Sonya Cole-Hamilton Chief Communications Officer
(972) 218-1433 office ● (972) 358-7227 cell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 8, 2016
Lancaster ISD Highlights School Board Members During Recognition Month
Lancaster, Texas /Lancaster ISD – January is School Board Recognition Month, and Lancaster ISD joins other districts across the state as they honor the countless contributions of these locally elected advocates for public education.
“Our Board of Trustees have acted as the catalyst for the transformation that has occurred over the last six years in Lancaster ISD and it is because of their unwavering commitment to improving the educational outcomes of all students that we have seen such significant progress in student achievement, financial stability and community perception,” Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland said. “We are excited to take a moment to publically honor them for giving so much to our community and to show them that their dedicated service is recognized and truly appreciated.”
Each year, during the month of January, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) encourages communities to show appreciation to these individuals for their unfailing commitment to the success of all students. On Wednesday, January 27, each Lancaster ISD campus is celebrating the district’s trustees at the monthly board meeting.
“Serving on a local school board is no easy task. The men and women who are elected to serve establish the policies that provide the framework for public schools. They tackle a difficult job and shoulder enormous responsibilities,” Lancaster ISD Chief Communications Officer Sonya Cole-Hamilton said. “Our staff and students applaud our board members for their vision and voice which help to shape Lancaster ISD and we plan to honor them appropriately at our next board meeting. Usually we highlight outstanding students and staff at our monthly meetings—and we intend to do that—however, this month, we will also celebrate our school board members.”
Since 2010, Lancaster ISD has grown from 5,500 students to 7,300 students with about 96% of its students of African American and Hispanic descent and almost 85% of all students receive free and reduced lunch. In spite recent challenges, 100% of the district’s schools met the state standards for the second year in a row and the district boasts a graduation rate of 95.6%.
“These feats were achieved as a direct result of our Board of Trustees setting high standards and ensuring that policies were in place to support the Administration’s efforts,” Dr. McFarland said. “Ensuring success for all students requires our board members to commit time and resources and dedicate themselves to actions that will achieve the goals. The Board has clearly exceeded in this area.”
School Board members acknowledge that their commitment is to the students of Lancaster ISD and that to achieve their goals they must work together as a successful team.
“We are driven to serve Lancaster ISD and ensure that all children get a quality education today so that they will be equipped to succeed in their future endeavors,” Trustee Cynthia Corbin-Jarvis of District 2 said. “I was elected to make a difference and I have proudly represented my community and school district at the local and state level.”
The trustees, in addition to the superintendent, are often referred to as a “Team of 8” to emphasis the importance of working together.
“Our Team of 8 relationship is positive and knowing that we all strive for a common goal is the key. It allows us to respect each other’s opinions whether we agree or disagree. Even though we have different backgrounds, we always end up on common ground which aids in the success of the district,” Secretary Rhonda Davis-Crawford of District 3 said. “The best thing about working with the other Lancaster ISD trustees is that we can build off each other’s strengths. Each one brings something different to the table and by sharing his or her area of expertise, it helps us to grow.”
District 6 Trustee Robbie Johnson said that the Lancaster ISD Board of Trustees utilizes students as the driving force behind strategic decision-making.
“We have extremely talented young people who deserve to see a Board that governs responsibly. Additionally, our community, parents, students and external stakeholders need to feel confident that we are able to govern collectively,” she said. “While the process may not always run smooth, the fact that we are continually focused on the larger picture and committed to working towards the end goal is the level of unity expected of us as elected officials.”
Dr. McFarland said that the school district has improved due to the board’s leadership.
“The Lancaster ISD Board of Trustees is a model school board made up of true servant leaders who have managed to keep the student achievement agenda moving forward in the midst of challenging circumstances," he said. “Because of our Board’s service, our students are graduating from high school with ‘More than a Diploma,’ they are graduating with choices and opportunities.
The men and women who have a huge impact on public education in Lancaster ISD and who have been elected to represent its citizens in volunteer service as school board members are:
Ellen Clark (Vice President)
Rhonda Davis-Crawford (Secretary)
Ty G. Jones (President)
Citizens are invited to attend the Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 PM at the Lancaster Administration Building located at 422 S. Centre Ave. Lancaster, TX 75146.