January 20, 2017

Volume VIIl, Issue 19

“Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Good afternoon LISD,

Today is a historic day for our country. The swearing-in of the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, shows the world that we are transferring power from one administration to the other. I know many of our students watched the Presidential Inauguration as part of their history lessons. I also watched with great interest the departure of President and Mrs. Obama. In his farewell letter, Obama said that his fellow Americans “have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength.”

As LISD educators, we continue with “the joyous work of citizenship” by developing young Americans who contribute and excel in life. The American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation awarded a $1.6M Credits Count grant to Laredo Community College (LCC) for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiative that will benefit hundreds of LISD teachers, students, and parents. The announcement was made during a press conference on Tuesday morning at the college. The grant creates a pathway for LISD students to attain in-demand professional certificates and post-secondary degrees in STEM careers starting in the 2017 Fall Semester. The grant provides tuition support and testing preparation for the TSI exam for Martin and Cigarroa High School students dually enrolled at LCC. Middle schools will be provided with a STEM-focused curriculum which includes robotics lessons focused on inquiry-based, active learning, and field trips to STEM experiences such as NASA in Houston and the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center located on the LCC campus. Middle school kids will also receive TSI testing preparation and family engagement events. Dual enrollment STEM teachers will be given the opportunity to receive a $1,000 tuition reimbursement for professional development such as coursework toward a master's degree in STEM-related disciplines. The future of our country and community depends on the critical thinkers we are educating at L.I.S.D. AEP’s generous donation will go a long way in helping us meet our academic goals and I am very grateful for their support. 

Students performing at the highest level of their class were recognized this week as "Youth of the Month" for January by the U.S. Border Patrol.  LBJ High School hosted a festive ceremony in honor of these students who were described as being at the top of their game academically and who have the strength and stamina to lead our community.  Representing LISD are Stephanie Lee Fanelle of Cigarroa High School, Karla Alvarez of Hector J. Garcia Early College High School, Ricardo Perusquia, Jr., of Nixon High School, and Iridian Lucas of Martin High School. Congrats to these four students, their parents, and the nominating educators and sponsors who make the monthly ceremony possible. 

I had the pleasure of serving as master of ceremonies during the Laredo Gateway Rotary Club’s dinner on Wednesday night at the Laredo Energy Arena.  The Rotary Club presented their coveted Paul Harris Award to local businessman Paul Young.  In accepting his award, Young spoke fondly of his days as a student at Martin High School.   He also spoke of the values and traditions that we need to make sure are passed on to younger generations. I congratulate Mr. Young for his award and thank him for the countless contributions he and his family have made to our community.   

In closing, Laredo ISD has been celebrating School Board Recognition Month in a grand way this month. Our board members have received numerous invitations for breakfast, lunch, and meriendas at our schools.  At last night’s board meeting, LISD’s “All Star Team” received a standing ovation from an appreciative audience. Even though we set aside January to show appreciation to our board members, we realize their many contributions reflect a year-round commitment. These public servants sit through meetings, read detailed reports, listen to parents’ concerns, and do the hard work to benefit the students and the community at large. They bring a variety of skills and backgrounds to their task, and they take their responsibilities seriously. The whole community benefits from their attentiveness in providing good schools. I would like to thank our seven trustees for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates in the interest of LISD schoolchildren. We can’t thank them enough for making sure our children succeed and prosper.

Enjoy your weekend.

Dr. Marcus Nelson

“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify advantage and seize it.  But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.” Dean Koontz

"Algunas personas piensan que sólo cuenta el intelecto: saber cómo resolver problemas, saber cómo superar, saber identificar las ventajas y aprovecharlas. Pero las funciones del intelecto no son suficientes sin coraje, amor, amistad, compasión y empatía." - Dean Koontz 

- See more at: http://laredo.ss11.sharpschool.com/cms/one.aspx?pageId=697818#sthash.s1lT3rGV.dpuf
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