BEST Report

  • 2017 Employees of the Year

    Posted by Communication Services at 5/12/2017

    They were humble. They were surprised. They were a little embarrassed by the attention.

     

    This week, we recognized the GCISD Employees of the Year in many categories. Each time, a small group accompanied me to the employee’s campus and interrupted their day to make a brief presentation and tell them how much we appreciate the work they do on behalf of students and families in GCISD.

     

    After a brief pause and a few pictures, each Employee of the Year just wanted to get back to their job serving others. In addition to the support and applause from the students, what also struck me was the level of support from their peers. People cheered loudly, gave hugs, clapped and even shed a few tears of joy for our honorees.

     

    Our newest Employees of the Year will have their portrait on the Wall of Honor at the PDEC so that all visitors may take a moment to learn a little bit about these recognized individuals. Additionally, our two Teachers of the Year, Will Boykin from Glenhope Elementary and Jon McCormick from Colleyville Heritage, will now advance to the Region 11 competition. The entire list is below. If you see one of these amazing GCISD employees, it might embarrass them a bit, but please thank them for a job well done. We all know that it is the people that make GCISD the BEST!

     

    BEST,
    RR

     

    2016-2017 Employees of the Year

     

    Secondary Teacher of the Year: Jon McCormick
    Colleyville Heritage High School

     

    Elementary Teacher of the Year: William Boykin
    Glenhope Elementary School

     

    Paraprofessional of the Year: Heather Hedges
    Colleyville Heritage High School

     

    Nurse of the Year: Kendra Consilio
    Cannon Elementary School: A GCISD STEM School

     

    Extended Care Service Employee of the Year: Jill Dashner
    Early Childhood Development Center

     

    Facilities Services Employee of the Year: Hilberto Urtiz
    Administration Building

     

    Nutrition Services Employee of the Year: Cathy Clayton
    Heritage Elementary School

     

    Transportation Services Employee of the Year: Cliff Kosec

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Educator Appreciation

    Posted by Communication Services at 5/5/2017

    How many students and families could you positively impact in 972 years?

     

    That may seem like a strange question, but 972 is the total number of years of service for the district’s educators who are retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. More impressive, 778 of these years were served right here in GCISD!

     

    It is appropriate that during our observance of Teacher Appreciation Week, I attended two special events to celebrate the lasting impact of GCISD teachers. The first was at a local congregation where more than 70 students invited their favorite teacher to be their guest. The students provided their teacher a nice meal, and then students took the microphone and spoke from the heart about the positive impact their teacher had on their lives. It was incredibly moving and a tremendous honor for those in attendance.

     

    We also held the annual GCISD Retiree’s Dinner, sponsored by the GCISD Education Foundation. We honored the service of the amazing professional educators who have given of their time and talents to shape the future for children.

     

    Those in education make a choice to impact the future. Clearly, it is our people that make the difference and are the key ingredient in Building Excellent Schools Together!

     

    Have a great weekend.

     

    RR

     

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Students First

    Posted by Communication Services at 4/28/2017

    A few days ago I was walking the hallways of a school and was told about a group of students gathered in the library. They were working through the last details of a business they had created: making bracelets out of rubber bands. This is a skill I do not possess. I told the students that I wear a bracelet every day to honor my wife and her battle with cancer, and I quickly placed my order for a pink and black one. (Cindy is five years cancer free and doing well.) They charged me $2 and I was on my way.

     

    I traveled a few more steps down the hallway and came upon a first grade PLC, so naturally I invited myself in to observe...I am sure they were thrilled. What I found was impressive. Teachers were meeting with an instructional coach and assistant principal going over student data for the year and planning next year’s adjustments to their teaching. Remarkable! That’s planning ahead!

     

    While this was impressive, I know these types of activities happen in every school in GCISD. Students learn from real-world examples about their business, customer service, goal setting, monitoring results, quality control and working together as a team...just like our teachers do in PLCs.

     

    I am so proud to work with professional educators who always put students first! That is how we Build Excellent Schools Together.

     

    BEST,
    RR

     

    P.S. What about my bracelet? Three days later, it was delivered and I am wearing it today!

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • A Close-knit Family

    Posted by Communication Services at 3/31/2017

    The season after spring break seems to be moving at warp speed this year. I suppose it feels this way every year, and when you combine springtime storms with student testing, well...it is just icing on the cake.

     

    For me, when things seem to be moving too fast, it is easy to get caught up in the stress of it all. When I feel this happening, I try to take a deep breath and spend some time thinking and reflecting. Lately, I have been thinking about all we have accomplished in GCISD in the short few years since LEAD 2021 was developed. Just as important, I also have been thinking about the incredibly positive culture we enjoy in GCISD, even in the face of limited resources

     

    This week, I received a note from a colleague who is retiring after serving students and families for 39 years in public education. (What an incredible legacy!) The note said, “Having completed my years in GCISD, I have been a part of the most robust, innovative organization in my career. We have a team that acts different, acts like a close-knit family and embodies the principles of servant leadership. I believe GCISD is truly redefining education and I am proud to be a part of it!”

