Westwood Way

Happenings In Panther Nation - February 2019

Panther Pride

In the January newsletter, I mentioned that I had started working out at 5:30 in the morning. I made this decision since it was the only time I had almost complete control of my schedule. As I mentioned in January, the downside is that it is cold and dark and if I wanted to continue riding my bike then I had to get a light. I made the trip to WalMart, purchased a light, and was back on track with the cardio segment of my workout.

As I was riding one morning, I realized that the bike light revealed several work environment takeaways that we could reflect on.

The bike light had a limited area that it revealed. My light has a limited area that it will light up in front of me and to the side. This is in direct contrast to riding in daylight where I can see everything. When we go through our day at school and only allow one or two people to work alongside us, it is just like riding my bike in the early morning, our view and perspective is limited, and we may not be able to see the big picture. We will make progress but it will be limited and we may never experience our full potential. We are powerful and will experience things we can only dream of when we have authentic collaboration!

The things just outside the light become distorted. The tree branches and rocks take on weird shapes when they are positioned right outside the light. The strange shapes cause me to be distracted and take my attention away from my goal. Ultimately this causes my ride to be more difficult than it needs to be. We can face a similar situation when we collaborate with a limited group of co-workers. Emails, conversations, and interactions can become distorted; we can become distracted and become focused on things that we have fabricated in our mind. In the end, our day, weeks, and months become more difficult than they should be and we begin to suck the energy out of the organization.

The limited amount of light doesn’t allow me to see how far I have left on my ride. Even though I know the road that I’m riding on, the limited amount of light doesn’t allow me to see far out in front of me. This begins to play tricks with my mind, and I start thinking I have further to go than I do. I battle this until I see the garage light and then relief sweeps through me since I know I am close to finishing. We can experience the same battle at work if we resist authentically collaborating with others. If we don’t allow others to be in our lives and encourage us, we will only see what is directly in front of us, and we will begin to get frustrated and tired because we believe we will never see success. We ALL need people that are positive, encouraging, and help us see the finish line!

The quality of light makes a huge difference. The first light that I purchased seemed like a good deal, but it didn’t light up a very large area. I tried to convince myself that it would work, but it became harder and harder to get on the bike each morning. Finally, I broke down and purchased a light that cost a little over twice as much as the first light, but did it make a difference! I could see so much more, and I could ride without as much hesitation. The same thing happens to us if we don’t branch out and surround ourselves with people that have different qualities and gifts than we have. Our journey becomes enjoyable and rewarding when we are accompanied by those that stretch us and help to light the path!

I would encourage you to reflect on who is helping you along the journey and to analyze how effective they are in their assistance. Also, reflect on how many people you are collaborating with and if that number is limited then ask yourself some hard questions as to why it is this way. And lastly, reflect on how many people are asking YOU to help them. If this reflection reveals that there are not many people asking for your help, then it is critical that you spend time working through this.

Be the LIGHT for somebody!!


Big picture

School Board Update

During the February Board Meeting, the following items came before the School Board:

Michael Page and Robert Brown, members of the Facility Advisory Committee, addressed the board and made a recommendation for the Westwood ISD School Board to call a $39 million bond.

The School Board unanimously voted to call a $39 million bond for the May 4, 2019 election.

Sonya Brown presented a Junior High update. She discussed current enrollment and attendance data as well as outlining current initiatives on the campus.

Scott Nettles presented a High School update. He provided student and staff activities and events that aligned to the Westwood ISD Belief Statements.

Wade Stanford presented an overview of TASB Board Policy update 112. This policy update focuses on updating policies affected by changes in administrative rule and commissioner of education rulings.

Kyle Penn presented a finance update in which he discussed the projected calendar for the development of the 2019-2020 budget.

Kyle Penn and Josh Schultz presented an update on the Ag Science barn facility and also presented bids to build out the barn facility. The proposed plans and bids were presented as a 1st Read and will be presented as an action item in the March Board Meeting.

Christine Bedre presented the proposed 2019-2020 Instructional Calendar as a 1st Read. This item will be presented as an action item in the March Board Meeting.

Christine Bedre presented an overview of Learning Walks. She discussed the purpose, procedure, and desired outcome of this collaborative process.

The School Board and administrative staff continued discussing the book Instructional Rounds in Education. Chapter 2 was discussed this month, and the board and administrative staff will continue this discussion over the next several months.

The School Board discussed the proposed Proud Panther Guidelines and then approved the guidelines as presented. The board voted to suspend the selection of a Proud Panther until the 2019-2020 school year.

The consideration of the 2017-2018 Audit Report was tabled due to Smith, Lambright, and Associates not having the report completed.

Administrative contracts for Amy Harrison, Lance Satterwhite, Kyle Johnson, Jennifer Thomason, Rosa Perez, Shinnita Foreman, Sonya Brown, Scott Nettles, Richard Bishop, Christine Bedre, Tiffany Carwell, And Kyle Penn were approved Along with contract approvals, the title for Kyle Penn was shifted from Director of Finance and Operations to Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations.