School is back but before we get too caught up in what's coming, I'd like to invite you to stop for a moment and reflect on a few things you might've missed...

It's always a great day to be a Lobo!

Mon Aug 28, 2017

By Matthew Prosser

Here we are Lobo Nation, the start of another school year. Another year of learning, growing, trying, and achieving great things. It's going to be great.

But before we get too caught up in what's coming, I'd like to invite you to stop for a moment and reflect on a few things you might've missed...

If you've been paying attention to our website, Facebook, Twitter or district newspaper you've probably already heard about our 37 academic distinctions (the most in East Texas!) but did you know our students also surpassed statewide STAAR passing percentages? Hey, no one who works in education likes standardized testing, and neither do parents. But since they aren't going away anytime soon, it's good to see that our students are rising to the challenge.

Over the summer our high school TSA students competed in Nationals, placing in various events of engineering, technology, and innovation. I lose track of how many years in a row that our kids have made it to Nationals because they do it practically every year, and it looks to continue: a number of students from Foster Middle School made the trip as well.

You don't have great student performance without leaders setting the agenda, and we've got that in abundance at Longview ISD. Just look at our trustees, they were named 2017 Region VII Outstanding School Board Award for their commitment to our students and community. Evidence of that can be found in how our board takes care of our educators by unanimously approving another pay increase last month. LISD teachers are among the highest-paid in the region!

On a state level LISD was one of just 10 districts statewide recently honored by The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) with a Risk Management Fund Excellence Award for the student nutrition program, and for the fifth straight year we received the Transparency Star Award in Debt Obligations from Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

But don't take my word for it... talk to our students, our staffers, our parents, and our civic leaders. Not a day goes by where I don't get an encouraging word from the Lobo Nation. Teachers thrilled about the amazing things their kids are doing, parents raving about the educational opportunities afforded to our children, government officials expressing thanks for partnerships and projects that benefit our community. So many emails and phone calls. So many members of the Lobo Nation who are proud of what we are all accomplishing together, ardently seeking to get better and do more. So many amazing people doing amazing things.

If you walk around the administration building, you're bound to cross paths with LISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox. Whenever I see him he always asks me how my day is going, and often I respond, "Hey, it's a great day to be a Lobo."

Dr. Wilcox doesn't miss a beat before responding: "It's always a great day to be a Lobo!"

And so it is, my friends. It's always a great day to be a Lobo.

Matthew Prosser is an award-winning journalist and photographer, currently he is Communications Specialist for Longview Independent School District and a born-again Lobo.