Community Spirit Shines in Baytown Area
This time of year brings about celebrations at each of our campuses and throughout the community. I’ve been blessed to participate in some of these events. Many have showcased the talent of our students in the fine arts programs. One such event was the recent Baytown Christmas Parade, tree lighting and opening of the skating rink at Town Square, which my family attended. We truly enjoyed seeing the high degree of community involvement. Event organizers from the City of Baytown estimate that 10,000 people were in attendance. Companies, organizations and the school district were well-represented in the parade, which featured 125 floats, 25 of which were from our district.

Obrien photo While at the parade we were stationed six rows back and could see so many other families and friends gathered to share in the joy of the holiday season in our city. A wonderful community spirit was out in full force as we have seen numerous times since arriving in Baytown over two years ago. My family and I have felt very welcomed by Goose Creek CISD employees as well as the community. We are proud to report that we have become new homeowners, securing our plans for a long-term future in Baytown.

With the coming of the new year, we will be breaking ground on four new facilities, including a wing addition to Goose Creek Memorial High School, a new Transportation Center, a new Technology Center and the repurpose of the Kilgore Building to expand Stuart Career Center. There also will be technology and security updates ongoing throughout the district, including renovations at Ross S. Sterling High School. These projects are part of the 2013 Bond approved by the community.

I continue to be impressed, as I visit campuses, by the rigor of the lessons being taught by teachers and with the connections they make with students as they advance their education. It is the season, but one thing I’ve noticed about living in Baytown is that in every club, organization and company, there is a central theme, and that is the theme of service. I’m happy to know that the values instilled in our students by their parents and teachers are resonating with them, and they are just as actively involved in serving as are the adults. It is evident from the food and clothing drives, nursing home and hospital visits, sponsorship of families for holidays and all the other projects our students and staff continue to organize that the season as well as the school year is all about giving.

I hope everyone will take some time for reflection on all that we have to be thankful for as Americans. Even on our worst day, most of us are better off than so many others. With this in mind, please remember to tell your loved ones that you love them. As we close out one year and move on to another, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.