September 30, 2016

Volume VIIl, Issue 6

“Never give up for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” - Harriet Beecher Stowe

Good afternoon LISD,

Last weekend I attended the annual Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Board (TASA/TASB) Conference in Houston. I had the opportunity to meet with the TEA Commissioner of Education Mike Morrath and the State Board of Education member-elect who will be representing the Laredo area, Georgina Perez. I invited them both to visit our schools in the near future. Administrators and board members from across the district are preparing for the upcoming legislative session with advocacy agendas that represent the best interests of our students. I was also happy to see Dr. Marcelo Cavazos of Arlington ISD win the title of 2016 Superintendent of the Year and the Lancaster ISD School Board of Trustees named as the state’s top Honor Board. My friend and colleague, Dr. Michael McFarland is superintendent at Lancaster ISD.

It’s not often that a James Beard winner visits one of our high schools. Chef, television host, and cookbook author Pati Jinich stopped by Nixon High School this week to visit with Culinary Art students in Betty Almazan’s. The award-winning PBS show host took the time to talk about her career, Mexican cuisine, and some of the celebrities she has cooked for including President Obama. The students asked questions about her favorite recipes and unusual ingredients. She encouraged the students to persevere until their goals were reached. She mentioned how she often tests recipes up to 20 times until she gets the flavor just right. Jinich was in town to participate in a fundraiser for KLRN-TV Public Television for South Texas.

This Saturday our chess enthusiasts are competing in the LISD Advanced Academic Program chess tournament in the Civic Center Ballroom. The five round Swiss Style tournament is open to all scholastic chess players in grades kinder through 12. An awards ceremony will be held immediately after the tabulation of the fifth round. Members of the Laredo Chess Club will direct the tournament.

Who makes sure that our classrooms are conducive to learning, that our bathrooms are clean, and that the grass is cut? Who ensures that the air conditioner is cooling, walls are freshly painted, and lighting illuminates the right areas? The unsung heroes of our school district are the men and women who serve on the Custodial and Maintenance staff. I can’t thank them enough for all of their hard work. Their efforts are noticed and recognized. Happy Custodial and Maintenance Appreciation Day.

Finally, I wish to express my sincerest condolences to the family of Lupita Cortez, who died this week after a brave battle with cancer. Her impact on the education of our youth will remain for decades to come, and her inspiration will always have a presence within our school district. I am going to miss her presence, candor,and confidence. We have truly lost one of our most respected and beloved educators. Rest in peace, Lupita.

Enjoy your weekend

Dr. Marcus Nelson

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think.” – Albert Einstein

"La educación no es aprender hechos, sino entrenar a la mente a pensar." – Albert Einstein

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