Friday, August 7, 2015

The Best of Spring Branch

New SBISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri wrote an article after witnessing the immediate response by many SBISD families and staff to the Gentry House Apartment fire. An article was also published in the SBISD Snapshots blog, read it here: Heart-Filled District Response to a Big Apartment Fire.

Published in the Houston Chronicle
in response to SBISD support of the
nearly 100 Spring Branch families
affected by an apartment fire in SBISD.
"One of the things I have heard over and over again this month as the new Superintendent is that a major strength of this school district is its community. This week, I had an opportunity to experience this in action first-hand after the devastating Gentry House Apartment fire. I was privileged to see your Collective Greatness as so many SBISD Family members responded immediately and with so much heart to support the over 300 individuals displaced by this fire.

Despite the sadness of this event, I was overcome with tremendous pride and personal emotion as I toured Edgewood Elementary‘ s hallways and cafeteria Tuesday night.  I smelled smoke on the clothing of our staff members and realized many had been out near the fire scene on Kempwood. You helped calm families, and you let them know that our doors were open. Edgewood became an American Red Cross shelter after the blaze.

I saw Edgewood teachers and staff nurturing their own students, Child Nutrition Services workers preparing food and sharing water, and both campus and district leaders working closely with the Red Cross and other community organizations to make sure we did all we could to support their efforts.

Our Transportation Department sent buses to the fiery scene to offer transport to all, especially the young, elderly and disabled. Operations Department staff turned up air conditioning and set up key building systems. Custodians showed up to clean and maintain the building. The Grounds Crew members moved donations inside and later moved the mountain of donated clothes to St. Jerome Catholic Church next door. I saw our SBISD Police officers creating a safe environment for everyone.  Principals, teachers, and staff members from all areas of our district put down what they were doing Tuesday night. and rushed forward to help. In just a few hours, you transformed Edgewood Elementary School into a home for those that had lost everything in this devastating fire.  

The SBISD family was not the only part of our community to respond.  The American Red Cross, local community crisis assistance organizations, the fire department, and faith community were all on site to provide support to those in need.  One of the most inspiring examples of support was the seemingly endless line of community members coming by to donate clothing, food, money, and supplies, with many of our own high school students volunteering to help unload and organize the donations. 

The CEO of The American Red Cross was there, too, and he witnessed this district’s strengths – our great community and our Collective Greatness.  He shared with me how incredibly impressed he was with the response of our district.  As many of you have told me, values matter in SBISD. One of those core values that matters when we are all at our best – Collective Greatness – was incredibly evident this week. What you did this week was awe-inspiring to me."
-Dr. Scott Muri

See the article on

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