Fuller, Booker talk education, board leadership

Early voting continues in the District 1 runoff for Midland ISD school board.

James Fuller and Michael Booker were the top-2 vote-getters from the Nov. 3 election and the winner of the Dec. 15 runoff will represent the east Midland area that includes areas around the following campuses: Milam Elementary, Lee Freshman High School, Pease Communications and Technology, Coleman High School, Gen. Tommy Franks Elementary (the former Crockett Elementary), Washington STEM Academy and Carver Center.

Those in precincts 201, 203, 305, 308 and 310 are eligible to vote.

The following is a recap of comments made from both men during the Reporter-Telegram Facebook Forum held in October.

About questions they would ask during upcoming superintendent interviews.

Fuller: He would focus primarily on a candidate’s vision for the district and philosophy in regards to education and working with a school board. Specifically, he would ask about familiarity with Lone Star Governance as Fuller said during the form the he believes in the program. “That is where we are and (the candidate’s response) will tell me whether they will be a good fit.”

Fuller also said he will ask about a candidate’s history in working with communities and how to build a “productive relationship” with the community in Midland.

Booker: He said he will ask about where a candidate standards on academics, the person’s vision for academics for Midland ISD and what motivates the person to be a superintendent for Midland ISD.

About what they think the board can improve on and where the district is lagging

Booker: He said teacher morale was a big issue and that the district needed to get their trust back. “They have to trust us not to retaliate in a negative way.” Booker said he worried this impacts motivation in the classroom.

Fuller: While Fuller said there is a morale issue, he said he didn’t believe it was an “across-the-board phenomenon that continues to stifle progress.” He said if that were the case, the district wouldn’t have seen turnaround taking place. He said board members have a goal of providing more autonomy to the campuses. That transition, he said, will take time. He also said that there is a morale problem from top down and bottom up in the district, but that the community asked for change and innovation and leadership has brought that to the table.

Fuller also took the opportunity to say that no board member can turn anything around by himself or herself – a “naïve notion” that some candidates have, he said. “It is what you do in concert with the board members and superintendent that make up the team of eight.”

About whether the System of Great Schools in working in Midland

Booker: The System of Great Schools is not working as nine schools are failing, including five campuses in District 1, he said. “I think we need to find something different. We need to go to the teachers to see if they can figure out something that will work.”


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Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power 5 college football game

Fuller took the opening kickoff in the third quarter. The low kick sailed 30 yards before Missouri’s Mason Pack downed it at his team’s 35-yard line.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, you have witnessed history,” Vanderbilt Football tweeted with a video of Fuller being congratulated on the sideline after the kick.

She became the first woman to officially take the field during a football game in a Southeastern Conference and Power 5 Conference game, according to the Vanderbilt athletics’ website.

The Power 5 is made up of the biggest athletic conferences, including the SEC, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference.

“I think it’s amazing and incredible. But I’m also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can,” Fuller told the school before the game. “Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down in any way.”
Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller adjusts her helmet during NCAA college football practice on  Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fuller is a goalkeeper for the Vanderbilt women’s soccer team. Her opportunity came because many of Vanderbilt’s specialists are in quarantine due to Covid-19, according to the school and ESPN. Head football coach Derek Mason told ESPN Fuller “is an option for us.”

“She’s got a strong leg. We’ll see what that yields,” Mason told the sports network. “We’ll figure out what that looks like on Saturday.”

Fuller plans to wear the message “Play Like A Girl” on the back of her helmet Saturday to encourage other young women, according to Vanderbilt.

Two other women have also played in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) contests, Vanderbilt says. Katie Hnida did it first when she kicked two extra points for the University of New Mexico against Texas State in 2003. Then came April Goss, who kicked an extra point for Kent State during their 2015 game against Delaware State.

