Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

May 18, 2015     

Good morning!  Last week we held the 2nd annual Kelly Smith Tech Expo.  The event has become so large that we used both Paul Taylor Field House as well as NAC.  We had over 90 schools participate.  The student work and their enthusiasm about their work was spectacular.  I also heard from many teachers about the engagement they were able to get from students as they completed this kind of work.  This is a great event – thanks to all who participated!

One of the projects highlighted at the Expo was created by O’Connor HS students who are studying video animation.  They recently won first place in the nation for their project.  The computer animation event topic called for proposals for a complete remodel of a major league baseball stadium. Animation teams were asked to design and create a baseball stadium and to create a 1-2 minute animation to highlight key aspects of the stadium. Teams had 10 minutes to present their designs before a panel of judges who score both technical competencies and presentation skills in each round.  The O’Connor team created a truly unique solution to an old stadium problem:  unrestricted viewing from all seats.  They created a very detailed 3D architectural model of the stadium, its interior features and the field.  They presented their design through a cinematic animation.  The team's video can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch

Thanks to Agriculture Program director Steve Chumbley and everyone associated with the O’Connor’s FFA for a great awards ceremony last week.  We have one of the largest FFAs in the nation and the results our students accomplish are outstanding – including national championships.  This is a classic example of ‘it’s not about programs, but rather about people.’  From our teachers to the volunteers who have been associated with the program literally for decades to the parents, we attract outstanding people in our Ag program.  Of course, the students are the highlight.  I told the group, on behalf of the adults gathered in the hall, that we were all there because we are proud to be 

associated with this group of young people.  This really makes me optimistic about our future!

As you know, there has been and continues to be conversation in Austin about vouchers.  However, now there is an influential group pushing back against this idea.  Pastors for Texas Children has really become a force in this legislative session.  A group of pastors from Fort Worth recently authored this article critical of vouchers: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/School-vouchers-are-bad My favorite line is the closing, “Education is God's gift to all persons.  Education is a core component of democracy.  We pray the Texas House will defeat vouchers by whatever name.  Let us, rather, defend and protect public education in Texas, and let us affirm and support those who shape children on our behalf.” 

Locally, Reverend Garrett Vickrey recently published an article that takes the notion that schools are “Godless” to task.  He says, “I am certain that the faithful teachers I serve in my congregation take God with them as they go about their work each day.”  The full article can be found at:  http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary Now that’s a powerful group to have in our corner!  Thanks to these courageous people for fighting for the future of our state – our children.

Finally, I was sent this quote from an unknown author by Jeannine Keairnes, Principal at Scarborough ES.  The Scarborough mascot is the Husky and this quote is known on that campus as “Husky Wisdom.”  I love that.  It reads, "Courage is asking for a time-out, to shed a tear, to dust yourself off, and then getting back in the ring to fight like you've never fought before."  Despite the negativity that sometimes surrounds us this is what we all need to do – dust ourselves off, focus on strengths and finish the school year strong!

Have a great week!   I hope you have an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend – and remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.