Together we RISE

Published 9:40 am Sunday, August 2, 2015

By Rickie R. Harris

As we prepare for the start of another wonderful school year, we anticipate the great things that we will accomplish at West Orange – Cove CISD.

During the past few months we have had to overcome the loss of key staff members. But, just as Mustangs have always done, we have risen above obstacles and have been able to further build our administrative capacity.

We have hired Glenetta Henley as our new West Orange – Stark Elementary School Principal. She has been an educator for 29 years; 21 of those years were spent in Northside ISD in San Antonio as a gifted / enrichment specialist. Most recently, Mrs. Henley served within Beaumont ISD. She taught history at Smith Middle School for two years and then spent six years as the associate principal at Marshall Middle School. She has been a resident of Orange for eight years. We are excited about being able to hire this leader from within our community.

Additionally, Dr. Nina Leblanc is our Executive Director of Student Services. Dr. LeBlanc, a 21 year educator, has more than 17 years of administrative experience as a principal in Hillsboro, Waco, and Connally School Districts. She will provide the leadership necessary to improve services provided to our special populations.

We have also added a Coordinator of Special Education Transition / Career and Technology Education. Aimee Hebert has been a WOCCISD administrator for quite some time. She has served as an Assistant Principal at the High School, Middle School, and Elementary School; and, will fill this new position and support the District by enhancing partnerships with local and state entities to increase post-graduation opportunities for our students as they transition to employment, technical school, and/or college.

Our goal with this Coordinator position is to recognize that all students do not desire or pursue the same career pathway. There are a variety of occupations that do not require a college diploma, and yet are extremely important services. Therefore, it is imperative that we graduate young adults that will be valuable work force resources and ultimately make our community stronger. At the end of a K-12 public education career, we would like to be able to offer all students the opportunity to be a productive citizen in this community.

These are only a few of the key staffing additions that we have made with the primary purpose of rising to new levels and achieving greater excellence as a complete school system.

We look forward to the rest of our education team returning on Thursday, August 12 where we will begin working together to RISE. As we RISE, we will strive to Reach out to make real connections with our stakeholders. We will Inspire our students to be the best Mustangs possible. We will Sacrifice for the betterment of our students. We will also Encourage our students to embrace the Mustang tradition and pride that flows through the hearts and souls of all the Mustangs that have come before us.

As contemporary author John Maxwell said, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

Go Mustangs!

Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD.