DR. MARK PORTERIE — Port Arthur ISD already working on 2023-24 academic year

Published 12:06 am Saturday, June 3, 2023

Congratulations to our staff, students, parents and community on the conclusion of a successful 2022-2023 school year!

Our students performed well in the classrooms and during their extracurricular activities. Now, we are assessing our progress and determining the best path moving forward to address the needs of our district as we plan for the next school year.

We are already excited about what 2023-24 has in store for PAISD, and we’re anxious to start our summer school programs on Monday (June 5).

Dr. Mark L. Porterie,
superintendent of schools

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Not even four days after the close of school, we welcomed back over 200 students for our first day of summer workouts! We are happy our students do not feel disconnected from our campus facilities during the summer months and feel comfortable to come back so quickly.

June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month. This month, and every month thereafter, we commit to supporting services that enhance intervention and prevention initiatives to greater support individuals, families and communities plagued by gun violence.

No matter the month, we should always keep conversations going on gun violence prevention. We should continually champion the idea of accountability, responsibility and laws to protect society from gun violence.

In June, we also celebrate Juneteenth, which is recognized June 19 each year, and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. The holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of an order issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas.

The Juneteenth holiday will be observed Monday, June 19, 2023, as a full-day holiday for all public employees of the State.

We are excited about participating in this year’s community activities celebrating Juneteenth, starting with a flag raising and lunch in the park June 8th at the Jefferson County Courthouse. This event will start at 10:30 a.m.

Linda’s Lighthouse is hosting a Southeast Texas Juneteenth Sneaker Ball at S&G Auditorium the night of June 18. Admission is by ticket sales only.

There will also be the annual Juneteenth festival and softball tournament happening around the city.

Lion Hearted Boxing Academy is hosting an amateur boxing showcase, Juneteenth Showdown in Port Town, on the afternoon of June 17. Flyers announcing these events – and more – can be found by searching for “Port Arthur Juneteenth” on Facebook.

One of the most celebrated June events is the acknowledgement of Father’s Day, which is a time for people to celebrate the men in their lives. For children, it is a day to show appreciation for their fathers and father-figures.

For adults, it is a day to show how much they love and appreciate the hard work of fathers and husbands in their lives. Today, more than any other time in history, responsible fathers are severely needed in the lives of our children.

Children need to experience men who are comfortable and willing to express love for their children and family. Children need to see men who model a good work ethic, spiritual responsibility and are not afraid to hold them to high expectations and standards.

Our fathers should teach our boys how to be men, and model how men should treat women, so our girls know what to look for in a husband or partner.

Some may say that these are old-fashioned thoughts and the world is different today; however, we need to look at what is happening all over the world and ask ourselves, “Would some of the old ways be beneficial today?”

Nothing takes the place of a positive male figure carrying a child to bed when he/she has fallen to sleep on their father’s shoulder.

We salute the men who stood in the absence of positive male role models in the lives of our children.

Many positive men in the schools, churches and neighborhoods have made positive impacts on all of our children. This month, and all year long, we thank you, fathers and father-figures, for taking the time to express love and support for our children.

Without you great individuals, some of our students would have never experienced the true meaning of a father’s love.

Dr. Mark Porterie is superintendent of schools for the Port Arthur Independent School District. He can be reached at mporterie@paisd.org.