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Vanderbilt’s Fuller wants to inspire female athletes after making college football history

(Reuters) – Sarah Fuller hopes to inspire young female athletes to follow their dreams after becoming the first woman to play in a Power 5 conference football match when she delivered the opening kick of the second half for Vanderbilt against Missouri Tigers on Saturday.

a man playing a game of baseball: FILE PHOTO: NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Missouri

© Reuters/Hunter Dyke
FILE PHOTO: NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Missouri

Fuller, a goalkeeper for Vanderbilt University women’s soccer team, took the field for the Commodores men’s football team as place kicker in the third quarter and sent a low kick to the 35-yard line, carving her name in American sports history.

“I haven’t taken a second to soak it all in, really. I think it’s incredible that I am able to do this,” Fuller said. “All I want to is be a good influence to the young girls. There were times that I struggled in sports but I am thankful I stuck with it.

“I just want to say, literally, you can do anything you set your mind to – that’s the No. 1 thing.”

Fuller did not get an opportunity to kick an extra point or field goal as Vanderbilt’s offense sputtered en route to a 41-0 defeat.

Fuller, who made the trip with the men’s team to Missouri after several members of the squad were put in quarantine due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, said she was overwhelmed by the response she had received on social media.

“When I’m in the moment and in person and doing all this stuff, it feels normal and it feels right,” Fuller added. “The social media aspect has just gone way more than I ever thought. It’s insane.”

Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason tipped his hat to Fuller.

“She wasn’t trying to set some landmark event. She was just trying to help really where she could,” Mason said.

No woman had appeared in an SEC game or the Power 5, a group of college football’s largest conferences. Liz Heaston in 1997 became the first woman to play and score in a college football game when she kicked two extra points in Willamette University’s 27-0 win over Linfield College.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Sarah Fuller making college football history

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Sarah Fuller made history on Saturday, becoming the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game when she kicked off to start the second half between Vanderbilt and Missouri. Here is a look at photos of her path to making history.

Vanderbilt women’s soccer goalkeeper and all-conference player Sarah Fuller was asked to work out this week for the Vanderbilt football team, which was down a number of specialists due to COVID-19. Eric Glemser/Vanderbilt Athletics via AP

Related: Sports world reacts to Vanderbilt Commodores kicker Sarah Fuller making history

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Sarah Fuller made college football history Saturday. She also delivered a fine halftime speech.

On Saturday around midday, people sprinkled around the country tuned in to watch Vanderbilt University play football. That did seem improbable. Then they watched the game with a hankering for something specific: When might Vanderbilt reach fourth down and try a field goal? That did seem unusual.

Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller makes history as first woman to play in Power Five football game



A winless team amid a wretched season with a disfigured roster had found a sports-historic moment on a sunny day in mid-Missouri. As Vanderbilt’s harsh helping of coronavirus quarantines and contact-tracing woes had left the team barren of kickers, Coach Derek Mason and staff turned to a goalkeeper from the soccer team, which had won the SEC tournament championship Sunday.

That would be the women’s soccer team.

“I think it’s just incredible that I am able to do this,” Sarah Fuller said hours later in the postgame video news conference with reporters. “And all I want to do is be a good influence to the young girls out there, because there were times I struggled in sports, but I am so thankful I stuck with it, and it’s given me so many opportunities.”

The Vanderbilt senior and native of Wylie, Tex., had become the fourth woman to play in a major college football game but the first to appear in the Power Five, the sport’s tiptop tier. When she kicked off to open the second half of a 41-0 loss to Missouri, she followed upon three other kickers — Ashley Martin of Jacksonville State in 2001, Katie Hnida of New Mexico in 2002 and April Goss of Kent State in 2015 — and even volunteered to give a halftime pep talk.

That was something, given the whole idea had begun only Monday.

Then, she packed in Nashville to go home to Texas. It sounded like merry packing, given her soccer team had just won the conference tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., as the No. 7 seed, toppling No. 1 Arkansas in the title game and then romping into the Gulf of Mexico. An assistant soccer coach, Ken Masuhr, called her.

