APS Column: An update from Austin Public Schools

Published 5:54 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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By Superintendent Dr. Joey Page

As we look forward to spring and warmer weather, we wanted to take a moment to look back and recap some news from the past month about various student and staff accomplishments at Austin Public Schools.

At the beginning of February, we celebrated the advancement of several longtime staff members. Joni Irvin was named assistant principal at Ellis Middle School, and David Brown started as the new dean of students at IJ Holton Intermediate School. Both hold a wealth of experience and respect from our staff and community, having worked at the district for a combined total of 50 years. I know they will continue shining brightly as leaders here at Austin Public Schools.

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Our teachers continue demonstrating the district’s commitment to excellence at Austin schools. Tieler Myers, an Austin High School Spanish and AVID teacher, was named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars.

This award recognizes high school teachers, counselors, or administrators who have significantly impacted a student’s academic career. Mr. Myers embodies what it means to be a great role model. With a positive attitude, he welcomes every student into the classroom wholeheartedly, encouraging them to pursue their dreams confidently. We’re proud to have him on staff.

Our students, including Yvanna Lopez from Southgate Elementary, continue to inspire us with their hard work and success. Yvanna was named one of the top three entrants in the Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest sponsored by the Black Leaders and Allies Advancing Cultural Knowledge Employees Resource Group from Hormel Foods.

Yvanna got to take a tour of Hormel and had the opportunity to read her essay for Hormel leadership. Congratulations, Yvanna!

Finally, Amy Thuesen, APS Director of Technology, shared an update with our community regarding the direction of the district’s technology planning.

The district partnered with a Technology Advisory Team of teachers, recent alumni, administrators, and community partners to make recommendations and help our district update and execute our technology plan. This collaborative endeavor has led to the development of four primary goals:

• Safeguarding data;

• Promoting effective technology use;

• Fostering a tech-infused learning environment; and

• Establishing a responsible technology management strategy.

Please stay tuned for more information as we move forward with this initiative. Underscoring these goals lies one objective: preparing our students to make a difference in the world, a theme reflected in our district’s long-term strategic plan. To learn more about the strategic plan, visit AccelerateAustin.org.

As I reflect on the achievements of this past month, it’s clear that our district has continued to thrive and excel. As we look ahead to the remainder of the school year, we remain committed to preparing our students for successful futures.