Mustangs experience smooth start, applaud support staff

Published 7:37 am Saturday, September 3, 2016

Editorial by Rickie R. Harris

 Thank you Mustang Family for a great start of school! We appreciate the support of our parents and community as we navigated the first day and first two weeks of school. We are glad to report that we experienced a very smooth start to the year which would not be possible without the planning and hard work of some of our often overlooked Mustangs. Our maintenance, custodial, transportation, and food service departments are key players in our back-to-school success story.

I want to praise the dedication of our maintenance team and their commitment to West Orange – Cove CISD. This group of individuals can generally be found working outside in the most uncomfortable of conditions performing up-keep on our campus and district plumbing, electrical, and other systems to prepare our buildings for students. They weld, paint, and complete carpentry projects. Their work keeps our facilities functional, up-to-date, and safe. In addition, this group maintains our grounds. Working around unpredictable wet weather this summer made this responsibility more challenging than ever. We appreciate each of you!

The custodial department works hand-in-hand with maintenance. They know every inch of all of our facilities. Besides moving every piece of furniture multiple times over the summer in order to strip and wax floors, they work with and around summer school schedules, various summer camps, and community use of WOC facilities. They also support our campus and district summer in-services. Through an assortment of surprises and requests for classroom assistance, they always get the job done and make our aging buildings sparkle.

Another team I want to recognize is transportation. WOC drivers and transportation support staff are outstanding. They were active during the summer in their outreach to parents, initiating contact to confirm addresses and share routes, bus numbers, and estimated pick-up and drop-off times. Additionally, they attended registration events associated with Back-to- School Orange and were present at the Saturday event to welcome students and answer parent questions.

This year, we are also pleased to share that our elementary school campus is school-wide free lunch. This means that every student on the campus is able to enjoy breakfast and lunch for free because of the diligence of our Food Service staff. Their desire to support our students, communicate with parents, and their willingness to assist with document completion, has resulted in this school-wide availability of meals. All of our food service department members work carefully to prepare healthy meals which meet federal requirements. Their opportunity for preparation is limited and their distribution timeframe is brief. This takes planning, teamwork, and dedication. Thank you!

These team members, as well as faculty and staff members from all of our departments and campuses are doing all that they can to empower the lives of our students through excellence everyday!

District-wide, we are continuing on-line pre-registration through Labor Day. Family Access application forms are available on our campuses and are downloadable from our website:

Campus office staff members can assist parents with this process; and, computers are available for parent use.

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.