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Knee surgery has me down, but not out

2015 August 20
by HISD Communications

I ignored the pain in my knees as long as I could – probably longer. I stopped taking the stairs at work. I avoided sitting in low chairs because getting back up without wincing became impossible. But then, reality set in. I scheduled the first of two knee replacement surgeries that my doctor has been urging me to get for years. On Monday, the first day of school, it will have been three weeks since my surgery. The recovery has been rough, and it looks like I won’t be able to walk the halls with principals as they welcome our scholars to the 2015–2016 school year.

But that’s okay. I know that with hard work, and the support of my family, friends, and caregivers, I will soon be stronger than before. I know that with this temporary pain comes great long-term gain. It’s the same way with running a school district. If we want things to get better, we have to be willing to endure some short-term hardship.

A few days after I went under the knife, we learned that HISD had earned an overall rating of “Met Standard” from the Texas Education Agency and 29 of our schools had earned the maximum number of distinction designations for their top performance throughout the 2014–2015 school year. We also learned that students in too many of our schools are struggling to meet the high expectations we have for all of our children.

This marks the start of my seventh school year in HISD, and I am proud of the hard work we have put in to make sure every student graduates equipped to succeed in life. We’ve made tough decisions and we aren’t afraid to endure short-term pain for our children’s sake. In Houston, we know that ignoring problems won’t make them go away.

On Monday, when our students take their next steps along the road to academic improvement, they won’t be alone. The dedicated principals, teachers, and support staff that make up Team HISD will be right there with them, giving them an encouraging boost any time they stumble. Like those students, let’s all keep our eyes focused on that day in May when we’ll walk across the graduation stage on legs made stronger through a little bit of pain.

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