We serve the best generation of students I have seen in my 30 years in public education. The students, young men and young women who attend Leander ISD, are compassionate, caring and talented.
In partnership with our School and Community Relations team, I am working to capture the student voice this year. We recently featured our December prompt for students, asking them a simple question: “How do you give or serve others?”
Students wrote about volunteering in various campus organizations, spending time at animal shelters and helping clean up stadiums after sporting events.
“When I volunteer (at an animal shelter), I feel like I have a purpose,” one student wrote. “It feels so good to be able to help other living creatures out. I love working with the kids that visit and hearing their stories.”
Another student detailed how her therapy dog, Oliver, who helped her recover from a terrible accident, now helps others.
“I get to give back by taking Oliver to the nursing care facility and bringing a little love and sunshine to somebody’s day!” she writes. “Always give back in any way you can, because I have received so much in return without asking or expecting it.”
A popular topic was the act of kindness and sympathy for others, regardless of how they might be struggling.
“Giving back by being there for someone is the least I can do,” one student wrote. “Even if I don’t know the person, I try my best to be there for them no matter the situation. If I know the person, I can really put my all into helping them feel better, and I treat people like… I would want to be treated in that situation.”
Perhaps most inspiring was the student who wrote of the teachers that had given her back something she had lost: a love of learning.
“I had a really rough beginning to the year and I was starting to hate high school,” she wrote. “But my teachers were very understanding and really did and still do … listen to my concerns. I’m really starting to understand school, and I hope my grades start to reflect the type of person I am.”
I want to thank all the students who took part in our December Student Voice submission. We have just released a January prompt at www.leanderisd.org/superintendent. Getting to know our students better keeps me inspired to lead the best school district in Texas.
— Dan Troxell, Ph.D., has been Superintendent of Leander Independent School District since 2016. He earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas and his master’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos.