Superintendent's column: Honoring those who are the heart of our schools

May 6, 2017 at 2:21 p.m.
Updated May 6, 2017 at 9:35 p.m.

Robert Jaklich

Robert Jaklich   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

This week, we celebrated teacher and teacher's assistant appreciation week throughout VISD. It was truly our honor to recognize our outstanding teachers and teacher assistants for their exceptional service as a "Champion for our Children."

These remarkable individuals serve as excellent role models for our students and invest countless hours preparing lessons, tutoring and volunteering for extracurricular events.

In the course of providing a positive learning environment, our dedicated teachers and teacher assistants also support our students' emotional and social needs and inspire "Every Child, in Every Classroom, on Every Day." It has been said that the very best teachers teach from the heart, not from a book, and in VISD, it is clearly evident our teachers and teacher assistants truly serve as the "Heart" of our school district.

In January, Victoria ISD was notified we have been selected as a 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award Finalist for our VISD Early Childhood Education program.

May 7, the winner for this top state award will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony in Austin. We would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Tammy Sestak, federal programs director; Michelle Yates, coordinator for Early Childhood Education; Cristy Schmidt, prekindergarten support specialist; and all of our amazing Early Childhood Education teachers and support staff for their extraordinary commitment to strengthening even the smallest of hearts to grow big and change the world.

May 5, VISD along with Generation Texas celebrated GenTX Decision Day. The goal is to recognize and celebrate seniors for their postsecondary plans and encourage younger students and their families to prepare early for college.

Generation Texas (GenTX) is a statewide movement that is focused on building a collegegoing career-readiness culture across our great state of Texas. GenTX Decision Day is designed to motivate school and community groups to celebrate the importance of moving our students "one step closer" to a college or career readiness experience.

We extend our sincerest appreciation to Victoria College, the University of Houston-Victoria and the various business and community groups who joined forces with us to celebrate this wonderful day. By participating in this event, each person invited a conversation that offers up their own personal story of higher education, choices and careers. This is a conversation that could change a student's life and inspire them to dream big.

As part of GenTX Victoria, students could record a video about their decision to go to college and post it to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube with the label @GenerationTexas and hashtags #GenTXDay and #GenTXVictoria. The video focused on where students plan to attend college and why they decided to get a degree.

High school seniors have an opportunity to win an iPad from the state competition or one of two $500 college scholarships from the Crossroads competition. Students have until 5 p.m. May 15 to post their videos. Students also can win GenTX prize packs, including T-shirts, bracelets, lanyards and bags.

Area seniors also have the opportunity to win gift cards to area restaurants and businesses. Earlier in the school year, students were given passports that served as checklists to help them in the college application process. Students who have completed tasks listed on the passport will be entered into a drawing for the gift cards.

In addition to the drawing and video competition, students at Victoria East and Victoria West high schools were able to visit May 5 with recruiters from the University of Houston-Victoria and Victoria College during their lunch period, and university fight songs were played throughout the school during the student passing periods.

It has been said that life is very similar to a game of tennis. Those who serve well enjoy the most success. On behalf of the VISD family, we send our sincere appreciation to our teachers and teacher assistants for reminding us all that nothing great can be created suddenly, that progress always involves risks and we cannot become the school district we aspire to be by remaining what we are. We are "VISD Proud."

Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website,



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