Superintendent's column: Students recognize dignity, worth of individuals

By BY ROBERT JAKLICH
Jan. 13, 2018 at 3:12 p.m.
Updated Jan. 14, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Robert Jaklich

Robert Jaklich   Contributed Photo for The Victoria Advocate

The Victoria Independent School District established its roots in 1824 as Don Martin De Leon and 41 families settled into the region that is now known as Victoria.

The past 194 years have brought forth much change, but our commitment to work together with our community and business partners in advancing all students to reach their maximum potential remains strong.

We would like to acknowledge Victoria Rotary, Northside Rotary and the Downtown Rotary for their dedication and devotion in supporting our Early Act First Knight (EAFK) program in 14 of our VISD elementary schools.

Early Act First Knight is a national schoolwide service club for K-5 elementary students and is sponsored by the local Rotary organizations. We are extremely appreciative to all three of Victoria's Rotary Clubs for their support of VISD and their continued service as a "Champion for our Children."

The mission of EAFK is to create an understanding of peace through the active participation of its students so the students may in turn provide goodwill and service throughout our community and across the globe. Students are taught to recognize the dignity and worth of each individual, which then builds respect for others.

Each student learns the virtues of caring, respect, empathy, responsibility, tolerance, citizenship, compassion, friendship and leadership while in the EAFK program. The students also learn the Rotarian Four-Way Test, which states: "Of the things we think, say or do - Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

These virtues and the four-way test are incorporated as a part of the curriculum and discussed daily with our students. It is clearly evident through our recognition ceremonies that the EAFK program provides a positive impact on student success, and we truly appreciate our Rotarian partners for their belief in our children, their commitment to excellence and their dedication to creating a future of hope and endless possibilities for all of our students.

Another example of advancing students to reach their maximum potential can be found in our VISD Education Foundation. The VISD Education Foundation began in 2008 with the primary purpose of providing an innovative source of funding to support our school district's mission of excellence in education. The mission of the VISD Education Foundation is to generate and distribute resources to VISD that enrich teaching, inspire learning and enhance opportunities for students to become contributing members of our society. These resources are invested in ways that allow VISD educators to go above and beyond their normal classroom experiences, to spark the imaginations of students and to build broad-based community support for Victoria public schools.

The VISD Education Foundation supports our students and teachers through technology purchases, student scholarships, student and teacher recognitions, dual-credit assistance and innovative teaching grants. The Grants for Great Ideas program is designed to encourage teachers to develop creative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. During this year's Convocation Celebration, our VISD Education Foundation awarded 19 Grants for Great Ideas totaling $61,553, impacting 14 VISD campuses, 83 community partners, 295 teachers, 2,290 parents and 5,132 students. It is also important to note that the VISD Education Foundation is covering the entire VISD cost to provide 400 high school students the opportunity to enroll in dual credit classes.

The VISD Education Foundation will hold our 5th annual "Kids in Classrooms" concert featuring the band "Night Ranger" on Feb. 10 at the Victoria ISD Fine Arts Center. The band is expected to provide a "One of a Kind" performance, and we are extremely excited about the wonderful musical experience this night will bring. Tickets are available at the Fine Arts Center box office or online at visdfoundation.org.

We invite you to join us as we continue to support the hopes and dreams of the students who sit in our classrooms, the graduates who walk our stage, the families who wish for something more for their children and the teachers and staff who make this all possible.

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


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