By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Independent School District (GISD) superintendent Jeffrey Brasher was the speaker at the Wednesday Rotary Club meeting and told members of the great strides the district has made in the past few years.
Brasher, who is in his third year with the GISD spoke highly of the district and of the city of Gainesville.
“I have one of the greatest jobs in the world,” Brasher said. “Each day I get to help make a difference in the life of a child.”
Brasher also said it’s great to be part of a relationship that has developed between the GISD, the city of Gainesville and North Central Texas College (NCTC).
The dual credit program is great for area students and participation in the Career Technology Classes (CTC) developed at NCTC is very popular with students, Brasher noted. Scholarships from the Gainesville Economic Development Community have also assisted students in the CTC classes.
“It is a pleasure to serve this wonderful city and in my perspective it is such a positive community,” Brasher continued.
Brasher said that as part of his weekly agenda, he goes out one day a week to the schools to sit in on classes and it is a rewarding and sometimes funny experience.
During his class time visit, he said that he never knows what to expect but enjoys the engagement of the teachers with the students.
Brasher said on a recent visit at Edison Elementary, a teacher asked a student what you would get if someone had eight apples and a neighbor came over and took four away. The student confidently said “A fight.”
Brasher explained the GISD vision statement to the Rotary members which says: “GISD, as an integral part of the local community and global economy, provides a first class education for all students, empowering stake holders, embracing diversity and expecting excellence with integrity.”
He said that graduates have three choices when they graduate. They can get a job, go to college or go down a negative path of possible welfare and incarceration. A number one priority for the GISD is to encourage students to make good choices and become productive citizens of the community as well as the world.
“Our children are not only competing on a local scale but are also competing globally through the advanced technology of our times,” he said.
Brasher believes that it is important to provide a first class education to all students and that diversity is embraced as an asset not a liability.
“If you expect excellence you will get excellence and that you only get what you expect,” he said.
Using John Maxwell’s “5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential,” Brasher is adamant about reaching the pinnacle of leadership which is to develop qualities to the highest degree so that people follow you because they want to based on honesty, integrity and dedication to what you represent.
Beginning with the lowest level, the five levels of leadership are: people follow because they have to; people follow because they want to; people follow because of what you have done for the organization; people follow because of what you have done for them; people follow because of who you are and what you represent. This last level is the highest degree and Brasher is adamant about reaching this pinnacle of leadership and in turn supporting and encouraging others to maximize their own potentials.
Brasher said that regarding financial responsibility, the GISD recently received the highest marks from the Texas Education Agency.
“We, as a district, have been very frugal and have been able to make needed improvements from our fund balance for many of our campuses including Chalmers, Edison Elementary and the Gainesville Middle School,” he continued. “Besides the new baseball field, we are also getting a new bus barn just east of town on Radio Road. The old Franklin building will be torn down and that property will be up for sale.”
Brasher cited that safety and security is a top priority for the district and emergency plans covering different situations have been developed with the assistance of the Texas School Safety Center and Gainesville Fire Marshall and Emergency manager, Ray Fletcher.
A main objective of the GISD is to keep kids in school. The drop out rate is very low at GHS, well below state numbers, Brasher added.
“We currently have 706 students at GHS which has increased by 106 students in the last two and a half years.” Brasher continued. “We are on a great path and our schools are making even greater progress,” Brasher said.
“The GISD school district ‘Met Standards’ as assessed by the Texas Education Agency this last year. In comparison to other like school districts, GHS also received a “Distinction” by finishing in the top 25 percent of their comparison group.”
Brasher said he believes that as the GISD continues on the path to excellence, more people will be moving into the district and the schools will see an increase in the number of students and district-wide achievements.
There will not be a meeting next Wednesday, Nov. 27.
By CATHY MOUNCE
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