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Varnett strives for excellence as teachers, staff return to work

Part One has begun.

Teachers and staff returned to Varnett Monday and were inspired by speeches that encouraged excellence for the school year starting Aug. 24.

Guest speaker Dr. Verna Price also talked about the importance of power that enables staff and students alike to make the right choices and move positively along that path.

"We are a really good school," said Dr. Matthew Plummer, president of Varnett's board of directors. "This year we're going to be a great school."

Dr. Margaret Stroud, Varnett’s interim superintendent, emphasized the importance of Varnett’s new mission statement that begins: “The mission of the Varnett Public School is to provide a rigorous academic program which meets the needs of our diverse population."

The staff was buoyed by news that the Varnett Public School met 2015 accountability standards based on the results of last year’s STAAR tests administered to third through fifth graders.  East Campus led the way with a 5-star “Distinction Designation” earned in reading, science, top 25 percent in student progress, top 25 percent in closing performance gaps, and post-secondary readiness. Southwest Campus earned two stars and Northeast received one.

Expert to 5th graders: You have the power to improve your life

“How do you spell success? V-A-R-N-E-T-T,”  said Dr. Plummer, who praised Dr. Stroud’s leadership in navigating the district through change during her first year as interim superintendent.

Dr. Price, author of the book “The Power of People – Four Kinds of People Who Can Change Your Life,”  emphasized the seven dimensions of personal power: energy, positive thoughts, vision, words, writing, spiritual power and action.

She urged teachers to bring those elements to the classroom when school starts. “Your words and your energy guide your classroom,” Dr. Price said.

Professional development continues through next week, with classroom preparation set for Aug. 20-21.

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