Education notebook: Holocaust survivor visiting Abilene Monday for chat with students

·3 min read

Paula Weissman, a Holocaust survivor, is about to impart some wisdom on a bunch of Abilene high school students from the city's three public high schools.

She'll address the students during a joint event at Wylie High's Performing Arts Center at 10 a.m. Monday.

Former teachers Virginia Schmittou (left) and Sue Siltman catch up with each other at Thursday's luncheon for AISD retirees at the Abilene Convention Center. This luncheon returned after last year's hiatus due to the pandemic.
Former teachers Virginia Schmittou (left) and Sue Siltman catch up with each other at Thursday's luncheon for AISD retirees at the Abilene Convention Center. This luncheon returned after last year's hiatus due to the pandemic.

It's part of her "Me Go America" program. But Weissman has been addressing her life with students for years.

She's roughly the same age as Anne Frank, the literary face of Nazi Germany's cruel treatment of Jewish people in the region, would be if she'd.

Weissman will share stories of her early life, time in concentration camps and stories of her life over the past 70 years living in New York City after the war. It's impressive the celebrities and influential people she's met along her path.

Though it's lengthy, a video is available online of a recent conversation she had in a similar setting, where she tells her story. It can be viewed below or by visiting Youtube.com and searching for her name.

Even more about her life is available on the Museum of Jewish Heritage website, mjhnyc.org.

Around town recently

A lot of fun images and videos have been shared in recent weeks of students doing great things in their communities.

From Abilene High School's FFA helping out at Mission: Thanksgiving collection to marching bands parading through downtown during the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season in the city, there has been a lot to see.

Have a look, courtesy of the organizations' social media:

Abilene High's FFA students volunteered to help collect donations at a recent Mission: Thanksgiving drop off.

Abilene ISD fine arts students sang and performed to joyous crowds as part of City Sidewalks, a return to normal after COVID-19 concerns led to last year's cancelation.

Wylie High School's FFA students in the Radio Broadcasting program qualified for the state contest last week and earned a proper sendoff from their peers. They finished the event as runnerup. Congratulations.

Abilene Christian School students enjoyed some treats, some books and a little quality time with the big guy.

Revolution Strings took their popular fiddlin' on the road to the Brookhollow and River Oaks area. Be sure to follow them to see when and where they may pop up next with a few Christmas tunes.

Decision time

Abilene Independent School District trustees are coming up against the clock regarding whether to split from the Teacher Retirement System's Active Care health plans for current employees or remain part of the program.

For the past two years, AISD has been able to operate both in and out of the plans thanks to rules set by previous legislators. But this past year, those rules were changed to eliminate having two options.

Currently, the district offers a private plan through Aetna along with the Active Care plans.

By the end of the calendar year, the trustees must decide whether to remain in the program. Trustees will meet for the final regular meeting of the year at 6 p.m. Monday at One AISD Center, 241 Pine St.

Leaving Active Care requires the district to be out of the system for five years before possibly rejoining. If that option is taken, the district could provide any number of plans through private insurers. But prices could be higher.

For more agenda items, go to abileneisd.org.

Timothy Chipp covers education and is general assignments reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News. If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.

This article originally appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: Education notebook: Holocaust survivor visiting Abilene Monday

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