May 11, 2018

"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation." - John F. Kennedy

Good afternoon,

LISD teachers change the lives of our schoolchildren on a daily basis, and their efforts and influence extends far beyond the boundaries of their classrooms. As superintendent of LISD, I have the pleasure of seeing the continuous hard work and inspiration provided by our teachers. All of us remember those special teachers who touched our minds and hearts and this is what I see in our classrooms every day. Therefore, I want to thank all LISD teachers. You are highly esteemed and respected for your sacrifices and for genuinely caring for our boys and girls. I truly hope you felt appreciated this week.

We also celebrated Nurses Appreciation Week. Our children are fortunate to have these much needed faces of compassion and champions for the health and well-being of our kids.

We are very optimistic about the STAAR scores that we received recently. I can tell you that we have great gains in our first administration of the STAAR exams in the fifth and eighth grades. This round of scores is evidence of the dedicated teachers and staff that we are blessed with at LISD. These scores show great promise and we hope to mirror these gains across other grade levels.

Congratulations are in order for the Martin High School Mariachi Los Tigres del Sur and Cigarroa High School Mariachi Azteca for their successes at the recent TAMIU Mariachi Festival. The Cigarroa Mariachi won first place for best vocals, best violins, and best trumpets. The Martin Tigers won the Best Armonia Section and Second Place in the Encore Division. Martin players Claudia Gutierrez, Rogelio Guerra, George Sanchez, and Alejandro Guerrero won $1,000 scholarships from TAMIU.

This week we honored the most outstanding students from each of our schools during the first annual Superintendent's Excellence Award. LISD Board of Trustees President Hector "Tito" Garcia joined me on staging in presenting medals to these remarkable students. We value excellence and this is one way to recognize those who excel in academics, attitude, attendance and extracurricular activities. Congratulations to LISD's brightest stars.

How proud we are of Nixon High School athletes Alexa Rodriguez and Veronica Garcia who are competing in Austin at the UIL State Class 5A Track Meet at Mike Meyers Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin. Alexa is running in both the 3200m and 1600m races which makes her the first Laredoan to run two races in the same track meet. Veronica is competing in the discus throw. Best wishes to these outstanding athletes and their coaches, Alfredo Salinas and Luis Escamilla.

We are grieving the passing of our beloved board member, Jose R. Perez, Jr., who passed away on April 28. Mr. Perez dedicated his career to LISD as a teacher, assistant principal, department head, and director. Following his retirement, Mr. Perez was elected to the LISD Board of Trustees, where he served as Board President in 2012. He was also a member of the Laredo City Council from 1990 to 1998. It was his deepest desire that our bond proposal meet the approval of our voters. He rallied for the cause to the very end despite his failing health. He leaves a void in our hearts and I will personally miss his wise counsel and friendship. Please keep the Perez family in your thoughts and prayers.

Best always,

Dr. Sylvia G. Rios

"The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people." K. Patricia Cross

"La tarea de una excelente maestra es estimular a la gente “aparentemente ordinaria” a un intento inusual. El problema no es identificar a los ganadores: es en hacer ganadores de gente ordinaria." - K. Patricia Cross



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