Reflecting on the Past and Focusing on the Future

Although we’re well into summer, I’d like to reflect on our recent graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2019. With IMPACT Early College High School’s graduation at Lee College Arena and Goose Creek Memorial, Robert E. Lee and Ross S. Sterling’s at the Fertitta Center at the University of Houston, Goose Creek CISD watched more than 1500 seniors walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Students in the Class of 2019 received close to $17 million in scholarship offers, and I expect to hear wonderful things about them in the future. I’m always proud to see our students reach this milestone in their lives, but it was a bittersweet experience this year, since the graduation of our younger son Riley from REL will result in our family becoming empty nesters for the first time in years.


O'Brien Photo


Our district is pleased to welcome two new members to the Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees – Tiffany Guy, representing District 6, and Shae Cottar, representing District 7. Thanks to both of you for your commitment to serving our district. I know that you both will be productive board members. The board reorganized at the June 17 meeting, selecting Agustin Loredo III (District 2) as president, Jessica Woods (District 3) as vice president, Ben Pape (District 5) as secretary and Howard Sampson (District 1) as assistant secretary. Richard Clem serves as a board member, representing District 4. Our team of eight has a vision to grow our district. We are grateful for the emphasis that each member has placed on hiring quality people and rewarding them for the hard work ahead.


We’ve had some exciting news regarding funding of public education with the passing of HB3. For years, Texas superintendents have asked legislators to consider an increase in funding, but lowering taxes has always been pitted against increased educational funding. The Texas Legislature has finally found a compromise to allow both. This is the first such act in the past decade, and we are excited to be able to fund teacher salaries adequately without overcrowding classrooms. Thanks to the legislature as well as to the GCCISD Board of Trustees for making this happen for our deserving educators.


I’m proud to announce that two of Goose Creek CISD’s academies received notification from the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) that they have achieved Model Status, the highest rating granted, based on the National Standards of Practice for Career Academies. Congratulations to the Health Science Academy at Ross S. Sterling High School and the STEM Academy at Robert E. Lee High School for meeting or exceeding proficiency in all 10 areas of the National Standards of Practice, endorsed by both the Department of Education and The Department of Labor as a guide to best practice in the implementation of quality career academies. This is quite an accomplishment for our Career and Technical Education Department, our schools, our staff and our students! As model academies, we will host other districts nationwide which have career academies or wish to launch them.


This summer, we have been forming committees, including the Citizens Bond Oversite Committee, the Citizens Anti-Bullying Committee and the Citizens Strategic Planning Committee, to engage and include our citizens in the forward progress of our district. We appreciate the time and effort our community members are always willing to give to improving our district, and we will keep everyone posted on the work of these groups.


School will be starting before we know it, so I hope our Goose Creek CISD employees as well as our students, parents and other community members take some time to relax and enjoy some time with friends and family. Thank you for supporting this district as we continue to engage, inspire and empower our students to prepare for college and careers.


Here, We Grow Giants!