Glasby Steps up For Her Students

Cypress Texas
Posted March 29, 2016

Cy-Fair, TX (March 29,2016) Cy-Fair ISD second-grade teacher at Sheridan Elementary School is changing her students’ lives one step at a time, and doing so landed her on the Ellen DeGeneres Show as a guest

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Written by Lorrie Crow Kimble | Select photography courtesy of Shani Glasby

Shani Glasby says teaching is what she was put on Earth to do. “It is my purpose in life,” she says. “Ever since second grade, I wanted to impact children the way my secondgrade teacher, Mrs. Miller, impacted my life.” As a child, Glasby was always involved in dierent activities. “Sheridan Elementary did not have any extracurricular activities because most parents could not aord it. So I brought a program to them.” is is how the Star Steppers program came to life.

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Every Experience Possible
Star Steppers program is Glasby’s dream and vision that she partially paid for with her own money. “I want my students to have every experience possible,” she says. “No amount of money will allow me to stop my students from gaining life experiences.” Sheridan Elementary Principal Gina Guidry admits she was a little cautious but excited to start Star Steppers. “I thought it was a great idea since our school had no afterschool, non-academic programs for our students.” Although Glasby was new to the school, Guidry says she knew Glasby brought a great deal of energy to everything. “I was not prepared for the intensity and gusto that she would bring to the step program.

CFM_SP_16_life-changing teacher_Star Steppers Jazz Hands_photo by Lara Massey

Students sign up at the beginning of the year for the dance program. If the sign-up packet is turned in by the deadline, students are allowed to try out for the team, according to Glasby. Students practice twice a week for an hour and a half and must maintain passing grades. “I am the choreographer for all of the performances,” says Glasby, who adds that she has been in dance since she was a child. “I continued dancing through high school and for a year and a half in college.” Aer she le the dance team, Glasby started a step team on her college campus.

CFM_SP_16_life-changing teacher_Shani Glasbyjpg_photo by Lara Massey

Stepping into Greatness
Glasby says she has seen changes in her step dance students regarding their grades and behavior. “Students work hard to be positive role models and they have gained condence,” says Glasby. “ey have learned to believe in themselves, to never give up just because they got it wrong the rst time.” ese are values that will take them farther in life,” she adds. Tricia Macaulay, mother to Star Stepper Kayleigh McDonald, says the biggest impact on her daughter is her condence. “She ‘stepped’ out of her comfort zone and tried something new,” she says. “is program has given Tiana more condence and self-awareness of facing dierent walks of life,” says another parent, Tanika Aggison, about her daughter

Keeping up good grades and behavior with weekly agenda checks has not gone unnoticed by the parents. “Nicolas takes this very seriously,” says his mother Tracy Valadez. “He has learned how to make time for studying, completing homework, and making it to practice. I believe this is preparing him for middle school.”

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Featured on the Ellen Show
Last year the step team was invited to be on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I honestly don’t know how I got invited,” says Glasby, adding she absolutely loves and admires Ellen. “I created a ‘happy holidays’ step for my kids to perform for her, posted it on her Ellentube page, and a year later, I got a call from a representative of her show.” Going to the Ellen DeGeneres Show was the number one thing on her bucket list, Glasby says. “It was very cool to be at the studio and see how her show works. Actually being on the stage and sitting in her chair was life-changing.” Guidry says that the team has brought a great deal of pride for Sheridan Elementary by being nationally recognized on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “The students have shown that hard work and dedication pays off in very positive ways.” Glasby is very grateful to Ellen, “This was something neither my kids nor I will ever forget. Their lives have been touched, which warms my heart.” CFM

LORRIE CROW KIMBLE loves to dance but her family doesn’t think she should put her video on Ellentube or any tube, for that matter.

Love from the Steppers

“I like interacting with friends and being on a team is very fun.” – Kayleigh McDonald

“It helps me improve my grades and behavior. Without the step team, I wouldn’t feel I belong anywhere.” – Nicolas Valadez

“It helps me get out of my shell and do things I would never have done before, especially in front of a lot of people.” – Tiana Aggison

“I get to hang out with my friends and learn new things.” – Reese Manning

“It helps me keep my grades up.” – Morgan Smith

“I make a lot of new friends and learn new steps I can do in the future.” – April Diaz

“It brings us closer and brings out our inner self.” – Angelina Sonnier

“It gives me the opportunity to do something, have fun, and meet new people.” – Tristan Sinville

“It’s something you can do after school and you feel like you belong.” – Julisa Mejicanos