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District unveils new mission

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

The mission of the Denton school district can now be summed up in 17 words.

“Denton ISD: Empowering lifelong learners to be engaged citizens who positively impact their local and global community” was adopted 7-0 by the school board last week as the district’s new mission statement.

The statement was created by the district’s Project Educational Improvement Council — a group of district staff, parents, community and business leaders that formed last spring to revamp the district mission, vision, values and goals and to redesign the district logo. The group meets eight times a year.

Chris Shade, the school district’s director of school improvement and support and chairman of Project Educational Improvement Council, said people across the community were asked during the course of several months via social media pages and e-mail why the district exists. He said the council received a number of Facebook responses and more than 760 e-mails. Shade said what he’s most proud of is that social media tools were used in a unique and forward-thinking way to seek input on rebranding the district mission statement. He said in order to rebrand the district, it was essential to engage the Denton learning community.

Of the responses received for why the district exists, it was identified that nine words were most commonly used — three nouns, three verbs and three adjectives, Shade said. The committee, he said, used those nine words — future, community, citizen, engage, empower, foster, lifelong, global and resilient — to craft the district’s new mission statement. In two to three days, the council exchanged more than 100 e-mails in creating the statement, Shade said.

“Lots of e-mails were going out amongst the members to get to the finalized version,” he said.

Superintendent Jamie Wilson said the futuristic thinking of the statement allows it to be timeless.

Board President Mia Price said the statement is shorter and is one people will remember.

“It will become an integral part of this district,” she said. “It truly reflects the entire community, not just this board.”

Joe Ader, associate home groups pastor at The Village Church in Denton and a member on the educational improvement council, said though his church was partnered and worked with Calhoun Middle School the last five years, this is the first time he’s been asked “what do you think.” He said this was a shift in the school district. Ader said he’s been encouraged by the work he’s done in helping to create the district’s mission statement, and down the road a vision, values, goals and a logo redesign.

“I think we’re happy with where the mission statement came down, and now it’s the hard work of actually implementing that,” he said. “I’m just excited to see what’s next as far as creating values and goals and seeing that implemented across the school district.”

Up next for the council, Shade said is working with district administration officials in creating district values and goals followed by redesigning a district logo that reflects the district’s mission statement.

“It’s our intent to have the logo ready to unveil going into the next school year,” he said.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.