HPISD Grows Stronger During Remarkable, Challenging Year

Tom Trigg

Reflecting on this year as we prepare to celebrate the Class of 2021 reminded me of the vast accomplishments our students and staff achieved in spite of a global pandemic. They started and finished the year with strength, resiliency, and optimism.

Along the way, HP students captured state and national titles and recognitions in academics, including 13 National Merit Finalists, 47 National AP Scholars, a fourth consecutive Academic Decathlon team Texas State Championship along with a second-place title at the national competition, a State Championship in Science from TMSCA, and UIL 5A Academic first place finishes in Mathematics, Number Sense, and Science.

HPISD was able to offer students meaningful experiences beyond the classroom through extracurricular activities that also led to numerous accolades, including a fifth consecutive tennis team State Championship, a third-place individual state finish in wrestling, three individual fourth-place state finishes in track, a cross country Athlete of the Year honoree, a National Football Foundation scholar-athlete of the year awardee, gold and silver medals in swimming at the state competition, and top 10 state championship finishes for the gymnastics program.

HPISD parents and volunteers are a critical component of our success year after year, but this year that support was a sustaining game changer.

These academic and extracurricular celebrations, along with the recent ranking as the Best Comprehensive Traditional High School in Texas by U.S. News & World Report, are just a sliver of evidence of the exceptional education today’s HP student receives.

We serve remarkable students who come from extremely supportive and committed families who all want what is best for their children. Our vision to provide an educational foundation that leads to “unrivaled post-secondary success for each and every student” is a responsibility to fulfill that we take extremely seriously.

Not even a pandemic can shake our proud tradition of excellence. In fact, the events of this past year have made us stronger. HPISD has improved a number of systems as a result of navigating a different terrain, and I commend our teachers, campus leadership, administrators, and staff for the countless hours contributed to solving challenges and finding ways to offer quality in-person and remote learning instruction.

HPISD parents and volunteers are a critical component of our success year after year, but this year that support was a sustaining game changer. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and grace during this extraordinary time.

With the close of the year came the swearing-in of new trustees Maryjane Bonfield, Bryce Benson, and Doug Woodward, and a warm farewell to retiring board members. I offer my deep appreciation to Jim Hitzelberger, Kelly Walker, and Lee Michaels for the leadership they provided during years of service. They contributed to major initiatives from a bond election to boundary changes, the opening of a fifth elementary school to navigating a pandemic. They are living examples of what it means to “Go Forth to Serve.”

None of us will ever forget this year. For me, the memory of how our students, staff, and parents rose above the challenges and found new ways to rally together as a community is what I will remember most.

Dr. Tom Trigg, Highland Park ISD’s eighth superintendent, has led the district since 2015.

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