HOUSTON – Jan. 13, 2021 – The celebration of School Board Appreciation Month looked slightly different this year in Spring ISD, but the tradition of honoring each member carried on.
Spring Independent School District, along with school districts throughout Texas and across the nation, recognizes school board members during the month of January as a tribute to the hardworking leaders who play an important role in communities and schools. Principals, staff and district leaders all gathered via Zoom shortly before January’s board meeting on Tuesday evening to express their appreciation and gratitude for each trustee, following along this year’s theme of “Navigating to Success.”
“It’s always one thing to lead as volunteers, but it’s something different to see you all do that during a pandemic,” Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson told the group. “So often when people volunteer during an emergency, they often pull back until it’s safer to do it. However, you all have done the opposite: You have stepped up and forward with increased meetings, and made hard decisions in response to the needs of our students and community.”
Each of the seven board members received a basket of gifts and a notebook full of reflections documenting the impact that each trustee has had on students, school campuses and the community. During the online event, district leaders shared some of their personal stories and expressed their gratitude.
“Board service is one of the toughest volunteer roles of all,” said Twin Creeks Middle School Principal Kenisha Williams. “Our board members perform it with dedication and tenacity,” Williams said. “All members of the Spring ISD Board of Trustees impact and play a critical role for our campuses and district. The impact might not be direct like a staff member, but it stems from creating the right environment and setting high expectations of student achievement.”
In Spring ISD, board members are elected for rotating three-year terms and are empowered by the Texas Legislature to govern and manage the district’s schools. The seven trustees represent the district as a whole – not a specific geographical area – although they are elected to numbered positions. Part of the responsibilities of board members includes establishing and setting objectives for the district’s strategic plan, adopting an annual budget based on the plan, establishing policies for the operation of the district, and selecting a superintendent who serves as the chief executive officer of the district.
“I’m glad that I was elected to the board and I’m looking forward to continuing to do great work,” said Board Secretary Kelly P. Hodges, who was elected in November 2019. “Thank you for all that you do in administration to help keep us moving forward. This year has been a challenge for all of us, but this too shall pass. I know that things will get better for our community and we will continue to do what we need for the students.”
Board President Rhonda Newhouse shared similar sentiments while giving her praise to Spring ISD staff and administrators, whom she credits as the individuals who make her role as board trustee easier.
“My service to Spring ISD has truly been an honor because of my love for working for my students and community,” said Newhouse. “Yes, I’ve spent over 40 wonderful years working in school systems and appreciate every moment, but none more than tonight to be able to say thank you to our teachers, administrators and staff for the wonderful, outstanding job you all are doing. In this unprecedented time, we’ve gone through some challenges, and it’s been you all who have truly stepped up.”