We are proud of both school district’s for their well-deserved finalist status for H-E-B’s 2015 Excellence in Education Large District Award AND for strong leadership at the board level. Further, we congratulate Humble ISD for receiving the Large District award, and Arlington ISD for receiving the School Board award.
Both districts were honored at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Austin on May 3, 2015. We are honored to be partners with such outstanding districts and leaders!
H-E-B Excellence in Education School Board Award
The winning school board received a $25,000 grant for the district they represent.
Arlington ISD | Bowie Hogg, Board President | Arlington
For many years, budget constraints prevented the Arlington ISD from addressing facility and capital needs. Trustees knew that positioning the AISD as a premier district that offered leading-edge learning experiences depended upon a long-term plan for building and renovating facilities. After gathering extensive feedback from business leaders, community members, parents, and a board-appointed steering committee, the district called for a bond election in 2014.
The proposed bond of $663 million was the largest in Tarrant County history. To ensure success, board members visited campuses, attended community meetings and knocked on doors to share information about items included in the package. They held multiple question-and-answer sessions to help the community understand how new facilities and upgrades to technology infrastructure would enable the district to use its resources more efficiently. They also explained the need to invest in higher quality security, transportation, and fine arts materials. When it went to the polls, the bond passed with nearly 70 percent voter approval. It is expected to transform the district and its students.
The school board fosters a culture of respect and transparency. During the intensive planning process for the Achieve Today, Excel Tomorrow strategic plan, they provided regular updates to the community. They have recently created a parent and community engagement department to promote community involvement. In 2014, the board’s ability to marshal widespread support for premier learning opportunities earned recognition as the Outstanding School Board of Texas.
H-E-B Excellence in Education Large School District Award
The winning large school district received a $100,000 grant.
Large School District:
Humble ISD | Dr. Guy Sconzo, Superintendent | Humble
More than a decade ago, Humble ISD trustees sought a visionary superintendent who could guide the district through rapid growth. Since Dr. Guy Sconzo took the helm in 2001, enrollment has increased by more than 10,000 students. The trustees and Dr. Sconzo work as a team to meet community needs and provide an exceptional education to all students.
When Humble ISD lost $32 million in the Texas budget shortfall, the board responded proactively. Strategic decisions kept the district viable with no need to make additional cuts going forward. To influence lawmakers, trustees formed a public legislative committee. In 2012, Dr. Sconzo was the first superintendent to testify in the school finance lawsuit. The board’s commitment to budget planning enabled salary increases over the last three years, moving Humble ISD salaries from among the lowest in the area to competitive.
Board members participate in many programs that allow the community to experience the schools’ creative and energetic environments. They listen to the community’s needs at events like Breakfast with the Board and monthly BizCom meetings. With the community’s support, the district has recently passed three bond referendums and a tax rate election.
Trustees support outstanding opportunities for students. Two high school campuses host a renowned aero science engineering class in which students design, build, and launch rockets. An inclusive preschool program allows the district to offer early childhood education at no cost to qualifying children with disabilities.