     

    Wow! I was so honored by these words because they speak to the work of everyone in our organization, from the first year teacher to the folks with 40 years experience. So, in this crazy season, if you see a colleague who seems to be a bit stressed, I hope you will continue to be a close-knit family by doing something for them that might help them feel a bit better. It takes all of us taking care of each other to truly Build Excellent Schools Together!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Team Effort & Positive Relationships

    Posted by Communication Services at 3/10/2017

    These past two weeks have been wonderful for me as Superintendent of GCISD. I have had the privilege of observing some of our eleventh-grade students interact with WWII veterans for three days as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation Program: Soaring Valor. It was a beautiful example of the youngest generation learning from the Greatest Generation. I also have witnessed championship athletic performances at a middle school track meet, and I have been in classrooms with teachers who are clearly experts and pour their hearts out for our students and their families.

     

    So when I received this email, it seemed to sum up nicely what I feel about GCISD and about public education. I changed the name, but it is the sentiment that is important.

     

    I am a teacher in GCISD, but tonight I am writing as a parent.

     

    My son is in second grade. Last year we had a technologist who worked at our school for about a year. The teachers all loved her but I didn't realize the difference she made in the lives of the students until tonight.

     

    My son was on the phone with his grandma helping her with an iPad question. At the end, my mom told my son, "you're always so nice to help me with my technology." To which my 8 year old replied, "yes, I'm the family's Ms. Ramirez."

     

    Taken aback, I asked my son about it. He told me that Ms. Ramirez was the best and that he misses her. He told me that she remembered his name and always told him “Hi”. He told me that she was always helpful and always smiled at everyone.

     

    I believe that GCISD is known for its excellence in building relationships with students. Tonight it proved true. Even staff considered to be "behind the scenes" inspire students.  Ms. Ramirez's kind heart is still making a difference. As a parent, I am proud that my son attends school at such a wonderful place.

     

    I just wanted to relay a story about an exemplary employee.

     

    After reading this email, I remember thinking: “Yes - this sums up our work and what I get to witness all across our district every day.” This work is impressive and sometimes exhausting, and I know that Spring Break comes at just the right time in the semester.


    I hope you travel safely, get some rest and return recharged for the remainder of the school year.


    I am so proud to work with each employee of GCISD. It’s the team effort and positive relationships that make GCISD the BEST!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • We all have a part

    Posted by Communication Services at 2/10/2017

    I am so proud of what our students accomplish each and every day of the school year, but lately we have been inundated with good news from our students. Here are just a few examples:

     

    • Nine GCISD students were named to the All-State band or choir.
    • A CHHS student was named a Presidential Scholar. (She also had a perfect score on the SAT and the ACT!)
    • A CES student designed an original “challenge coin” for the Soaring Valor trip to the WWII Museum in New Orleans in March.
    • A CHHS student was named the Youth of the Year for the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce.
    • Numerous student-athletes from GHS and CHHS signed letters of intent to play a sport in college.
    • CHHS and GHS produced musicals that were filled to the brim with talent.
    • Hundreds of students are involved in basketball playoffs, band, soccer games, choir, softball, baseball, debate, swimming, one-act play, wrestling, golf, tennis and numerous other activities.

     

    The constant force behind the success of all of these students is a cadre of caring adults. Whether a teacher, coach, bus driver, facilities services, administrators, nutrition services, technologist, office staff, crossing guard, and even the person in charge of purchase orders, we all have a part in shaping the successful educational experiences for our students.

     

    Thank you for doing your part. It takes all of us to Build Excellent Schools Together!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Great things happen every day in GCISD

    Posted by Communication Services at 2/3/2017

    This week has been an interesting contrast for me. I see things happening in the legislature that are potentially damaging to public schools, contrasted by things happening in GCISD that paint a beautiful picture of the excellent education our students receive in GCISD.

     

    On Monday, Senate Bill 3 (SB3) was filed officially outlining the Senate's stance on vouchers. In SB3, the vouchers are called "Education Savings Accounts" and “Tax Credit Scholarships". No matter the name, the vouchers take dollars intended for public schools and give the dollars to private schools. The problem I have with SB3 is that it does not require accountability or transparency from institutions that accept these vouchers. This seems grossly negligent and comes from state leadership who preach transparency and accountability to public schools. It doesn’t pass the common sense test. Combine the voucher bill with the A-F fiasco and we have two pieces of legislation designed to diminish public schools in Texas.

     

    Enough bad news...now for the good stuff.

     

    Great things happen every day in GCISD. Let me describe three examples of which I am very proud. On Tuesday, at TASA Midwinter, CHHS teacher Sarah Thompson gave a presentation to a packed room of superintendents and central office personnel. (Sarah admitted being a bit nervous speaking to superintendents instead of her CHHS students.) She spoke eloquently and passionately about the importance of student engagement and the strategies that teachers can implement in any classroom to build relationships and improve student engagement, no matter the topic. I was struck by how many in attendance took out their phones to take pictures of her slides. Sarah captivated the room!

