Continuing to move forward

Published 8:02 am Saturday, January 30, 2016

By Rickie R. Harris

This month has passed too quickly! It has been filled with post State Championship celebration, numerous recognitions, and the introduction of several new programs.

Many West Orange – Cove family members have earned recognition. Congratulations to West Orange – Stark Elementary School life skills teacher Kim Davis for earning a Golden Apple Award from KFDM Television/Education First Federal Credit Union. Additionally, congratulations to current and former WOS coaches who will be honored today by the Southeast Texas Coaches Association. Former trainer Terry King and Thomas Brooks, former coach, will be inducted into the 2016 Hall of Honor; and, Coach of the Year awards will be presented to current WOS Coaches Shea Landry and Cornel Thompson for baseball and football, respectively.

As part of School Board Appreciation Month, I would like to say thank you to our Board of Trustees for their service to our school community. Please join me in showing appreciation to Board Members Ruth Hancock, Sarah Jefferson Simon, Linda Platt-Bryant, John H. Gray, Jr., Bryan “Chop” Thomas Muhammad, Hardy O’Neal, and Roderick Robertson.

At our most recent Board meeting, I was excited to introduce fan appreciation. Four very distinguished and dedicated fans were honored. Kelly Price, McKinley Bland, Dennis Doggett, and Mack Dunkin were great representatives of this initial group of “Super Fan” honorees. Collectively, they have been attending Mustang, Chief, Tiger, and other school activities for over 200 years. Community members are invited to nominate “Super Fans” through our website: or by picking up a nomination form at the reception desk of our Educational Service Center.

On our campuses this month, additional special recognition events were held. At North Early Learning Center, students and staff were celebrated for earning perfect attendance for the second nine-week marking period and for the first semester.

At West Orange – Stark High School, two outstanding seniors signed scholarships to continue their academic and athletic careers. Madison Neal signed a letter of intent to play softball with San Jacinto College, South; while Payton Robertson signed to play baseball at Seminole State College in Oklahoma. Congratulations!

Also this month, WOCCISD was able to finalize an opportunity with Dell Computers which will benefit our students, their families, and our staff. Through the Dell Member Purchase Program valuable discount opportunities are available which include up to 30 percent off select systems, and more. Enrollment details and codes are available inside our Family Access parent portal. I definitely want to encourage all parents to take advantage of both of these resources. Family Access includes student gradebook, attendance, and other data that facilities parent and school communication. Applications and information packets are also downloadable on our website.

Finally, the district is currently in the early stages of developing a policy regarding the sale of all WOS or WOCCISD branded merchandise by outside vendors. All stakeholders are invited to learn more about our goals and share valued input at a meeting that will be held this Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the WOCCISD Educational Service Center Community Outreach Room, 902 W. Park Avenue in Orange.

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.