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Thank you, Team HISD, for seven great years

2016 February 25
by HISD Communications

This is my last blog entry as superintendent of schools, and frankly, the moment is bittersweet. As I’ve told people ever since announcing my intent to step down last fall, it’s been a blessing for me to work in HISD, and I’m not even going to pretend I’m not going to miss it.

There are so many talented professionals here, all of whom care deeply about Houston’s children. Preparing our students for success in college and the workforce has always been a shared priority, and during my last board meeting, I was able to share some fantastic news with trustees on that front:

  • I announced PowerUp at a State of the Schools address in 2013, and I am pleased to report that Phase 3 of the laptop distribution is now complete. All 65,000 high-school students have laptops that they can use at school or at home for anytime learning. HISD is the only large, major, urban school district that can say that, and we ought to be very proud.
  • The opening of a new wing at Grady Middle School recently marked the first completed project of the 2012 bond program, and you can see evidence of other new buildings all over the city. When these projects are finished, HISD will have the most modern portfolio of high school buildings of any major school district in the country. And that is absolutely fabulous.
  • The number of seniors who have submitted college applications this year has already outpaced our figures for all of 2015, and the number of college applicants at Austin, Chávez, Davis, Jones, Lee, Madison, Milby, and North Forest high schools has doubled from a year ago. I think that is a direct result of the district’s focus on college readiness, and a tribute to the hard work of our counselors, parents, students, and teachers. We also have an exciting new program that helps aspiring educators attend college tuition-free if they commit to teach in HISD for four years after graduation.

My last day as superintendent is Monday, Feb. 29, so this may well be the last time I get to share great news with you in this format. Still, it won’t be the last time you’ll hear me talk about HISD. Houston is a special place that I really love, and this district has an extremely bright future. It has been an honor and a privilege to work here. Thank you for seven great years.


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