CHRIS MOORE — School districts could benefit from more local collaboration

Published 12:26 am Friday, September 30, 2022

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Bridge City Independent School District Superintendent Mike Kelly is getting a unique opportunity to collaborate with several school district leaders across the state thanks to a scholarship he received.

However, a local effort Kelly is involved with might be a template for all school districts.

Chris Moore

While talking to Kelly about his scholarship, he mentioned all five of the Orange County superintendents meet five times a year to discuss challenges, share tips and talk about topics that impact education in Southeast Texas.

Kelly went on to say the program has recently expanded, adding all principals in the county do the same.

“As superintendents, when we are able to get together and talk about the struggles in our districts or the successes, we share it all,” Kelly said. “Where we are struggling, maybe another superintendent has been through that or something similar and has some good advice. All of us in Orange County are willing to share what we have… We don’t hold that close to our vest. We share everything we can to help. The stronger our neighboring districts are, the stronger our area is. It is all in the same name of kids.”

I think that would be a great idea for all local districts. Local schools are already run by some of the best and brightest minds in the area.

I can only see positive coming from a Southeast Texas “think tank” to help tackle some of the issues facing local public education.

I think the public tends to look at the relationship with neighboring cities and school districts as adversarial or competitive at best. That’s not to say there isn’t an open line of communication between local school district leaders, but to see it more consistently would be nice.

The area consistently has some of the highest-ranking schools in the state, and we would all greatly benefit from more collaboration.

I think a good group of Southeast Texas education leaders could get a lot done. No area produces more students that feed the local industry like our school districts. No other area in the state has had to deal with as many natural disasters and the intricacies that come with rebuilding and mitigation.

While I am sure there is competitiveness when it comes to hiring teachers, there should only be friendly competition when it comes to educating kids.

Chris Moore covers Bridge City and other assignments for Orange Newsmedia. He can be reached at