Around the State
The Dallas Examiner | 7/14/2014, 10:40 a.m.
The Dallas Examiner
Lancaster ISD has been in a state of transformation for the past few years, and leading the charge has been its superintendent, Dr. Michael D. McFarland. Since his arrival, the district has improved its financial status, strengthened city and community partnerships, increased the graduation rate to where it is the highest among the Best Southwest member cities, and is seeing gains in student achievement.
The transformation has not gone unnoticed. On June 17, Region 10 Education Service Center confirmed McFarland as its Regional Superintendent of the Year.
“As superintendent of Lancaster ISD, Dr. McFarland has realized superior academic achievement, greatly improved fiscal management and amassed abundant community support,” Region 10 Chief Communications Officer Kelli Tharp said. “Through innovative programs such as the ‘More Than a Diploma Initiative’ and the transformation of the instructional services department, Lancaster ISD achieved the highest academic rating and eight designations of distinction from TEA last year. The Region 10 selection committee was impressed with the transformations Dr. McFarland has made thus far and enthusiastic about the vision he illustrated for the future.”
The Superintendent of the Year Program has honored outstanding Texas administrators for achievement and excellence in public school administration. Candidates are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving the quality of education in their school districts, commitment to public support and involvement in education, and the ability to build good employee relations among teachers and staff members.
“I accept this honor, but I also realize that this recognition is more about the work, sacrifice and effort that we all have exerted in our quest to provide the best for our students,” he said. “This award is also about where we have been, where we are, and where we are headed. It provides external confirmation that the improved achievement of our students has been remarkable and the efforts of each of you are commendable – we did this together.”
Each year, the Urban League of Greater Dallas takes time to recognize 30 college-bound students for a job well done during its annual Achievement Matters 2014 Awards Luncheon. Held June 21, the event took place at the DoubleTree Hotel. During the presentation, Cricket Wireless presented a check for $10,000 to ULGD to benefit 10 students who were awarded scholarships and tablets last fall as part of its “30 Days, 30 Dreams” initiative. The cellphone carrier also presented the students with a trunk party-inspired care package in hopes of helping to ease their transition from high school to college students in the fall.
The keynote speaker for the afternoon was Brenda Teele Jackson, HUD Closing Agent and vice president of Jackson Law Firm.
Additionally, the ULGD presented Cricket with its award for Outstanding Community Support.
The scholarship recipients were: Olanrewaju Akanni, who will attend the University of Houston; Hadiyah Lambert, who will attend Falander Smith College; Whitney Edwards, who will attend North Platte Community College; Darian Sargent, who will attend the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Tia Lay, who will attend Cedar Valley College; Tre Gardner, who will attend the University of Texas at Arlington; Christian Johnson, who will attend Prairie View University; Christian Briones, who will attend the University of Texas; Stephanie Hernandez, who will attend Texas A&M University; and Daijza Williams, who will attend Prairie View University.