Good morning! It’s hard to imagine that we are entering week nine – the end of the first marking period for elementary schools and well into the second period for our secondary schools. Time really does fly faster as we age. ☺ I hope your school year is progressing in an enjoyable and productive way.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed October 2014 as “Principals Month” in Texas. For those of you who work on a campus, you well know that the quality of the school as a place to learn and work is tied closely to the skills and personality of the leaders. Having worked as a campus administrator for many years, I truly appreciate the hard work and time commitment that these individuals dedicate to the students and staff of Northside. Thank you to our campus leadership – we count on you every day to guide the progress of our 103,000 students as we know that our past successes and our future depend heavily on you.
Last week I was privileged to join Warren staff and students as well as Congressman Castro in honoring Warren social studies teacher Mary Lagleder with the 2014 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award from Humanities Texas. Besides the recognition and a nice check, I thought the finest honor was a video message created by current and former students of Mary’s. From Harvard to Stanford and many spots in between, the students talked about Mary’s impact on them and that they, in this election season, “approved this message” about her outstanding teaching and care for them personally. It was quite an honor to be a part of the celebration. Congratulations Mary!
Also last week we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Thornton Elementary. I was very impressed by the program, but even more impressed by the school’s climate. It was great to see so many former staff, students and parents who truly care about the school. I think Thornton is an exemplar of what we do really well in NISD – create neighborhood schools that are the center of the community and that, despite their
age, parents want their children to attend. Congratulations to the staff at Thornton on a job very well done!
On Saturday, I was fortunate to watch our high schools compete in the regional marching band contest. I’m amazed every year by the wonderful shows our band directors choreograph and by the flawless execution of our students. The sound and precision are always fascinating to me. All ten of our bands received the top rating at the contest and will advance to the area level which will be held this coming weekend in our stadiums. Thanks to our Fine Arts Department under the direction of James Miculka as well as all of our band directors for representing Northside ISD so well!
Early voting in the November election begins today and runs through Friday, October 31. Election Day is Tuesday, November 4. You can find early voting information including times and locations at http://home.bexar.org You will see that many city libraries located in NISD are early voting sites as well as the Leon Valley Conference Center on Evers Rd. and our own Northside Activity Center. You can access your sample ballot by address at http://apps.bexar.org/
It is very important that all of us who care about the future of public education vote in this and every election. There was a time in Texas when educators’ voices were clearly heard in Austin. I believe we have lost much of that influence, but feel that it can be regained. However, without significant turnout at elections and advocacy between elections we will continue to be largely ignored. There are clearly candidates on this ballot that are supporters of public education and they are opposed, in many cases, by aspirants who are very clearly not friendly to public schools. The results of this election will be felt not only in the 2015 legislative session, but well into the future. Please take the time to vote and encourage others who believe in public schools to do the same.