Doing what matters

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, September 5, 2018

By Dr. Rickie R. Harris

Welcome to the new school year! I am glad to share that West Orange – Cove CISD had an outstanding in-service and first week of classes. In today’s column, I will share information regarding the great staff development we provided our educators as we prepared for 2018-2019. Our goal in delivering training is always to ensure that we provide students with the best quality education possible.

I would like to first thank all of our community partners who supported our Mustang family during our “Doing What Matters” 2018 Convocation. First Financial Bank, Sabine Federal Credit Union, MCT Credit Union, and the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce participate annually in this event. We truly appreciate their constant support.

Mickey Smith, a full-time educator and speaker who was a national finalist for a Grammy Music Educator Award provided the keynote at Convocation. His message spoke to the influence of family, caring teachers, and coaches upon children. He included instrumental performances and a challenge to be “All In, All of the Time.” Mr. Smith’s message and saxophone finale were superb. We were fortunate to have this former West Orange – Stark Middle School band director share his experience and encouragement.

We also held our second annual WOCCISD “Doing What Matters” Professional Development Conference prior to the start of school. The event featured more than 30 workshops for teachers, administrators, and instructional aides. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Rod Paige provided the opening session keynote.

He served as education secretary for President George W. Bush. Dr. Paige’s career also included serving as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District and as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University. He was also a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an interim president of Jackson State University.

Dr. Paige shared career insights and stressed the importance of not only accepting but also seizing responsibility for educating a child. He additionally provided professional guidance by leading individual conference sessions for WOC administrators. It was our pleasure to host this distinguished leader and we are very grateful for his willingness to share knowledge.

Not only did Dr. Paige lead individual workshops, but Mr. Mickey Smith also led sessions for our teachers on “Discovering their Sound.” District staff led the majority of additional workshops that addressed curriculum and other topics. Thank you also to the Orange Stationer for your support and providing the conference door prize.

Our annual Employee Health Fair was held at the same time as our conference. The Fair offered vision checks, flu shots, and more. Mustang booster clubs and local vendors also shared information regarding their services and products. We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who participated in this successful event.

With outstanding professional development, our staff members have started the year excited and eager to do what matters daily in the lives of students.

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” Go Mustangs!