Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney reflects on 2018-19 school year

Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, middle, delivers remarks during the district’s annual State of the District Breakfast, held Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the CityPlace Marriott Hotel.
Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, middle, delivers remarks during the district’s annual State of the District Breakfast, held Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the CityPlace Marriott Hotel.

Looks ahead to AISD’s future at annual State of the District Breakfast

Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney delivered a spirited address to Aldine ISD supporters at the district’s annual State of the District Breakfast, held Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the CityPlace Marriott Hotel.

Speaking before a crowd of parents, business partners, elected officials and district and campus administrators, Dr. Goffney provided a list of accomplishments she and her leadership team attained in her first year as superintendent during the 2018- 19 school year, presented the audience with a number of plans to provide more choices for Aldine students in the future and shared the district’s five-year strategic plan, “A New Way Forward.”

Board President Paul Shanklin delivers welcoming remarks

Prior to Dr. Goffney’s address, Board of Trustees President Paul Shanklin delivered welcoming remarks.

After introducing his fellow Board members, Mr. Shanklin made it clear he and the Board are committed to providing Aldine students with more choices and a quality education for all students.

“We are passionate about public education and proud to serve the families of more than 67,000 students who attend our 82 campuses,” he said. “As public servants, we take our roles as trustees seriously because we know that the decisions we make and the policies that we approve impact the world’s most precious commodity – our students.

“We are humbled by the confidence this community has put in us to raise Aldine to the next level. Our motto is go big or stay home. Today, you will hear from out transformative superintendent, Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, and her leadership team who will share the district’s celebrations and talk more about the programs and plans that we are developing to ensure we are offering our families the best education. We understand that our economic self-interest is at stake when it comes to the education system. I hope you recognize we are working hard to provide more choices for our students so they can be well-rounded individuals and compete with students from across the state in any area,” Mr. Shanklin said.

Blanson CTE High School student Miguel Chacon then introduced Dr. Goffney. Miguel is one of Dr. Goffney’s student ambassadors and shared with the audience that he is thankful for the opportunities he has received at Blanson CTE High School.

“A lot of families in my community have the misconception that you have to go to college to be successful,” Miguel said. “My job as a student ambassador for Blanson CTE High School is to debunk that myth by informing my community about the different paths to success Aldine has to offer. During Dr. Goffney’s two-year tenure, the number of opportunities and routes that ultimately lead to success has only risen. On a more personal level, these new opportunities have been a blessing to my family and me. When I told my mother I want to study computer programming, she looked at me bewildered and then Blanson CTE High School opened. Thank you, Dr. Goffney for everything you are doing for all the students in Aldine.”

Dr. Goffney lists highlights from her first two years on the job

Dr. Goffney began her address by thanking Aldine ISD Trustees for their work and dedication to Aldine’s students.

“I couldn’t do the work without you,” she said.

She also acknowledged a number of elected officials who attended the breakfast. Those in attendance included State Senator Carol Alvarado, State Reps. Senfronia Thompson and Jarvis Johnson, Myriam Saldivar with State Rep’s Armando Walle’s office, Pct. 2 County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Ray Betran representing Pct. 1 County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Janice Weaver representing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office and Houston Mayor Turner’s daughter Ashley Turner. She thanked the state legislators for passing HB 3 during the 2019 Legislative session.

“HB 3 is going to be a game changer for Aldine ISD and school districts across the state,” she said. “I want to thank our elected officials that worked on this.”

She then shared with the audience a number of accomplishments Aldine attainted during the 2018- 19 school year.

• Aldine moved from a ‘C’ rated school district to a ‘B’ rated school district in the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) state accountability ratings.

• Four Aldine ISD campuses earned grades of ‘A’ and the district increased the number of ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools.

• Blanson CTE High School and Victory Early College High School maintained their ‘A’ ratings.

• Stephens Elementary School moved from a ‘D’ school to an ‘A’ school in one year’s time.

