Keller school district earns top rating for costs efficiency

September 16, 2011

You may or may not have been keeping up with the budget woes in the Texas education system, but locally my school district has been met with a dwindling state budget and a slowed population growth coupled with a decrease in property values.   This has created a cause for heightened awareness of the ISD’s budget and spending.  The Keller Independent School District has a five star-rating for “achieving success in the classroom while holding costs down.”  I am sure this will get the ire of some folks who will read the Startlegram or the local rag, but I am sure most in the district will never see or hear of this news.  Why? Apathy, but that is another conversation.

I applaud the district administration and the trustees for working diligently to keep this rating, the only district in Tarrant County, after achieving it last year.  Several residents will be and are upset that they pay school taxes and then are now being charged for their children to ride the bus.  While I spur one trustee on about this, I applaud the trustees for focusing their spend in the classroom.  I do feel their are cuts in high school administration that could help put more money in the classroom.

I am glad to see that Keller ISD, while stepping up and trying to get more funding from the property owners, still find a way to maintain that 5 star rating when other comparable districts in the area are losing stars.

Keep up the good work, Dr. V and the trustees.  Keep the eye on increasing our state academic ratings and test scores and spending taxpayer’s money in a responsible fashion.  Some of us are still rooting you on.


Forgive me for my being today

September 11, 2011

Forgive me for my being today.  I am extremely torn with feelings of joy and sorrow and grief.  While it is the 10 year anniversary of that horrific day on American soil that killed thousands and has changed the history of the world every day since; thousands of my veteran brothers and sisters have paid the ultimate sacrifice to bring justice to those that have brought this upon us, my baby turns 16 today.

I was the soldier.  I served eleven years in the United States Army.  While serving in a job field that kept me from serving in hostile environments (not that I didn’t always have some munition targeting my workplace, generally from our side) I continually volunteered to go the theater where Americans were protecting our interests and constitution.  Why? Because I swore an oath that I would.  I never made it into theater, but I definitely supported efforts of my brothers and sisters that wore the uniform and put their lives in harms way.

For the last 10 years, on this day, I have had to try to answer the question, “Why today Daddy? Why do I have to share my joyous day with such a terrible event?”  How do you answer that to a child that should be able to see the joy in the eyes of others when she is in public.  I am sure, she mostly sees grief and hurt.  How hard it has to be for her.  16 today. How special is her day going to be with every thing she will see on TV or hear on the radio is about the devastation and the remembrance?

April 19, 1995 – my wife worked the Oklahoma City bombing.  She was a young nurse and was called downtown to work triage.  The things she has seen, the sounds she has heard and smell that accompanies such events can never be shaken.  Today will be hard on her and every first responder and their families today.

I have great joy in my heart, for I do have a little princess that is 16.  She, along with her elder brothers and sisters are outstanding young people all living their lives and chasing dreams that are only possible to chase in a free society.  All five are healthy, intelligent and mostly make the right decisions!  I hope you, my princess to have the best Sweet 16 you could ever dream of today.

I have great joy for I have a wife that is selfless in her love for her family. She never tires, or doesn’t show it, in her role to make our world better.  I never tell her enough how much I appreciate her, and I try to remind her.  She isn’t one for seeking praise from others and I feel she feels a little embarrassed by the adoration, but she truly deserves every compliment that we can give her.

While I chose the path to defend, and did not get to fully serve as I wanted, my family has been directly scarred by significant events. I know these are things that I have less than zero control over, but as a man, husband and father, I feel my badge of protector is tarnished.

So for these few reasons, please forgive me today if my mood swings a little, and my thoughts are either a little dark or full of sunshine, for you see today is a tough day for me as dad, husband and American.