An Ending and a New Beginning

Published 7:36 am Saturday, May 20, 2017

Editorial by Rickie R. Harris

Within a matter of days, the 2016-2017 school year will end. Students will celebrate the end of a successful year. Graduates will receive diplomas. Immediately, focus will turn to summer activities, colleges, and careers; and, for West Orange – Cove CISD, our attention will focus upon the 2017-2018 school year. But, before moving too far forward; I would like to look at recent honors.

Congratulations to all Mustangs and Stallions who have earned academic awards at campus end of year programs and/or achieved outstanding citizenship recognition.

Congratulations to Jared Dupree. He placed fourth in the high jump at the State Track and Field Meet. He also was named to the Academic All-State Track & Field Team. Both are tremendous achievements!

Congratulations Class of 2017! Ryan Ragsdale and Jack Dallas are the class valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. These leaders, fellow honor graduates, and classmates were recognized at the West Orange – Stark High School Senior Scholarship program. Collectively the class earned over $757,000 in scholarships. More scholarships are continuing to arrive.

We are also very proud of the 32 WOS High School students who received certificates and pins in Lamar State College – Orange Dual Credit Basic Nursing, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Pharmacy Technology programs.

Our community is invited to celebrate our graduates at Baccalaureate and Commencement programs. Baccalaureate will be held tomorrow night, May 21 at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 7637 MLK Dr., in Orange. Commencement will be held Friday, May 26 at 6 p.m. at Dan R. Hooks Stadium and Leroy D. Breedlove Field. (In the event of inclement weather, graduation will be moved inside.) We hope that you can join us.

Breakfast and lunch will be available to children 18 and under, regardless of income and enrollment, in our Summer Feeding program. Two locations will open May 31. WOS Elementary School and WOS High School will serve breakfast from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Elementary; and from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the High School. Both campuses will serve meals Monday through Thursday. WOS High School will serve meals through June 23; while the Elementary will serve meals through Aug. 4. The program will be closed during the week of July 4.

Now to looking forward and new beginnings, I am excited to share that WOS High School in partnership with Lamar State College -Orange has been designated as an Early College High School (ECHS) by the Texas Education Agency. We will launch our first class with current eighth graders who will be freshmen in 2017 – 2018. Participating students will graduate with a High School diploma and an Associate’s Degree from Lamar State College – Orange. The Early College program allows students least likely to attend college the opportunity to enroll in dual credit courses at no cost, receive academic and social support services that will increase college readiness, and reduce barriers to college access. There will be an Early College High School meeting on Tuesday, May 23 at 6 p.m. at WOS High School. Current eighth grade students and their parents are encouraged to attend.

West Orange – Cove CISD is empowering lives through excellence every day! 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