Sherman ISD is home to so many talented students, inspiring educators, parents and business owners who are passionate about the success of our children. Our Bearcat pride runs deep, and there is an incredible can-do spirit that permeates our community.
Our teachers and staff are among the very best in Texas, and we have a rich tradition of fostering and honoring academic, artistic and athletic excellence. Our athletic teams are competitive, fine arts programs earn top performance ratings, and academically, all of our schools meet or exceed state performance standards. Sherman High School has been recognized for producing college caliber students by The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report for each of the past eight years, and graduates in the class of 2016 earned more than $4 million in scholarships. SHS Bearcats are currently attending acclaimed public and private universities throughout the world and are accomplished and successful citizens making a positive difference locally, nationally and internationally.
Such accomplishments are not chance occurrences; they are a result of careful planning, focused implementation and future-oriented thinking. One hallmark of a great school district is that there is a compelling and inspiring vision for the future and a clearly developed road map to make that future a reality. Sherman ISD’s vision and road map can be found in our strategic plan that was developed in 2015 through the collaborative efforts of our parents, teachers and community leaders. This plan is the foundation for the work of #BuildingBearcats2030, a special task force of 70 community members including parents, business leaders, representatives from civic organizations and elected officials whose charge was to develop a long-term master facilities plan and provide our board of trustees with a recommendation for action.
During a robust and interactive four-month process, the Building Bearcats Committee toured facilities; analyzed our district’s demographic trends, financial position, and instructional goals; and evaluated our previous bond projects and current facility needs. Taking into consideration community opinion about specific projects, members identified and prioritized projects to include in a new bond package. Watching these stakeholders work with determination and conviction to build a bond proposal not only for our children’s education, but also for the future of our community, was inspiring. There were tough conversations and difficult choices to make about potential projects, and ultimately, we now have a fully vetted long-term capital improvements plan for the school district that will serve multiple generations of Sherman families. The plan includes a new Sherman High School, upgraded technology infrastructure, renovations to the existing SHS facility for a second middle school, two new elementary schools, and athletics and fine arts facilities. The total cost of the new bond will be $308 million. Because this plan provides for an immediate investment in a new high school and improved access to information through upgraded technology, every student will benefit from this bond proposal. It has been 10 years since the last bond and capital investment in SISD.
The Building Bearcats Committee delivered its formal recommendation to the board at our meeting on Tuesday. The board will vote on this recommendation at the next meeting on Monday night. Election Day for Sherman ISD is May 6, 2017.
I invite you to become familiar with the bond proposal. You can watch our live stream of the Monday board meeting on our website, Facebook, or Twitter, and always access information and resources about the bond at www.shermanisd.net/bond2017. Now is a great time to be a Bearcat. The future of Sherman, Texas is bright because the future of Sherman ISD is bright.
Tim Millerick is president of the Sherman Independent School District board of trustees.