Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres

Welcome to the start of a new school year!

After experiencing the effects of COVID throughout three different school years (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22), we are more than ready to have a little relief and an opportunity to return to the type of school year we had all been used to. While those years were not easy, they did teach us we can conquer anything as long as we work together as a team putting the students first and we approach each day with a positive attitude.

As we stated at our convocation, this year we will focus on celebrating all things Lufkin ISD. We will take the enthusiasm from convocation and the timely message from Inky Johnson into a great school year.

Inky Johnson played football for the University of Tennessee after having many challenges growing up in poverty in an inner-city school in Atlanta. His way out was football, but then he had a career-ending injury in his junior year, leaving his arm and hand paralyzed. His message was one of hope, resilience and the importance of mentors and caring teachers.

The staff laughed, cried and gave Mr. Johnson a much-deserved standing ovation. This year will be a year of celebrations.

We have invited our parents, grandparents and community back into the schools. We are all excited for the touches of normalcy that are gradually returning to the schools and the district.

We have some great events on the horizon. It’s time for Friday Night Lights. Come out and Meet the Panthers at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Abe Martin Stadium. Join us on Sept. 2 during the Nacogdoches football game as we honor the Dunbar Tigers state championship teams from 1964, 1966 and 1967.

Our football team will wear Dunbar commemorative jerseys and we will recognize players and coaches prior to the game.

The Lufkin Education Foundation should announce the Grant Patrol soon, and we will help them award teacher innovative grants.

We recently received scores from our students’ Advanced Placement tests. We had 253 total AP students who took 457 tests with 137 students receiving a 3 or more on the test. These scores are a testament to the high-quality teachers we have teaching Advanced Placement courses. In addition to AP classes, 730 students took advantage of dual credit opportunities.

The Texas Education Agency announced the 2022 accountability ratings for independent school districts across the state. These ratings are based on student achievement and progress measured by the STAAR test. Lufkin ISD as a whole received the rating of 87 or ‘‘B’’ as well as accumulated 18 distinctions. The district as a whole was rated an “A” in progress all the while the district’s economically disadvantaged rate increased from 76.92 in 2019 to 85.8 in 2022.

Each campus is assigned a unique comparison group to determine distinctions.

Lufkin ISD as a district received the Postsecondary Readiness distinction for preparing students for college and career, and the following campuses received distinctions:

■ Lufkin High School — Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies; Top 25 Percent in Comparative Closing the Gaps; and Postsecondary Readiness

■ Lufkin Middle School — Academic Achievement in Social Studies and Postsecondary Readiness

■ Anderson Elementary — Academic Achievement in Math, Science; Top 25 Percent in Comparative Academic Growth and Comparative Closing the Gaps; and Postsecondary Readiness

■ Brandon Elementary — Academic Achievement in ELA/Reading, Math, Science; and Postsecondary Readiness

■ Coston Elementary — Academic Achievement in Science

Exciting news for our staff: Their August paycheck should include the first payment of the retention bonuses for all staff. That will either be $1,000 for professional staff or $500 for paraprofessionals and auxiliary staff. The check also will include the sign-on bonus, $3,500 for teachers in core areas, SPED and Bilingual.

Thank you to our Board of Trustees for supporting these incentives. Thank you to the teachers and staff for choosing Lufkin ISD.

Let’s celebrate Lufkin ISD!