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‘Not a competition, it’s a collaboration.’

Published April 15, 2019

Additional Leadership Perspective article:

SWEENY, TX – Collaboration. It’s one of those 4Cs – along with communication, creativity, and critical thinking – the skills students will need when they enter the workforce this year or in 2030 and beyond. A pair of superintendents in southeast Texas are leading by example, modeling collaboration at the highest level and sending a clear message that everyone in their school districts should do the same.

Sweeny ISD Superintendent Dr. Tory C. Hill and Brazosport ISD Superintendent Danny Massey (see Q&A) have discovered they can accomplish more for their districts and for the burgeoning petrochemical industry in their backyards if they share best practices and big ideas.

“I’m a firm believer in collaboration from a professional perspective and also in continual professional learning,” Hill said. “So, it’s very nice and refreshing to collaborate with Mr. Massey. Our routine conversations stem from ‘Hey, what are you working on? How’s it going?’ to ‘What’s the next phase of what you’re doing?’”

With petrochemical giants Phillips 66, Chevron, and Dow increasing their economic footprint in the region and creating new jobs, these innovative superintendents have established Pitsco Education STREAM Missions labs in elementary schools to instill a new mind-set, skill set, and tool set that will equip young learners to handle even more challenging STEM opportunities in middle school and high school.

Hill was the first to implement Pitsco’s STREAM Missions program, and he quickly shared with Massey details of the innovative design that resonates in particular with Generation Z students who thrive in naturally engaging multimodal deliveries that feature hands-on activities.

“In the end, what you get is a greater result for students, and you get this unparalleled learning experience for not only the kids of Sweeny but also for the kids of Brazosport ISD,” Hill said. “Our partnership is critical for us continuing to prepare our students to create the future. And it’s definitely not a competition, it’s a collaboration.”

“When I saw it, it took me about 20 seconds to buy in. I understood it. It was hands-on science, it was high-tech, it was student responsibility. It was all the skills that we’ve talked about teaching but traditional labs will not allow.”

– Pat Taylor, headmaster, Jackson Academy, Jackson, Mississippi

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