By Cindy Evans, TSB Contributor
Lynn Sperry, President of the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees, has been an enduring advocate for children and education for almost three decades. She joined the Board in 1984 and has helped oversee the growth of the MISD from 4,500 students in a city of 16,000 residents to almost 25,000 students in a city of more than 136,000.
Here’s what she has to say about the state of education in the MISD.
What exciting projects are in the works in the MISD?
It is exciting that we are doing renovations to McKinney High School and McKinney North High School. Those renovations will bring each of those campuses to 3,000 students. It is also exciting because McKinney High School has needed a facelift. That school has been there for more than 25 years. In fact, at my first meeting as a new board member in 1984, we selected the brick to be used on McKinney High. These renovations will also give us the opportunity to bring the technology on those campuses in line with what the District wants all of our buildings to have. (See conceptual images of the MHS remodel below).
As far as other exciting things, one of the things we’re doing in McKinney is MAP testing [Measures of Academic Progress™]. MAP testing is another way of looking at student performance. Instead of taking a snapshot once a year, MAP testing is designed to track each student’s individual progress throughout the school year. I think this is a better way to look at kids’ progress.
How do you feel about the state of education in McKinney ISD?
I think MISD is doing the very best job they can to make sure every student gets the very best education that can be given. I think our administration is ahead of the curve as far as doing the data driven analysis of student performance, and I think we have a lot of other wonderful things going on. Our students are receiving recognition in all areas of the fine arts as well as in sports, so I think we’re doing a good job of providing a balanced approach.
Another positive thing happening in the MISD is that a lot of the cuts we were forced to make last year, which caused turmoil in the District, were taken care of in last year’s budgets. We are anticipating that those cuts took care of it, and our teachers don’t have to worry about cuts going forward.
We are also looking forward to the Teacher of the Year Award in Washington, D.C. this spring, when we will see if Karen Morman may become our National Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Morman, a reading specialist at J.W. Webb Elementary in McKinney ISD, was named the 2012 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and will also represent the state in the national Teacher of the Year competition as the Texas Teacher of the Year.
Who is Lynn Sperry?
Lynn Sperry was elected to the MISD Board of Trustees in 1984. Since then she has worked with five superintendents and a couple of dozen board members. She was instrumental in the creation of the McKinney Education Foundation, which has helped hundreds of students gain scholarships for higher education, and in establishing Serenity High School. Serenity is a public high school that provides a supportive learning environment for students returning from a substance abuse treatment program. She also helped found McKinney’s Crape Myrtle Trails and continues to actively serve each of these organizations.
Mrs. Sperry was named 2006 Carey Cox Outstanding McKinney Citizen of the Year by the McKinney Chamber of Commerce. Lynn and her husband, gardening expert Neil Sperry, received the McKinney Volunteer of the Year award in 1999. During her time on the school board, Mrs. Sperry has done her own share of homework to stay abreast of the latest in education. She has been active in the Texas Association of School Boards, where she served as board member for 12 years and earned the designation of “Master Trustee.”
The Sperry’s three children went to school in the MISD, and today they have grandchildren in MISD schools.