Superintendents of the three school district in the North Channel area were the featured speakers last Friday at the Chamber’s monthly luncheon.
Emcee for the luncheon, held at the San Jacinto College student union, was former Chamber chairman Charles Grant. He is now heading up a membership drive for the chamber, entitled Forty for Forty in Four. This is a reference to the 40th anniversary of the chamber, and the goal of adding 40 new members in four weeks. With a sly sense of humor, Grant has offered to “Kiss A Pig” if the chamber board and members meet this goal.
Grant was followed by each of the superintendents of the three school districts, and they exhibited a tongue-in-cheek rivalry in their remarks.
Galena Park ISD’s Angi Williams was the first speaker. She referred to the winners produced by GPISD, both in athletics and in academics.
GPISD has 22,000 students, 3000 employees, and a $204 million budget, having a big impact on the community. The district passed a $290 million bond issue to upgrade their facilities, she said.
Dr. King Davis reported on the Sheldon District, of which he has only been superintendent since January. His motto is “Every Child, Every Day” with emphasis on personalized learning opportunities.
Growth is the main factor for Sheldon ISD, with projections of 7% expansion in the current year. Sheldon ISD recently passed a $285 million bond issue, for a new high school and other improvements and upgrades to facilities, safety, and technology, he said. King said that due to their growth, they now were rated by the UIL as a 6A school. They have 8900 students total.
Greg Ollis, superintendent of Channelview ISD, was the next speaker. He has been in office since 2008, and the district just passed a $111 million bond issue.
The CISD motto is “One Passion… One Dream… One Heartbeat.” The district now has 9500 students, adding 700 in the last 5 years. Ollis pointed to a good graduation rate, 89.6% and a good attendance rate 95.6%. His district has a $76 million operating budget, he said, and has been able to reduce the tax rate.
All three districts had advanced courses, dual credit and early college courses to help their students with college. All are implementing HB5, which calls for getting a student ready not only for college, but a career if that is more appropriate.