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Ennis Daily News

Superintendent address Rotary

New superintendent of schools Dr. Eddie Dunn shared his plans for EISD, his love of the city he now calls home, and his sense of humor in a speech he gave to the Rotary Club of Ennis yesterday.
A festive atmosphere marked the civic group’s weekly luncheon program at the Ennis Country Club, as Dunn and Rotary members exchanged puns and ribbing.
Dunn opened his talk by acknowledging the wholehearted welcome he and his family have received from the people of Ennis.
“We’re proud to be here,” the superintendent said. “We enjoy the community. Ennis is unique, and its growth is steady. Everyone’s great. I’ve only met five idiots.”
Carey Bryan, director of the Boys & Girls Club of Ennis, couldn’t resist a good-natured retort.
“So you’ve been to the Lions Club!” Bryan called out to the guffaws of the audience and Dunn’s admission that he’d walked right into the joke.
Of the school district he leads, Dunn said he was optimistic about its future, referring to the encouraging “climate of professionalism and positive teamwork” that prevails. He also praised students, teachers, counselors and diagnosticians for performing so well during the recent TAKS testing.
“They all did a great job and we have a good strong program,” Dunn said.
The superintendent admitted to being most proud of the district’s four “exemplary-rated elementary campuses,” singling out the reputation of Travis Elementary, which he recently visited. He said improvement was needed at the junior high school level, explaining it wasn’t a problem exclusive to Ennis but one affecting all campuses with students of that transitional age group.
On his Travis tour, Dunn said a “second grader came up and hugged my neck,” a rewarding experience that reminded him of “why I do what I do.”
Travis principal and Rotary member Steve Huff was in the audience and obviously appreciated the good word Dunn put in for his campus.
Even so, Dunn and fellow Rotarians teased the ordinarily talkative Huff for being “extremely quiet” and “on his best behavior” during his boss’ speech.
Dunn went on to praise ongoing construction of the new high school facility, which he said was “in full swing.”
“It’s exciting,” he said. “When folks walk in to the new building they will be very impressed.”
The superintendent then spoke candidly of unhappier issues facing the district, such as the demolition of the former Carver High and Dory Miller Elementary, to be completed in the next few weeks.
“It’s a sad thing,” Dunn said. “There are a lot of treasured memories there.”
But, he added, there’s a positive side to the situation in the fact that any new facility Ennis ISD that might be built on the site will be christened Carver in honor of the historic campus.
Next, Dunn touched lightly on last week’s assault of EHS assistant principal Adan Casas, saying the student who perpetrated the crime was being charged and that Casas was recovering.
“I hope this student can learn from the experience and get the help he needs,” Dunn said.
The superintendent’s reference to Sam Houston Elementary principal John Lowman’s resignation was also brief.
“He is a good man,” Dunn said. “And it’s a great loss.”
Of measures to improve education, Dunn said he proposes to form over the next few months three advisory councils made up of students (5th graders and up), faculty and community members for “dialogue and discussion.”
“It’s important that the school district stay connected,” he said. “We have to find out what’s working and fix what’s not.”
In closing, Dunn said he believes in excellence for EISD and Ennis at large.
“I want to be a good neighbor to the city and county,” he said, “and to build a good relationship with our police department.”
The key to achieving optimum results, he added, was in continuing to cultivate an accepting, inclusive social climate for students.
“I’d like Ennis to be a place where every kid enjoys coming to school,” Dunn said to applause from the Rotary crowd “A place where every single student feels valued and worthy.”

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Posted by on Apr 25 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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