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What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – September 2018

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Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml

Toll Brothers requests Council and P&Z to act at September 10th Joint Meeting on its Revised Application to Amend Town’s Master Plan for their proposed Vickery Park Residential Development on 78 Acres south of FM 407

P&Z and Council will only act September 10th on the density of homes.  This is the relevant question in Toll Brothers proposed revised amendment to the Town’s Master Plan for the 78.1 acres on the south side of FM 407. The current Master Plan requires a minimum residential lot size of one-third acre or 14,500 square feet.  Possibly a 100’ wide by 145’ deep lot. (An acre is 43,500 square feet.)

Town’s 8th Annual Clean-Up-Day is Saturday Oct. 6 from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

At Copper Canyon Town Hall, 400 Woodland Dr. 

Over the past seven years, many toxic and surplus bulky items have been removed from our Town.   The volume of removal on our annual Clean-Up-Day has noticeably declined from year to year.  But how welcome to be able to easily and safely again remove our latest annual community collection of used (or no longer used) items.  So, please begin surveying your home, attic, garage, yard, pool, storage sheds, and barns for items you want to dispose of safely.  And thank you for being willing to take the time to do so.  A “cleaner” town is also a safer town.

Republic Services will again be conducting Copper Canyon’s Annual Clean-Up-Day.  There is free drop-off for Town residents, but Proof of Residency is required. (I.e. current driver’s license or utility bill with an address within our Town boundaries.)    The Annual Clean-Up is restricted to Town residents only, because the Clean-Up is funded by Copper Canyon. The recycle vehicles MUST LEAVE PROMPTLY at 11:30 a.m. to timely arrive at their next Clean-Up-Day location!  Do not drop off anything at Town Hall after that cut off time!

Items accepted within the 8 to 11:30 a.m. time limits are: 

Household Hazardous Waste  (Residential Use Only!):

Aerosols, Flammables, Toxic Liquids, Toxic Solids, Corrosives Acidic and Basic (Battery Fluid, Drain Cleaners, Boric Acid, Rust Removers, Sulfuric Acid, etc.), Oxidizers (Bleach, Chlorine, Hydrogen Peroxide, etc.), Batteries, EMPTY Cylinders for Propane use, Paints, Used Oils (Cooking, Automotive, Yard Equipment, etc.), Yard Fertilizers, Pesticides

Electronic Waste/Universal Waste:

Televisions, Computers, Monitors, Laptops, Hand-Held Computers (PDA, iPad, etc.), Keyboards & Mice, Scanners/Printers/Copiers, Fax Machines, Telephones, Microwave Ovens, VCR’s, CD Players, Stereos, Related Cables, Florescent Straight Light Tubes, Compact Lamps (CFL’s)

Household White Goods:

Water Heaters, Washers/Dryers, Small Metal Scrap (window blinds, wire fencing, window frames), Refrigerators, Freezers, Window or Free Standing Air Conditioners.  [NOTE:  Any item that did contain Freon must have a Certificate of Removal of Freon attached to the appliance.  This can usually be done at a business that sells large appliances and/or air conditioners.]

Bulky Items:

Brush, Furniture, PVC pipe, small lumber pieces, residential wood fencing, etc. (No leftover building construction items)

Tire Recovery:  Car Tires, Light Truck Tires – Limit of 4 tires per household!

On-Site Secured Document Destruction:  (Watch while paper is shredded.)

Items NOT Accepted:

Ammunition, Fireworks, Explosives, Prescription Drugs, Medications of any kind. 

Council Reception Honors 2018 Graduates and Scholarship Winners Katelyn Brown and Luke Stillwell!

2018 Copper Canyon high school graduates are: Katelyn Brown, daughter of Kirk and Julie Brown of Deer Path; Keegan Douglas-Davis, daughter of Kelly Davis and Robin Douglas of Jernigan Road; Caleb Roessner, son of Cyndee Roessner of East Woodglen; Luke Stillwell, son of Joe and Andrea Stillwell of Orchid Hill Lane; Meredith Sutton, daughter of Rob and Suzanne Sutton of Copper Woods; Madison Taylor, daughter of Mike and Karena Taylor of East Woodglen; and Hailey and Hannah Thompson, twin granddaughters of Larry and Cathy Thompson of South Copper Woods.  Each graduate received a full-size Texas flag with a Congratulations Certificate in their name certifying that their flag had actually flown over the Texas Capitol in Austin.  The college freshmen often use their large Lone Star flag to decorate the wall or ceiling of their dorm room.  Each graduate that did not apply for a scholarship received a $100 gift for their college expenses.  The four graduates attending the Reception in their honor shared their future college plans.

Keegan Douglas-Davis attended Marcus High School and competed nationally and internationally in equestrian competition classes for hunter-jumpers.   She is attending Texas A&M as an economics major.

Madison Taylor was Captain of Marcus High School’s Water Polo Team, one of the first water polo teams with NCAA recognition!  She is attending Austin College with a major in PreMed Biology.

Hailey Thompson took her horse with her to her summer job in Colorado.  She is attending Collin College aiming for a degree in Veterinary Medicine or as a Vet Tech.

Hailey’s twin sister Hannah Thompson will also be attending Collin College.  Her goal is to be a Registered Nurse (RN).

Katelyn Brown and Luke Stillwell each received a $1,000 Copper Canyon Scholarship applied directly to their university tuition!

Each scholarship applicant submits answers to current questions about the strength and challenges of American education in a public, private or home school environment.  The graduates’ evaluation of our educational system is incredibly perceptive and obviously very timely.  Each scholarship applicant also includes references from three people:  teachers, coaches, employers, adult friends, etc.  Excerpts from the applications were read at the Reception and are available for anyone to read at Town Hall.  I’d like to share some of the responses here with those of you who read the “What’s Happening in Copper Canyon” column.  Each year I am so inspired by the intelligence, the dogged perseverance, the simple kindness of this generation of young adults!  I include their “words” below, so you can judge for yourself.

