These public servants donate their time and talents to ensure that all of our children have the best public schools we can provide. These trustees attend meetings, workshops, training, read detailed reports, listen to parents’ concerns and do the hard work to benefit the students and the community at large. And make no mistake about it, the whole community benefits from good schools.

Tonight, three dedicated, hardworking, devoted individuals, Billy Burns, Theresa Herzog and Bridget Tacquard, will be vacating their seats for newcomers, John Snider, Eric Davenport and Patrick Kelly. The district owes a debt of gratitude to our former board members, and looks forward to working with our newest members. The staff and students of our district applaud our board members for their vision and voice to help shape a better tomorrow.

“Serving on a local school board is no easy task, particularly in today’s climate of rapid change and financial uncertainties,” said Dr. Leigh Wall, superintendent of schools for Santa Fe. “These men and women are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for our public schools. They tackle a difficult job and shoulder enormous responsibilities. Overall, they represent you and take their leadership roles seriously by attending lengthy meetings; broadening their knowledge at conferences and seminars; and talking about the schools with business leaders, parents and neighbors. We are extremely appreciative of their service to our children and education.”

Texas has more than 5 million students in its public schools. That is 5 million young minds that range in age from 5-18 years old, and our state is attracting even more. Every year, our state student population increases by about 85,000 additional students.

Those impressionable young people depend on the adults in Texas to provide for them. They need shelter and food and nurturing and an education. Who will step up to see that all the children — not just the ones in our own households — have what they need in our schools?

In Texas, more than 7,200 generous people have offered to help. These are people who receive no pay for their dedicated efforts. These are people who not only volunteer, but go through the process of standing up for public education. They are locally elected school board members. They are your neighbors, and they care.

Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication of these local citizens who work without pay.

Our children benefit every day from the hard work and long hours contributed by our trustees. Serving as a crucial link between the community and classroom, this board is responsible for an annual budget of $37 million, 4,700 students, over 600 employees and four campuses. Our district board of trustees have created clear goals that correlate directly to three key words in our mission statement, Prepare-Achieve-Succeed.

We appreciate their generous sharing of time and energy on behalf of our children. In Santa Fe ISD … All means All; every child; every day!

Patti Hanssard is the assistant superintendent for human resources and the public relations officer for SFISD.

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