• Aldine launched the Aldine ISD Mariachi Band, which will perform in March at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

• For the 16th consecutive year, Aldine earned a “Superior” rating under Texas’ FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System).

• The Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) named Aldine a District of Distinction. Kujawa Elementary Principal Kimberly Jenkins was named TAEA’s Principal of the Year and Jones Middle School art teacher Sara Kersh was named TAEA’s Middle School Teacher of the Year.

• Aldine opened Rose Avalos P-TECH High School at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

• Aldine developed a partnership with EMERGE, college-readiness program prepares high-performing high school students, in grades 10-12, to attend and graduate from selective colleges and universities across the nation.

• Houston Endowment provided Aldine with a grant to cover the cost of EMERGE.

• Opened two ACE (Accelerating Campus Excellence) campuses, Goodman and Worsham thanks to Aldine’s partnership with Good Reason Houston.

• Aldine was one of three school districts in Houston selected for the Harris County Promise program. Through its partnership with Lone Star College, seniors at Nimitz, Eisenhower and Aldine high schools will have an opportunity to apply for the Harris County Promise Scholar program. The program covers students’ tuition and fees after all grants, financial aid and scholarships are applied.

• Aldine was one of six school districts in Texas chosen to participate in The Holdsworth Center’s five-year partnership focused on helping school districts grow their pipeline of inspiring leaders so that teachers can thrive and students can excel on every campus.

Dr. Goffney said she and her leadership team are proud of what has been accomplished in a short period of time, but she added there is more work to be done to provide more choices for Aldine ISD students and parents.

“These examples and celebrations are why we do this work,” she said. “There is no way I can remember everything that happens in the district. But there is one thing I am sure of: I am proud of the work we have done to improve student outcome. I come to work every day as your superintendent energized and I know that our teachers, school leaders, bus drivers, custodians, and every team member at Aldine ISD, all come to work energized to ensure our young people are set up for success. We know that all of our students can be successful here in Aldine and in college, career and in life.”

Leadership team discusses Aldine’s strategic plan

Members of Dr. Goffney’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) then presented Aldine’s fiveyear strategic plan, “A New Way Forward,” based on five strategic priorities.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Todd Davis discussed strategic priority 1, Student Achievement; Chief of Schools Katy Roede discussed strategic priority 2, School Culture, Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Javier Villareal discussed strategic priority 3, Mission-Driven Leadership, Chief Financial Officer Dr. Tamika Alford-Stephens discussed strategic priority 4, Organizational Efficiency and Chief Communications Officer Sheleah Reed discussed strategic priority 5, Community Engagement and Outreach.

More choices for Aldine ISD students

Dr. Goffney also spoke of the importance of providing more choices for Aldine ISD students and parents.

“We have set goals to create choices to compete with other districts and charter schools,” she said. “We must be bold and we must build a system of great schools. The district is intentional about increasing access to choices and opportunities for families in our community.”

New programs being considered are:

• Providing magnet schools in every area of the district.

• Expanding Aldine’s two-way dual language program to add another grade level and eventually have a K-12 program in every area of the district.

• Strengthen Aldine’s International Baccalaureate program.

• Redesigning Hall Center for Education with a focus on an education that prepares students to meet their academic needs, ensure students have skills to take care of themselves and provide the support they need to focus on their families.

• Launching a single-gender campus, one for boys and one for girls.

• Design and launch a New Comer Academy to serve students who are new to Aldine.

“We must demonstrate what is possible for students who are black, brown and come from poverty,” Dr. Goffney said. “Our vision is simple, it’s that we want all Aldine ISD students to receive dynamic, unparalleled instruction that guarantees them choices and opportunities in the future.”

Prior to the start of the program, audience members were entertained by student performances from the Houston Academy dance troupe, and Houston Academy choir, under the direction of Jennifer Colvin and Jocquinn Williams.

The MacArthur High School JROTC presented the colors and the Aldine High School Honor Choir performed the National Anthem.