Dear Panther Nation

State of the District - December 2015

This is a very exciting time in Spring Hill ISD, and we plan on finishing 2015 at full speed. It has been a very successful fall in both academics and athletics, and we look forward to continuing that momentum into 2016.

This fall SHISD sits in 2nd place state wide in the Lone Star Cup after winning 3 District championships; cross country, fall tennis, and volleyball. Kase White had a top ten finish at the state cross country meet, fall Tennis finished 3rd in the state, and volleyball finished as regional runner-up. We have been very successful in UIL academics, with Danielle Giffin earning a trip to state in student congress. The Blue Brigade finished another marching season by achieving sweepstakes for the 15th year in a row! Our students also continue to surpass expectations in community service establishing SHISD as a community leader is service. SHISD also received the highest rating possible on the FIRST accountability scale. This measures a district’s financial integrity.

Our staff has received many accolades as well. Karen Brundrett received Coach of the Year for our volleyball district and Holly Ford has been named the Texas 4A Tennis Coach of the Year! In other news, SHISD has begun the process to hire a new head volleyball coach as Karen Brundrett has finished a tremendous career in SH, and we wish her well in Lubbock, TX.

I would like to update everyone on district events and planning.

Bond update from the 2008 Bond: Several years ago, the community of Spring Hill ISD passed a 41 million dollar bond for new schools and new technology. We have built a new high school that is in its 5th year and we have completed several district improvements. The rules of school finance and lack of large growth have affected our ability to complete a few projects on the bond. We are still maxed out on taxable debt at $ .50. However, SHISD was able to refinance a small portion of our debt this summer and generate around a million dollars in “savings” in order to start some of the unfinished bond projects. Two big projects left on the bond election were new roofs for the Jr High and Industrial Arts buildings and artificial turf for Panther Stadium.

This fall, a new roof was put on the Junior High and Industrial Arts building. Of the $2.5 million budgeted to replace those roofs, the district was able to take advantage of new restoration technology, and the new roofs cost approximately $400,000. This planning and a very healthy fund balance has put SHISD in a position to complete stadium improvements.

I am very pleased to announce that SHISD has begun the planning stages to install artificial turf in Panther Stadium during the summer of 2016. The design and bid process will take 2 months with new turf installation to begin in the spring.

So what is next?

My priorities for 2016:

  • Creating the best educational environment in the state. This includes an environment of high expectations for staff and students and will see a large increase in technology, staff development, and great educational experiences. We all came into this profession to inspire and engage. We need more Project Based Learning, UIL academic opportunities, service opportunities, fun, and less test taking practice.
  • Having a central office and support staff that is the very best at customer service and supporting teachers.
  • Continue to push increases in teacher and staff salaries to remain competitive in order to retain the great staff we have and recruit the best.
  • Continue to fight for better quality, care, and service with our health care options: This is big. Hope is not an instructional strategy nor is hope an effective method to get the legislature to pass bills that help teachers. I will need everyone’s help with this when the time comes. Primary elections matter!
  • Branding and Marketing Plan to communicate the vision and successes of the district.

The good news is we have a great school board that is very supportive of these things and it a big part of making everything happen.

It’s a great time to be a SH Panther!

With great pride,

Steven Snell

Superintendent, Spring Hill ISD