Barnes Middle School students qualify for Duke Gifted program

Barnes Middle School seventh graders (from left) Ayla Arcos, Eduardo Barrera, Sarah Burpo, Ivan Compton, Conner Kopplin, Amylynn McGrath, Ava Saldana, Araceli Salazar and Autiana Trigo have been invited to join the prestigious 7th Grade Talent Search for gifted students sponsored by Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP).


Each year, a select group of students in the United States are identified as academically gifted based on their exceptional standardized test scores in school and are invited to participate in the TIP program. Only students scoring in the 95th percentile or better on standardized tests qualify. Participants are then invited to take the above-grade level ACT or SAT tests designed for college-bound tenth and eleventh graders so that their academic abilities and potential can be more accurately evaluated. They also receive a variety of support services and gain access to research and other information about using their academic abilities more effectively.


“I am extremely proud of our nine TIP scholars. These students have worked hard during their years at Barnes, and I know that they will continue to grow academically as they progress to Seguin High School. I am looking forward to their future success,” said Nikki Bittings, Barnes Middle School principal.


Duke University’s TIP is a nonprofit educational organization that is recognized as a leader in identifying and serving the educational needs of academically gifted youth. Through identification, recognition, challenging educational programs, information, advocacy and research, Duke TIP provides resources to gifted students, their parents, educators, and schools to help gifted scholars reach their full academic potential. For more on Duke TIP talent searches, including qualification requirements for its 4th-6th Grade Talent Search and 7th Grade Talent Search, visit

Teacher Spotlight

Sarah KleselWe are proud to begin year two of our Seguin ISD Teacher Spotlight. Our first educator featured for 2019-2020 is Sarah Klesel, GT Facilitator/STEM Lab Manager at McQueeney Elementary School.


1. Describe your teaching career at Seguin ISD.

In 2005, I started at Patlan as a student-teacher for the wonderful Mrs. Nancy Meier, and was hired later that year. I taught 3rd, 4th, and 2nd grades before becoming a GT facilitator in 2013 for both Patlan and McQueeney. This year I am on the McQueeney campus full time, continuing my GT role and expanding my horizons with the exciting opportunity of running the new STEM Lab.


2. How do you instill rigor and relevance in your classroom?

I believe students want to know and deserve to know the "why" in my classroom. I give real-world examples and logical reasoning for each unit of study. Assignments are for the betterment and benefit of the student, not for a grade or test. I tap into students' natural curiosity to increase buy-in and engagement. Rigor is embedded in my classroom because I too am a curious learner. Together we have and explore endless questions.


3. As an educator, you cultivate, inspire and empower. What does this mean to you?

Students have to know you care before they care about anything you have to say. I treat students like the capable individuals they are: I listen to them. I love them. I validate them. They are learning to be grown-ups. They need security and someone who believes in them. Cultivating that relationship leads to inspiration and empowerment.



Upcoming Board Meeting

The Seguin ISD Board of Trustees will be attending a new teacher meet and greet and hosting a regular board meeting on September 24. You can find the agenda at the links below:


September 24 - Regular Board Meeting

Board Spotlight

Board Spotlight Cinde Thomas JimenezTrustee Spotlight is a new monthly feature to showcase our Seguin ISD Board of Trustees. September's trustee is President Cinde Thomas-Jimenez, District 3 rep. More information on Mrs. Thomas-Jimenez can be found at


1. How do Seguin ISD students inspire you?

Seguin ISD students continue to amaze and inspire me with their curiosity, abilities and willingness to think outside of the box. The creativity I see each day through social media posts inspire and uplift my expectations.


2. What motivates you to serve as a Seguin ISD board member?

I am motivated to serve because I truly want to see Seguin ISD evolve into a Destination District. The commitment of the superintendent, central office staff, the principals and the teachers of each campus is immeasurable. They are doing the hard work of implementing the strategic plan and the board's vision.


3. What are some highlights you’ve experienced serving on the board of trustees?

Being involved in the creation of and now monitoring the implementation of the strategic plan has been fulfilling. Our focus on literacy is a watershed moment for Seguin ISD. Reading is such a critical skill - and the guidelines set forth for the campuses, the buy-in from the administrators and teachers, and the willingness of citizen volunteers to assist in this movement are unprecedented.


4. Please share one word to describe how you feel about serving the students and staff of Seguin ISD.




Academic Support Programs for SHS Students

Seguin High School educators are hosting several academic support programs available to all SHS students. For more information, call 830-401-8000. #TeamSeguin


Click here to view the informational flyer.

Throwback Thursday

Vincent PatlanPatlán Elementary is named for Vincent Patlán. He was born November 9, 1924, in Gonzales, Texas. He was one of seven children and his father supported his large family by working on farms, picking cotton, shoveling coal, and shining shoes. Even though Vincent's family was poor, his father always stressed to him the importance of education as a way to better himself. Once when Vincent was in high school his father taught him a lesson. After earning a little money shoveling some coal, Vincent told his father that he'd decided not to go to college; he'd work and earn money instead. The next day, his father took Vincent with him to shovel a whole boxcar full of coal. The work was backbreaking and took all day. Tired, sweaty, and covered with black coal dust, Vincent realized the importance of school. This was a lesson he was to share many times with hundreds of young students in the years to come.


Vincent Patlán graduated from Gonzales High School in 1943. He joined the Army during World War II and was sent to Europe. After two and a half years, he returned with a Purple Heart, having been wounded in action. In 1949, Vincent Patlán earned his B.S. degree from Southwest Texas State University and, in 1951, a Master’s in Education. He did further study on the education of migrant children.


