Superintendents give glowing reports on schools

The Central Fort Bend Chamber held its annual State of the Schools Luncheon Friday. The superintendents from Fort Bend, Needville and Larmar Consolidated school districts gave updates on their schools. Pictured here, Dr. Thomas Randle, Lamar CISD superintendent, talks about growth in the district.

The Central Fort Bend Chamber held its annual State of the Schools Luncheon Friday. The superintendents from Fort Bend, Needville and Larmar Consolidated school districts gave updates on their schools. Pictured here, Dr. Thomas Randle, Lamar CISD superintendent, talks about growth in the district.

Superintendents for Lamar CISD, Fort Bend ISD and Needville ISD gave glowing reviews of each district at the Central Fort Bend Chamber’s 2016 State of the Schools Luncheon.

The event was held April 29 at Safari Texas Ranch and was presented by Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union.

Fort Bend ISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck began her overview with leadership programs instituted into the schools, explaining how it creates an environment to grow students. She also highlighted the growth in the district, as FBISD will soon have 50 elementary schools. The Board of Trustees approved the architect for the new CTE building, and the push to drive all classrooms to better technology is in full swing.

“We are focused on growth, change and leadership. We just had over 2,500 students gather, committed to their college, trade school or the military. We want to give all students multiple options so when it is their decision day, they’re ready,” Whitbeck said.

Needville ISD touted a nearly 5 percent growth rate and Superintendent Curtis Rhodes explained there is room for even more within the district’s 200 square miles.

“The little Needville is slowly becoming larger, but we want to hold onto who we are for as long as possible,” Rhodes said.

Dr. Christie Whitbeck, center, Fort Bend ISD deputy superintendent, poses with Melanie Hines, left, the district’s elementary teacher of the year for 2015, and Austin High School student Pranidhi Dadhaniya, right, who also spoke about the state of education in the district.

Dr. Christie Whitbeck, center, Fort Bend ISD deputy superintendent, poses with Melanie Hines, left, the district’s elementary teacher of the year for 2015, and Austin High School student Pranidhi Dadhaniya, right, who also spoke about the state of education in the district.

He said the district has drawn boundaries for a second elementary school and continues to add programs to accommodate students.

He emphasized the district still prides itself in knowing each student and their families. He believes that is a big reason the dropout rate is less than 1 percent.

“We want to prepare kids for their future, not our past,” Rhodes said.

Lamar CISD is second in the state for projected growth among large districts. Superintendent Dr. Thomas Randle said Lamar schools are adding approximately 1,000 students each year and the district is projected to educate more than 45,000 students by 2025.

Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes talks to the crowd about plans for a second elementary school in his district.

Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes talks to the crowd about plans for a second elementary school in his district.

Fulshear High School and Leaman Junior High will open in the fall, and the district is planning three new elementary schools in the near future. As the population increases in Fort Bend County, so does the demand for an educated workforce, something Randle said the district can accommodate with hundreds of certification programs.

“Our kids have the opportunity to walk out of school with a certification and literally go to work straight out of high school in an industry,” Randle said.

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