Dr. LaTonya Goffney
Lufkin ISD Superintendent

The year is 2022. The place is Abe Martin Stadium. The event is my daughter’s graduation. As I stand on the stage and hear Mr. Stephens say, “Joslyn Goffney,” I swell with pride and tears. My baby girl has accomplished her goals and is ready for the opportunities that await her.Flashback to Feb. 8, 2018, the day I attended a parent meeting at the high school to listen to the options my daughter would have at Lufkin High School. As I sit in the meeting not as a superintendent of a 6A school, but the mother of a 14-year-old daughter, I listen intently to the wonderful opportunities my daughter would have at Lufkin ISD.

I then realize we have some decisions to make. When I went to school, we didn’t even have softball, so our choices were very limited. I didn’t have the options afforded to students today. That night, Julie McManus, director of counseling, and Angela Roberts, class of 2022 counselor, explained the following choices for my future freshman:

STEM: The SFA STEM Academy is a partnership and cohort program between Lufkin High School and Stephen F. Austin State University, aimed at enriching the high school experience for students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics college study and careers.

The STEM Academy offers students additional STEM elective courses taught on the high school campus, as well as laboratory/field experiences led by SFA professors. Students must enter the program in ninth grade through an application/interview process.

ECHS: The ECHS program is a partnership between Lufkin High School and Angelina College to provide students the opportunity to complete core course requirements at no cost.

Students apply for the ECHS program by completing the application process and must meet the passing standard on the TSI or Work Keys Assessment before entering dual credit courses. Dual credit may be academic or CTE-based, allowing students to work toward an associate’s or Level 1 certificate.

Gifted & Talented Program: The Gifted and Talented program at Lufkin High School exposes students to great pieces of literature in an effort to prepare them to understand the allusions they will study in the future. The GT program encompasses World History AP, Art History AP and English II PAP, combining the curricula into one extended course.

In addition, the GT program traditionally takes an excursion to New York City each spring to expose the students to the art, music, history and culture studied in this course. The student must enter the program in ninth grade, utilizing an application/interview process.

ACC ECHS: The Angelina County Cooperative Early College High School is a partnership among county schools and Angelina College to provide opportunities in the area of CTE and prepares students to graduate with a technical certification. Students must complete an application process to enter the program.

Advanced placement: Advanced placement curriculum is college-preparatory in nature and requires outside class reading and study. In advanced placement classes, just like in college, students will face challenges and learn new skills.

LHS offers 21 AP courses with AP exams taken each May for college credit. A passing score of three or higher awards college credit. Lufkin High School offers courses in many advanced placement subject areas including English, history, humanities, languages, math, science and art.

Dual credit: Lufkin High School offers 25 hours of dual credit courses on our home campus and expanding each year. Lufkin High School teachers serve as adjunct faculty members for Angelina College to provide the college-level experience and credit to high school students. Tuition and book fees are the responsibility of the student; however, scholarships are available.

Looking ahead, as I hand my daughter her diploma and give her a huge hug, I am proud that she is a graduate from Lufkin ISD. Our counselors work with each student to customize their learning.

A plan has been in place since her freshman year to ensure that she is prepared. You can’t get better than that. I am a mom first and superintendent second. I choose Lufkin ISD, and you should, too.

LaTonya Goffney is the superintendent of Lufkin ISD. Her email address is lgoffney@lufkinisd.org. This column originally appeared in The Lufkin News.