Lufkin ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney

Nineteen years ago on Valentine’s Day I married the love of my life. February is the season of love, and I can certainly see why so many love Lufkin ISD. The last couple of weeks have shown me time and time again what I love most about our school.

I love our students and staff.

Recently, I have taken my administrative team with me to all of the campuses to do site visits. We interviewed campus administration, a group of teachers and students to ask them what makes them proud of Lufkin ISD. The following is just a sample of the good things that were said:

A third-grader who loves learning at an elementary campus: School is like a marshmallow. It’s sticky when you wrap your arms around it and you don’t want to let go.

An LMS teacher who has taught 34 years: I would never leave Lufkin ISD. My daughters are successful, and I’m proud to say that I teach at LMS.

A teacher on a primary campus: Our administration lets us shine and grow.

LMS student who is an athlete that also loves theater: It’s the school of opportunities.

A teacher who drives a good distance every day: My co-workers and administration support me. My job brings me so much joy.

The last question to our students was what do you want to be when you grow up and we received a variety of answers from 3-year-olds all the way up to seniors:

Lawyer, musical theater, orthopedic surgeon, teachers (who will have future jobs at LISD), police officers, preacher, diesel mechanic, veterinarian, and many more occupations.

I love our programs and activities.

Our elementary campuses held their second annual Elementary Honor Society with 105 new honor society members and 73 returning from last year. I am so proud of our students for accomplishing so much in their elementary school years. It was also powerful to see the parents stand at the event to be recognized. You could tell how proud they were. Our parents have instilled a love of learning in these kids, and our students have some amazing support!

We celebrated our second annual STEM Day where more than 625 fourth-graders received a full day of STEM instruction and experiments. Suzy Jungmann, the STEM coordinator, in collaboration with LHS science instructional coach Erin Kay, our STEM LHS students and teachers, made this a special day for our fourth-graders.

I love our parents and community.

We recently hosted our first Soul to Soul event where more than 300 parents and community members came to learn how to help kids be successful. The night was filled with entertainment from primary students to college students. There were sessions for parents and a dynamic keynote from Lufkin’s own Sterling Mark. He talked about his years at Lufkin ISD and played off the title of our event, “Soul to Soul,” saying that everyone has a soul and that we should help others to succeed. Probably the biggest compliment of the night was when I was told the late Rev. Bettie Kennedy would have been proud of this event. This was just another example of how our parents and community come together to do what’s best for kids.

I feel blessed to be the superintendent of Lufkin ISD, where we have students who love learning, teachers who love teaching, administrators who love leading and a community that loves public education. I’m so fortunate to be married to the love of my life and to have a profession where I do what I love every day.

I know you’ll love Lufkin ISD, too. Call us for a tour at 630-4246.

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