School board members donate countless hours of their time — preparing for meetings, attending meetings, and supporting school-related functions and events. The word “donate” is an important one; school board members are volunteers, receiving no pay for the work they do to help our school district. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their willingness to serve.
I am very fortunate to work with a board of trustees that is focused on the work of making Lufkin ISD the best choice for all of the students who live within our boundaries. I will never forget the first time I met them when I interviewed for the superintendent position. The interview was held in one of the conference rooms at Crown Colony Country Club on March 7, 2013, at 6 p.m. I had been preparing all day — reviewing the data, reading past news articles, driving by different campuses, and talking to community members about the district while visiting a local restaurant and hotel. I arrived early, so I had time to pray asking God to anoint me during the interview and that His will be done in my life.
Upon entering the room, I shook all of their hands and was escorted to what most would refer to as the “hot” seat. I will never forget the preface to my response to their first question, “Tell us about yourself.” I stated, “I understand that you have an important decision to make and it is my hope that our conversation over the next hour or so makes your decision a little easier as you envision us working together to build on the excellence and make a positive difference for all the students of Lufkin ISD.” To my surprise, my interview ended at almost 10 p.m., and I left feeling excited about the possibility of working with these new “bosses.”
Each one of our board members brings so much experience and wisdom to the table in their own unique way. They have many tough decisions to make, and I feel privileged that hiring me for the position of superintendent was one of them. A little over six months later, I still feel the same excitement and joy working with such a positive, visionary team of eight.
The work is not easy. Our board of trustees must stretch the district’s dollars as far as possible and take time to understand complicated legislation affecting our schools. They speak up to help community members see the vision of what can be provided for our children. The work may not be easy, but it is definitely rewarding. Seeing firsthand how our students and staff succeed under the leadership of the board is fulfilling. Although we know our board does not serve for accolades, we give them praise for all they do.
January is School Board Recognition Month in Texas. Join me in taking a moment to thank our Lufkin ISD school board members. We appreciate their commitment to provide visionary leadership and their continued support to uphold the mission of Lufkin ISD: To educate and equip all students for success through exceptional learning experiences.
Thank you, Andro Branch, president; Stanley New, vice president; Andra Self, secretary; Scott Skelton; Dr. Keven Ellis; Allyson Langston and Don Muhlbach.