September 15, 2020

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

Presentation of High School Diploma to Korean War Veteran Highlights TISD Board of Trustees Meeting for September

Texarkana, TX – With a Public Hearing on Accelerated Instruction Programs for high school students, policy change, presentation of Asynchronous Remote Instruction Plan and a review of 2nd six weeks learning change opportunity for parents/guardians, it was the awarding of a high school diploma to Korean War veteran, Paul Mackey, that was the highlight of the TISD Board of Trustees regular meeting for September 15, 2020.

Paul Ray Mackey was to have received his high school degree in 1954 but was called upon by his country to serve. “Many American students gave up their educational dreams when they left high school to enlist and serve their country during time of war,” said Tina Veal-Gooch, Chief Communications Officer. “Texas Education Code 28.0251 allows school districts to issue a high school diploma to honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in World War II, Korea or Vietnam and were scheduled to graduate from high school between 1940 and 1975. They must complete the required documents provided by the TEA and then submit to the local school district where the veteran was enrolled in high school.”

Sixty-seven years ago in 1953, Korean War veteran Paul.Mackey entered into active duty with the United States Marine Corps during his junior year at Texas High School. “I felt that America needed my help in Korea more than they needed me to finish high school,” said Mackey.

During his 10 years with the US Marines, he served a tour of duty in the infantry, held the position of Admiral’s Aide travelling the world with the Admiral G. C. Towner and was a Drill Instructor. While with the Marines, Mackey took and passed the high school level USAFI GED and the college Level USAFI GED. He was honorably discharged in 1962 as a Sergeant E-5. Awards received included: Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Korea Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal.

After his service with the US Marines, Mackey moved to San Diego, California serving as a member of the San Diego Police Department for two years. He returned home to Texarkana in 1965 becoming the Assistant Manager for Holiday Bowl. Here is where he met the love of his life, Ann Morrow Mackey, a Texas High School teacher.

Mackey was a Bowling Instructor for Texarkana College and wrote articles on bowling for the Texarkana Gazette. He applied and was accepted into the Army Management Intern School at Red River Army Depot where he travelled the US, recruiting persons for the school. Upon graduation from Army Management Intern School, Mackey was assigned to duties at the Army Material Command in St. Louis, Missouri where he remained for the next four years. During his time in St. Louis, he continued his education at Fort Lee, Virginia; developed, designed and tested the newest Army helicopter; and attended college at the University of Missouri.

Mackey’s next assignment would be in Germany working at Heidelberg Command Headquarters, Worms Army Depot and Germersheim Army Depot.

He returned to Texarkana upon being offered a job at Red River Army Depot. While there, Mackey served as the Moral, Welfare & Recreation Division Chief, assisted with other divisions and was involved with the Rod & Gun Club. He retired from Civil Service with Red River Army Depot in 1993.

In the mid-1970s, Mackey joined the United States Army Reserves where he served as a Senior Instructor and Staff Sergeant at one of their teaching schools. He retired from the Army Reserves in 1996 as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Mackey was one of the last of the Korean War veterans to retire from the Army Reserves.

At 84 years young and leaving high school during his junior year to serve his country, Mackey understood then, as he does now, the importance of continuing your education. However, it is coming back to high school to receive his high school diploma that takes his educational path full circle. His words to current students is, “finish your education and do not drop out of high school, regardless of the situation. In this day and age, everyone needs to further their education with college and/or vocational training.”

He and his wife, Ann, have one son, Paul Morrow Mackey, a proud college graduate of Texas A&M University-College Station who is married to Leah Manson Mackey and has two children. Paul’s wife and children are proud graduates of Texas High School.

Other items reviewed and/or approved were:

*Public Hearing on Accelerated Instruction Programs for High School Students. A Public Hearing for public discussion of the 2020 Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Accelerated Instruction Programs for High School Students was held. House Bill 5, 83rd Legislative Session, added a new Texas Education Code 28.0217 to require each school district to provide accelerated instruction in the applicable subject area each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an end-of-course (EOC) assessment instrument;

*Approval of items as surplus. Items no longer useful to the District but still have value and can be sold were declared as surplus. Listing includes: Drums, Drum Quad Sets, Drum Carriers, Drum Quad Case, Toner Cartridges, and Fax Machine. Items will be sold at a later date through an online auction at Rene’ Bates Auctioneers, Inc. Interested persons can bid, at that time, on items at or visit the TISD website at which will take you directly to the district’s page on the online auction site;

*Approval of Policy Revision EIF (Local). PolicyEIF(Local) currently requires that students, not seeking an endorsement, complete an additional four credits beyond the State required 22 credits for graduation. The proposed policy change would allow students attending a TISD alternative school (OPTIONS Academic Alternative High School or eSchool Prep) an exemption for the additional four credits with approval of a student’s Individual Graduation Committee (IGC). This change is recommended since many of our alternative school students come to the district from various districts where they may not have had the opportunity to earn 8 credits a year or may have been in interrupted education situations. Texas High School students will continue to be required to complete the additional four credits;

*Approval of Asynchronous Remote Instruction Plan. TISD has selected the Asynchronous Remote Instruction Model for at-home learners for 2020-21. Asynchronous learning is a curricular experience where students engage in the learning materials on their own time, interacting intermittently with the teacher via the computer or other electronic devices. Asynchronous ADA method established as a Commissioner waiver required for LEAs to submit a plan to TEA for approval. Plans must address four key requirements:

  • Instructional Schedule: expectations for when and in what setting students are learning - loosely equivalent to an on-campus instructional day;
  • Material Design: curriculum must be designed for asynchronous student learning;
  • Student Progress: daily student progress is defined and measured;
  • Implementation: the LEA must provide educators with support to provide remote instruction;

TISD has already submitted the notification of its intent to develop an Asynchronous Plan prior to the first day of instruction. TISD will submit the approved plan for TEA review and approval. TEA is allowing for adjustments to be made and the plan resubmitted if there are any areas of refinement needed. The Asynchronous Plan must be approved by TEA by the end of the first semester. Board action is required and can be done in advance of the final plan submission to authorize the superintendent to submit the plan once the plan is finalized;

*Smart Restart Learning Change Opportunity. By September 18, TISD Parents/Guardians have the opportunity to change their student's learning instruction for the 2nd Six Weeks (September 28 - November 6) to Traditional On-Campus Learning. In order for the learning option to be changed, a Parent/Guardian must complete a Traditional On-Campus Learning Change Form.

Per Texas Education Agency guidelines, Parents/Guardians must commit to Traditional On-Campus Learning if their student(s) has been listed as an At-Home Remote Learner during the previous six weeks. One form must be completed for each student.

The Traditional On-Campus Learning Change Form can be completed on-line at or a paper copy can be completed and turned in to the student's campus by Friday, September 18.
Parents/Guardians who have questions are encouraged to contact their student’s home campus office.

The next meeting for the TISD Board of Trustees will be Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

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