Greek food and public education were the two topics at lunch Thursday, Oct. 17 when representatives from Raise Your Hand Texas hosted a luncheon for interested citizens in the Friendswood ISD section of the city.
Parents in the district, school board members, community members, school administrators, and representative from a State Representative attended to learn more about the organization and to hear what was happening in area public schools.
Laura Ewing, RYHT ambassador, and Catherine Rinhart, RYHT volunteer, organized the event and had Dr. David Anthony, CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas on hand tospeak. Anthony is a former superintendent of both Texas City ISD and Cy-Fair ISD.
Michele Staley, principal of Clear Brook High School, began the program with a review of her participation in an administrative week-long workshop at Harvard University, sponsored by RYHT. She shared with the group the many ways her life and school had been impacted by her participation there.
FISD Superintendent Trish Hanks next shared her love of public education, herpersonal experiences that drew her to her field and finally, the many ways FISD is changing and evolving to make students college and career ready. From flip classes and project based learning to digital creating and elementary classes using Skype to share with other global classrooms, FISD is not the same school or classes that those attending the lunch would remember from their youth.
Anthony was the third and final speaker and explained that RYHT is a non-profit education advocacy organization working to strengthen public education in Texas. The organization trains public school leaders to lead effective change in their schools and advocate for public policies that make public schools better for Texas students and families.
The group’s outreach mission is to help create informed and engaged communities ofindividuals across the state willing to take action to improve public schools for students, thereby strengthening the future workforce and the economy of Texas.
“We want to change the perception of state leaders, legislators and citizens that public education is an investment, not just an expense,” Anthony said.
Charles Butt, founder of HEB supermarkets is also the founder of RYHT.
“In education, there are no silver bullets, no magic pills. It really depends on all of us to address it,” Butt said.
Ewing, Rinhart and Anthony encouraged all who attended to join at www.RaiseYourHandTexas.org/Join
“We won’t tell you how to vote; just vote,” Anthony said when explaining to the group how few people in Texas voteand especially among educators who have had the most local control taken away of any group. “We don’t tell youhow to think; just to think.”
A similar luncheon was held the day before at Hope Village and Clear Creek ISD citizens were encouraged to attend. Anthony and Staley also spoke along with CCISD Superintendent Greg Smith and PH Green Elementary Principal, Dr. Susan Silva.