Westwood Way

Happenings In Panther Nation - November 2018

Panther Pride

Recently I watched a video on LinkedIn with Dr. Jill Balzer, principal of Haltom Middle School. I watched this video because of Haltom Middle School having extremely high test scores and the fact that they have similar demographics as our district.

During the interview, Dr. Balzer discussed that successful schools believe in building relationships and they have high expectations. The next thought she shared resonated with me, and this is where I want to focus on this month. Dr. Balzer stated that the staff at Haltom Middle School must care more about the students failing than they care about themselves failing.

At first glance, this may not make sense, but as I thought about this statement, I realized it intertwined with one of our Belief Statements: We are all a part of the Panther Family.

Belonging to a family means there are deep connections and a bond that creates a strong emotional attachment. When I think about my family members, I know that the love is so deep that I will do anything for them even when it appears that they aren’t doing anything for themselves. Even when they turn their back on me, I will always be there to help them, and I will continue to do that time after time. But isn’t that what family means, to sometimes care more about them than they care about themselves?

We have to understand that failing is not always associated with grades and caring is not just giving them what they want. Caring is digging deep to understand why something is happening and then doing whatever it takes to help the student overcome the challenge. Caring is adjusting our schedule to meet the needs of the struggling student or parents. Caring is having a conversation with a student that holds them accountable but is centered in love. Caring is fighting the good fight because every Westwood ISD student deserves to have a champion fighting for them!!

If we truly believe that we are all part of the Panther Family, we must be there for our students. They need to be guided, challenged, supported, pushed, encouraged, held accountable, loved, and most importantly, they need somebody to be there when they aren’t making the best decisions. I know that when I reflect on my time as a student, I didn’t always make the best decisions but thankfully, I had people that were there for me. I’m thankful they cared more than I did at the time!

Now it is our turn. Forty years from now, which student will say that they are thankful that YOU cared MORE than they did?


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School Board Update

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

BWA, District Architects, presented an update on the Facility Advisory Committee meetings. Early designs and photos from school tours were shared. BWA also shared concept drawings and early cost analysis of possible future buildings.

Michael Hornes, Palestine City Manager, and Mr. Stanford discussed with the Board the possibility of the development of a city park in the future.

Dr. Kyle Penn presented the requirements and details of the FIRST report. The District FIRST report will be presented during a public hearing in December.

Edwin Schuessler presented information over common phishing attacks. Mr. Schuessler provided examples and ways to protect ourselves from them.

Richard Bishop presented adjustments to athletic handbook along with weather guidelines for practice and games.