I would like to congratulate the entire Dallas ISD community: students, teachers, staff, administration and parents, for winning the 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award as the best large district in Texas. This is a recognition of the hard work of District staff and its devotion to students and an unwavering commitment to excellence.
Transforming problems into opportunities
The 2019-2020 school year will be difficult to forget for the Dallas ISD community. The current health crisis is just one more of the transitions we lived through this year. However, as it often happens, it is during moments of adversity that we witness the strength and ingenuity of our teachers to transform problems into opportunities.
Let’s take Walnut Hill Elementary School as an example. Even after having to start at three new classroom settings this year, the Walnut Hill teachers have risen to the occasion to support student achievement. Upon returning from Spring Break, they designed and launched their own distance learning platform to adapt the district’s curriculum, support learning, and keep in touch with students and parents. This spirit is what the district needs as we plow into the next school year.
In order to provide the safest environment for our senior students and their families, this year’s commencement ceremonies will be held virtually beginning May 22. Dallas ISD TV will stream the ceremonies as originally scheduled and all 8,900 seniors will receive banners to display at home recognizing them as members of the Class of 2020.
Likewise, to show Dallas ISD communal support for this year’s senior class, we invite the community to step outside their residence from 7 to 7:10 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, and offer a districtwide ovation to all our students.
Inspiring senior stories
Among the many inspiring senior stories across District 1, I would like to highlight that of Marysol Ortega, from Thomas Jefferson High School. Next year, when she attends the University of North Texas, she will be the first generation in her family to attend college. To date, 40 seniors at Thomas Jefferson have earned $7.8 million in college scholarships!
Throughout her senior school year, marked by several unpredictable situations, Marysol’s leadership and athletic skills allowed her to remain strong and optimistic to help her peers look towards the future and adjust to change quickly. She was instrumental in keeping her classmates motivated through the school’s relocation after the tornado and the current crisis.
I am sure her philosophy of focusing on what is ahead, instead of on what we can’t control will be of great help as she moves toward her dreams and an inspiration to us all.
It’s the end of the year as we know it
As we close this school year, I would like to leave a message of hope to our Dallas ISD community. After the COVID-19 crisis, the world as we knew it will never be the same, and Dallas ISD can never be the same either. The bonds we have formed and the lessons we’ve learned during these past few months have made us stronger and more resourceful as a district. Let us maintain that same spirit and build upon it for the 2020-2021 school year.
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