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.

October 24, 2016  

Good morning.  I want to take an opportunity to compliment our high school marching bands for their hard work and success.  During the last several weekends, our bands have competed all around the state including the UIL Region contest that we hosted recently.  Every time you see one of our bands perform you get a glimpse of the incredible dedication it takes to pull off these amazing shows.  I’m also proud to say that all ten of our high school marching bands advanced to the area competition which will be this Saturday at Farris Stadium.  Good luck!

A couple of Fridays ago I was able to attend the state Teacher of the Year Awards with our own Region 20 finalist Eva Longoria from Cody ES.  It was an honor to be there with Eva and to be surrounded by some amazing teachers!  I was also fortunate to attend the 25th anniversary of Leon Springs ES.  Leon Springs was one of the pioneer schools that joined together to form Northside ISD back in 1949.  The school has a long tradition of educational excellence and caring for its children.  Thanks to Dr. Kathy Dodge-Clay and her staff and students for a wonderful celebration.

I’m also happy to announce that Region 20 will recognize three Northside staff as their 2016 Language Conference Educators of the Year.  The 2016 ESL Teacher of the Year is Colonies North ES teacher Sarah Aguirre (previously a finalist in the
H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards).   The Languages Other Than English Teacher of the Year is Annette Allard of Warren HS and the Administrator of the Year is Dr. Veronica Arteaga, Principal at Passmore ES.  Congratulations to each of these talented people!

Last week I mentioned that Brauchle ES principal Adriana Garza was being honored by the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (TASCD) with their top award.  We have also learned that Brauchle teacher Deanna Demers is the recipient of the TASCD 2016 T.E.A.C.H. (Texas Educators Achieving Classroom 

Honors) Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Classroom.   Congratulations Deanna!

Last week some staff and I were in Austin for a meeting with a group of large, urban schools setting its legislative agenda.  One of the topics that came up was a letter recently sent by TEA to some of the districts who have schools that have been ‘Improvement Required’ (IR) for more than one year.  The letter essentially states that TEA is denying approval of the district’s improvement plan and mandating training for staff and the Board.  If that training is not fully implemented the TEA would continue to withhold their approval.  While we did not receive the letter (we have no IR schools), I see this as a massive overreach of TEA’s authority that makes the next two paragraphs particularly relevant.

Early voting in the November election begins today and runs through Friday, November 4.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.  You can find early voting information including times and locations at  http://www.bexar.org/DocumentCenter/View/4572 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://www.bexar.org/DocumentCenter/View/4570

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 who are supporters of public education and they are opposed, in many cases, by people who are very clearly not friendly to public schools.  The results of this election will be felt not only in the 2017 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.  


Have a great week!