Andy Webb has been a Trustee since 2013 and is the Vice President of the School Board. We asked him five questions about some of the effects COVID changes have had on the district. VISIT US ON FACEBOOK FOR #6 AND OTHER OUT TAKES…
Everyone wants to know… what can we expect next year?
The simple truth is that we don’t know yet. What I do know is, for everyone involved in GISD in any capacity, our hope, prayer, and goal, is to go back−as normal as possible. We are thinking about all the potential curve balls yet to come, and preparing contingencies to handle those as expertly as principals and teachers handled the first part last Spring.
Do you anticipate any changes?
We have to marry the things that we are allowed to do with our new understanding of what is technologically possible. I appreciate the capabilities we have and the data that shows what we are able to accomplish, but I believe nothing is as effective as being face-to-face in the classroom. On the plus side, we are definitely going to look at the Senior Parade in 2021. It started out as a place-filler for graduations we were later able to schedule, and we know the circumstances will not be replicated next year. But, given its impact—the joy and optimism it created—we are definitely going to look at it again.
Any particular challenges to the Board during this time?
Our job is always to identify resources and allocate them best we can. We’ve given employee raises every year I’ve been on the Board, and we spend a great deal of energy working on a balanced budget. Normally, that is December through June, which, this year, was occupied with myriad other concerns; but I trust we will get it nailed down. Most people may not realize how well our Trustees work together. Boards can be like a family reunion; if it goes well, it’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s going to end up on YouTube. We are a happy family.
What will you remember most about home school?
My daughter really took to it. She is smart, driven, creative; didn’t miss a beat and finished really strong. Interesting—based on data we had about actual work being done at home, my own house was a microcosm. Two kids in the same house and a completely different approach to success; we expect to see that extrapolated across the entire district over time.
My son is a super athlete and this was the first Spring since he was 3 that we have not played baseball. When we weren’t working on his studies, he taught me how to fish. He’s really good and I’m glad we got to spend that time together, especially since he is going to college. We both enjoyed a unique savoring of ‘senioritis.’ Fortunately, prior to Spring Break he signed to play baseball at Ranger College, so I’ve enjoyed telling everyone he’ll be “playing for the Rangers” next year.
So can teachers add “Rolex” to the school supply list?
(laugh) Probably. Even teachers have a new appreciation of teachers. So many of them were teaching their own children and they want to go back to normal too. The support has been overwhelming. They had to prepare material, some had to adapt to new technology in order to, then, prepare their delivery—it was their regular over-the-top performances, and then some. We pride ourselves on being a marketplace of ideas, and we work hard to make GISD a place where quality of opportunity is a part of the quality of life.