Literacy Highland Lakes Receives Governor's 2014 Criminal Justice Volunteer Award
Front row, from left to right: Literacy Highland Lakes Executive Director Sally May, group board member Sue Wieland and volunteers JoAnn Donnelly and Genie Boyd.
Back row, from left to right: Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Oliver Bell, Keynote Speaker Judge Cathy Cochran and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston.
(AUSTIN, TX. - APRIL 17, 2014) – During ceremonies in Austin, Sally May of Granite Shoals accepted the Governor’s 2014 Criminal Justice Volunteer “Judy Burd – Windham School District” Award on behalf of Literacy Highland Lakes. For 27 years, this 501(c)(3) volunteer-based non-profit group has conducted GED classes at the Ellen Halbert Unit in Burnet, Texas.
The award was presented by Oliver Bell, Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, and TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston.
“These men and women give their time not for monetary reward,” said Livingston. “They volunteer because they have a personal passion in seeing others succeed. We are grateful for their selfless dedication.”
Literacy Highland Lakes volunteers come to the Halbert Unit twice a week to teach and help offenders in one-on-one scenarios prepare for the GED test. With enthusiasm and patience they work with the offenders to accomplish their goal. Last year, 41 offenders received their GED. All of the tutors are college graduates and most have been teachers. In recognition of their dedication, the volunteers of Literacy Highland Lakes have been selected to receive the Windham School District’s “Judy Burd” Award.
The award is named in tribute to curriculum specialist Judy Burd who worked for the Windham School District where she developed the nationally recognized pre-release program called CHANGES. She was also the Volunteer Program Coordinator for the district who encouraged others to give of their time in service to others. Judy Burd also taught adult education classes at night in her community where she helped many people learn to read and write.
Literacy Highland Lakes is one of 6 organizations and 15 individuals from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. Annually, some 21,000 volunteers make 145,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating some 460,000 hours of service.
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A message from Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter & Martha Fields, Interim Director of Instructional Division:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed October 2017 as “Principals Month” in Texas. Across the nation, states are taking the time to thank principals for their dedication to creating student success and school safety. Windham School District principals are no exception!
Principals are expected to be educational leaders, disciplinarians, community builders, spokesmen, budget analysts and guardians of policy mandates and initiatives. Principals set the academic tone for their schools and work collaboratively with teachers to set performance objectives and maintain high curriculum standards. Despite the challenges of working within the physical confines of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, these educators provide the leadership, hard work and vision required to help their adult students rebuild their lives and reach for second chances.
We are sincerely grateful to WSD principals for the daily hard work, expertise and passion they share to help others transform their lives. They are making a difference every day! Please tell them “Thank you!” for a job well done!
WSD Principals… and district staff meet at “Blueprint Training” in Navasota to map out plans for focused leadership strategies, improved learning experiences and a successful year for Windham students and programs.
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