WACO, Texas – January is School Board Recognition Month and Waco ISD will join other districts across the state to thank these local leaders for their dedication and willingness to serve as advocates for our children and public schools. As elected officials, they are the voice of their communities, serving first and foremost in the best interest of Texas schoolchildren.
“Even though we are making a special effort in January to show appreciation to our board members, we realize their many contributions reflect a year-round commitment. They generously give of themselves to ensure that decisions directly affecting our local schools are made by representatives of this community, people who are close to our schools and know our teachers, parents, and students,” said Dr. Bonny Cain, Waco ISD superintendent.
“Board members shoulder critical responsibilities and often make difficult choices. Their ultimate goal is always focused on the future success of the children in our district,” Cain said. “It’s more important than ever before that the public supports our schools so that today’s students are prepared to be productive citizens and the leaders of tomorrow. Our board members provide vision and leadership in their roles as advocates, and they will continue to stand up for public education and guard against anything that takes away from our children,” she added.
In 2016, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) selected Waco ISD’s Board as the 2016 Region 12 School Board of the Year for districts with more than 1,000 students. The Board was selected as the best from the 26 larger districts in the Region 12 Education Service Center area for its innovative partnerships and its utilization of community input on decision-making.
WISD’s Board has had success in its creation of an advanced academics academy (ATLAS Academy) at Tennyson Middle School, an elementary school International Baccalaureate Program at Mountainview Elementary School, and high school level technical academies for manufacturing and health care (Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy and Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy) that serve students in the greater Central Texas area.
Nine of the district’s 26 campuses are professional development school (PDS) sites in partnerships with Baylor University and Tarleton University. Last year, the Board guided the district through a successful Tax Ratification Election (TRE) that provided more than $8 million to support early childhood and literacy instruction and help enrollment in dual credit programs increase by 140 percent.
To date, Trustees currently serving Waco ISD have collectively accumulated 68.5 years of service on the Waco ISD school board. Those Board members are:
Pat Atkins, President
15 years of service
(At-Large - Term expires: May 2018)
Attorney / Partner, Tekell & Atkins Law Firm
First elected in 2002
Allen Sykes, Vice President
18 years of service
(District 5 - Term Expires: May 2019)
Senior Vice President and Trust Officer for Extraco Banks in Waco
First elected in 1999
Norman Manning, Secretary
9 years of service
(District 1 – Term Expires May 2018)
First elected in 2009
6 years of service
(At Large – Term expires: May 2017)
Local business owner
First elected in 2011
Stephanie Ybarra Korteweg
2 years of service
(District 2 – Term expires: May 2018)
First elected in 2015
15 years of service
(District 3 – Term expires May 2017)
Retired Postal Worker
First elected in 2002
8 years of service
(District 4 – Term expires: May 2019)
First elected in 2010
“Our district benefits from the tireless work and countless hours contributed by these local citizens who work without pay. Serving as a crucial link between the community and classroom, this board is responsible for overseeing millions of dollars each year, 15,000 students, 2,300 employees, and 26 campuses. Please help us thank these dedicated volunteers for their efforts to make a difference and their unfailing commitment to the continued success of our students now and in the future,” Cain said.
Board members will be recognized at the Waco ISD Board of Trustees Business meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017.