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Praise for the Lions Club

Open Letter
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

To the San Marcos Lions Club,

It is hard to believe that 2018-2019 begins my third year as Superintendent in San Marcos CISD.

As I reflect on the tremendous amount of change, I am blessed and humbled to work in a community that puts words into action. San Marcos CISD has committed to ensure that all students who walk the stage are college, career, or military ready and that is no small feat to accomplish. It takes not only the team of teachers, administrators, students, and parents but community involvement.

We are fortunate to have groups like the Kiwanis, School Fuel, San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, city of San Marcos, San Marcos Education Foundation, Greater San Marcos Partnership, Central Texas Medical Center, United Way of Hays-Caldwell Counties, faith-based organizations, San Marcos Police Department, and San Marcos Fire Department who are all critical to the successes we are seeing as a district.

Professors in different departments at Texas State University have partnered with us as we address social emotional supports through the School of Social Work, gifted and talented programs, dual language programs, teacher internships, students who take courses on the college campus, and early childhood education.

To everyone I am eternally grateful, but there is one group who from my first day, before I even signed my contract, stands out in what it means to be a community service organization. The San Marcos Lions Club asked early on what they could do to help our students. First, let me say that they already were providing grants for students who needed clothing, for students who needed medical attention, for support to teachers to increase classroom libraries, and also serve as mentors for the San Marcos High School Leo’s Club. They truly live their motto, “We Serve.”

During my first year, I made the decision to test all 8th-11th grade students on PSAT as a measure to help us see where our kids were. Along with this, we were pushing to increase opportunities for all students to take Advanced Placement courses and exams. This is no small cost because it involves the professional development costs along with purchasing the tests and materials for the students. It was here that then Lions President Mitch Hoffman stated “We are here to serve and help your students. We believe in your mission and we present you with this check for $20,000.” I was speechless. And for those of you who know superintendents, that is almost impossible to accomplish. They did not want one student paying for any advanced placement exam, not one. Rarely, do you have an organization who continues to live their motto.

I am thankful that they have continued to provide the district with the financial resources that allow us to take that burden off the parents. It is what makes San Marcos the unique place that it is. I will confess in all honesty, that I am currently a member of the San Marcos Lions Club, but that is a byproduct of my wanting to have mentors who show me the true meaning of community and what it means to serve others.

Strike as one!

Michael A. Cardona

Superintendent of Schools San Marcos CISD