LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - School is (almost) back in session, and the Lufkin Independent School District kicked off its school year with a bang this morning.
The sights and sounds of school chimed all over the convention center as teachers filled the room, brimming with excitement. However, the big buzz on all of the LISD campuses is the new superintendent.
"We want to focus on Team Lufkin ISD going from good to great," said Dr. LaTonya Goffney, Lufkin ISD's superintendent. "Good to great. Educating and adding value to every kid's life from special education to GT. We want to make sure our kids leave us better than when they came to us."
One way Lufkin ISD did that was by kicking off the school year with their annual district convention. This year's convention was a little different.
"What that involved was asking community members to come in and provide booths and gives away. We had ton of door prizes," said Sheila Adams, a spokeswoman for Lufkin ISD. "Thousands of dollars of door prizes and we have 45 booths out here with people with their businesses and supporting our teachers."
At the convention, Lufkin ISD's teachers and staff were told that education is the only long-term solution to all of the community's ongoing issues.
"The highlight was when Dr. Goffney got up there and spoke for us," Adams said. "She's going to be a phenomenal superintendent for LISD."
Goffney said the most important thing is making sure the teachers know how powerful they truly are.
"I think because I'm a testament to what education can do," Goffney said. "I mean my mother was 15, I never knew my father, I was raised in poverty, my grandma was a domestic, and so it was because of education that you are talking to me right now."
However, Goffeny said the show isn't about her.
"If I didn't have teachers that told me you're smart and you're going to act like it, I wouldn't be standing here today," Goffney said. "Those teachers were important to me and that's my mission in life - to emphasize the importance of education to every kid. It doesn't matter where you come from. It's not an excuse for where you end up."
Lufkin ISD officials said they were able to raise around $13,000 just from community support, and because of this, they will be using their own money to give their teachers raises this year.