A word from Superintendent Quintin Shepherd

Closing Thoughts: Scholastic Recognition

The following is an article provided by Supt. Quintin Shepherd of the Victoria I.S.D.

I spoke to a grandparent last week and thoroughly enjoyed both the conversation and banter. Over the course of our dialogue, I sensed I was speaking with someone who would have made a great teacher. I felt a challenge goal being set, but somehow, he convinced me it was my idea to challenge myself. Grandparents and teachers are similar in this regard. Tactfully, he recognized and appreciated my efforts as a Superintendent, but pointed out we should spend equal, if not more time, recognizing student scholars and student scholarship as we do celebrating our student athletes and coverage related to signing ceremonies.

During the conversation, I shared with him that this sometimes feels like an uphill climb in any community I have lived in. It is very much the same throughout the nation that we highlight sports and athletes on the news every day and in the newspaper, with only the occasional nod to student scholastic achievement or fine arts awards. Please don’t misunderstand me, I think our local Victoria Advocate and Newscenter25 do a spectacular job of celebrating our students and I mean them no disrespect. In fact, this is the best community I have worked in that works with the district to get news out about our kids and teachers.

With that said, there is always an opportunity to improve. That’s what continuous improvement is all about, after all. With that said, I am taking a page from this grandfather and issuing a challenge goal for our community to continue to celebrate our student successes as publicly as possible. Put simply, we are raising the bar and closing the gap. If you look at AP courses taken, or the scores on those exams, both are up. Our graduation rates are up. Our numbers of identified gifted students are up. There are more kids in P-TECH than we’ve ever had, mostly because P-TECH didn’t even exist for our students two years ago! At VISD we can confidently say more kids are learning more. This is something we can all brag about!

Did the pandemic slow down our success? Of course, it did. This is true for every district throughout the nation. But in life, I have learned that a setback is nothing more than a setup for a comeback!

Finally, I am excited to announce we will be holding our Board Excellence Academic Awards in person this year. With current COVID conditions, we are hosting this event non-traditionally, but excited to honor our scholars in person and in front of their families.

By Supt. Quintin Shepherd