GUEST VIEW: The momentum of this moment

By The Rev. Dawn Weaks

This is our 10th year in Odessa. When we celebrated our first year here, I wrote an op-ed about the surprising love I felt for this unique place and its people. I feel even more grateful to live here now. That is largely because our school district has improved dramatically since we came here.

Ector County schools were once lagging behind in nearly every metric, desperately short on teachers and staff, and dealing with low community trust. But what a difference now! Academically, our schools have a B rating from the state; financially, they have an A+ rating from the S & P; and instead of 300+ teacher vacancies we currently have 36. Our school board has just unanimously extended the contract of our much-coveted superintendent, Dr. Scott Muri, to 2028.

Hallelujah! These are many answers to this pastor’s prayers.

Yet there is still work to be done and there are still prayers to be prayed for ECISD. The staff, administration, and school board cannot do this work alone. They need us, the community, to understand the momentum of this moment. We have the opportunity to do so in our upcoming bond election. This bond is a no tax rate increase bond. All three proposals are desperately needed and long overdue. A new middle school for West Odessa, a new career and technical center, new agriculture facilities, and improvements in numerous areas from sports to fine arts are essential tools for some of the hardest working people I know.

The 33,500 students of our public schools are waiting for us to invest in the community we love. I hope you will join your prayers with mine and go to the polls on November 7.

Rev. Dr. Dawn Weaks is a community leader and pastor at Connection Christian Church.

Worship with us in-person Sundays @ 9 a.m. or @ 11 a.m. @ 4241 Tanglewood or on Facebook @odessaconnect