It was a big week of celebration as we observed our 2020 Cleburne High School homecoming festivities. This is a wonderful tradition in our school district and community and serves as a reminder of the black and gold bond that links generations of CHS graduates as members of the Jacket Nation. 

The new ways of delivering instruction this year have extended to our sporting events, following UIL guidelines and COVID precautions. We are very grateful to be having a fall sports season and with that, the availability to live stream our varsity volleyball and football games through the NFHS network. This has given Cleburne fans the opportunity to stay connected with Jacket sports from the comfort and safety of their homes — and taken coverage of our games and players nationwide for those who subscribe. This viewing option will also be available for our basketball, softball and baseball seasons. 

The first production to take place in the new Cleburne High School Black Box Theater premieres with the musical version of “The Addams Family.” Details and online ticket information can be found on the CISD website, c-isd.com. Under the direction of CHS Theater Arts teacher Keli Price and Choir Director Weslee Vance is a very talented cast and crew that have waited a long time for the curtain to rise. 

The opening of the former main building at CHS, which underwent extensive transformation into a Career/Technical Education and Fine Arts facility, has taken our Culinary Arts program to a whole new level. The learning spaces designated for our culinary department include a 100-seat restaurant with meals prepared and served by student chefs, under the direction of Chef Adair Smith. This spring, the Sting Bistro will open to the community for dining and catering.

Johnson County superintendents and district administrators are among the first to have a Sting Bistro dining experience, when they met at our CHS campus for their September meeting. Following the meal, it was unanimous that the October meeting would also take place at the high school. We are very excited to have a program at this level available to our students, under the instruction of a professional chef with more than 18 years in the industry. 

CISD parent and community representatives are giving their time to a district initiative as members of the Facility Advisory Committee. This 30-member panel is focused on determining the need for capital projects, timelines and costs that result in optimum student learning and strategic use of existing and new facilities. They are currently engaged in information gathering and research, in providing input to our district administration and will be presenting their findings and a recommendation to our CISD board of trustees for consideration of a May 2021 bond referendum.

Several of the FAC members served on the 2016 Citizens’ Bond Committee and are bringing an experienced eye to the table in their work on this new project. The role and purpose of the Facility Advisory Committee, information presented to them over the course of their meetings and an ongoing list of Frequently Asked Questions are among the items featured on the FAC page of our website. Please take some time to visit this page to learn more. 

As the second grading period is quickly approaching for our CISD students, I want to commend them, and their parents, for their efforts in the classroom/remote classroom and the positive attitudes they have displayed in the new ways of doing many things due to the pandemic. Their smiles, which shine through their masks, mean so much to teachers and district staff who are dedicated to making every school day a good day. 

I want to end with a shout-out to the Cleburne Education Foundation, which is partnering with us on a project that we think will be of interest — and an inspiration — to our businesses and stakeholders. The CISD Values of Excellence, led by our commitment to students, has been adopted with an “all in” attitude by every district employee. We are now taking our students through these CISD core values and their emphasis on relationships, integrity, loyalty, growth, leadership, accountability — and more. The Cleburne Education Foundation is coming alongside us to engage the community in our Values of Excellence initiative. You’ll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks!

Superintendent Kyle Heath has been the administrative leader of Cleburne ISD since 2014 and has more than 30 years of service in education as a secondary teacher, campus principal and district administrator. He can be reached at kheath@c-isd.com.

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