Monthly Archives: August 2013

Coupland Students are Back for the Fall Semester

Coupland School is off to a good start for the 2013-2014 school year.  Superintendent Gary Chandler is happy to report, “Our student enrollment is up slightly from last year.  We now have 107 students.”  The annual Meet the Teacher night, which included a hot dog dinner, was August 22, and the first day of class was Monday, August 26.

This summer, the parking lot was repaired and has not been restriped yet.  It will be re-striped within the next two weeks, but until then parents are asked to remain in their lanes when dropping off or picking up students and to avoid pulling around other cars.  Mr. Chandler asks, “For now, please use extra caution and help keep our students safe.”

Long-time Coupland teacher Marquita Ferguson has retired, and she will be greatly missed.  She taught  two of our daughters and our granddaughter, so we know first-hand what an excellent teacher she is.  She was known for her annual Living History Museum project.  Her students studied the historic person of their choice, wrote and memorized an account of their person’s life and accomplishments, and created costumes.  On the day of the Museum, the students would stand in costume.  Students from other grades and families would tour the Museum.  When visitors pushed a “button” on the historical figure, the student would tell the visitor about their character.  This was a great learning experience in many ways.

Coupland student listens to "Annie Oakley" during Mrs. Ferguson's Living History Museum.

Coupland student listens to “Annie Oakley” during Mrs. Ferguson’s Living History Museum.

Mrs. Ferguson speaks with "Benjamin Franklin" at a past Living History Museum.

Mrs. Ferguson speaks with “Benjamin Franklin” at a past Living History Museum.

Dayna Dyess will be teaching the first grade, and the new third-grade teacher is Laura Steele.  The new Middle School science teacher is Austin Chandler, who also will coach the Cowboys.

The school lost long-time Middle School math teacher Diane Mead.  For several years, Ms. Mead prepared her students so well that they were ahead of students from other schools when they entered high school. The new math teacher is Steven Markowski; he also will assist Austin Chandler in coaching the Cowboys.  Veronica Ruiz is the new PE teacher and the coach for the Cowgirls.

Another loss was technology director Carolyn Lowry.  In addition to teaching computer skills and managing the school’s technology, Ms. Lowry also gathered historic accounts and pictures for the school’s Centennial Celebration in 2012, organized special events, and did volunteer landscaping around the school.

There also are new faces in the school office.  Shelley Stautz, who worked in the office several years ago and is a graduate of Coupland School, is the new business manager.  Joyce Rodriguez is the office assistant.

The Cowgirls volleyball team is already practicing and preparing for their first game on September 5 at 4:30 p.m., which will be at home against McDade.  The Cowboys football team also will  see action at home against McDade on September 5 at 5 p.m.

Coupland Cowgirls volleyball team in action during a previous season.

Coupland Cowgirls volleyball team in action during a previous season.

The PTA has had their first meeting and is planning this year’s Harvest Festival, which will be Saturday, November 9.  They are looking for donations for the auction and raffle.  Their next meeting will be Tuesday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m., in the work room.  The Harvest Festival, with the traditional turkey dinner and many activities, is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser.  Funds are used to help the students—such as buying additional supplies, athletic uniforms, and other things that the school could not afford without this help.

  • This Week at St. Peter’s Church of Coupland – September 1, 2013

    Submitted by Pastor Frank Dietz

    Pastor Frank chats with a member of the congregation at the close of services on May 12.

    Pastor Frank chats with a member of the congregation after services on May 12.

    Sunday takes us into September and our “excursion” is into facets of Creation.  This Sunday gives focus to the Oceans, their gifts and challenges and all the related water issues on our Planet Earth.  Job and the Psalter will give us counsel.  For some, the month may be a surprise in terms of the many ways creation and Creator are explored in scripture.  Likewise, the dominance of the flood image keeps us anxious and presents an interesting sense of a God who “holds back” and “contains” the waters beneath, around, above.  While we of sustained drought would long for a finger out of the dome for increased measure, the image of an involved God is full of wonder.



    Psalm 104:1-9, 24-26

    Job 38:1-18

    Ephesians 1:3-10

    Luke 5:1-11

  • Cooking Class Was a Scrumptious Success

    Submitted by Barbara Piper

    Sixteen individuals along with several assistants gathered in the lovely home of Cole Barton and Nicole Kertis to observe, participate and enjoy the latest Civic Organization’s Cooking Class.


    Peter Wabbel continues to do a fantastic job of varying menus for each class and this class was definitely no exception.  Since the prep work is very lengthy, Peter normally does most of the prep work prior to the class but does demonstrate what each course entails.

