EDITORIAL: Red Oak ISD exemplifies meaning of family

Following tragic storm, district pitches in to help those in need

After facing the tragic wreckage from the tornado that hit the Red Oak/Glenn Heights area, students and staff affected are on the road to recovery in large part because of Red Oak ISD.

There’s a significant amount of credit that needs to be given to the Red Oak ISD community for keeping what could have been a chaotic situation under control and coming up with solutions to major problems quickly.

Donald T. Shields Elementary School was hit hard by the tornado that slammed North Texas on Dec. 26. More than 700 considerate volunteers arrived as early as possible to help move supplies to the old Red Oak Junior High on Live Oak, where Shields will be temporarily located until fall of this year.

Shields teachers were forced to give up half their Christmas break in order to move to the temporary school, but they never complained, especially as hundreds of Red Oak staff, students and parents arrived to help. The fact that so many people were willing to help during their break shows the district has the best students, teachers, and administrators that we could ask for.

Those same students and staff were there for the families who lost so much during the tornado. Because of the close relationships staff have built with their students — and the positive relationships they have encouraged students to build with each other — those affected by the tornadoes had someone to talk to about it.

And at the staff convocation on Jan. 4, the ROISD board, including Superintendent Scott Niven, recognized those teachers who had lost their homes and gave them gift cards to help them through this difficult time. The district also printed “I Stand With Shields” T-shirts, which were handed out to staff members at the beginning of the convocation, to show that they are all in it together, no matter which school they work at.

With everyone pitching in after the storm — from the board to the administration to the teachers to the students — it became clearer than ever that when Red Oak ISD calls itself a family, we mean it.