Did she have a minute?

“And he was like, ‘Yeah, they need a kicker,’ ” she said. “I was like: ‘All right, I’ll be there in an hour. I’ll be there within the hour.’ ”

Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in a Power Five football game

She long since had been a candidate for such. As her high school coach, Chris Bezner, told the Athletic this week, the football coaches at Wylie High used to say they might need her in a pinch. So she practiced with Vanderbilt, making a field goal as long as 38 yards, one year after trying out some kicks with a soccer teammate and a soccer ball and hitting from around 55.

The predictable social-media ruckus ensued, and quarterback Mike Wright defended. “Trust me when I say no one on the team is offended, nor

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Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller makes history as first woman to play in a Power Five college football game

Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller made history on Saturday when she kicked off at the start of the second half against Missouri, making her the first woman to play a snap in a Power Five college football game. Fuller, a starting goalkeeper on the Commodores’ SEC championship women’s soccer team, joined the football program this week after Vanderbilt lost multiple specialists due to COVID-19 issues.

Fuller’s squib kick was recovered by Missouri at its own 35-yard line.

“I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to. You really can. If you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things,” Fuller said after the game, a 41-0 loss for the Commodores. 

“I think it’s amazing and incredible,” Fuller said Friday when it was determined she would dress and travel with Vanderbilt. “But I’m also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do and I want to help the team out and I want to do the best that I can. Placing that historical aspect aside just helps me focus in on what I need to do. I don’t want to let them down in anyway. It’s an honor they called on me to be able to do this and help them out.”

Fuller joins Katie Hnida and April Goss as the only women to play in an FBS game. Hnida kicked two extra points for New Mexico against Texas State in 2003. She transferred to New Mexico from Colorado, where she did dress out but did not play in a game for the Buffaloes. Goss, who played at Kent State, kicked an extra point against Delaware State in 2015.

Four other women — Willamette’s Liz Heaton, Jacksonville State’s Ashley Martin, West Alabama’s Tonya Butler and Lebanon Valley’s Brittany Ryan — have also kicked in college football games at various levels ranging from NAIA to FCS. Heaton became the first woman to score in a college football game in 1997.

Fuller, a senior, had a wild week. She helped the Vanderbilt soccer team win the SEC Tournament last weekend when they topped Arkansas 3-1. It was the program’s first women’s SEC Tournament title since 1994. 

Derek Mason, the Commodores’ football coach, explained the process of how Fuller joined the team.

“I reached out to [soccer coach] Darren Ambrose — me and Darren are extremely close. Our teams are close, to be honest. Just wanted to see how Sarah would actually work as an option,” he said earlier this week. “I had her out, had a chance to look at what she can do with the football. She’s really good with the soccer ball, seems to be really good with the football. We’ll see. She’s an option. we’ll keep all our options open. We’ll see what she can do on Saturday if given the opportunity.”

Fuller helped Vanderbilt’s soccer team make history last Sunday. Six days later, she did it again for

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Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power Five game


Here is a look at Vanderbilt football placekicker Sarah Fuller practicing. Fuller helped Vanderbilt women’s soccer win the SEC tournament this fall.

Nashville Tennessean

Sarah Fuller gave a passionate halftime speech to her Vanderbilt team — her football team, that is — on Saturday.

It was an eyebrow-raising revelation on a day that featured plenty of hyperbole.

Fuller’s boldness on a team she joined five days ago was incredible enough. That she spoke up with the historic distinction of becoming the first woman to play in a Power Five college football game put it over the top.

ESTES: History found Vanderbilt football’s Sarah Fuller, and it turns out she was perfect for it | Estes

Vanderbilt was trailing 21-0 to Missouri in a lackluster performance.


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Fuller, a Vanderbilt goalkeeper who won the SEC women’s soccer tournament title last Sunday, didn’t like the body language and lack of enthusiasm of her new football teammates.