     

    One hour later, Dr. Suzanne Newell spoke to another packed room on the topic of Student Voice. Suzanne represented the work of over 200 GCISD teachers who are working on the Student Voice project by gathering information from students about how to improve their instruction. The session was just before lunch, and nobody left the room to be the first in line for food! Now that is a good barometer of how well her presentation about our work was received!

     

    On Thursday, Timberline Elementary hosted a bus load of teachers from the Leader In Me conference in Dallas. TES is a spotlight school for the Leader In Me program, which is based on Steven Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". TES students are internalizing what it means to be a good leader. I was impressed when I entered TES and a second-grader approached me assertively, looked me in the eye and with a firm handshake said "Welcome to Timberline, my name is Brittany; I am glad you are here today." Then many TES students led a bus load of visiting educators on a tour of their school. No adults were involved! Impressive!

     

    I am so proud when I think of the great things happening in our schools. Our combination of great students, student-focused staff and supportive parents is truly how we, in spite of the detrimental actions in Austin, continue to Build Excellent Schools Together.

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Warrior Spirit

    Posted by Communication Services at 1/20/2017

     

    Jaydan Thompson, Colleyville Heritage senior, embodied courage, joy, strength, gentleness and positivity. Jaydan courageously battled bone cancer until January 15, 2017. He was the son of GCISD teachers Chad and Sheri and the grandson of Grapevine's mayor William D. Tate and retired GCISD teacher Betty Tate.

     

    Jaydan's gentle, positive spirit would light up a room. I've seen Jaydan light up an entire gymnasium. Just his presence could light up a football stadium! When Jaydan arrived, his friends and fellow Panthers would immediately surround him with love. He had the same effect on little ones when he would don the mascot costume of Buster the Panther (or the mouse at Chuck E. Cheese). He was a natural!

     

    The Psalmist wrote: "I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have raised up a young man from among the people." Jaydan embraced the warrior spirit in his fight against disease, and so many in our community signaled support by wearing a WARRIOR t-shirt or hat. He gained strength from us, and we gained strength from him.

     

    He had a smile as big as Texas, and through his adversity his positive attitude never wavered. We are drawn to people with a big smile and a positive attitude, and we have been drawn to Jaydan. And speaking of strength, as a father and a new grandfather myself, I cannot imagine the strength it took for his father and grandfather to speak at his service.

     

    Yesterday, as I walked alone down a long hallway at Grapevine High, a student approached me. He sadly said: "I feel really bad about the student from Colleyville." I replied: " Yes, it is terrible. Did you know him?" "No", the young man replied, "I never met him in person, but I am really upset anyway." Jaydan touched so many lives, and his humble nature impacted many all across our district.

     

    I have been so proud of our GCISD family. You have pulled together to help the Thompson family, to help our students and to help each other. Many of you have gone the extra mile to cover a class or help a colleague in some way this week. We are so blessed to live and work in a district and community that takes care of each other in good times and in bad. That's what being the BEST is all about.

     

    BEST.

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • A-F

    Posted by Communication Services at 1/6/2017

    Across Texas, the talk this week in many education circles has been about the ​provisional A-F ratings that were released. The results were published just days prior to the legislative session in Austin. One reason for the timing is so that legislators can make any adjustments to the system if needed. And...adjustments are certainly needed!

     

    When I saw the results, a few questions came to mind:

    • Don't they know that our work in schools is complex and can't be simplified into a single "scarlet letter" grade? 
    • Don't they know that we already have too much of a testing culture in Texas and the more "high stakes" the test becomes, the more people will feel like they need to t​​e​a​ch to the test?
    • Don't they know that parents don't want more emphasis on the test?
    • Don't they know that it seems like the A-F system is designed to artificially show how schools are failing in order to make a better case for vouchers in this upcoming legislative session?

    I am not against testing, and I am not against accountability. In fact, Texas students, teachers, principals and district leaders have never been more accountable in the history of public education. But this bureaucratic intrusion into classrooms has got to stop.

     

    I hope you will make your voice heard with our legislators, so that you can shape the future of our profession. This week in the ​Fort Worth Star Telegram, our own Senator Konni Burton, whose kids attended GCISD schools and who lives in the GCISD community, was commenting about another topic and encouraged feedback from citizens in a tweet. Her quote from yesterday's editorial is as follows: “Too many think social media is the legislative process. It is not. Calling, writing, & emailing the legislators' OFFICE is." I have found our legislators to be open to feedback and to be thankful for hearing how constituents feel about the issues. So if you have an opinion, please let it be heard.

     

    We will certainly hear more about A-F and other educational issues as we move through this legislative session.

     

    The one constant through all of this is that our caring and professional staff will work hard every day just as always: doing our BEST to provide an excellent education for our students. Thank you for putting all of the noise aside and taking care of kids!

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
  • Happy Holidays

    Posted by Communication Services at 12/16/2016

    Please enjoy The B.E.S.T. Report in video format this week. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

     

     

    BEST,
    RR

    Dr. Robin Ryan
    Dr. Robin Ryan
    GCISD Superintendent of Schools
     
    The B.E.S.T. Report is a weekly communication from our superintendent about our schools and community.
    Comments (-1)
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