Editor’s note: In anticipation of the new year, we here at the Wills Point Chronicle requested that leaders within the WPISD look back on the district’s accomplishments in 2018, and ahead at goals for 2019 and beyond.
Reflecting back on 2018 for Wills Point ISD, it was a year filled with excitement and numerous accomplishments. The district witnessed success in academics, UIL extracurricular and cocurricular activities, and community engagement.
The district has, and will continue to focus on students being engaged in the learning process. This push is being accomplished through student led instruction and the integration of technology. The fabulous work of organizations like the Wills Point Education Foundation are helping in creating the ultimate learning environment through their Innovative Teaching Grants. This non-profit helps fill the funding gap and has already donated over $52,000 toward classroom projects.
As 2019 approaches, the district will continue to work to provide every student a quality education and prepare them for success in college and the workforce.
The Wills Point ISD is proud of the academic accomplishments in the classroom over the past year. The district met with a group of parents, students, teachers, community members, and area business owners. The information gleaned from these meetings helped to design our Learning Experience. The WPISD Learner Experience framework is designed to focus student lessons on academics in addition to problem solving, critical thinking, and character.
As students are engaged in the classroom to solve problems, think critically, and persevere despite obstacles it is equally important to engage them in tasks that require the same criteria. As a member of the Learner Experience cohort, teachers piloting the program are receiving additional support and training during the 2018-’19 school year.
All teachers will become a part of a Wills Point Learning Experience cohort over the next three years. In addition, the district made some adjustments to the instructional calendar to better meet students needs. These adjustments were possible because of the district’s designation as a District of Innovation.
The district was able to celebrate accomplishments in multiple programs including our Tiger Band. They placed with Division 1 ratings at UIL and advanced to the State Marching Contest for the 8th time in a row. Sixteen High School Band students placed in the All-Region Band, with five qualifying to the Area level. Thirty-two Junior High Band students placed in the All-Region Band, with two students placing 1st overall on their instrument.
The theatre department also displayed their talents this year by putting on the hilarious comedy “The Addams Family.” UIL One Act Play continued to shine onstage and off in their production of “Sense and Sensibility” receiving both Best Actress in Destini Healy and Best Actor in Billy Goss and the entire ensemble received All-Star cast as well as Kathryn Bell and Carisma Lincoln All-Star Tech in their District competition. At bi-district, Destini Healy received Best Actress once again, Billy Goss received All-Star cast, Lindsey Roberts Honorable Mention All-Star cast and Carisma Lincoln and Autumn Davidson won All-Star Tech.
2018 was a great year for all Career and Technology courses and their organizations. FCCLA competed in State Competitions producing several winners including Angel Donaldson with a 1st place win. The Culinary department continued to demonstrate their advanced catering skills through the Spirit Cafe.
Wills Point High School FFA chapter has seen many successes this year in judging contests and leadership events. The chapter was presented with the National Chapter Award and brought home many championships in livestock from the local level to County and State. The Agriculture Mechanics teams also demonstrated their success in welding and construction posting wins at the local and State level.
The Automotive department has grown in size by developing small engine classes. This department is giving students the skills they need to go into the automotive industry. The Health Sciences department is also growing and students are learning about the health industry and their opportunities within the career field.
The Audio Video Technology program is developing photographers with stellar abilities coupled with the yearbook staff, who continues to produce an outstanding yearbook for our district. Wills Point High School also implemented a certification program through the BIM 1 class. This class has provided students with the opportunity to become certified in Microsoft Word and Excel. Just this past Fall there have been 60 students gain certifications through Microsoft.
The district’s athletic department can also boast about their many accomplishments in 2018. Boys baseball started the successful year by becoming bi-district qualifiers. Track teams produced several winners including varsity boys district champions, JV boys & JV girls district champions, 44 Area event qualifiers, 20 Regional event qualifiers, three State qualifiers (Shelbi Walser, Kaylee King, Nathan Johnson), and one State silver medalist - Shelbi Walser. Tiger tennis brought home awards in individual tennis when the boys became district champions the girls were district runners-up. Overall, Tiger Tennis had 12 Regional qualifiers, four Regional champions, six State qualifiers, two State silver medalists (Claire Hiler and Maddie Booth), and two State Champions in boys doubles (Chase Daniell and Kash Adams).
Team tennis had district champions, Area champions and Regional Quarterfinalists. Football had another great year by becoming the district runner-up and also bi-district qualifiers.
The cross country team was outstanding this year bringing home district championships in all four divisions, having both boys and girls become Regional Qualifiers.
Volleyball rounded out the athletic calendar by having an exciting season. The Lady Tigers were successful as bi-district champions, Area champions and Regional Quarterfinalists. Multiple athletes also continued with accomplishments in the classroom by receiving Academic All-District and All-State awards.
The district also sought out additional opportunities to increase community engagement in 2018. A wide variety of activities were delivered throughout the year including, school sponsored parent and activity nights, after school programs, food drives, angel tree and a Homecoming Carnival and Bonfire.
The Primary campus got a “Head Start” on academics by introducing the 3-year-old Head Start Program. WPISD also received a 10-unit Kajeet SmartSpot® kit which includes safe, filtered, and managed 4G LTE wireless Internet outside the classroom for the 2018-‘19 academic school year. The ten devices were given to the High School Library for students to check out when they need internet connection to finish homework or projects after school hours.
The district is excited about what is to come for the students of Wills Point. The continued growth and success of the district creates excitement throughout. Additions in technological devices and hands on activities are helping to create an engaging learning environment for all students.
Quality instruction will continue to be the driving force for the school district as well as developing students with good character and integrity. The addition of Stephen F. Austin for dual credit will help in preparing students for the college experience. The district will continue to focus on providing opportunities for students to receive certifications in career and technical fields in order to better prepare students for the workforce. With the focus of school operations being the success of all students, it is a great time to be a part of “Tiger Nation.”