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Former Herald-Tribune writer now a published author and teacher

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By jcht2010

Johnnie Bernhard, author, A Good Girl
By Jessica Coleman
Staff Writer

Former Jackson County resident Johnnie Bernhard, who graduated Ganado High School in 1980 as Johnnie Fritz, has been an English teacher and a journalist whose talents graced the pages of both the Edna Herald and Ganado Tribune. Now, she is a historical fiction author, something she wasn’t always sure she could accomplish.

“I’ve always loved literature and writing, and always dreamed of writing a book,” she said, adding that her responsibilities as a wife and mother, as well as a full time job as an English teacher, made her believe she wouldn’t have the time.

“I could do little sketches, short stories, some really bad poetry,” she laughed, “but I never could immerse myself in writing.”
As her children grew, Bernhard found more time, and a gig writing a column got her in the groove of writing every day.

A Good Girl, published by Texas Review Press, follows Gracey Reiter as she makes peace with her family history, through the writings of her grandmother. Bernhard takes a real location and a fictional family and highlights relatable problems that transcend generations, income brackets, and lifestyles, making A Good Girl a story for anyone and everyone.

For Bernhard, its a dream realized, and proof that sticking to her guns can pay off. The book had already been rejected once, because, according to Berhnard, there was “too much God in it.”

“I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the faith element in the book for more money,” said Bernhard.

The novel is one of William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition’s top ten finalists.

While A Good Girl is Bernhard’s first novel, her literary accolades are many. She’s penned pieces that have appeared in publications around the globe, including The Mississippi Press, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, Word Among Us, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, and more. Her Essay “Ignorance or Innocence” won her Equal Runner-Up honors in the Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Essay Competition.

Currently residing in Mississippi, Berhnard is a literary agent and speaker whose life’s work is not only to write, but to assist aspiring writers in reaching their goals.

A Good Girl, which was compared by Biloxi’s Sun Herald to the writings of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, can be purchased on Amazon, or in bookstores, or from Bernhard’s website, www.johnniebernhardauthor.com.

Berhnard’s second novel, a story about a single mother of a teenager in Houston, is almost finished.

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Source:: jacksonconews.com


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District Innovation plans give schools more local control

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By jcht2010

By Jessica Coleman
Staff Writer

Two Jackson County schools, Edna ISD and Ganado ISD, have approved District of Innovation plans, and Industrial is expected to follow.

District of Innovation plans are plans that allow school districts to “waive” regulations that are counterproductive for the district. The plans are designed to give more control to local administrators and school boards, with the idea in mind that not all regulations work for all schools, and implementing District of Innovation plans allow them a certain amount of autonomy.

Things like school start dates and teacher certification requirements can be left up to districts instead of one-size-fits-all regulations.

Edna ISD Superintendent Robert O’Connor said it’s all about local control. The philosophy is that a school is best governed by those who know the school’s individual situation.

Things like finding teachers for very specialized classes, particularly tech classes, can be difficult for schools, especially given that regulations state that those teachers must have a teaching certification.

“Say you’ve got a drafting or an engineering class,” said O’Connor, “and say there is an engineer in town who is retired willing to come up and teach a class on engineering. He is an engineer. He is probably well-qualified to teach an engineering class.”

Another consideration was the date school is set to start.

Regulations that say school can’t begin until after the fourth Monday in August would mean classes would begin very late that month. The District of Innovation plans allow schools to waive that start date, and begin classes earlier, meaning the calendar can be set for school to let out earlier. O’Connor said Edna ISD’s goal is to end school before Memorial Day.

Among educators, school days after Memorial Day are famously unproductive, as most tests are already taken and studies have concluded. Usually they are used as “fun days.”

Industrial Curriculum Director Missy Klimitchek said one of the options they plan to use is to waive the requirement to notify the community when class size in grades kindergarten through four reach above 22 students.

“Nine times out of 10, we will reach that limit, go through all the paperwork, tie up our resources, and then a student will move away,” she said, “We rarely allow classes to get that large anyway, and those families tend to be more mobile when their kids are in those younger grades. They change schools more regularly than our older students do.”

According to Klimitchek, those resources can now be used on something more productive for student learning.

District of Innovation plans allow districts some wiggle room in educating students, and districts across Texas are making plans that better fit their districts, regarding everything from scheduling, to hiring, to finding what they say are better ways to spend their resources, both financial and otherwise.

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Source:: jacksonconews.com


Special Weather Statement issued March 29 at 2:22AM CDT until March 29 at 7:00PM CDT by NWS

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By w-nws.webmaster@noaa.gov …SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR GUADALUPE…TRAVIS…ATASCOSA… WILSON…WILLIAMSON…SOUTHEASTERN MEDINA…CALDWELL…HAYS… BASTROP…EASTERN FRIO…LEE…CENTRAL GONZALES…SOUTHWESTERN FAYETTE…BEXAR AND COMAL COUNTIES UNTIL 330 AM CDT… At 222 AM CDT, Doppler radar was tracking strong thunderstorms along a line extending from near Granger Dam to near Mustang Ridge to near …read more



TTR Weather Update for Calhoun, Goliad, and Victoria County, Victoria Crossroads, Brush Country, and Coastal Bend.

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…Continued Risk of Severe Thunderstorms Wednesday Morning….

Timing and Overview:

Not much has changed since this morning in terms of areas of concern for the potential of strong to possibly severe thunderstorm activity Wednesday morning. While there could be an isolated strong to severe thunderstorm threat across the Brush Country and Southern Coastal Bend we continue to be the most concerned about areas across the Northern Coastal Bend and Victoria Crossroads. See the image below with our thinking for the timing of the potential storms.
South Texas Impacts:
Tornadoes: Isolated.
Winds: Damaging straight-line winds of 55 to 60 mph are possible.
Hail: Generally 1 inch in diameter or smaller.
Rainfall: Locally heavy rainfall which may contribute to isolated flooding over low-lying areas.

IMG_3483 IMG_3484

Additional Information Resources:
NWS Corpus Christi Webpage: www.weather.gov/corpuschristi
Storm Prediction Center: www.spc.noaa.gov/
Online Severe Weather Reporting: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/StormReport/SubmitReport.php?site=crp

Greg Heavener
NWS Corpus Christi, TX

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