District and faith-based leaders have a shared vision to improve students’ lives through opportunities.
Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney and her Executive Team met on November 18 with nearly 20 area faith-based leaders at the Partners of Excellence Luncheon held at the Donaldson Child Nutrition Center. They discussed the work accomplished and the steps to secure the district’s vision and mission.
Goffney, who is in her second year at the helm of the district, kicked things off by stating she is committed to driving change and improving students’ choices and opportunities. She lauded her Executive Leadership Team for the work done before and the work it continues to do.
“There are no excuses when it comes to our students,” said Goffney. “A child’s zip code is NOT his or her destiny. We have set out to demonstrate what is possible.”
When Goffney came on board, she had several challenges in her first year. She inherited a deficit; the district was undergoing reconfiguration and the opening of six schools funded by the 2015 bond referendum. More importantly, Aldine was a “C-rated” district based on the state’s evaluation system. Within one-year, Goffney and her team moved the needle on academic performance.
- District moved from ‘C’ rating to ‘B’ rating
- Increased the number of ‘A-rated’ schools
Goffney jokingly stated she is not a miracle worker. The improvements came about through intentional data-driven decisions that centered on doing what is needed to improve students’ learning experiences. She reiterated, however, that there is still more work to be done.
The superintendent explained that she wants to replicate high-quality schools and offer choices and opportunities for students. During the meeting, Goffney and her team provided information about each of the priorities of the district’s five-year strategic plan, A New Way Forward. The system of great schools will position schools for success.
“We want all our students to graduate with more than a diploma,” said Goffney. “We want them to have experiences and opportunities that prepare them for their future. Let me emphasize the word ‘All.’ We care about all students. All of our students will get an unparalleled education. We have ambitious goals to meet, but we must do everything we can to ensure our students can live the American Dream. That means increasing high-quality schools and high-performing principals.”
Dr. Todd Davis, Chief Academic Officer, spoke about improving student’s overall school experience and expanding options for students at all levels.
Katy Roede, Chief of Schools, explained the importance of addressing the needs of the whole child, through maximizing social and emotional learning. Roede stated the importance of building strong relationships across all diverse backgrounds and cultures to build trust, pride, and engagement.
Dr. Javier Villarreal, Chief Human Resource Officer, discussed how effective leadership impacts students and staff. Villarreal shared the district’s teacher evaluation system and how AISD is building pathways for employees seeking leadership positions.
Dr. Tamika Alford-Stephens, Chief Finance Officer, stated that the district’s goal is to maximize all of the resources to strengthen systems and operate efficiently. She emphasized that every decision must have a positive impact on students.
Chief Communications Officer, Sheleah D. Reed, reiterated the call for faith-based leaders to work side-by-side with Aldine ISD. The district needs their help to strengthen partnerships that give students more choices and opportunities.
Additionally, Goffney talked about the new choices for students, including the two-way dual language immersion program, the ACE Model, the partnership with EMERGE Fellowship, and Avalos P-TECH School. Avalos offers four programs, including teaching. Goffney stated the campus would be a pipeline to grow teachers in Aldine.
Goffney stated she wants to create more choices for students. Helping facilitate these goals is Adrian Bustillos, Chief Transformation Officer. He seeks to transform, innovate, and improve schools and develop options. Bustillos stated that in addition to targeting student culture and outcomes, he is listening to the community to ensure AISD offers programs that prepare students.
Dr. Charlotte Davis, Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services, introduced Dr. Lorenzo Moore, the newly named Director of Social-Emotional Learning and Culture. While Moore talked about the importance of setting high expectations, he stated the need to reach and teach the whole child. Students need to develop positive relationship skills to succeed in school and life.
Before closing the event, Goffney thanked faith-based leaders for their commitment and invested interest in students. She encouraged them to continue providing feedback and to share resources that will positively impact the lives of students. Goffney also asked that they encourage community members to consider teaching and to share with their congregations the choices and opportunities Aldine offers students.
After the questions and answer portion of the program, several faith-based leaders made suggestions about how they can increase their commitment and strengthen their partnership with Aldine ISD.
Please contact the Office of Communications at (281) 985-6202 or email [email protected] if you would like to be a part of the Superintendent’s Partners of Excellence Group, take part in a steering committee or visit a school.