Everyone Has a Place to Belong in LISD

Everyone Has a Place to Belong in LISD
Posted on 09/15/2016

One of my key priorities during my first weeks as superintendent of schools is to visit every campus in the district. While visiting our high school campuses earlier this month, I had a genuine sense of pride when I saw for myself the wealth of school-based opportunities available to our students.

Each of LISD's high schools has unique programs and courses that set them apart from the others. While I don't have the space to mention everything that I've seen so far, I do want to share with you some of the highlights from my first visits.

I was impressed by the rigorous academic offerings like the International Baccalaureate Programme at Leander High School (and coming soon to Vandegrift High School); the wide array of Advanced Placement (AP) courses available at all of our high schools, as well as the AP Capstone programs at Cedar Park High School, Rouse High School and Vandegrift HS; and the AVID program at Vista Ridge High School. I loved seeing how the innovative design of Glenn High School is fostering collaborative learning. I was also inspired to see so many of our students at our high schools making the most of our partnership with Austin Community College and earning college credit while in high school through dual credit courses.

I also enjoyed visiting with students who are participating in our career and technology programs, such as the cosmetology program at Leander HS; automotive technology at Rouse HS; culinary arts at Cedar Park HS and Glenn HS; robotics at Vandegrift HS; journalism at Vista Ridge HS; and our JROTC programs at both Leander HS and Vista Ridge HS. And these are just a few of our career and technology programs! I am so proud to lead a district that believes in equipping students with foundations in such a wide range of career options.

Expanding upon the curricular opportunities our students are exposed to are our phenomenal extracurricular programs. To have two schools in the same district win three UIL Lone Star Cups is remarkable. To have swept the UIL State Marching Band Competition twice is unprecedented. Our athletic and fine arts programs are recognized statewide as premier programs. And our student involvement opportunities don't end there. LISD students can participate in the Academic UIL competitions, yearbook, Key Club, COOL (Career Opportunities on Location) Week, FFA, FCCLA, DECA, HOSA, student clubs, student councils, Destination Imagination, PALs (Peer Assisted Leadership), C2 and so many others.

It is undeniable that we have something very special here. And it's important to appreciate that everything we have here in LISD isn't necessarily present in other districts. We are a very blessed school district in that our students have so many opportunities to find their place.

I would be remiss not to mention that these programs and activities are reflections of the leadership of the Board of Trustees. And given all that I've mentioned today, it's evident that our Board members are here for the right reasons, that they serve the district because they are committed to helping students achieve success.

In LISD, there is a place for every child to belong, and that's what you want to see as a superintendent. During my high school visits, I've gained powerful insight into what our schools offer our students. As I continue my campus visits and learn more about our middle and elementary schools, I look forward to seeing how they spark the passions that feed what is happening at the high schools.

We are Leander ISD, and we are leading to a bright future.