Team Lufkin ISD Ready for New Year

One week from tomorrow, the yellow school buses will be running the roads, pencils will be sharpened and the doors to 15 school campuses will be opened for the first day of school for more than 8,600 Lufkin ISD students. Team Lufkin ISD is prepared and committed to not only teach and educate our students, but to also inspire and encourage success.

As I start my second year as superintendent of Lufkin ISD, I want to keep the momentum of excellence. Looking back over this past year, we have made some huge accomplishments: creating vision, mission and belief; implementing systems; standardizing protocols; approving salary increases; upgrading technology and purchasing additional buses, to name a few.

We celebrate the fact that 97 percent of our 2014 graduates will be entering higher institutions of learning or the military to further their education. Recently, we were notified that all 15 of our campuses met the state’s standard and received a total of 21 distinctions.

But more important than the state’s requirements is the connection our team makes with each student. Every member of Team Lufkin ISD is a child’s best hope, best chance, best educator. Helping all children reach their ultimate potential is our job, our mission. As educators, we must plan to work as if each student’s life depends on us, because it does.

Recently I received a friend request on Facebook from Sue Ogden Allen Murphy. I didn’t immediately recognize the name, but I accepted the request anyway. Later that evening, I received a direct message that said, “I am so proud of you!” I was still puzzled, so I went to her profile page and when I saw her, I remembered Ms. Sue Allen who served as my school counselor in middle school and high school.

I could feel the tears forming as I remembered my seventh grade year. She was the first person that I confided in about some of the struggles of my life. Tears flowed as I recalled that during my senior year, Ms. Allen was the one who encouraged me to go to college. She helped me to complete the FAFSA application, and assisted me with scholarship and grant opportunities. As I reflected on all of the memories, I immediately responded to her message and explained how I would be forever indebted to her for the difference she made in my life.

As superintendent, I recognize that the work we engage in is not like any other job, per se. It is indeed mission work. Our success provides choices and opportunities for students, which in turn enriches communities and changes the world. I have a sign on the wall in my office that I read every single day that says, “On your worst day on the job, you are still some child’s best hope.”

Together we unite for the betterment of all of our children at Lufkin ISD. We are educators, no matter our title or position, with the tremendous responsibility of being constant shining examples and teaching life lessons to our young people. Each of us has a duty and responsibility to connect as a team to support our students. We are all here to make a positive difference for the children in our care.

Monday, Aug. 25, is the big day. It will be the first day of school, and the first day for our students to reap the benefits of an exceptional education where Team Lufkin ISD staff members are prepared to make this the best year ever. Welcome back!

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