Team Lufkin ISD Ready for New Year

One week from tomorrow, the yellow school buses will be running the roads, pencils will be sharpened and the doors to 15 school campuses will be opened for the first day of school for more than 8,600 Lufkin ISD students. Team Lufkin ISD is prepared and committed to not only teach and educate our students, but to also inspire and encourage success.

As I start my second year as superintendent of Lufkin ISD, I want to keep the momentum of excellence. Looking back over this past year, we have made some huge accomplishments: creating vision, mission and belief; implementing systems; standardizing protocols; approving salary increases; upgrading technology and purchasing additional buses, to name a few.

We celebrate the fact that 97 percent of our 2014 graduates will be entering higher institutions of learning or the military to further their education. Recently, we were notified that all 15 of our campuses met the state’s standard and received a total of 21 distinctions.

But more important than the state’s requirements is the connection our team makes with each student. Every member of Team Lufkin ISD is a child’s best hope, best chance, best educator. Helping all children reach their ultimate potential is our job, our mission. As educators, we must plan to work as if each student’s life depends on us, because it does.

Recently I received a friend request on Facebook from Sue Ogden Allen Murphy. I didn’t immediately recognize the name, but I accepted the request anyway. Later that evening, I received a direct message that said, “I am so proud of you!” I was still puzzled, so I went to her profile page and when I saw her, I remembered Ms. Sue Allen who served as my school counselor in middle school and high school.

I could feel the tears forming as I remembered my seventh grade year. She was the first person that I confided in about some of the struggles of my life. Tears flowed as I recalled that during my senior year, Ms. Allen was the one who encouraged me to go to college. She helped me to complete the FAFSA application, and assisted me with scholarship and grant opportunities. As I reflected on all of the memories, I immediately responded to her message and explained how I would be forever indebted to her for the difference she made in my life.

As superintendent, I recognize that the work we engage in is not like any other job, per se. It is indeed mission work. Our success provides choices and opportunities for students, which in turn enriches communities and changes the world. I have a sign on the wall in my office that I read every single day that says, “On your worst day on the job, you are still some child’s best hope.”

Together we unite for the betterment of all of our children at Lufkin ISD. We are educators, no matter our title or position, with the tremendous responsibility of being constant shining examples and teaching life lessons to our young people. Each of us has a duty and responsibility to connect as a team to support our students. We are all here to make a positive difference for the children in our care.

Monday, Aug. 25, is the big day. It will be the first day of school, and the first day for our students to reap the benefits of an exceptional education where Team Lufkin ISD staff members are prepared to make this the best year ever. Welcome back!

Published by drgoffney

Dr. LaTonya Goffney was named Lufkin ISD Superintendent in 2013. A native of Coldspring, Dr. Goffney began her career as a language arts teacher in Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD. Additionally, she served as assistant principal and principal before serving as superintendent at Coldspring-Oakhurst for five years. Dr. Goffney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and English, a Master of Education degree in administration, and a Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Leadership, all from Sam Houston State University. In her new role as Superintendent of Lufkin ISD, Dr. Goffney has focused on building community support. She has established an Education Foundation to enhance educational opportunities for all students through innovative teacher grants, a Strategic Planning group involving more than 100 community members and created a Hispanic advisory committee called the Nuestras Madres to connect with the Hispanic mothers in the district. She implemented the Panther Community Forums, which are quarterly meetings to address topics with the community and parents. Dr. Goffney began the Team Lufkin ISD Student Ambassadors, a high school student advisory group to the superintendent. Annually, she hosts Lufkin ISD Evento en Español to inform the Hispanic community of educational opportunities. Dr. Goffney was the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Administrator of the Year Award selected by the faculty of Sam Houston State University College of Education. She was named as one of only 22 members of the 2012-2013 Class of Phi Delta Kappa International Emerging Leaders. The PDK Emerging Leaders program recognizes top educators from across the world. She currently serves on the following civic boards: Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, The Coalition, and Angelina County Economic Development. She is president-elect of the Texas Council of Women School Executives and was recently elected as recording secretary to the Texas Association of Black School Educators. Dr. Goffney also serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Association of School Administrators. Dr. Goffney is married to Joseph Goffney. They have two children, Joseph, Jr., 14, and Joslyn, 10. Dr. Goffney and her husband, Joseph, have co-authored a book titled All is Well as a tribute to their special needs son. Their story has been featured in several local magazines.

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