Veterans matter in EPISD

Our students and employees are taking the day off from the hard work they do day in and day out to commemorate one of the most important holidays in our school calendar: Veterans Day. For EPISD it is very important to give our students and employees the chance to take the day off to celebrate with their loved ones and attend patriotic events throughout the city.

EPISD’s ties to the military are strong and that’s evident by the important partnership we continue to have with Fort Bliss.  It is also evident by the care we take in making sure our military families continue to feel supported within our schools.

I’m encouraged to see that Veterans Day is important to our students, too.  I invite you to go over to our District Gallery page and see the photos of the many Veterans Day celebrations that were organized in our campuses.  The kids did a great job of making our veterans feel special, and that is precisely what this holiday is about.

So as we go on honoring the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our military, I also want take a chance to give a special thank you to those veterans who are also employees of our District.  Your hard work and sacrifice have helped make our country great.

Thank you for your service!

Students, employees and community have helped EPISD improve

Recently, a story ran in the El Paso Times regarding EPISD’s acceptance into Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools. The League is a coalition of innovative schools and school districts united in their efforts to impact students through forward-thinking instruction. You can read the article here.

As I read the article, I realized that the story was not just about this great accomplishment. It was also about the path the District has taken to shed its image of a school system in crisis to one where innovation, creativity, quality instruction, transparency and child-centric behavior are the norm.

I consider it a blessing and one of the highlights of my professional career to be a part of the new “I am EPISD” movement and to have the opportunity to work with such dedicated educators and staff as we rebuild EPISD into a 21st century district. A district focused on #kids1st and a district seeking creative strategies to innovate and better support all students. We passionately seek growth opportunities and higher standards for ourselves.

As mentioned in the article, it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come in such a short time. It’s heartening to see that when EPISD is mentioned in the news, it is because we are changing and working on innovation and groundbreaking initiatives to benefit our students. I am sure you, as employees and community members of the District, feel the same way.

Our hard-working employees who come to work every day seeking excellence in their daily activities and keeping our students’ best interests in mind have earned all of our recent success.

From the bus driver that picks up our students in the morning and the cafeteria staff that prepare healthy breakfasts and lunches to the teacher who is using future-ready lesson plans and the central office administrator who is working to support schools — we all have had a hand in making sure EPISD thrives and moves forward toward success.

I am proud of the team we have in the District. Every day the level of passion, professionalism and dedication our employees display at all levels inspires me. There is a commitment among those who come to work in EPISD that is truly encouraging. We would not be here today without the dedication our educators and other employees have shown the District and we will not move forward unless we continue to try to get better every day.

I understand the last two years have been busy and, at times, tiresome. We have implemented many new initiatives and have asked a lot out of our employees and students. Change is not always easy, but in the case of EPISD it was certainly necessary. Those who stuck around and came into the new EPISD family have shown a devoted commitment to help the District become a district of choice along the U.S.-Mexico border.

My first two years as superintendent have been difficult, challenging, but very rewarding. It’s been a time of hard work and a lot of celebrations. I know that our work is not near done. We cannot rest until every student can make it through our system fully prepared for college or career. I know many see this as impossible, but it has to be our goal.

As Vince Lombardi once said: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we will catch excellence along the way.”

In the K-12 education context, perfection means we all collectively believe and work toward supporting and improving the lives of every child. Each of you must share this belief for us to be successful. We must understand that this road will be difficult and at times inconvenient and stressful. But if we are seeking to support all students, we must put their interest and wellbeing first.

Our children deserve this effort from us and moreover, our community deserves a world-class school district, and I am confident we have the will and desire to give it to them.

Thanks to each of you for all your hard work through these difficult times. Now, let’s get to work on making the upcoming years the best in EPISD’s history.