Success Looks Like This!
One of the best things about my job is having the opportunity to congratulate our Goose Creek CISD graduates as they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. This year, 75 seniors graduated from IMPACT Early College High School during a ceremony held at Lee College May 25th. Many of these students had already received associate degrees from Lee College, and others will earn them this summer. Nearly 1400 students from Goose Creek Memorial, Robert E. Lee and Ross S. Sterling high schools also turned their tassels signifying graduation at commencement exercises held at Ford Arena in Beaumont May 27th. Congratulations to these students and their families for accomplishing a major milestone in their lives, and I wish them success as they prepare to explore the future.

Obrien photo
Many wonderful things have happened across our district during the 2016-2017 school year, ranging from instructional to co-curricular to extra-curricular programs. To name just a few, students have advanced to state competitions in UIL Spelling, Track and Field as well as Robotics. For the 27th consecutive year, our district will be represented at the National History Day competition in Maryland. The Fine Arts programs have yielded All-State members in band, choir, orchestra, dance, theatre (playwrights) and art (VASE). Expanded dual credit course offerings at all the traditional high schools as well as at IMPACT ECHS have increased the number of students receiving college credit over the past five years.

Stuart Career Tech High School will open its doors this fall for the 2017-2018 school year to begin offering coursework to freshmen who will choose from four academies. The Advanced Automotive, Culinary Arts, Environmental Conservation, and Manufacturing and Industrial Maintenance academies will provide hands-on, project-based instruction to allow students to earn college credit and industry certifications in partnership with Lee College. SCTHS will broaden the opportunity for students to graduate with an associate degree that began with IMPACT ECHS.

Our Transportation Center, which will house eight repair bays, wash and service bays and parking for up to 300 buses, also will be completed this summer. It features a diesel technology classroom associated with SCTHS certification opportunities.

The 2013 Bond is approaching 80 percent completion a year ahead of schedule and under budget, with only the Technology Center and Ag Center as major projects to be completed. The investment in renewing mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) needs in every building in the district this year has shored up long range facility needs. However, as a member of the Fast Growth School Coalition, Goose Creek will continue to plan and prepare for the anticipated migration of families to this eastern section of the Greater Houston Area, as Baytown continues its strategic development as a premier community, one of the final master planned communities surrounding Houston.

Always a bright spot for our district is the work of our community business partners and our Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation, which recently awarded $130,000 in innovative teaching grants to our teachers. Since the Education Foundation’s inception in 2009, more than $830,000 has been awarded by the Grant Surprise Patrol to teachers to enhance instruction. Despite a legislative session that has fallen flat, for lack of better words, the Goose Creek faculty and administration continue to seek out innovative ideas to enrich the educational experience for every child. Thanks to the support of our community, we continue to lead the way with innovative programs, cutting edge technologies and 21st century facilities.

I am proud of our progressive mindset to continually seek to improve the education that we provide to the Baytown-Highlands community. The positive attitude, laced with grit and determination, is surely stronger than the obstacles that we face.

School has just ended, but summer school is in session, and our free Summer Meals for Kids program is feeding students attending summer school as well as at mobile sites, such as parks, libraries and summer camps. Last year, we served a total of 80,976 meals. This is a wonderful program that helps so many families.

Although our administrative team has already begun securing plans for the 2017-2018 school year, I hope that all the members of this organization get the rest and relaxation they deserve to come back next year and do it again. Have a safe summer!