In 1950, Mr. Patlán came to Seguin ISD as a Visiting Teacher/Social Worker/Truant Officer. His job was to make sure that children were attending school, as required by law. Mr. Patlán had a loving and caring approach and his main desire was to see the people he served received a good education. He soon learned that there was usually a good reason for a child being absent- maybe he had no shoes or coat or maybe he was sick, and his parents had no money to buy medicine. Mr. Pátlan said, "My main objective is to find the problem this kid is having and solve it." So he did. Mr. Patlán would visit the home of each child who did not come to school. He would talk to the child and his parents to find out how he could help. Mr. Patlán bought school supplies for those who couldn't afford them; he bought shoes and coats and made sure the child saw a doctor or dentist if he needed. Mr. Patlán never forgot how it felt to be poor and did everything he could to help.


Mr. Patlán belonged to many organizations that helped people. He was a member of the Lions Club, serving for a time as the Chairman of the local unit of Texas Lions Camp for Crippled Children. He was the director of the Boys Club and was active in his church and the Salvation Army. He served on the boards of the MHMR, Guadalupe County Welfare Agency, and the Seguin Housing Authority, and he belonged to the Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion.


Mr. Patlán was married to Frances Flores who was also a teacher in Seguin. They had one daughter, Thalia, also a teacher, who had the proud honor of teaching in a school named for her father.


Because Mr. Patlán knew of so many needy families, it made sense when he was asked to help local businesses, churches, and civic organizations distribute baskets of food at Christmas time. For the last eleven years of his life (the last time from a hospital's intensive care room), Mr. Patlán and his wife made a list of those families that needed food. Much of the time, Mr. Patlán would drive his car all over town delivering those baskets. He earned the fitting nickname, "Santa Claus of Seguin."


Vincent Patlán died on February 7, 1985.

It's Destination Imagination time!

IT’S Destination Imagination TIME!


Seguin ISD Invites you to be part of our new 2019-20 Destination Imagination Season


Learn about involving your child in this amazing program
• Grades K-12
• Teaches Creative and Critical Thinking
• Reinforces STEM Concepts
• Fosters Team Work & Leadership Skills
• Student Powered
• Supports School Academics

You can find out much more at our PARENT MEETING Monday, September 16 OR Thursday, September 19 Seguin ISD Central Office 1221 E. Kingsbury Street 6:00PM


“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein


For more information, contact Michael Olstad at

Trustees sign resolution to support area lakes
A resolution in support of area lakes was approved and signed by Seguin ISD trustees during a Sept. 11 special board meeting. The measure was approved on a 5-0 vote with two abstentions. The signed resolution can be viewed here.

Seguin High School’s McDowall named National Merit Semifinalist

Michael “Andy” McDowall, a Seguin High School senior, is a semifinalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.


The honor is a result of Andy’s 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores that place him in an elite group, representing less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors. The semifinalists represent the highest-scoring entrants in each state.


A Seguin ISD student since fourth grade, Andy is actively involved in the Navy JROTC program as an operations officer. He has participated in Destination Imagination for eight years and competed in the Global event three times. He is a member of the National Honor Society, serves as parliamentarian for Business Professionals of America and does lights for Matador Theatre Troupe 5897. He spends his spare time with Gonzales Boy Scout Troop 262.


After graduating Seguin High School in June, Andy plans to study computer science at an Ivy League university.


“Andy’s National Merit Semifinalist achievement is truly well deserved. He is an outstanding, well-rounded student who has demonstrated academic success across the board during his Seguin High School career. We are proud of Andy for earning this prestigious honor,” said Dr. Hector Esquivel, Seguin High School principal.


A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists across the country, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level in February.


Andy’s parents are Thomas and Kristin McDowall of Seguin.


Seguin High School is one of two Guadalupe County high schools with a National Merit Semifinalist student.

SISD DI Dates for 2019-2020
Please click here to see a full listing of the Seguin ISD Destination Imagination meeting dates for the 2019-2020 school year. 

2019-2020 Student/Parent Handbook
The new Student Parent Handbook features a new dress code (see page 40) plus information on technology use, bus rider rules and regs, and the student code of conduct. Visit to view the handbook.

Upcoming Board Meeting

The Seguin ISD Board of Trustees is hosting a special meeting on September 11. You can find the agenda at the links below:


September 11 - Special Meeting

GT Meeting

Seguin ISD is hosting an elementary parent orientation meeting for Gifted/Talented (G/T) Program services for the 2019–2020 school year. The session will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at Barnes Middle School located at 1539 Joe Carrillo Blvd. in Seguin.


“We are committed to providing creative and challenging learning experiences for students with exceptional abilities. Please join us for information regarding the G/T Program of services that will be available to our elementary students this school year,” said Dr. Matthew Gutierrez, Seguin ISD superintendent.


Referral for the G/T Program may be made at any time. Parents or guardians who wish to refer a Seguin ISD student for the program may pick up or request a copy of the G/T referral form from their school.

Chess Tournaments
Elementary Chess Tournaments for all Seguin ISD students in grades 3-5 are slated for Sept. 11 and Oct. 23. Trophies and medals will be awarded for first through sixth place winners! Contact Dawn Krause at for details.

Latest Issue of SISD Fine Arts Fanfare
The latest newsletter contains all of the must see upcoming events for all SISD fine arts programs.  Click Read More to find out about all the exciting updates.