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Navigating to Success

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In the midst of a pandemic, Elgin ISD has risen to the challenge to provide an excellent educational experience for all students in our district. This requires commitment, dedication, and creativity in the best of times. Unfortunately, the year 2020 was not the best of times.

The past year required an unusual combination of skills and talents from district leaders. Unexpected circumstances resulted in changes in laws and regulations, and those statewide changes required flexibility, adaptability, quick problem solving, teamwork, and leadership at the district level.

Navigating these unfamiliar waters became a daily task, complicated by the differing opinions and desires of those internal and external to our organization. These uncertain and sometimes treacherous circumstances created challenges for even the most seasoned among us. A steady hand on the rudder was absolutely required, and that is exactly what our district’s School Board provided.

Our trustees came through when we needed them most this year. They served as our anchor; they supported our district leaders and staff; they charted a course that protected our most vulnerable; and they ensured that instruction and academic progress could continue for all students. It was a daunting situation, but they navigated to success with unerring determination.

Board service is a volunteer effort that requires dedicated time and commitment to the work. It is a tough job, and a critically important one. It requires extensive training, a broad outlook, and careful decision-making.

School board members are the largest group of elected officials in the state, numbering more than 7,000 statewide. They are farmers, doctors, business owners, retirees, and young professionals. They are people you see in the store, at the game, and in your neighborhood. They are often overlooked, but their contributions cannot be overstated. They are shaping tomorrow.

Today I ask that you take a moment to recognize our committed School Board members. Take a moment to honor the work they are doing to help our students sail into the future. Take a moment to say thank you for the work they are doing on behalf of our students and community.

I personally would like to thank these individuals for their unwavering support during these difficult times and for remaining focused on our ultimate purpose—to change lives in Elgin ISD:

  • Byron Mitchell, Board President
  • Beth Walterscheidt, Vice President
  • Juanita Valarie Neidig, Secretary
  • Angie Edmon, Parliamentarian
  • Pete Bega, Trustee
  • David Glass, Trustee
  • JD Harkins, Trustee

Join me in celebrating School Board Recognition Month throughout the month of January.


During the most recent regular virtual meeting of the Elgin ISD school board on Monday, January 11, the school board was honored with a proclamation by Elgin Mayor Ron Ramirez recognizing the importance of the school board, a series of creative videos by each Elgin ISD campus thanking the school board, and a box of gifts for each board member that relate to the “Navigating to Success” theme.