MISSION—After recently completing his first 100 days with Mission CISD in December, Superintendent Ricardo Lopez said he is excited for the district’s future, especially with support from a community that is not afraid of hard work.
The year 2014 opens up more avenues for the district in technology and careers. Lopez said the district must provide a service to students that will equip them for the new job climate.
“We are providing resources; it’s part of our Chromebook initiative, making sure that the kids have the technology that they need to be ready for the 21st century,” Lopez said. “But it also comes with better teacher training.”
The superintendent explained teachers also will be training more in the upcoming year on technology use for the classroom and exploring dual-language programs. Lopez said districts in other states are working at getting ahead in communication.
“To have our kids only fluent in one language is providing a disservice to our kids. They won’t be able to compete,” Lopez said. “We have a lot on our plate; we have big goals and it doesn’t happen overnight.”
This month, Lopez said the district received notice that nearly 90 percent of its schools meet the federal mark in state testing, which he said is a good accomplishment. He added though there is a waiver at this time, the state would have to address campuses who have missed it.
Not only does the superintendent have short-term goals, but he is also looking at the bigger picture. He said providing extra training for teachers and working hard the next few months will create success in the years to come.
“A lot of the training protocols that we are putting forth—whether it is career development, curricular, athletic or our fine arts program—it is based on a standard of excellence,” Lopez said. “And as the standards shift, we have the agility and the training to make that switch and we will welcome the change.”
Though Lopez has only been with the district a short time, he has managed to move forward on construction projects that were in question with Mission High School as well as assist students fighting for their JROTC program.
“Mission High School has received unannounced visits and people have been blown away, not only by what we’ve done with the ROTC room but the numbers,” Lopez said. “Originally, we had 30 kids but now we have close to 140.”
The superintendent said formidable decisions on construction projects have been made, as well as other standard changes but he is proud of the entire Mission community as they have embraced these changes.
“The hope for the future is bright for this district and we can’t do it alone,” Lopez said. “We want to show the rest of the Valley our students can get it done, and they will get it done with the right vision and support.”