Our team held a Thanksgiving celebration this week. It was the usual feast of the office potluck, with requisite over-eating. One thing I am thankful for is to work in a group with so many “foodies.” The spread was both healthy and delectable.
We noted the myriad transitions that APIE has weathered this year and honored the many reasons we are thankful. We said farewell to seven team members in 2011, including Kathrin Brewer, APIE’s founding Executive Director. We are thankful to Kathrin for her vision of a mobilized community for education and her gifts as a connector. These have been vital to the success that APIE enjoys today. We welcomed nine new team members, including myself and are grateful for the expanded skills and capacity that each person brings to the APIE mission. This year we expanded our programs to new schools and grades, we stepped up our game on college readiness and we leveraged technology solutions to gain efficiencies across all of our offerings. We extended the conversation with our stakeholders through social media outlets. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as this blog.
We are profoundly grateful to our donors, for without them this work would not be possible. We are thankful for the 859 volunteers who give over 1000 hours a week in classroom coaching. We honor, as well the 700 mentors and 1500+ other volunteers who are enriching the educational experience for Austin ISD students. The heart and spirit of these volunteers infuse the APIE universe each day. They inspire us and sustain us.
2011 has been a transformational year for APIE. Yet, many things remain constant: the support of our managing partners, The Austin Independent School District and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce; the passion of our staff and volunteers for the work we do in high need schools; the collaboration with more than 70 teachers whose classrooms we support; the sense of triumph every time a student experiences an academic achievement. For these things we are thankful.