Every year I reserve my final column of to thank our board of trustees, administration, teachers and staff for doing such a marvelous job of educating our students. While we do make mistakes, generally the quality of education the students get in the Port Aransas Independent School District (PAISD) is the best in the Coastal Bend. We just received our preliminary TAKS scores and, once again, the results showed outstanding scores overall. We will always have work to do in maintaining and improving on state and federal accountability requirements that are constantly changing.
I just returned from my son's graduation exercises at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. It was truly a remarkable experience witnessing not only a phenomenal event, but realizing that many of the 1,038 graduates who will lead as officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps came from towns and high schools all across the country that are similar to Port Aransas. I often ask my son and others what they believe is needed most from the high school setting to be successful in their endeavors. The answer has been consistent that they need a well-rounded educational foundation from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade that provides the rigor necessary to excel at a higher level, opportunities for suc- cess outside the classroom, and the ability to work effectively as an individual and as a team member.
PAISD does an exceptional job of preparing students for success beyond high school. This level of success cannot be achieved without the tireless efforts and dedication of all who are associated with PAISD. I wish to thank our board of trustees for making decisions that are in the best interest of the students, the administration, the faculty and staff for their commitment to the success of every student, and the parents and community for their support that is second to none.
Listed are some of the accomplishments for the 2007-2008 school year:
• Further implementation of online curriculum
• Reorganization of teacher assistance team
• Implementation of response to intervention
• Implementation of NovaNet
• Inclusive campuses with coteaching
• 99 percent of all students taking on-grade level TAKS
• District champion for the UIL academic competition for the past seven years
• 2008 regional UIL academic champion with six students competing at state
• UIL sweepstakes champion for band competition
• Band solo and ensemble regional and state qualifiers
• Boys and girls advanced to the UIL basketball playoffs
• 16 students qualified for regional track and two advanced to state
• Cross-country team qualified for regional competition
• Golf team qualified for regional competition
Last week, we held our annual scholarship presentation assembly for the graduating seniors. Community groups and individuals donated approximately $93,500 in scholarships for our students. That is incredible! Again, thanks to all.
Billy Wiggins is superintendent of the Port Aransas Independent School District.