HOUSTON – March 21, 2018 – During the final set of Central Support Staff Meetings for the 2017-18 school year – held Wednesday at the Gordon M. Anderson Leadership Center and the Spring ISD Transportation Center – Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson and cabinet members spoke to employees about a range of topics, from the recent TEA site visit to the upcoming Fun Run and Wellness Fair – with the superintendent encouraging staff members to spread the word about the run/walk and to sign up to support the May 12 event, which will commemorate the halfway point of the district’s strategic plan while also raising community awareness and money for student scholarships.
Watson also took the opportunity to recognize several individuals for their special contributions to the district’s mission and for exhibiting the “Springway” core values. Those recognized were nominated by their peers and supervisors for their efforts in supporting the district’s work and goals.
- Gerardo Rochin (Procurement Services) was recognized for his work in building document management systems that support Spring ISD’s mission and goals. In addition to being a go-to person for helping others with technical issues, Rochin was singled out for his work with the Finance department and Chief of Staff’s Office on developing a selection process for the EVERYday Counts Attendance Drawings, part of the district’s strategic compensation initiative. Rochin was also praised for his efforts to support a collaborative work environment both inside and outside his own department area.
- Amanda Byers (Performing and Visual Arts) was recognized for her contributions to Spring ISD visual arts programs since joining the performing arts leadership team last fall. Formerly a teacher at Wells Middle School, Byers has leveraged her previous experience as a classroom teacher to help support art teachers across the district. In addition, she was praised for raising the bar for participation and quality both in the Rodeo Art Show and in the annual Texas Visual Arts Scholastic Event.
- Ana Lopez (Distribution Services) was recognized for the work she does as a member of the district’s Distribution Services team and for her everyday efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of the department in support of its customers. In addition, Lopez was lauded for her work helping to launch a peer recognition program for her department, allowing team members to recognize each other and give praise on a job well done.
- Jeremy Vanderburg (Distribution Services) was recognized for the pride he takes each day as a Stockman Driver to make sure each campus and department receives all items needed. Dr. Watson in particular praised Vanderburg for exemplifying teamwork through his willingness to take extra routes and offer special assistance to customers on any delivery as needed.
- Alan Berry (Facilities Services) was recognized as an employee who exemplifies the Spring ISD core value of “Communicating Openly,” consistently striving to keep ahead of the needs of campuses in maintaining the district’s Camera Network and always keeping campus leadership informed of issues, changes, and updates to the system.
- Shantell Boone-Felton (Safety & Risk Management) was recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty last December when, upon leaving the office one evening, she saw smoke and fire coming from the apartments across the street from the Distribution Center. Rather than passing by and assuming others were taking care of the issue, Boone-Felton drove to the apartments and informed the front office so they could call the fire department, then helped an elderly resident extinguish a fire at her unit and remained at the scene until the fire department arrived.
- Joaquin Saldivar (Maintenance) was recognized for consistently displaying punctuality, an incredible work ethic, and a never-ending sense of urgency, no matter what the task at hand, throughout his more than 25 years working at Spring ISD. As the district’s Carpenter Foreman, Saldivar was also praised for his virtually perfect attendance record, his consistently positive attitude as a leader and member of the maintenance team, and his longstanding commitment to Spring ISD and its students.
- Julio “JC” Gonzalez (Maintenance) was recognized for the contributions he makes in his role as Building Mechanic. A 10-year veteran with the district, Gonzalez has continually made an impression through his attention to detail, his clear communication with campus administrators, and a conscientious approach to scheduling in order to minimize his work’s impact on classroom instruction. From plumbing to electrical to HVAC, no matter what type of repair or maintenance service is needed – and no matter the day or time of day – Gonzalez was praised for his willingness to learn new skills to help him better serve the district and its students.
- Officer Andre Jones (SISD Police Department) was recognized for his service to the district over the past two years, and in particular for his willingness to go out of his way to take time to speak with students and provide them with information, guidance and a role model. He has discussed drug awareness and other topics with students at Richey Academy, Heritage and Thompson Elementary Schools, and Clark Intermediate. He has also gone above and beyond by donating backpacks to elementary and middle school students, along with bicycles donated to several families during the holidays.
- Dr. Neelam Singh (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessments) was recognized for her many ongoing contributions to the success of Spring ISD teachers and students through her work as Director of Secondary Science. Whether as a coach to district teachers or as a champion in support of innovative programs and partnerships to benefit Spring ISD students (such as Science Olympiad, SECME, and summertime STEM offerings presented in partnership with Texas A&M and Rice University), Singh was described as “a rock,” a true professional, and a servant leader in both her commitment and dedication.
A number of additional topics were also covered during each of the day’s three sessions. The superintendent gave central office employees an overview of materials presented during Spring ISD’s inaugural State of the District event in January; Chief Operations Officer Mark Miranda offered an update on current and upcoming bond construction projects; Chief of School Leadership and Student Support Services Dr. Lupita Hinojosa told staff members about the district’s new partnership with the EMERGE program and other soon-to-be-launched specialty offerings; and Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks gave attendees an update on the 2018-19 budget process, including discussion of challenges faced by the district in terms of enrollment declines, property values adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey, and possible changes in school funding formulas at the state level.
The meeting concluded with a spotlight on upcoming events, including the April 7 Parent Empowerment Conference and Expo, the April 26-28 Spring ISD Tri-Club Livestock Show and Fair; the May 2 Employee Recognition Banquet; and the May 12 Fun Run and Wellness Fair.