be seen throughout our community: Marlin T-shirts on Fridays, blue wigs and masks at basketball games, ‘PA’ stickers on cars, vanity signs in front yards, bake sales at the local businesses, thousands of dollars in community scholarships, numerous grants from the Port Aransas Education Foundation awarded annually, plus community involvement in various and sundry programs and activities.

Port Aransans understand that a strong school is a cornerstone for a thriving community. I appreciate the support that Port Aransas citizens give the school district. I invite the interactive discussion of what is best for the future of our students. I encourage those with questions and concerns to turn to our campus principals and superintendent for guidance and answers. I applaud those who engage trustees in conversations regarding the present and future of PAISD.

Marlin pride is not just a school thing. It is a community tradition that shows those who visit here that PAISD is a strong institution of learning…101 years in the making!

Lisa Shelton is the Board President of the Port Aransas Independent School District.

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