Big Welcome: Community pulls out the stops for new ECISD teachers

From OA Online, August 2, 2022 by Ruth Campbell

Topping off its best recruiting year in more than a decade, Ector County ISD welcomed about 450 new teachers to the district Monday.

The Teacher Welcome Event, held at the Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, is organized by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. Vendors, welcome signs, mascots and cheerleaders marked the occasion, along with prize drawings, food and plenty of swag. Superintendent Scott Muri said there were “450-ish” teachers who were either brand new to the district or teachers who have taught elsewhere.

“We’ve had the best recruiting year in over 10 years, so we’ll have a great start to the school year because of that,” Muri said. He said the recruiting success is a result of a combination of factors such as ECISD’s investment in talent, which is part of its strategic plan, pay raises, the Teacher Incentive Allotment and Opportunity Culture.

Uplift Education Joins National Initiative, Opportunity Culture®, to Reach Students with Excellent Teaching

From Accesswire, April 14, 2022

DALLAS, Texas—Uplift Education is thrilled to announce that they have joined the growing, national Opportunity Culture movement to reach all students with excellent teaching, to help students meet their academic goals and leap ahead. Uplift has partnered with Tarleton State University, Public Impact, and US PREP to design and implement innovative roles that provide powerful support for all educators in a select group of Tarrant County schools. Funding for the initial design planning and implementation is provided in part by grants from the Fort Worth Education Partnership and Sid W. Richardson Foundation. Read More…

District hires associate super

From OA Online, September 15, 2021

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees voted 6-0 to approve Anthony Sorola as associate superintendent of operations. Sorola, who was OK’d during a Tuesday night workshop, replaces Stephanie Howard, who is now superintendent at Crane ISD….

… An evaluation of Opportunity Culture conducted by Texas Tech University indicates that the program is working well in Ector County ISD, especially during a pandemic year. According to the presentation, students perform better on standardized tests when taught by teachers in the Opportunity Culture program. Read More…

Education Partnership gets Grow Our Own update

From OA Online, August 17, 2021

Grow Our Own, one of the newer committees under the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin, is busy gathering data to figure out next steps. This was one of several committee reports shared in an Education Partnership of the Permian Basin Zoom meeting Tuesday. Grow Our Own focuses on strengthening educational pathways and experiences for students that are parallel to the workforce needs of Permian Basin businesses….

….“From a retention perspective and a recruitment perspective, it’s a significant opportunity for teachers in our area,” ECISD Superintendent Scott Muri said. “… We will have teachers in ECISD that will make over six figures next year for the very first time. That’s because of TIA and coupled with Opportunity Culture.” Read more…

College of Education Offers New Paid Teacher Residencies For Students

From Sam Houston State University, July 30, 2021, by Wes Hamilton

Sam Houston State University’s College of Education is partnering with Aldine and Klein Independent School Districts to offer paid teacher residency programs for Bearkat students. Opportunity Culture, is providing year-long, paid teacher residencies designed to bring a fresh approach to teacher training.

“Expanding our partnerships with Klein ISD and Aldine ISD through Opportunity Culture increases our ability to provide innovative, impactful ways for future teachers to have the dynamic preparation experiences needed to make this kind of difference,” said Stacey Edmonson, dean of the College of Education. “These partnerships open doors not only to expanding high-impact preparation for current teacher candidates, but also to increasing access to the teaching profession for future candidates.” Read More…

Quick Take: Why One Texas Teacher Loved Her Opportunity Culture® Residency

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, March 29, 2021

Coming into her final semester of college as a student at the University of Texas Permian Basin in fall 2020, Chelsea McMahan decided to forgo a traditional student teaching post, applying instead for a full-time, paid, Opportunity Culture teacher residency in a fourth-grade class in the Midland, Texas, independent school district (ISD).

Six months later, McMahan found herself—as a newly minted, full-time sixth-grade teacher at another Midland school—standing before the district’s school board extolling the benefits of her residency. Read more…

ECISD, MISD starting their second year of Opportunity Culture®

From News West9, September 22, 2020, by Rachel Ripp

Teachers have a lot on their plates this year, more than ever. But some of them here in the Basin have signed up for a brand new teaching landscape plus more students to teach or co-workers to coach. These teachers are involved in what’s called “Opportunity Culture” at ECISD and MISD.

“We also saw this as a way to keep good teachers in the classroom. I think a lot of teachers get tempted at a point to say I want to go into administration or I want to try and be a principal or I want to do something else other than teach and they’re great teachers. We don’t want to lose that. We want to keep them here, and by paying them what they’re worth I think that that helps keep them in the classroom,” Chris Hightower, MISD Opportunity Culture director said. Read more…