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6/25/2001 Navarro College trio honored

From Staff Reports

Navarro College has announced the 2001 National Institute for Staff and Organization Development recipients: McAfee Daniel, English instructor; Sharron Jordan, computer science instructor; and Pearl Skewes, office technology coordinator/instructor.

"Since its beginning in 1978, NISOD has emphasized the importance of teaching excellence in open-door settings," said Margot Perez-Greene, director of NISOD. "Our conferences, workshops, and publications endeavor to reinforce the primacy of teaching and to celebrate both instructors and programs that make good on the promise of the open door."

The NISOD Excellence Awards were established in 1989 to support individual colleges in recognition of faculty who illustrate a genuine dedication to their profession - teaching - at home and abroad. NISOD recognizes over 1,000 Excellence Awards recipients each year at its annual conference. The recipients are chosen by their peers and receive NISOD teaching medallions, which they wear while attending the annual conference. During the closing session of the conference, each recipient is given individual recognition with special honors while surrounded by their colleagues and family.

"Navarro College congratulates Mr. Daniel, Ms. Jordan, and Ms. Skewes for their teaching excellence and daily dedication to their students. Thanks for all that you do to make Navarro a superior learning institution," said Dr. Richard Sanchez, president of Navarro College.

Photo: Navarro College 2001 NISOD recipients are, left to right, Pearl Skewes, McAfee Daniel and Sharron Jordan.

All rights to this story reserved. Copyright Corsicana Daily Sun and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc,. Content  may not be archived, retransmitted, saved in a database, or used for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun and CNHI.

April 27, 2002


For me, Navarro College came into existence just in the niche of time, for I dreamed of attending college but had insufficient funds to attend a senior college for four years. Even with limited physical resources and equipment (partly army surplus), Navarro College in '46 offered a strong, dedicated administration and faculty and a fledging student body, composed of recent high school graduates and World War II veterans, who had a necessary intangible "can do" spirit.

Earlier Navarro County and its leaders had a far reaching mission of what a junior college could contribute to its citizens and voted overwhelmingly to create an institution for which Navarro could point with pride. Thus the college was fortunate to secure well trained and dedicated faculty and an administration who would challenge both teachers and 200 plus students to work together to create a viable learning environment.

Starting at ground zero, faculty and students became "Bulldog" backers, published year books and a student newspaper, selected our "Zeta Omicron" chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and rallied around both cheerleaders and a formidable football team. It was an invigorating time to participate in Navarro's first graduating class of '48, all 23 of us. In five short years, Navarro had selected a permanent site, at 3200 W. Second for its ideal location.

Some years later, I returned to Navarro to find my niche in faculty circles with educators I most admired as a student: Margaret Pannill, Lucile Boyd, "Doc" Edgar, each of whom retired here and whose name is legendary.

I have known personally the five presidents who have lead Navarro, each of whom have had a vision of what Navarro could become and worked unstintingly to help achieve this dream of Navarro's future. Some were builders; others expanded programs widely as Navarro utilized "cutting edge" technology to train an even larger, diverse population. College trustees employed each president, men of vision, who in turn have enlarged the dream, working closely with community leaders and benefactors to erect buildings, often named for those who have meant so much to Navarro's welfare.

Students began their career at Navarro and soared to higher degrees to become doctors, dentists, bankers, lawyers, college professors, teachers, business men and women, professional athletes. Most attest to Navarro's role in attaining their career goals, and many have returned to Corsicana and Navarro County to contribute both to the community and the college.

Navarro College has excelled in academic endeavors and received national recognition in various sports: Football, softball, baseball, tennis, and cheerleading. For teams have traveled widely to represent Navarro, as they tested their mettle in these competitive sports. Administration and faculty have played a major role in Navarro's total commitment to excellence while encouraging a diverse student population from across the world to join our ranks.

The English poet, Goldsmith, said it best in a poem when he offered a moving tribute to his own father, the school master: "He allured to better worlds and led the way." Cannot the same be said about Navarro College as an Institution with a legacy that has spanned 57 years?

I have experienced Navarro, first as a student and later as an English teacher for some 30 plus years. Our college represents one of Navarro County's best and lasting treasures.

McAfee Daniel is a resident of Corsicana.

12/12/2003 Sassified: Bulldog fast becoming Navarro's unofficial mascot

Francesca Sampseo of Frost owns 'Sassy,' the unofficial mascot for the Navarro College Bulldogs. Daily Sun photo/SCOTT HONEA

By MICAH CHAPLIN/Daily Sun Staff

At most home games, the only mascot that wanders around the crowd is a two-legged one, but thanks to one Navarro College student, a live bulldog has quickly taken over.

Sassy, a 3-year-old American Bulldog has warmed the hearts of students and marched proudly around Navarro athletic events. She is one of four bulldogs owned by Francesca Sampseo of Frost, a first-year student at Navarro College.

"I was working in the financial aid office, and I asked them who organized the pep rallies. They told me to go talk to (Director of Student Activities Roy) Happy (Solis)," Sampseo said. "When I told him I had a real bulldog, he told me I should bring her around to the games and pep rallies."

So, Sampseo began bringing Sassy with her to games, catching the eye and hearts of many students. Sampseo says the crowds don't bother Sassy at all.

"She was scared of the drums at the football games at first, but she really likes the attention she gets from all the students. She's always rolling over for people to pet her," Sampseo said.

In addition, students have given Sassy a very warm reception since her debut at a mid-season football game. She also attends basketball and soccer games.

"A lot of people think bulldogs are ugly or mean, but for some reason they're all drawn to Sassy," Sampseo said. "Even people who say they don't like dogs have admitted to liking Sassy."

"Everyone knows Sassy now," Solis said. "Whenever they see her, they say her name."

And what's not to like? With big brown eyes and a seemingly permanent grin, Sassy appears to know no strangers. At athletic events, she wastes no time introducing herself to strangers or greeting old friends, like the members of the Student Government Association. Her favorite person, however, is Solis.

"Whenever we get to the games, the first thing she does is find Happy. She just loves Happy," Sampseo said.

And the feeling is mutual. Although Sampseo has no desire to give Sassy up, Solis would definitely be one of the many interested in taking her home.

"I'm always telling Francesca, 'I'm going to steal Sassy.' She's a great dog," Solis said. "We're glad to have her at all the events, it's been awhile since we've had a real bulldog."

Solis recalls another live bulldog that was around while he was a Navarro College student, but believes that dog was also the pet of another student. And he says Navarro did have its own live mascot at one time.

"I've heard the story about Beauregard, the original mascot. But he passed away and they say he's buried in the courtyard, but we don't know for sure," Solis said.

Regardless, Solis is thankful to Sampseo for sharing Sassy with the students and community of Navarro College.

"It means a lot to people around here," Solis said. "The big red bulldog is fine, but having a real bulldog is completely different."


All rights to this story reserved. Copyright Corsicana Daily Sun and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc,. Content  may not be archived, retransmitted, saved in a database, or used for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun and CNHI.


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