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 2, 2016     

Good morning!  Last week the NISD Museum Association held its annual retiree luncheon.  It was great to see so many friends of Northside in one place.  I asked for their continued help to advocate for Northside and public education generally.  This group is a great example of a social compact at work.  These people don’t work in NISD any longer or likely have children in our schools, but still believe that educating the next generation is critically important to the future of our community and, frankly, our society.  Thanks to the NISD Museum Association for a great event!

Last week I got to visit the Young Gentlemen’s Club at Martin ES.  Formed and led by Mandy Curley, the club is a way for young men to come together and hear from others who appreciate their creed that they are different from the norm, caring for others and involved in their community.  I was absolutely blown away by the way these fifth graders ran their own meeting, spoke to each other and to staff and especially by the statements they made about things like trustworthiness, responsibility, caring and courage.  They gave concrete examples of what caring and responsibility and our other pillars of character actually look like on their campus and in their lives.

One young man told the group that he was inspired to be a scientist by his science teacher at Martin and asked what inspired me to become a teacher.  Of course, my answer was that some of my teachers who I remember 40 years later were my inspiration.  One of the most impactful parts of our conversation for me was on the topic of courage.  I told the boys that I thought they were courageous for becoming a part of the group and for committing themselves to higher ideals.  I also talked about the way they spoke to each other and how it takes courage to be different than their peers.  We all agreed that being kind and respectful of people we don’t particularly like is hard, but important and that civil discourse (my words) is so important in our society today.  The kids seemed to understand how some use social media and other outlets to speak negatively about 

people they have never even met.  For anyone who has raised boys of their own or worked with pre-teen boys, the Young Gentlemen’s Club is an idea worth strong consideration!  Thanks to Mandy and Martin principal Evelyn Cobarruvias for the invitation!

The annual Partnerships awards were presented recently.  Over 30,000 people volunteer in our schools each year and impact tens of thousands of NISD students.  From individual mentors and tutors to corporate sponsorships, we are very fortunate in Northside to have such positive community support.  The next time you see a volunteer on campus, whether a PAL or a Watch DOG or a trustee, please thank them for their help and support.

As you may know, the Partnerships awards are held in conjunction with ArtFest.  The art was also open to visitors last weekend.  I have to say, as usual, that I was so impressed by the work of our students.  Thanks to all NISD art teachers and visual arts coordinator Dr. Sharon Chumley for a great show!

The Northside Education Foundation recently completed its Grants Prize Patrol.  NEF apple mascots and community partner volunteers made surprise visits to 26 campuses and sites to award 33 NEF Innovation and Team grants valued at $181,000.  So that it can award more grants to staff, the Foundation is participating in the Big Give S.A. tomorrow, May 3, to generate donations.  Click here to learn how you can support NEF on this day.

Finally, last week, Brauchle ES Kinder teacher Carol Ann Hudson was selected as a winner of the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching.  The Trinity Prize honors extraordinary teachers from each district in the county and then selects two winners from the over 20,000 teachers in Bexar County ISDs.  Carol is a product of Northside and tells wonderful stories of NISD teachers who impacted her life.  What a fortunate group of five and six year olds to have Carol as a teacher.  It was a wonderful ceremony and I was so proud of Carol, her Brauchle family and all of the wonderful educators she represents in NISD!  What a great start to Teacher Appreciation Week!