And her voice and competitive spirit simply weren’t going to be silenced by unfamiliarity. 

“I just walked in and asked a few people if I could talk, and they said, ‘Yeah, go ahead.’ And then I got everybody’s attention,” Fuller said. “(I told them that) we need to cheer each other on because that’s the only way I’ve seen it work.

“I just used my goalkeeper voice in the (football) locker room.”

SARAH FULLER: 5 things to know about the Vanderbilt kicker, women’s soccer goalie

The halftime speech didn’t work. Vanderbilt lost 41-0 in Columbia, Missouri. But Fuller made an impression on the Commodores and, well, countless people from civil rights icon Billie Jean King to soccer superstar Carli Lloyd to Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

But more than just women paid attention. Before the game, Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who has four daughters, whispered to the opposing kicker that he thought her participation was incredible.

“Girl dads have come up to me and said, ‘You are inspiring my girls. I want them to know they can do anything, and you are proving that point,’” Fuller said. “That’s the coolest thing.”

Derek Mason wanted best kicker, not just a social statement

So why did Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason add Fuller to the team?

He said it wasn’t a publicity stunt. It was out of necessity. Fuller’s strong leg and availability made her the best option for a team that lost its other kickers due to COVID-19 contact tracing.

But Mason, who has two daughters, didn’t miss the significance of Fuller’s feat.

“There are moments in time that no one can really forecast,” Mason said. “I think there was something bigger at work here.”

Fuller finally took the field, wearing No. 32 with “Play Like a Girl” on the back of her helmet. She broke the barrier by squibbing the

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Sarah Fuller Is First Woman to Play in Power 5 Football Game

College football history has been made! On Nov. 28, Vanderbilt University senior Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power Five game as the Commodores took on the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. Fuller’s barrier-breaking moment came at the beginning of the second half when she took the field as a placekicker to start the play. Vanderbilt posted a video of the historic feat on Instagram, writing, “Sarah Fuller kicks off for Vanderbilt Making history.”

Earlier in the week, the 21-year-old athlete was tapped to suit up after other Vanderbilt team members were benched due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Ahead of the big game, she shared her excitement on Instagram, posting a picture of her football helmet with the saying “Play Like a Girl” printed on the back. The slogan refers to the nonprofit of the same name that inspires girls to partake in sports and STEM programs. “Let’s make history. #playlikeagirl #anchordown,” Fuller captioned her post. The Texas native also plays for the university’s soccer team, which won the SEC Tournament championship on Nov. 22. Watch her momentous kick above!

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Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller becomes first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power Five conference football game when she kicked off to start the second half against Missouri on Saturday.

Fuller kicked off the turf with a holder rather than using a tee, and she sent a low kick to the 35-yard line where it was pounced on by Missouri’s Mason Pack. Fuller didn’t get any opportunities in the first half as the Tigers opened a 21-0 lead over the Commodores.

Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on the Vanderbilt soccer team, joined the football team this week after helping the Commodores win the Southeastern Conference Tournament last weekend. COVID-19 protocols and restrictions left Vandy football coach Derek Mason with a limited number of specialists available against Missouri. Mason reached out to soccer coach Darren Ambrose for some help.

Fuller agreed to give football a try and practiced with the winless Commodores before making the trip to Missouri. She wore “Play Like A Girl” on the back of her helmet.

No woman had appeared in an SEC football game or for any Power Five team. Liz Heaston became the first woman to score with two extra points for Willamette in NAIA on Oct. 18, 1997.

Katie Hnida was the first woman to score at the Football Bowl Subdivision level with two extra points for New Mexico on Aug. 30, 2003.

April Goss was the second with an extra point for Kent State in 2015. Tonya Butler was the first woman to kick a field goal in an NCAA game for Division II West Alabama on Sept. 13, 2003.

“Let’s make history,” she wrote Friday on Twitter with a photo of herself wearing a football jersey with a soccer ball between her feet while holding a football in her hands.

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