Often described as a big district with a small-town, family feel, Garland ISD has staff members who care not only about the well-being of students but also of each other and GISD as a whole.
One group of those staff members is the Garland Area Alliance of Black School Educators. The organization focuses on four priorities, which include community and youth development, staff recognition, professional development and networking.
To achieve its goal of community and youth development in 2017-18, GAABSE awarded five scholarships to GISD students totaling $2,500. The group also initiated a mentoring program for young ladies in grades 3-12 called Diamonds and Pearls. And, GAABSE regularly helps the Garland NAACP with its Back-to-School Rally, which serves thousands of district students each year.
When it comes to staff recognition, the organization names a Teacher of the Year, Paraprofessional of the Year and Principal of the Year annually at its Golden Apple Scholarship Gala.
For professional development, GAABSE presented several sessions on cultural proficiency last school year and also hosted monthly Twitter chats. Lastly, for networking, the group hosted several mixers with other chapters and conducted a Winter Social School Supply Drive for Hurricane Harvey victims.
The GISD Board of Trustees recognized GAABSE with an Evidence of Excellence Award June 26 for the organization’s efforts to promote exceptional education for all students.
“I am humbled and so appreciative of how it is that GISD continues to be champions for children and recognizes when we have members inside Garland ISD who are striving to continually step on the shoulders of greatness. I thank you so much for this award,” said GAABSE President Statia Paschel.
The group has received recognition outside of the district as well. John Washington, former GISD Assistant Superintendent and GAABSE Founding Member received the Living Legend Award from the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators. Paschel and fellow member Phyllis Williams also received the President’s Award.