Superintendent’s Leadership team visits over 90 campuses on first day of school

  • The visits were intended to offer support to campuses and help welcome students to the new year.
  • Leadership helped in various ways – from copying registration forms to helping parents navigate computers.
  • “We’ve really received positive feedback from principals and teachers,” said Area Superintendent Taryn Bailey. “They were grateful for the support.”
  • Superintendent Juan Cabrera said his intention for the mass visits was to be able to address any issues or concerns at the campuses and offer administrators an opportunity to talk with the Leadership team.
  • “We want Central Office and the Leadership team to continue to be an asset to our campus administrators and encourage their success throughout the year.”

Welcome back! We are ready for this school year.

We are definitely ready!

I hope everyone is rested and ready for the exciting challenges and opportunities that are in store for us.

Together, we will recreate our district and build a learning organization where we nurture and support each other as peers and colleagues so that we can better support our students and their families.

It was great to have the opportunity to get together at convocation last week and hear Dr. John Draper’s inspiring message about all the positives in public education.  He inspired me and I hope he inspired all of you and also reminded you how important you are and that you make a difference for our kids and our community.  Schools are important community resources but they only work if we have caring, nurturing and innovative educators at every campus. This is why we started “I am EPISD” – so that we are all reminded about our responsibility and our importance to the greater mission.  We will not be a great team unless each of us reaches and exceeds our potential each and every day.

It’s difficult to quantify a cultural shift or a movement towards a more positive attitude, but over the last few weeks (as I have visited with many of you) I feel change and a lot of positive energy in the air. We are heading in the right direction!

Our common vision is to get better every day to meet the changing needs of our community.  I am EPISD and, together, we are EPISD.

 We will be stronger and better working together. Let’s make it a great year!

Durant’s Dialogue

Happy first day of school! The 2014-15 school year is here and I can’t be more excited to see our students return. Last week’s convocation kicked off the new school year with great energy. I could see that we were all “ready” for today.

Dr. Draper’s “Crucial Conversations” hit a chord with so many of us. His inspirational message made us laugh and cry. It affirmed my commitment to education and our students. The convocation also gave us an opportunity to hear from Superintendent Juan Cabrera and learn more about our district’s strategic priorities, laying the groundwork for our future. The convocations were all truly positive and unifying experience. We are EPISD.

I’d certainly be remiss if I didn’t address the Job-a-Like at Coronado and Franklin high schools on Wednesday. We have received feedback and concern about the organization and delays that left many of you frustrated and upset. I assure you that we are taking your feedback to heart. When we offer training for our teachers, we want you to have an optimum experience. The issues that plagued the Job-a-Like were unacceptable and not how we want to do business. I sincerely apologize.

Planning and discussion of next year’s session is already in the works. Expect next year’s Job-a-Like to be logistically smoother, better staffed and offer dynamic presentations. We want Job-a-Like sessions to be a positive and worthwhile experience for our teachers. I assure you next year’s will meet your expectations.

You are the most important part of educating our students. We want our interactions with you to be as positive as possible and we will keep you mind in all planning that directly affects teachers. This year is especially critical for us as we embark on a new era, building a dynamic 21st century school district that will make us all proud.

You are key to the success of the district’s new initiatives and play a major role in guiding and leading our efforts on the campus with our students. We appreciate you and your commitment and dedication to EPISD’s success.

The most successful organizations foster bonds of caring between teachers and their students. In EPISD, we want to foster these relationships between students and teachers, teachers and central office, and community with all three. We at central office are committed to making this happen. We want you to know that you matter and that we will move mountains to support your needs.

The 2014-15 school year will be historic for us. Enjoy the arrival of your new students and have a fantastic new year!

Ivonne Durant
Deputy Superintendent
Academics and School Leadership