Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres

It’s that time of year … college season. It’s when seniors start making the tough decision of where they will spend the next four years, sometimes plus, of their lives and what they will choose to do to make a difference.

Some students will choose to play a sport and will even be paid scholarship money to wear a college jersey and be on a team. Others will go the academic route looking for the best college for their degree plan.

What I love about Lufkin ISD is that we not only have prepared seniors before now to consider their options but also provided a way to make their dreams happen. The Early College High School and our partnerships with colleges and universities are examples of how we help our seniors with their future path.

This year, 39 seniors will graduate with an associate degree from Angelina College through our Early College High School. Last year, we had 14. This program allows students to earn 60-plus hours of dual college credit at no cost to the student. These students are able to still enjoy a high school experience because they don’t have to leave campus and can participate in extracurricular activities.

These 39 seniors will actually have two graduations — one at Angelina College and the other at Lufkin High School. Other students in the early college high school will graduate as core complete with 42 college credit hours. No matter the number of hours earned, these students have a head start on their future success at any college or university.

Lufkin ISD increases opportunities for our students by developing partnerships with colleges and universities. This is the second year that Lufkin High School is recognized as a Stephen F. Austin State University Distinguished High School.

We have 72 students who have “signed” with SFASU, up from 50 last year. What that means for our students is scholarship money for having good grades in order to attend school there. SFASU is giving $5,000 to students in the top 10% and $3,000 for 11-25% with a GPA of 3.0. The scholarship can be renewed annually depending on the student’s college GPA.

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Prairie View A&M. We have eight students who will receive a $3,000 scholarship to attend there in the fall. It’s these partnerships that bridge the gap for students to get their college careers started. We want our students to be supported and successful when they leave Lufkin High School.

I do love this time of year, when our seniors are heading off to new adventures and have completed their journey at Lufkin ISD. You can drive by the high school and see the yard signs with the senior names and their college choices on them.

On May 11, our seniors will walk the halls of our elementary and primary schools decked out in their cap and gowns marching to Pomp and Circumstance. It’s so fun to see the look on the faces of our youngest students looking up to our seniors.

I can’t wait to hug the necks of all of the students of the Class of 2023 on graduation day and congratulate them on a job well done. Then all that’s left to do is Celebrate! #CelebrateLufkinISD