Ending the Year on a Positive Note
Obrien Photo

We are winding down the year with such events as prom and sports playoff action along with End of Course and state mandated tests. I wish our students success as they apply the knowledge and strategies they have been learning all year, and I want to extend my gratitude to all of our teachers and staff members for their hard work and effort in preparing these students to succeed.


This also is the time of year when thoughts may be drifting toward summer break, so I want to encourage students to stay committed to their coursework and to attending school every possible day. Don’t give up on your dream of excellence.


I always like to recognize our community partnerships, so I want to commend the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation for the effort that went into the Annual Appreciation Gala and in honoring our Foundation donors for their generous contributions to the organization. Not only will the Education Foundation have $130,000 to award in innovative teaching grants when the big yellow Grant Surprise Patrol bus makes its rounds, but also 10 mini grants, all under $1,000 and on display at the Gala, were sponsored by community members and businesses for 10 deserving teachers. Thank you so much for your contribution to enhancing classroom instruction for our students.


You may have noticed that the ground is broken and steel is being erected at the Goose Creek Memorial High School site as we expand the campus with a Career and Technical Education wing, including more classrooms, as provided by the 2013 Bond as a result of the rapid growth our district has experienced on the north side of Baytown. Projects for which we have completed the design phase and will be breaking ground on soon and making progress on over the summer months are the Technology Center at the corner of Archer and Main and the Transportation Center adjoining the Stallworth Stadium complex. Windows at Robert E. Lee High School have been replaced with energy-efficient, high-functioning storm windows matching the historic façade in addition to many mechanical upgrades to the campus.


Future projects include expansion of the Agriculture facility at the corner of Wallisville and John Martin Road, which will house animals for all high schools. 


A Career and Technical High School conceptual is included in the renovations of Stuart Career Center, which will expand the current course offerings and allow 9th –12th grade students interested in a vocational career track to graduate with a diploma along with an industry skill certification. 


As a member of the Focal Point Executive Leadership in Action team, part of the Harris County Department of Education, I was invited to attend an executive strategic leadership conference at the Gettysburg Battlefield in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. You might wonder what a Civil War battlefield has to do with executive leadership. In fact, looking at the leadership traits of historical figures of this monumental battle allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses in leadership and apply your knowledge to future strategies in any position.


Recently, our Superintendent’s Campus Connection, comprised of a campus representative from every school, which has met monthly to help identify how we can improve Goose Creek CISD schools, has made some recommendations for improvement for the 2016-2017 school year. Back in August, starting with a blank canvas, this group of 28 talented teachers identified such things as student- to-teacher ratios, demographic shifts in our population, the school calendar and bell schedule and overall morale. The SCC team has reviewed the data and the research pertaining to each of these areas and selected employee morale and school district pride as priorities for improving our schools. This will align well with the City of Baytown’s Imagine Baytown initiative. That is just a sneak peek of things to come as recommended by this committee. 


I want to send a big shout out to community members for the time and effort invested this school year to help us become an innovative and dynamic school district serving the Baytown and Highlands area. Thanks to all faculty members for maintaining such a positive, caring spirit during the home stretch of the year. I recognize that this is the time of year when patience may run thin, but also when the community can witness how much you truly care for each and every student. We look forward to our four upcoming graduation ceremonies and will continue to keep everyone informed about school district happenings during the summer.