Superintendent's Blog

  • John Jones’ homecoming is a breath of fresh air for Cedar Hill ISD

    Posted by Superintendent Riddick on 10/20/2015

    Is it me, or are there too many sad stories to keep track of in sports today? Check the internet. There are dozens of them this year alone on the college and pro levels.

    And sadly, there’s the recent case involving two Texas high school football players who were caught on video deliberately assaulting a referee during a game.

    As these sad stories play out in the legal system and elsewhere, most of them − if not all − are blaming someone else for their behavior.

    In many cases, they’ve derailed their lives and hurt a lot of others in the process.

    But wait. I’ve got good news, so keep reading.

    Here at Cedar Hill ISD, we’ve got faculty, students and staff who often give me pause for reflection and admiration -- and a chance to breathe a sigh of relief.

    John Jones is one of them. John is an alumnus of the Cedar Hill Independent School District, and he is the antithesis of the characters I referred to earlier.

    John was a standout offensive lineman on Cedar Hill High School’s football team, playing on the Longhorns’ ’06 squad that won the program’s first state championship. While in school, he hit the books and prepared himself for college.

    Recruited by Baylor University, John played on the offensive line with the Bears blocking for none other than the Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III. While working hard on the field and in the classroom, John earned letters in each of the four years he played, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in education.

    John’s path was deliberate, and he knew going into it that it’d be tough. His coaches at Baylor made that clear to him and other student-athletes.

    When he was a Baylor freshman, John’s coaches warned him and about 25 other incoming recruits that they could be shown the door if they didn’t commit themselves fully to athletics and education. The new players would need discipline and fortitude because the level of competition and academics was much higher than they had experienced or could imagine.

    “They said, ‘Look around you. A lot of the guys you see with you now won’t be here when you graduate from Baylor,’” John said.

    The coaches were right. John graduated with only two or three teammates from that incoming group of 25. A lot of the others got caught up in partying, found trouble or fell too far behind academically and athletically. They dropped out on their own or were asked to leave.

    “I saw a lot of guys make bad decisions,” John said.

    John, however, made good choices. He made the most of his college career.

    And this fall we were proud to welcome John back to Cedar Hill ISD, where he is sharing his talents and experience in the classroom and on the field.

    In his first year as an educator in the district, John is teaching physical education and coaching football, splitting his time between Bessie Coleman and Permenter middle schools.

    John has done a lot for himself by preparing for a great career in education and coaching, and setting out on a course for a happy and productive life.

    Yes, he’s well on his way. But do you know who will benefit the most from John’s hard work and decision to return to Cedar Hill ISD? His students!

    For that he deserves a standing ovation.

    Welcome home, John.

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  • 9th - 12th Grade Students May Now Apply for Superintendent's Roundtable

    Posted by Orlando Riddick on 8/24/2015

    Mr. Riddick would like to invite all current 9th -12th grade CHISD students to apply to be part of the Superintendent’s Student Roundtable. The Roundtable will provide an opportunity for students across the district to interact directly with him and provide input regarding issues affecting our schools. Students may also be asked to participate in school district and/or community events along with the CHISD Superintendent. As part of the Roundtable, students will take on a leadership role, serve as representatives for their campuses, as well as provide a voice for student issues in the Cedar Hill Independent School District.

     

    To become part of the Roundtable, students must complete the application packet. Any current 9th – 12th grade CHISD student is eligible to apply. All completed applications must be received by Shay Whittaker at the Government Center by 4:00pm Friday, September 4, 2015.

     

    Students will be selected based on the information contained in the completed application packet.

    Complete Application Packet:

    All items should be submitted in a sealed 9x12 mailing envelope with the student’s name printed on the front.

    1. Complete application

    2. Three completed reference forms (at least two from current or former teachers) (This requirement is not applicable to returning Roundtable students.)

    3. A copy (unofficial or official) of my transcript, indicating a GPA of 2.0 or better (10th-12th)

     

    Application Process:

    1. Application period begins August 24, 2015

    2. Students submit completed applications by 4:00pm September 4, 2015

    3. Roundtable Committee review applications by September 11, 2015

    4. Applicants notified by Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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  • Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year

    Posted by Orlando Riddick on 8/4/2015

    Dear Cedar Hill ISD Family,

    Superintendent Riddick Cedar Hill ISD is headed into the 2015-2016 school year with a number of substantial advancements that will fuel the school district’s upward trajectory, and I’d like to share some of our exciting changes with you to think about as we prepare for the upcoming school year.

    Our district prides itself on driving innovative teaching and learning in the classroom.  We’re offering opportunities for elementary schools to identify their signature programs, and we’re working hard to engage and collaborate with the community. We thrive on our ongoing relationships with the City of Cedar Hill, local businesses, parents, grandparents and the rest of the greater community to strengthen and advance CHISD’s critical mission. 

    Some of the exciting changes include an expanded collegiate pathway, pay increases for teachers, a longer instructional day with new start and end times for schools, our renewed web presence for CHISD and a new rallying cry to unite the district and community -- “Be Bold and Believe!”

    I’d like to highlight some of the changes here, but you can find the full details on our website.

    Engaging Web Presence: We’re proud of Cedar Hill ISD’s new web experiences, which embodies a bold new design that captures vivid, expressive images of our students and boasts user-friendly links to useful district information.

    Collegiate Prep Elementary College-Prep Program Expands: We will open two new schools – Cedar Hill Collegiate Prep Elementary School and Cedar Hill Collegiate Academy Middle School. The campuses expand the district’s early college program, which offers opportunities to students to earn high school diplomas and associate’s degrees through a partnership with Cedar Valley Community College.

    Competitive Pay: The Cedar Hill School Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to give pay increases to teachers, librarians and nurses while boosting the district’s starting annual salary to $50,000. Trustees reiterated their commitment to keeping Cedar Hill ISD competitive among North Texas school districts and providing equitable pay for experienced teachers. Board members also reinstated three local leave days for all staff for the 2015-16 academic year.

    New Start and End Times = Increased Instruction: The CHISD Board of Trustees approved new start and end times for schools to provide more time for planning and instruction. The change adds 30 minutes per day, or about 15 additional instructional days to the year.

    We’re excited about the upcoming year, and we expect it to be outstanding. We hope your sentiments are the same.

    Thanks for your time, and check back soon for more updates, guest bloggers and exciting opportunities to engage with CHISD.

    It's a GREAT day to be a Longhorn!
     
    Superintendent Riddick
    Follow me on Twitter: @opriddick1 
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