Students from Copperas Cove School District entertain the audience during the luncheon Wednesday. BELOW: CCISD Superintendent Joe Burns addresses the crowd as he delivers the state of the district address.

State of the District

CCISD supporters gather to hear the annual State of the District address



The atmosphere at Tuesday’s state of the district luncheon hosted by the Copperas Cove Independent School District held a different air than in 2014. Last year, the district was reeling from recently learning it had lost millions in heavy Impact Aid dollars. Superintendent Joe Burns said last year, the district was in reactive mode. This year, the district is taking a proactive approach. Burns presented a year’s worth of work completed by a strategic planning team, a five-year plan for the district called Vision 2020. The process to create the plan began in January 2014, in order to develop what Burns called “a road map for success for the next three to five years.” This strategic plan is different than others because it was created by more than the superintendent, school board and district administrators, like many districts’ strategic plans are created. The plan contains six key areas of focus to include teaching and learning, human resources, funding and finance, facilities, technology, and community partnerships. Burns said the board told him that the community had to be involved in that process, with an expanded team of more than 100 to include school board members, administrators, community leaders, as well as parents and students. The team crafted a list of 15 beliefs as well as six strategic objectives. One of those beliefs Burns gave as an example was that all students can succeed. Another belief is preparing students for postsecondary success after high school, along with the belief that innovation fosters enthusiasm in students and staff, and focusing on rigor and relevance for student success. “Without relevance, folks, it’ll never stick in their mind what we ask them to learn,” Burns said. “We want to set that standard high and let them know what hard work looks like when they’re here, because it’s not going to get any easier when they get out in the world.” At the conclusion of his remarks, Burns said hard copies of the plan were available for people to take home with them, and that it is also posted on the district’s website. Burns presented the plan after those assembled heard many of the highlights of student accomplishments throughout the district, along with hearing from Cpt. Chin Lin of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Engineer battalion, the adopted unit of Crossroads High School and the DAEP Center on Avenue E. He shared about his unit’s experiences with the school, along with how he personally learned and his perspective was changed through interacting with the students. Also at Tuesday’s lunch, the Copperas Cove Alumni Association honored two alumni, Nelson Schmidt of the class of 1943, and Wilma Schulze Bilyeu of the class of 1942. Entertainment was provided by the Fairview/ Jewell Elementary 5th grade choir and soloists, with the CCHS choir trio singing the national anthem, the CCHS DECA members serving as table escorts, and the JROTC Bulldawg battalion posting the colors.

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