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AVID celebration expected to attract thousands - Odessa American: ECISD

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AVID celebration expected to attract thousands

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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 4:11 pm

AVID students from across Ector County Independent School District will gather for their annual celebration at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at Ratliff Stadium.

This year’s theme is “Limitless” and the guest presenter is motivational speaker and author E.J. Carrion. Amy Anderson, District AVID director, said about 2,000 students, plus teachers and parents are expected. Prizes will be awarded.

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. Its mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society, the district’s AVID website said.

Twelve years ago, AVID District Coordinator Virginia Hunt said, ECISD’s AVID family gathered to celebrate in a gym. The past few years, they had to split the middle and high school recognitions, but this year everyone is coming together, Hunt said in an email.

“This event celebrates our AVID graduating seniors and their commitment to continue their education beyond high school as they plan to attend college, university, or the military. To continue our ECISD tradition of college awareness and readiness, we have registered our event with Better Make Room and Odessa is now part of a network of over 2,500 College Signing Day events nationwide. These celebrations began as part of former first lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative,” Hunt said.

Hunt noted that celebrating the seniors’ success means more than a party.

“It means they know we are proud of their hard work, invested in their futures and excited to see what they do next,” she wrote.

Hunt added that the event would not be possible without the support of community partners, Complex Community Federal Credit Union, University of Texas Permian Basin and Odessa College.

Because this is her first year as district AVID director, Anderson said she has been leaning on Hunt and secretary Ann Suiter for guidance.

Anderson is quite familiar with AVID. She used AVID strategies when she was principal at Hays Elementary School and is in her fourth year as a staff developer for AVID Center in San Diego, Calif.

“I’ve been heavily involved in AVID, but this is my first year in this role. It’s always a little nerve racking the first time you’re traveling a new journey, but it’s also super exciting. We’re hoping that it will just be a huge celebration of the work that we’ve done this year, and especially for those seniors,” Anderson said.

“Some of them have been in AVID for up to six years and anytime you talk to the students about the impact that AVID has had on their life, it’s just a reminder of why we do all the hard work that we do …,” Anderson added.

Seniors wrote essays about what AVID means to them.

Permian High School seniors Cynthia Gomez and Oscar Sotelo were selected to read their essays at the celebration, as was and Sydney Garcia, a first-grade teacher at Hays. Garcia will be presenting at the AVID Summer Institute July 17 through July 19 in Denver.

Anderson said she and Hunt read all the essays. They narrowed them down to 30 and then a team of district coordinators, directors and some campus leadership whittled it to seven. The middle school coordinators were invited to read through the seven and picked two.

“All of our seniors, they had beautiful stories. I wish we had time to hear all of them and I’m hoping in some way we can honor them and let them tell their stories, even if we just use it at our district level,” Anderson said.

Odessa, TX

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