    Peter started the evening with tips on preparing his whole wheat pizza dough.  Individual pizzas were made and grilled.  Did you know that one can mix all of the ingredients and top the pizza immediately rather than layering? Texas salad greens with delicious blackberry vinaigrette was also served during the first course.

    Peter Wabbel, from a previous class.

    Peter Wabbel, from a previous class.

    His chilled yellow pepper soup garnished with scallop cerviche verde was absolutely tasty as well as beautifully presented.  And yes, the lime juice used to marinate the scallops does actually cook them!  Great treat!

    Grilled lamb was featured for the next course.  It was grilled to perfection and served with a duet of port wine and goat cheese cream sauce.  Yum!  The tomato ragout was a perfect compliment for the lamb as well as the garlic herbed couscous.  Of course, portions are always ample (just ask Carolyn from Round Rock, who always brings a to-go container with her).

    The final course was beautifully displayed fried ice cream served on a bed of dried cranberry sauce, swirled with a sour cream and whipping cream.  The fried ice cream was scrumptious!

    Peter is always ably assisted by his wife, Ruby.  Other board members, their spouses, and Cole’s parents assisted during this class.  Nicole especially enjoyed swirling the sauces on the desert plate for Peter’s fried ice cream presentation.  It was truly a remarkable evening!

  • Williamson County Fights Back Against Mortgage Fraud

    [Publisher’s Note: If you aren’t familiar with the issues surrounding the extensive mortgage fraud over the past few years, I suggest you check out a book called “Clouded Titles” by Dave Kreiger. If you have bought or sold any property in the past decade or so, what you don’t know could hurt you.]



    August 19, 2013 (Williamson County, TX) – On August 13, 2013, the Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Malouf & Nockels, LLP to represent the County in the prosecution of a lawsuit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), MERSCORP, Inc., Bank of America, National Association, and those acting in concert with them in claims arising out of the Defendants’ recordation or failure to record instruments related to promissory notes and/or mortgage obligations on real estate located in Williamson County. The Commissioners Court approved Malouf & Nockels, LLP to represent Williamson County as lead counsel together with the Williamson County Attorney’s Office which will be co-counsel on the case. The suit seeks injunctive relief to compel the Defendants to cease the practices of filing documents incorrectly naming MERS as a beneficiary and to compel MERS to records transfers among members with the County Clerk’s Office, together with a monetary recovery for lost recording fees. The contract with Malouf & Nockels, LLP is a contingency contract, meaning that Malouf & Nockels, LLP are only paid fees and costs out of a monetary recovery, if there is a monetary recovery for Williamson County against the Defendants. Malouf & Nockels, LLP currently represents Dallas, Harris and Brazoria Counties in a similar suit pending in federal court in Dallas,Texas.

    Pursuant to prior Commissioners Court approval, Williamson County together with Cameron County recently filed a motion to intervene in the currently pending lawsuit by Nueces County against the same Defendants in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas – Corpus Christi Division.


  • Your Federal Congressman

    If you live in Coupland, you are in the 31st Congressional District, just barely. Some people in the 78615 zip code are in the 17th District. If so, Bill Flores is your man.

    Otherwise, most Couplanders are represented by John Carter.


    Here is his local contact information.

    John Carter (31st District)

    One Financial Centre

    1717 North IH 35

    Suite 303

    Round Rock, TX 78664

    (512) 246-1600

  • National Night Out Was a Hit!

    National Night Out took place on August 6 at the Coupland Depot and was very well attended, despite the early August heat. Shade and a good breeze goes a long way when temperatures hover around 100 degrees.

    With its recently repaired steps and platform, the caboose was a kid magnet!

    With its recently repaired steps and platform, the caboose was a kid magnet!



    After a period of greeting old friends an making new ones, Barbara Piper, President of the Coupland Civic Organization, introduced a few folks who took a little time to share news and information and otherwise reach out to the good people of Coupland.

    IMG_4169Deputy Matt Kreidel, of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, spoke about security and preventing fraud. He reminded people to lock their homes and vehicles and to clear their mailboxes. He talked about email scams on Craigslist and suggested that instead of using debit cards in public (like at a restaurant) you should consider using prepaid credit cards. He mentioned the grandparent help scam, where people call grandma, pretending to be a grandchild in trouble, and get the hapless elder to wire money to them. These scammers often get personal information from Facebook and other social media and make excuses for why they don’t sound like themselves.



