Ray Dunlap

In Terrell we’re fortunate that our children benefit from an excellent school district. But our students aren’t the only ones who benefit from Terrell Independent School District. Our economy does as well.

This week the Texas Education Agency released the 2019 Accountability Ratings. Under the direction of Terrell ISD Superintendent, Micheal French, and his staff, the district earned a B rating for 2019. This is a significant improvement over past ratings for our district. Also, recently Furlough Middle School teacher, Micah Rice, was named the Region 10 Secondary Teacher of the Year. It’s evident that all of Terrell ISD – from its board members to employees – is invested in student success.

Terrell ISD promotes development of all students, and this truth is demonstrated through the existence of programs and facilities that foster academic development for all school-aged children. Outside of the standard classroom, students five years and older can participate in the Excellence Center for Enhanced Learning (ExCEL)’s academic, socio-economical and physical development opportunities including character training, expression/creativity, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, communication, resilience, and work habits to name a few. These are all skills that can be carried into future life and work experiences.

Terrell ISD’s new Global Leadership Academy (GLA) is a specialized K-5 school of choice that provides an alternative educational experience that is unique from traditional campus. Students enrolled at GLA will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on, self-directed learning that is centered around a project-based learning curriculum. GLA, which is the first of many small and specialized schools of choice to open within Terrell ISD in the coming years, is built on the foundation of the following Six Pillars of Excellence: Leadership Development, College Preparatory, Personalized Learning, Technology Integration, Parents as Partners, and Experiential Learning.

The dual-credit career and technical programs offered at Terrell High School are perhaps one of the most significant opportunities available to students. The program is a cooperative between Terrell ISD and Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) designed to give students an opportunity to earn credits toward an Associates of Applied Science Degree or certificate in a chosen technical field. Participating students may earn college and high school credit in selected Career and Technical classes concurrently and receive a grade report from both Terrell ISD and TVCC. Best of all, a senior could feasibly graduate high school having earned their Associates degree or certification without paying a dime.

Soon our high school and undergraduate students will also be able to participate in health science programs at the new TISD/TVCC Health Science Academy. There students can enroll in classes to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, or workforce education courses leading to an industry certification in a health occupation field.

So, what do Terrell ISD and TVCC have to do with economic development? They both play a significant role. The most noteworthy being that many of these well-educated students ultimately become our workforce or future leaders in our community or local government. Many of the skills and knowledge attained by students in the dual-credit career and technical program can be used in good paying jobs right here in Terrell.

Businesses are steadily moving to or expanding in Terrell and will continue to do so if they know they have a dependable workforce ready to work. Terrell ISD and TVCC set the foundation for this growth – providing programs to ensure our future workforce is well educated and prepared to meet those demands.

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