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.

November 17, 2014     

Good morning! Two Saturdays ago I was able to attend the community tree planning event at Carnahan Elementary. Originally organized by school namesake Peggy Carnahan and outstanding science teacher Kent Page, the project has now expanded to 13 Northside schools with more to come. It was wonderful to see so many students, parents and staff out early on a Saturday to support their schools and engage in environmental awareness and the replanting of native trees in our community.

Last week I was able to attend the Veterans Day ceremony at Leon Springs ES. In spite of the cold weather they had a great turnout and did a wonderful job recognizing the veterans who are parents, grandparents and community members around their school. I know many of our schools held celebratory events and I thank you for that. Any time we can teach our children a lesson in “service before self” it serves our community well. Thanks to all Northside veterans for your service to our country.

Over the weekend I got to watch many of our students in athletic events. We won all of our football playoff games and I look forward to seeing our teams play again this coming weekend. Also, the Clark volleyball team competed in the regional tournament. On Saturday, in the regional final, I was so impressed with their efforts. Although the match did not end the way they wanted it to, I can’t remember seeing more effort and perseverance from a group of students. Despite being down by big margins over and over again, the group just kept coming back. It was nothing short of inspirational!

Last week I wrote to you about the pushback on a Time Magazine cover that was critical of teachers. I received notes from many who told their own stories of Northside teachers and staff helping children and families in need. One that really touched me came from a wonderful vice principal at one of our Title One campuses. It read: 


Just last week I shared with my husband how much I love my teachers and their compassion for our students. We had a meeting to discuss a struggling student and noted that the student and his siblings have been living without electricity, come to school with dirty clothes and hungry. The discussion of academics turned to what we can do for this family in terms of clothes and food. The following day one of my teachers had bought the student a new pair of shoes and another went to HEB to buy groceries,
while another got him a jacket. I know that is just one example of the many wonderful things that many do throughout our district. I love my job.
I know there are stories like this in every one of our schools. That part of our job is important in what many educators see as their role – removing any obstacle that would prevent a child from learning at the best of their ability.
As we begin the holiday season I can’t think of a better way to count our own blessings than by helping those in need around us – as you see in the note above. The United Way campaign is now underway through January 21. This year, you have the convenience of making your contribution using a new online payroll deduction form. Your donation will make a difference in our community and help others in need. Please consider donating. You can donate by payroll deduction here. Your campus/ department representative can give you the form for a one-time donation.
Finally, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. As we begin the holiday season I am reminded of how fortunate I am and plan to take some time to simply be thankful. Please know that you are part of what makes me feel so privileged. I’ll close with one of my favorite poems for this time of year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends, 
For everything Thy goodness sends. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson