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.
October 25, 2021
Good morning! Congratulations to the entire Hobby MS community on the celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary. Thanks so much to Principal Carranco and the teachers and staff for an excellent program as well as our Communications and Fine Arts groups for their support. Everything from the emcees to the alumni recollections to the student performances was outstanding. As always, this anniversary felt like a family reunion. It was great to see so many former staff as well as former Hobby Hawks who now have their own children at Hobby MS. Again, congratulations on your 50th anniversary!
Last week I was able to attend an award ceremony at John Jay HS where automotive teacher John Gunderson was awarded a $50,000 prize by Harbor Freight tools. John’s application was one of a handful from across the country out of more than 750 that was awarded the prize. While recognition is not something that John enjoys, it was clearly well deserved. I took it as a special moment of pride as John was my student at Marshall HS a few years ago. Wonder who that makes old 😊😊? It was also nice to see John’s high school auto teacher, Tommy Berger, who is still running that program at Marshall. Thanks to the John Jay staff for making this an even more special occasion. Thanks also to Harbor Freight for recognizing teaching excellence in the Career and Technology fields.
Also last week, I was able to participate as a panelist at an Education Law conference focused on the changes created by COVID. While the conversation was supposed to be around operating during the pandemic, it became a dialogue about the labor shortages that existed somewhat pre-COVID that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. All of the school leaders on the panel, from very different parts of the state indicated that the shortage of human capital is their number one concern in keeping buildings clean, helping students close gaps in their learning and helping both students and staff deal with the emotional issues associated with being away from human interaction and the immediate return now to a lot of that interaction. It is clear that our “grow our own” programs are going to be critical for years to come.
Thank you to the almost 2,800 donors who participated in the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) Annual Giving Campaign and donated $137,000! This number represents a nice increase from last year. A special thanks to the campaign ambassadors for their leadership. NEF will use these funds to award grants to employees.
Northside has partnered with Family Service Head Start for a number of years to provide free early childhood education for income eligible children ages 0-4. Every Head Start classroom follows a nationally-recognized curriculum helping children be kindergarten ready, offering math, literacy, music, crafts time, breakfast, lunch, a snack, and nap time. Head Start also offers services like access to medical, dental, and mental health resources, special needs and disabilities support, and family engagement opportunities. Please encourage any family that might be eligible for the program to call 210-299-2740 or visit www.family- service.org/headstart to see the qualifications and to register the child.
Finally, I want to take some space to congratulate all eleven NISD marching bands on qualifying for area competition. Unfortunately, I missed the UIL Marching Band contest a couple of Saturdays ago. However, I have seen several halftime performances and from prior experience, I am always amazed at the coordination and obvious dedication it takes to produce a high quality marching show. Imagine taking 200-350 students and performing complex movements all while playing an instrument! The knowledge, skill and persistence that this takes is admirable. Thanks to all of our music educators. I know that many of the students displaying their talents that Saturday came by those gifts through the hard work of NISD teachers going back to their elementary experience. This is an area where we are certainly filling the demand for critical thinking, diligence and fortitude. Good luck at area!
Have a great week and be well. BTW