The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has our entire school district working through the emergency, remote learning, and working. Our Board of Trustees took the time to share their thoughts and thanks for our families, teachers, students, staff, and community.

Trish Bode, Board President, Place 1

To our awesome staff, with a humble heart and in all sincerity,

I would like to say thank you – you matter to the community and you are critical to how the district is able to respond at this time. During this time I am so thankful for many things. I am thankful that during a pandemic I had my family (including the furry animals) to keep me grounded. I am thankful my children are surrounded by a teaching community that was able to reinvent and innovate learning in a short time frame. Teachers in Leander ISD have tackled challenges with grace and I am so grateful for these heroic educators. I am thankful for Leander ISD staff who tackled hard questions and kept moving forward. I am thankful for our Leander ISD Board of Trustees with whom I have had the pleasure of serving as we come together working on items critical for the district to deliver instruction and resources for Leander ISD students. I am thankful for Superintendent Bruce Gearing whose vision has been energizing for our Leander ISD family. I am thankful for our Leander ISD family made up of staff, teachers, parents and students. I am so thankful for our Leander ISD parents who rose to the challenge of becoming at-home co-support educators who showed grace and support of teachers as they navigated through these unprecedented times. I am also so thankful for Leander ISD students. I am encouraged by you. Students, this journey is ultimately about you – each and every one of you. Thank you for stepping up and, you may not know it yet, but for your heart making the world a better place.

Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Place 2

It is exciting to see how we are all coming together as one community, one district, to turn the situation we find ourselves into an adventure that we will all grow from. Thank you to our teachers, our students, our parents, our community partners, and our staff for the opportunity to grow. We have stretched ourselves as an organization and we are learning from this. We are finding areas where we have done outstanding and we are finding areas where we need to make improvements. We may have missed this opportunity if it was not for COVID-19 and our need to transition to an online learning model. But, we are life-long learners and we are always up for a challenge, and this one required each of us to take chances and trust each other, and our systems. I am proud of us all and I look forward to seeing how far we will go!

Pamela Waggoner, Place 3

Of all the possibilities of things the board of trustees could plan for, a pandemic was not one of them. In a society that puts athletes, movie stars, and some politicians on a pedestal, who knew that it would be teachers who became essential workers and heroes for not just the kids, but all of us. Many thanks to the teachers and those in Leander ISD education who have worked in the background making sure our students have computers, hot-spots, meals, and a curriculum. Our Leander staff never had a day off. They just thought about their students and how we were going to engage and inspire each of them. You are truly my hero and I will support you anyway allowed. Thank you is not enough. To the parents partnering with Leander ISD teachers to teach their kids while continuing to work remotely, you are doing a great job. I know it is frustrating and I just offer my admiration and thanks to you. Many of our parents have lost jobs and must continue working with their kids worrying about how to pay the bills. My heart breaks for you and prays this will be over sooner than later and you will be employed again. I am so sorry this has happened. We are in this together and together we will succeed. I love Leander ISD because of all of you. Stay strong and we will get through this stronger than ever.

Grace Barber-Jordan, Board Secretary, Place 4

To the students, staff, teachers, and parents who are working to support remote learning:

I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to our Leander ISD family as we go through this COVID 19 Pandemic together. This is unlike anything we have ever experienced and everybody watching has been impacted in some way. Teachers and staff, we know you did not have a lot of time to prepare or train for transitioning to online instruction but you stepped up to make life as normal as possible for kids and we thank you! The amount of work that the public doesn’t see is remarkable and you all did it while working remotely or social distancing.

Students, we are proud of how you transitioned to online learning! Parents, you are truly partners in education! It’s been great to see our community come together! I look forward to seeing you all in person again soon! Take care!

Jim MacKay, Place 5

As I sit in my hotel room so many miles from home after another day supporting the military personnel on the front lines of the COVID response, I search the various news feeds for the latest goings-on from the community and Leander ISD. As I scroll through the articles praising our heroic healthcare professionals, heroic first responders and essential workers it hits me – what about our heroic educators? I want to yell into my laptop – as if to remind all of the interweb that in addition to those mentioned above and throughout the media, our Leander ISD teachers, staff, administrators, and communities are doing equally extraordinary work for our most precious population – our children. From creating engaging and innovative remote learning environments to video check-ins from band directors. From PTA members creating impromptu Reflections contests to our food service workers delivering meals to our families in need, our District is filled with heroes. I am in awe over the can-do attitude continually displayed by our District staff as we spin up connectivity, ensure our children have the technology needed to continue instruction and create relevant, grade-specific content – everyone is in it together. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary people and in LISD and our communities, we have just that. THANK YOU for the important work you are doing on behalf of 40,000 students who look to us for answers. Know that we are stronger together and each of you plays a vital role in leading us to a bright future!

Aaron Johnson, Board Vice President, Place 6

I want to express my thanks to each and every member of our Leander ISD community for the role you’re playing in making remote learning work. None of us have ever done this before at this scale, and we’re all learning as we go. No matter the part we each play in this grand production of educating students in LISD, things have changed. Thank you for the way you’re adapting! One critically important thing, however, has not changed. That is our shared conviction that every student deserves the very best each of us can do to make learning, and especially remote-learning, engaging and successful. So, again, thank you!

Elexis Grimes, Place 7

Leander ISD is truly blessed to have such wonderful staff and students that have been fully engaged throughout this challenging time. I want to take a moment and thank the administration and staff for working tirelessly to ensure each student has the equipment needed to learn remotely.  Teachers, I am so thankful for your dedication to the success of each and every student.  You have gone above and beyond ensuring each student receives your very best each and every day.  Students, thank you for staying engaged in the learning process.  You have truly taken this opportunity to show your dedication to investing in your future. I look forward to reuniting and celebrating our many achievements soon!

Photos from Remote Learning and Working