Lufkin ISD superintendent's life story encourages others

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Earlier this year, the decision to pick a new Lufkin ISD superintendent was unanimous. School board members said Dr. Latonya Goffney's vision for the district made an outstanding impression.  Friday, many women learned what she has overcome to make her dream possible.

Goffney said networking with local women Friday was an opportunity for many to hear and understand the challenges she has faced.

"Who would've thought a little country girl from Cold Springs would be where I am. My mother was 15 when she had me and I never knew my father; and because of decisions that 15 year olds make I ended up being raised by my grandmother," Goffney said. "My grandmother had a fifth grade education and she's domestic; she's a house keeper."

Goffney said education has made the most impactful difference in her life. Three degrees and two superintendent positions later has given her access to the American dream. Nearly 14 years ago her son with special needs was born, which impacted how she saw that dream.

"Part of the American dream includes having normal dreams so when that happened it strengthened my resolve to make a difference in education because my son can't," Goffney said. "There are a lot of kids who won't so it's just my mission in life to make a difference for someone else."

Now, Goffney is sharing her story in hopes of encouraging others to live out their dreams.

"I actually had decided I was going to go to the navy," Goffney said. "I was number eight in my class and was considered smart and all that, and I just thought I was going to have to go to the navy to get money to go to college."

Learning from teachers, counselors and peers became very important for the then student. Today, it's the reason why she is making the same impact as the Lufkin ISD superintendent.

"The experience that kids have in the classroom is so important because my dream could have been killed if people would have judged me for my circumstances," Goffney said.

Goffney said she is looking forward to many more opportunities to network with others in the community that share the same passion for education.

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