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Commerce ISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

Commerce ISD Receives National Recognition for Music Education Support

[Commerce, Texas] – [April 2, 2024] – Commerce ISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students. 

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Commerce ISD Fine Arts Director, Kara Wallace, answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“I am thrilled to witness the profound impact of music education on both our district and its students, particularly as we celebrate being honored with the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education Award. Through music, we foster creativity, discipline, and collaboration, shaping well-rounded individuals ready to face the challenges of tomorrow. This designation reaffirms our commitment to nurturing the artistic talents of our students and further solidifies music as an integral part of our educational framework,” said Wallace. “The designation bestowed upon us as recipients of the Best Communities for Music Education Award will serve as a catalyst for the growth and enhancement of our music education program. It validates the hard work and dedication of our educators and students while also attracting additional resources and support. With this recognition, we are empowered to expand opportunities, enrich curriculum, and ensure that every student has access to the transformative power of music education.”

Senior Oboist, Oliver Roberts, shares why music education is important. “I've experienced firsthand how vital music education is. Beyond just playing notes, it teaches me discipline, patience, and perseverance. Music is like a language that connects us all, allowing me to express myself in ways I couldn't with words alone. It's not just about hitting the right pitches; it's about understanding emotions, working together with my peers, and striving for excellence. Music education isn't just important; it's essential for shaping well-rounded individuals who are ready to take on the world.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well. In addition, everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism. 
About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 global member companies and individual professionals worldwide. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit

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Hall of Honor Invitation Image

Four Commerce High School graduates and one former Commerce ISD staff member will be inducted into the Commerce ISD Hall of Honor during luncheon ceremonies on October 21. The program recognizes former students of CHS or Norris School who have had distinguished careers and staff members who have made a significant impact on the students of CISD or Norris School.

This year’s honorees include Betty Casselberry, former CISD director of finance from 1984 to 2000; Amy Johnson, CHS class of 1978; Jimmy Ogden, CHS class of 1991; Eddie Pannell, CHS class of 1992; and Jerry Speight, CHS Class of 1958.

The luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m., Friday, October 21 at the CISD Central Administration Building.

Reservations for the event can be made by calling 903 886-3755 or by sending a check to Commerce ISD, Hall of Honor Reservations, 3315 Washington St., Commerce, TX 75428. Tickets are $20 each. Deadline for reservations is October 17.

Honorees will also be recognized at the CHS pep rally that afternoon and during homecoming pre-game activities at 7 p.m. that night.

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iWatch Texas School Safety Program

iWatchTexas School Safety is an invaluable resource for reporting (and ensuring law enforcement in partnership with school systems quickly and effectively responds to) suspicious activity in schools and communities. iWatchTexas is the entry point for reports to enter the Texas Suspicious Activity Reporting Network (TxSARNet), a single, statewide reporting system that ensures tips from different parts of the community are integrated in order to link critical data. iWatchTexas includes functionality that permits district police and other campus security personnel to directly access submitted reports related to their campus/district.

Tips can be reported anonymously via the iWatch School Safety website, the free iOS and Android mobile apps, or by calling 844-643-2251. All reports are confidential.

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Commerce ISD broke ground on the new Commerce Middle School at a district-wide ceremony on Monday, August 8th.

students, administrators and school board dig with shovels for groundbreaking

Excitement is building in Commerce ISD and so is the district! CISD broke ground on the brand-new middle school this past Monday, August 8th. This celebratory event was commemorated with a ceremony for students, staff, families, and community members.

“I’m very proud to stand before you this morning. I’m proud of our community, I’m proud of our parents, I’m proud of our staff, and proud of our students” said Superintendent Charlie Alderman to kick off the groundbreaking. “What we are officially starting today could not come to pass without the support and dedication of all of these different groups.”

Supt Alderman speaking at Groundbreaking

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2024, the new Commerce Middle School is a state-of-the-art facility designed exclusively for CISD. Claycomb Associates, Architects worked with campus and district administration, as well as CMS teachers, to address academic, athletic, career tech, and fine arts needs. The result is a one-of-kind school that showcases Commerce’s commitment to educational excellence.

CMS is relocating to Sregit Drive and will be located beside our current high school. The new secondary campus, which is being built by Jackson Construction, will be equipped with the latest classroom technology, robotics lab, and share many amenities with the high school including the ag shop and multipurpose facility. 

teachers running through banner

Eight Tiger students who will one day learn in the new CMS, as well as the district’s Board of Trustees, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. The Roaring Tiger Band also provided a lot of school spirit with the fight song as the CMS teachers ran through a “CMS 2024” banner.

To close his part of the ceremony, Superintendent Alderman mentioned his roots in Commerce and the support of the Commerce community in the bond process. “Having grown up in Commerce, I am so honored to be a part of this. There are not many tangible times where you can see the support for the students and faculty of a school district. I am so happy that our staff and students can see how much their community supports them and believes in the work that they’re doing.”

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