Navigating via our strategic plan of action

I was 22 years old when I took my first flight, so it was very important to me that my daughter experience flying at an earlier age. Joslyn’s first flight, which was to Philadelphia for a family vacation, will forever be embedded into my memory. The clouds were thick and it seriously looked like we were flying into masses of cotton as we ascended into the air. As the evening approached, it was dark and we could hardly see anything out the window but clouds. I will never forget Joslyn’s profound question as she stared out the window, “How do the pilots fly the plane when they can’t see?”

For all intents and purposes, the pilots were flying blind, per se. They were seeing the same “nothingness” that Joslyn and I were seeing. However, they were charged with the task of navigating a plane full of hundreds of people through limited visibility.

I was both amazed and thankful at how they could perform such a feat with absolute precision. By faith, three pilots guided a 30-ton piece of metal through a dark sky filled with thick clouds. The pilots trusted the guidance from the air traffic controllers on the ground, and relied on other pilots to do their jobs, to safely guide the plane.

As educators, we work to prepare our students for a future that does not yet exist and quite possibly for careers and jobs that have not been created yet. Sometimes, it may seem like we are flying blind, but I am confident that we are equipped for the task.

To Joslyn and me, it appeared that the pilots were flying blind, but in reality they were relying on their training, their experiences, their knowledge, the technology in their hands and a voice on the ground that gave them their flight course.

Although the teachers are the pilots of the classroom and the students are the passengers, there is a huge support system in place to help students become successful. Parents, community members and all district staff share in the work to get all of our students from where they are to where they need to go.

More than 100 members of Team Lufkin ISD stakeholders met last year and participated in a strategic planning process that started with the school board members creating a mission, vision and belief statements for Lufkin ISD. As a result of their hard work, we are not flying blind but navigating with a strategic plan of action.
We are all working together toward a common goal of accomplishing our mission, which is to educate and equip all students for success through exceptional learning experiences.

It’s been said that faith and fear are very similar because they both are rooted in the unknown. The difference is that with faith, there is hope. We are very hopeful for a bright future for our students, and we want to share with you our vision, mission and the state of our district at our upcoming Panther Community Forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Tom Jack Lucas auditorium at the Lufkin High School. The sky is the limit for our students at Lufkin ISD.

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