Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The weather on Sunday was perfect for some outdoor exercise with the whole family, and the Hill Elementary community made the most of it by hosting the inaugural Dillo Dash to promote fitness and health.
More than 400 people joined Trustee Vincent Torres and me in walking or running a mile in the sunshine. The course wound pleasantly through the neighborhood around Hill Elementary, beginning and ending at Anderson High. Principal Beth Ellis even walked the route a second time to check for stragglers. Afterward, many Hill families stayed to enjoy relay races, tug-o-war, and an agility course.
A committee of parents organized the event, along with "Mr. T," who teaches physical education. Proceeds from the sale of Dillo Dash T-shirts benefited the Hill Elementary PE Department. It was great to see so many families having fun in the sun and staying healthy together!
This month, the AISD received rebate checks of $170,291 from American Express as part of the Corporate Purchasing Card Program and $81,990 from Office Depot under a strategic sourcing agreement. The purchasing card and strategic sourcing initiatives were initiated by the district’s Contract and Procurement staff, pictured here.
Kudos to Director Jim Sessions (at right) and his staff, from left to right: Diane Carrizales, Amelia Gomez, Melissa Bishop, Jacob Reach, and Karen Mikalajuna. In addition to these rebates, both corporate partners have provided school administrators with an effective expense management program for thousands of small dollar value purchases.
This past weekend, the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is led by Pastors Rev. N. Jordan Mkwnazi and Rev. Henrietta Mkwnazi, presented me with the Trailblazer Award as part of the congregation’s 2012 Women’s Day Celebration. Previous recipients of this award are Dr. Bertha Means, Judge Brenda Kennedy, and State Representative Dawnna Dukes – whose leadership and service to this community are unparalleled.
Congratulations to the three outstanding women who also received awards: Sheila Henry, Principal of LBJ Early College High School, Cassie Bowling, an active volunteer who encourages students to attend college, and Martha Bison, president of Sunbelt Theater productions.
As superintendent, I am proud to lead the educators who strive every day to create hope and opportunity for each of our students, no matter who they are or where they live. In our academic and facilities work over the past several months, we have made strides in alleviating overcrowding, expanding opportunities, and strengthening academic offerings in parts of town that often have been neglected. If we get this right for all our students—and we do mean all—we can be the standard against which urban public education is measured.
The good people of this church, and at countless other houses of worship in Austin, serve as positive role models who inspire our youth to realize their dreams. We are grateful for their commitment to making our community a better place.