WATCH or READ: Checking In with Charles (11/21/19)
We have so much to be thankful for as we head into the Thanksgiving break.The past week has been full of opportunities to learn, to celebrate – and to heal.
As I record this, we are preparing toreturnthe SugarLand 95to their graves… the 95individualswho were previously lost to history, buried in an unmarked and abandoned cemetery discovered nearly two years ago.
On Sunday evening,many community membersjoinedus for avery special candlelight memorial service for theseindividuals. We reflected ontheinjustices they suffered, victims of a horrific system that provided slave labor long after the abolition of slavery. This journey has not been easy, butI am thankful we are now able to re-bury them with dignity and respect. Looking ahead, we will continue to teach the history of the Sugar Land 95to our students and our community, so that their lives and contributions will not be forgotten.
We also look forward toworking with archeologists and university researchers to help identify any ancestors of the Sugar Land 95.As we speak, bone and toothsamplesfrom each individualare at the University of Connecticut so that genetic analysis can begin. This will be an extensive process that will take several years,after which it will be necessary to enter the genetic analysis into genealogy data bases to look for ancestry matches.As we bury the remains,we are carefully marking eachcasket andgrave so that they canbe easily identified inthe future, if descendantscome forwardand wish to relocate the remains of their family member.
Today, archaeologists, historians, and geneticists from the project will present information about the Bullhead Camp Cemetery and the research underway. Our community is invited to attendthissymposium, which will take place at the James Reese Career and Technical Center.
During this week’s Board Meeting, we had much to celebrate – as we recognized outstanding student leaders from Leonetti Elementary, who led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance. Both are members of the school’s safety patrol and demonstrate a dedication to learning each day.
We also recognized the Clements High School Symphonic Band, and the Garcia Middle School ChamberOrchestra. Both of these ensembles have been chosen to represent Fort Bend ISD at this year’s 2019 Midwest Clinic, the world’s largest band and orchestra directors annual conference.
Our Board also congratulated two counselors from Cornerstone Elementary, who received a bronze award from the Lone Star State School Counselor Association for excellence in school counseling programs.
These counselors and these students are all examples of the collaborative team members and servant leaders that Fort Bend ISD is committed to developing.
In Fort Bend ISD, we believe that everyone is a leader, and we are committed to developing leaders at all levels of the organization. This includes students, young and old, as well as our teachers and staff members. I hope you will take a moment to watchthevideo of our students sharing the impact ofthese programs with our Board. It was truly amazing to see them shine in our boardroom – and hear how they are inspiring the others around them.
As always, you can find video from the board meeting at www.fortbendisd.com, andmuch more information about how our students are excelling in and out of the classroom.
Before I go, I want to say good luck to the Ridge Point Volleyball Team – which is headed to the state tournamentthis weekend.And afew moreshout outsto the Missouri City Middle School Theatre Program that wonthedistrict and bi-district one act play contest for the first time in school history; theRidge Point Theatre Program for being invited topresenttheirmusicalat theprestigiousTexas Thespian Association; and the Bush High SchoolSTEM Team, ANN-Tech, for being nameda state finalistinthe Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest–forthe second year in a row.
I am proud of all the great things going on in FBISD, our students and staff have worked so hard to make this a great fall semester.Nowit is time for some rest.
I wish all of our families a safe and restful break. This Thanksgiving – we are thankful to have your continuing partnership!