ISD Athens Featured in Announced “Bragging Rights” Publication | News

It’s not every day that an organization is told that it literally has the right to brag. But that’s exactly what happened to ISD Athens when the district was chosen as one of twelve school districts in the state to appear in the fifteenth annual “Bragging Rights” issue of Texas School Business magazine. .

Published annually in December, the much-advertised issue of Bragging Rights highlights programs and initiatives in 12 Texas public school districts that showcase innovative thinking, passion, determination, and strong leadership.

This year, we received 100 unique submissions from across the state and took a look at them to choose what we thought were the most innovative, beneficial and inspiring programs, ”said Managing Editor. , Dacia Rivers. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working on this special issue, it’s that providing an exceptional education for Texas public school students is a team effort, and every administrator is on board. “

ISD Athens has caught the attention of Texas School Business – which is regarded as an institution in the world of public education – due to an innovative change in the school district’s vocational and technical education curriculum. . AISD is currently in its second year of school and offers three CTE courses at Athens College which were previously reserved for high school students only. Unlike the vast majority of students in the state, AISD eighth grade students can follow building principles, agricultural principles, or hospitality principles and get a head start on a path of potential career.

Almost as the issue of Bragging Rights was published, I began to receive kudos from my fellow superintendents, ”said Dr. Janie Sims, AISD Superintendent. “Congratulations are greatly appreciated, but we are very happy to see our district – and the people behind this effort – being recognized for their innovation and hard work. “

Freshman Diego Pinedo took a college building course last year and said the experience gave him confidence in his ability to think methodically and creatively.

I worked with my dad in construction, and the class helped me, ”he said. “I see myself working in construction in the future and maybe even starting my own business. “

CTE Director Ward Wilbanks said one of the main challenges in expanding the program to the college campus was how to adapt standard classrooms to meet the needs of CTE programs.

We quickly realized that we needed a good shop vacuum and a dust collection system for the construction class, ”Wilbanks said. “And our hospitality and tourism instructor had to find inventive ways to teach the fundamentals of catering without a kitchen lab. With the success of these programs, we are looking for better options to meet these needs. “

Dr Sims notes that the by-product of having strong CTE course offerings, especially when offered earlier in the education process, is a skilled workforce for the surrounding area.

We believe that our students will have an advantage to get any job thanks to what we offer them at ISD Athens, ”she said.

Finally, this is not the first time that the school district has been a pioneer in the state of Texas. ISD Athens was the first in the state to create a high school program within an existing high school. The design of the school within the school, which is now in its 13th year as PINNACLE Early College High School, has been used by the Texas Education Agency as a model for other districts to follow.

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