Garland ISD Trustees discussed new legislation for school districts, including the role of school boards, at their Jan. 9 work session. Board President Larry Glick called attention to additional responsibilities regarding academic achievement.
“It says, ‘A board shall provide oversight regarding student academic achievement and strategic leadership for maximizing student performance.’ I always thought this was one of our responsibilities, but the state has decided to put it into writing. I think this is a really important change as the state starts to recognize that powers over academic achievement come here. That is our responsibility—something we cannot delegate,” he said.
Trustees attended a two-day retreat after the work session to continue discussions and also talk about goal setting. Updates to local policies will be voted on at the Jan. 23 regular meeting.
On Jan. 9, the Board of Trustees also recognized several students and staff for outstanding work ethic. Garland High School junior Isabel Borrego received an Evidence of Excellence award for advancing to state competition in cross country, earning a spot on the 6A All-State Cross Country Team and being one of the 5A-6A Cross Country All-Stars honored by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Eleven fifth, sixth and seventh-graders from Kimberlin and Austin Academies for Excellence also received Evidence of Excellence awards for winning the 2017 I Write Short Stories by Kids for Kids contest. They are among just 75 student authors nationwide to be featured in this year’s published anthology.
Mary Cuellar, morning custodian at Shorehaven Elementary School, was honored with a Going the Extra Mile award for making it a point to maintain the highest levels of cleanliness and organization while also ensuring people feel welcome at the campus. According to Shorehaven Principal Deborah Henson, Mary exemplifies district customer service goals.
“She has such a pleasant attitude. She is always smiling and the first to help. She also does millions of things not listed in her job description, like escorting kids to class, setting up for meetings at a moment’s notice, helping teachers in their classrooms, and assisting in the cafeteria to supervise kids when they are short-handed,” Henson said.
Sachse High School art teacher Jobina Lugrand was also honored with a Going the Extra Mile award for her dedication to the success of all students. Last summer she helped a student organize an art show fundraiser to help pay for an opportunity to attend a pre-collegiate Summer Arts Institute at Stanford University. Lugrand also takes students on college visits when their parents are unable to do so, covering the cost of travel and meals out of her own pocket and on her own time.