    County Commissioner Ron Morrison (4th precinct) said, he could have gone to other places for National Night Out but that he had a warm spot in his heart for Coupland because he got 75 percent of the vote in Coupland in the last election. He got a good response when he went on to say, “You’re not the largest city in my precinct but you’re the newest.”




    Morrison chimed in on the security theme. He said he used to be a used car salesman and he knows how car sales are done. He said that if you are selling a car on Craigslist, make sure you meet the potential buyers in a public place.

    Pete Correa, Commissioner Morrison’s Executive Assistant, attended the event but did not speak.

    IMG_4172Coupland Fire Chief, Tracy Gardner, spoke about people burning trash and brush. He said that if someone complains about a fire, such as when smoke is blowing into people’s homes, the fire department must put it out. He said that they also have to put out controlled burns if they can’t find the land owner.

    The Coupland Fire Department rolled out a few fire trucks, to the delight of all the kids at the event.

    IMG_4173Jerry and Arlene Kaufman, volunteers from the Victim Assistance Unit of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, spoke about their work. Jerry described themselves as “first responders for emotional support.” He said they provide emotional support at a crime scene so law enforcement personnel can do their job. He reported that they have 40 volunteers on the team and that they may be called out by the Sheriff’s office, fire departments, or municipal police.


    Kaufman said they always need new volunteers and that volunteers usually work only one day per week. Click on their Williamson County Victim Assistance Unit website page for more information.


    Food for the event was provided by the Civic Organization. Becky Sutton made the delicious chili, which nicely complemented the grilled hot dogs. Several folks baked cookies.

  • Monday Night at the Movies at The Howard Theatre in Taylor

    Publisher’s Note: If you haven’t been to the Howard Theater in Taylor lately you are in for a treat! Comfy seats, digital projection and awesome sound is waiting for you. All shows, all times are only $6.50 but they just started “Monday Night at the Movies” and admission is . . . drum roll please . . . FREE!

    The following is from the Howard Theatre websiteIMG_4058

    This week’s “Monday night at the movies:”

    JURASSIC PARK   (PG-13  1993….yeah, 20 yrs ago)

    Monday night at 8:30pm  admission if FREE

    Movies that need to be seen….again.

    We all have certain favorite movies which we really enjoyed, they were phenomenal at the time but have since been pushed aside in our minds by more recent amazements ( Squirrel! )

    We can always revisit these old friends by renting a DVD (if you can find it) and plopping down in front of the tube; But some films need a bigger screen. And some films need to be shared. And some films need to be seen by audiences who might not have seen them in the past, and might not be willing to give it a second glance.

    The American Film Institute has a list of the top 100 films of all time. The are considered the most important and most influential movies ever made. They are amazing movies. I don’t disagree with anything on the list. BUT…the AFI is a bunch of old fuddy-duddies. Their list seems to stop in the early 80’s. Lots of good stuff has happened since then. And lots of good stuff happened before that, but didn’t make their list. And many of those classic films move at a pace that is more reflective of the times in which they were made and some of our current audiences lack the patience to sit through dialog without frequent explosions or frantic CGI eye-candy. I’m not complaining, that stuff pays the bills. But every now and then I really want to run a GOOD movie, and not just a POPULAR movie…huge difference.

    We will soon begin doing “Monday-night Movies” where we will play two classic or modern-classic movies. Yes, we will still have our current releases playing on Mondays, but we will have those showings earlier in the day, around 3pm. The “Monday-night Movies” features will be free admission. And since I fully understand, respect, and appreciate that not everyone will or should agree with my taste in what constitutes a “good movie” we will develop a process of having yall suggest and then vote on which films we will show.

    Yes, I want to play the classics like “Citizen Kane”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. But there are also some westerns out there which are entertaining and informative, like “How the West Was Won”, “Cimarron”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Cowboys”. There are entertaining and informative war movies like “The Longest Day” “A Bridge too Far” and “Saving Private Ryan”, There are fantastic family features like “Dumbo”, “Pinocchio”, The Apple Dumpling Gang”, “Gremlins”, “Labyrinth” . There are musicals like “Oklahoma”, “South Pacific” and “Paint your Waggon” (Yes, Clint Eastwood can sing) and “My Fare Lady”. There are films that could just best be described as….weird…”The Jerk”, “Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein”, “Clockwork Orange” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “2001 Space Odyssey”, “Spaceballs”. And, of course, there are modern wonders of cinematic perfection like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, “Fried Green Tomatoes”, “Forrest Gump”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” , “Amadeus”, “Jaws”, “On Golden Pond”, “Ordinary People”.

    Ohhhhh so much to choose from…..

    So stay tuned for further developments. This is gonna be fun.