Katelyn Brown:  Katelyn was the Outstanding Soloist (flute) for the Marcus band her senior year.  As one reference said, “Belonging to Marcus High School’s marching band while doing well in school is akin to having, and excelling in, two full-time jobs.”  [Susie Angerbauer]  Amanda Drinkwater, Director of Bands for Marcus, said: “While Katelyn’s musical skills are truly remarkable, her most notable contributions have been as a truly stellar young citizen and ambassador for our program through her daily interactions and behaviors.  She is kind, bright, supportive of her peers, and ALWAYS punctual and prepared.”

Katelyn is concerned about the challenges of education for students whose first language is NOT English.

“One way to solve the language barrier problem of learning could be to assign jobs to teachers who speak a specific language to teach students that speak the same language as the teacher.  This way, the teacher will be able to communicate easily with the student and the student will be able to understand and learn effectively from the teacher.

“Another, possibly simpler solution to this problem, could be to use the advancement of technology to translate the spoken language in the school to the language of the person who speaks a different language through a device.  The student could carry the device around the school and use it to translate the teacher’s lessons to understand what is being taught….

“I am sure that some of these ideas have already been thought of and may also be put into practice, but we need to work harder at helping those who speak different languages to have a quality education to decrease the discrimination against them.”

Katelyn will be attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah majoring in early childhood education.  Her English/German teacher from Highland Village, Susie Angerbauer, said: “I’ve observed how much Katelyn adores younger children and how ardently they adore her right back.  I have often wished my kids were still young enough to be babysat so I could ask Katelyn to watch them!  In the world of parents who are looking for quality babysitters, Katelyn – competent, confident, happy, and an adorer of children – is a rare commodity.”

Luke Stillwell:  Luke had an outstanding athletic career in two sports at Denton ISD’s Guyer High School.  He was a baseball pitcher in the 9th and 10th grade and named to the 2nd Team All District.  But, his first love was playing quarterback in football all four years at Guyer.  He was Friday Night Lights’ Player of the Week in 2016 and Chevrolet Player of the Week in 2017.  He was also named Most Valuable Player in 2017.  And his senior year his fellow classmates voted Luke “Mr. Guyer High School.”

Kyle Keese, Luke’s coach for Strength and Conditioning at Guyer, said: “Luke is an extremely unselfish person, a trait that is sometimes difficult to find in today’s young generation…. Luke has an outstanding work ethic.  He shows up every day willing to give his all.  Luke’s math teacher Carrie French said Luke is “everyone’s friend….and balances his school work with athletics very well.  He is a gifted math student…”  Family friend Paula Couch said Luke is a “natural born leader, but most importantly he uses his magnetic contagious personality to lead others for good.  He has always been as excited for others’ success as his own…. He’s big and strong, but he’s also humble and compassionate.  His family has unofficially fostered and helped a young mom for 3 years with a baby.  To see Luke with his “little sister” is priceless.  He enjoys giving to those who have nothing to give in return.”

Luke’s own words in evaluating American education are thoughtful.  “I believe all students should be given equal opportunity to learn and develop, but we know it is not a level playing field for many students….For inner cities and rural areas entrenched in poverty, the school systems as well as families and communities, have less money and resources….Families might not have the resources to get tutors or able to help struggling students if they are not at home or not educated themselves.  The problem becomes systematic, and it is hard to break out of the poverty cycle without a good education.”

“We should pay teachers more and allow them to creatively teach.  I believe Standardized Testing is a weakness in our educational system.  I have grown up in a school system where many are more concerned about test numbers and absences to sustain funding than allowing teachers to teach children how they learn best.”

“I have seen elementary students and teachers stressed out and under tremendous pressure to perform more than learn.  I am dyslexic and thankful that I had a wonderful creative dyslexia teacher in elementary school.  She taught us that we are all smart but just learn differently.  Some students do not test well and can become discouraged if they do not have people who value all of who they are as a student.”

Scholarship Application questions:  Should schools prepare students to live and work in an increasing global economy?  Luke’s answers:

“The ease of international travel also increases the importance of young people needing to understand international trade and cultures.  And there is no sign of our interconnectedness slowing down, especially as banking systems are continuing to evolve towards a global market and eCommerce demand is continuing to rise.

“Amazon and other large companies are changing the global commerce landscape forever.  Through the internet, not only the demand but the ability to ship and receive goods now happens in a remarkable time.  This includes shipping goods from global markets that once were underdeveloped and unknown…. Unfortunately, I will be graduating without ever taking a course on international marketing or business…. As an American consumer, we are all knowing or unknowingly influencing the global economy.”

What two character traits do you consider your strongest or most positive?”

“My two greatest character strengths are my leadership and work ethic.  They overlap in that I always try to lead by example.  Being the quarterback at Guyer, I obviously lead on the field.  But, my ability to lead on Friday nights comes from what I do every day off the field.  I lead by being the first in the gym and hardest worker.  I lead by my perseverance and determination to never give up.  I lead by encouragement and staying positive.  I lead by recognizing the value of each person and teammate.  I believe if everyone understands that we are only as great as the sum of all the parts, everyone is more willing to work together as a team.”

Luke’s parents, Joe and Andrea Stillwell accepted the large mock $1000 check, as their son was already at Kilgore College playing football as quarterback.  Joe said the $1,000 contribution to Luke’s tuition was most welcome, as there was only three and a half years between their three children.  And having three in college at the same time is an incredible financial challenge.

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About The Author

Sue Tejml is mayor of Copper Canyon, TX.

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