It’s time to show-up for education

Posted by Office of the Superintendent on 3/17/2019

As we look up and find ourselves in the midst of another legislative session, I keep reflecting on the quote, "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”


Recently, a group of volunteers and locally elected officials traveled to the Texas Capitol for Denton County Days. It’s an annual pilgrimage organized by our local Chamber of Commerce with the purpose to advocate for Denton County through a common lens and keep the topics our residents face in the fore-front for our state’s lawmakers.  


The group collaborates on pressing issues and combines our representatives from the local school district, city officials, county officials, chamber members, local colleges and universities and non-profits into smaller, issues focused action teams designed to advocate for you and Denton County.  Such collaboration is unprecedented around the state, and I am proud of our citizens who recognize the value our organizations bring to the quality of life we enjoy.


Our Board of School Trustees placed their goal of having “All students reading on grade level by third grade,” at the center of the team’s agenda. They worked diligently during the collaboration opportunity for the constituents of our community, to re-enforce the need for teacher pay increases and for the state to fully fund pre-kindergarten programs.


In the early developmental years our children need their first teacher, their parent, to read to them daily.  As children grow, our public-school teachers take them from learning to read, to reading to learn. Individuals who took time to read to and with our children, community engagement at the finest, through Read Across America Day – Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, witnessed their progress first hand.


Although less obvious, an equally important lesson was at work that day – the lesson of service to others. Students benefitted from caring adults of all backgrounds and occupations, showing up for them in the name of learning, moving forward together.


Service is at the heart of most everything we do in public schools. Our schools offer many certifications leading to fantastic careers for our students in our community.  Our stakeholders are proud of these opportunities and partnerships – like the Denton Fire Department’s Academy at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex.  Recently, Fire Chief Hedges invited me to participate in a morning of fire academy training.  While all participants felt like “firefighters for a day,” we all gained an even deeper appreciation for the work our civil servants perform daily.  Another example of community engagement at and with its finest.


Whether it be Read Across America, a half-day fire academy, or Denton County Days, community engagement is necessary for the economic development of our future.  Not all governmental spending should be seen as a burden, quite the contrary, it is an investment.