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.
|March 3, 2014|
Good morning! Last week was busy, but full of wonderful events. For instance, early in the week I was privileged to attend the surprise announcement that Warren teacher Mary Lagleder was named an HEB Excellence in Education finalist in the Rising Star category. Mary will join the NISD Board as a finalist at the HEB awards ceremony in early May.
On Friday night I attended the Star Gazing event with almost one thousand of NISD’s Young Astronauts. I was so impressed with the organization of the event and the interest level of the students. Thanks much to all of the teachers who volunteered and our elementary C&I folks. What a great experience for NISD fifth graders!
I was very fortunate to watch the Brennan girls basketball team compete in the state semi-final game. While the final score was not what we wanted, the athletes, coaches, parents and fans of this outstanding team are to be congratulated on a wonderful season.
Other highlights of my week included the wildly successful Leon Springs Boot Scootin’ event, reading at Timberwilde in Ms. Simpkins’ class and the kickoff of the Alamo area robotics competition. I say all of this to let you know how privileged I feel to work in Northside and how much I appreciate all that you contribute to the success of our students! NISD students are involved in an incredible array of events that enrich their education and I know that would not be possible without the contribution of many, many NISD staff.
There are two special events to look forward to this week. Special Olympics will be held at Gus Stadium every day this week with the parade of athletes starting at 10 a.m. I am always inspired by these students and their teachers and look forward to watching them celebrate. Our annual elementary and secondary Educator of the Year celebrations will be this Tuesday and Thursday night, respectively. In education, we are only as good as our people and I really enjoy celebrating some of our most outstanding educators.
Congratulations to all of you we will be honoring this week!
Also upcoming, the NEF 5K Run/Walk is Saturday, March 29, at SeaWorld. Early registration ends this Friday, March 7. We're hoping for another huge show of support for NISD and the Foundation. I'll be there with my family and hope to see you there, too. Feel free to tell your family and friends all about it. Sign up with your campus or department team captain or register at www.nisd.net/nef/5k.
Recently, the Texas Tribune and UT Austin conducted a state-wide survey of opinions on policy issues. Of interest, the survey asked which of seven ideas would be the most effective in improving K-12 education in Texas. The top response (with 76% of respondents saying it would be “somewhat” or “extremely” effective) was providing more incentives for individuals to choose teaching as a profession. The second most agreed upon response (at 74% saying “somewhat” or “extremely” effective) was raising teacher pay.
I find this very encouraging given what we sometimes hear from those who want to bash public schools. In fact, the co-director of the study was quoted as saying, “One of the things that you see here is that, for all the fiscal conservatism in the state and the way that that inflected the public education system in 2011, liking your teachers and wanting to help them is a bipartisan position.” So it turns out that Texans of all political persuasions support teachers and schools! The entire article and a link to the survey instrument can be found at texastribune.org/uttt-poll-partisan-differences-education-also-some/
Finally, for those of you who have Spring Break next week, I hope that you are able to have time doing things you really enjoy with family and friends. For those of you who don’t get a Spring Break (police, facilities and maintenance staff, custodians, etc.) thank you for everything you do to keep our campuses safe, well maintained and ready for students and staff to come back to school.
Have a great week!