Kilgore, Texas – Region 7 Education Service Center is proud to announce both Fruitvale ISD Board of Trustees and Longview ISD Board of Trustees as the 2021 Regional School Boards of the Year. The FISD Board of Trustees will serve as the regional representative for the small district category, and the LISD Board of Trustees will serve as the regional representative for the large district category in this year’s Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) School Board Awards Program.
Fruitvale ISD Superintendent Rebecca Bain nominated the board for the award, stating that “This is by far the most diverse, most charitable group of board members in the state. They work and vote together, and they support students and staff well. They follow the chain of command with issues, and they have the community’s respect for what they do.”
Fruitvale ISD is a Systemic Model for 21st Century School Transformation in Texas. The district is partially supported in this effort by Educate Texas, a public/private partnership established by the Governor’s office to support Early Colleges and STEM Academies as a P16 college and career readiness initiative within the Texas Public Education System.
Fruitvale ISD has also been designated by TEA as a TSTEM Academy, PTECH district, District of Innovation, a Math Innovation Zone, and an ELA blended learning district. Fruitvale ISD was recently awarded UIL High School Academic District Champions, Regional One-Act Play qualifiers, and was recognized in the Texas School Business magazine for their Employability Program.
In 2016, the FISD Board of Trustees passed a $1.5 million bond for a new Career and Technology building that serves all CATE programs. The board also approved various other projects that allowed the district to remodel every classroom district-wide, resurface all athletic fields, build a new indoor athletic facility, and construct a new track, concession and storage building, a new greenhouse, and two new outdoor classroom pavilions.
Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox nominated the board for the award, stating that “This board has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to excellence toward our staff and students. With the financial commitment for new, innovative programs that recognize staff and community members at our board meetings, the board is dedicated to the future of our community.”
In 2008, the LISD Board of Trustees passed a $267 million bond package, which allowed the district to rebuild seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and completely renovate the high school campus. The LISD board also created programs to increase pay to teachers who improved the performance of low socio-economic students over 1-2 years on standardized tests. In 2017, a total of over $2.8 million was paid through the Longview Incentive for Teachers (LIFT) program.
In addition to district facility and payroll improvements, the LISD board has also approved programs to support high performance for students, including a new screening process for gifted and talented students, continued implementation of the dual language program, and technology partnerships to expose students to various career paths.
“Our school board members are volunteers who shoulder critical responsibilities and often make difficult choices for our district, all without pay,” says Dr. James Wilcox. “Their goal is always focused on the future success of the children in our district.”
Texas school superintendents who are TASA members and meet other criteria may nominate their boards of trustees for the TASA School Board Awards. Committees of TASA members organized by Texas’ regional education service centers review the nominations and select up to two school boards for consideration for the state-level awards: one with fewer than 1,000 students and one with 1,000 or more students.
TASA’s School Board Awards Committee will meet virtually in early August to select up to five of the nominated boards to be recognized as Honor Boards. Those finalists will be interviewed in Dallas at txEDCON, the TASA|TASB Convention on September 24, and the 2021 Outstanding School Board will be announced September 25.
The TASA School Board Awards Program was established in 1971 to recognize the dedication and service of school boards that make a positive impact on the schoolchildren of Texas.
TASA is the professional association for Texas school superintendents and other administrators. The mission of the organization, which focuses on professional learning, advocacy, and member engagement, is to promote, provide and develop leaders who create and sustain student-centered schools and develop future-ready students.
Region 7 ESC is committed to district, charter, and student success by providing quality programs and services that meet or exceed customer expectations. One of 20 regional education service centers statewide, Region 7 ESC participates in the planning development, coordination, implementation, and evaluation of innovative educational programs for 96 school districts and 10 charter schools in the counties of Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Nacogdoches, Rains, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Panola, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood. For more information, visit www.esc7.net.
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