Prairiland Independent School District is on an upward spiral. For a small, rural community school, it doesn’t get any better than Prairiland. Good things are happening here because our school is in partnership with the entire community, and we try to empower every student to become a lifelong learner who is a responsible, productive and engaged citizen within the community. Our motto of “learners today, leaders tomorrow” expresses our major intent with education and the importance of each student, so our mission is to prepare each student academically and socially to be a problem solver and productive citizen for a 21st-century global society. The students’ education, welfare, and adaptability are always top priorities for the administration and staff. We believe and stand by the fact that our students come first.
I am extremely proud of our staff because we have a happy medium with our faculty. A good school district will have steady retention, retaining teachers for many years, while adding new teachers with tremendous teaching skills. Our faculty is well rounded, and the majority of our teachers have an invested interest in Prairiland ISD. They try to scrutinize and refine each element to enhance the learning process for our students. Most live within the community, know our students personally, and have a deep desire to help our students develop into avid learners and productive citizens. A good school values its teachers, administrators, and parents as agents of students success. All of us collaborating together with one focus, our students, makes Prairiland an outstanding school.
Here at Prairiland ISD, we are so very proud of our four campuses. Blossom Elementary is located in Blossom with Leslie Martin as principal and Jala Nation as assistant principal. Deport Elementary is located in Deport and Lannie Matthews leads as principal. Prairiland Junior High is led by principal Brad Bassano, and Prairiland High School is headed by Jason Hostetler as principal and Chad Fleming as assistant principal with these two campuses being located in Pattonville. Campus improvements are always ongoing to provide the best possible facility for our students. This includes state-of-the-art computer labs and many amenities and resources available to all staff and students.
Our high school campus runs smoothly and efficiently because of Mr. Hostetler.
“I think Prairiland High School offers a great opportunity for a quality education,” Hostetler said. “We have a great staff that cares about students and works hard to ensure students learn what is needed to be successful after high school. We take pride in offering a well rounded high school experience that prepares students to meet the challenges they will face after graduation.”
He is ever present in the hallways, making his presence known and his care for each student evident. Our high school enrollment is at 320 with approximately 1,100 students enrolled in the entire district. We are particularly proud that our high school was named as the People’s Choice in Lamar County as well as Mrs. Susan Roach being named best secretary and Coach Steven Weddle being named best coach. For the 2018-19 school year, many key accomplishments have been achieved. Our athletic teams have really excelled this year with our volleyball team winning three tournament championships and a bi-district championship while our boys’ basketball made the playoffs. Our cross country, powerlifting and tennis teams all made it to regionals. Just last week our girls’ tennis team won the district championship with our boys’ tennis team finishing second. Our robotics team, made up of TJ Folse, Caden Simpson, Tanner Story and Megan Jameson, is headed to state under the leadership of Mendy Cole. Our ag department continues to excel having won first place at district in Ag Advocacy, Greenhand Creed, Senior Creed, Senior Quiz, Public Relations and Radio. Accomplishments by our renown Beta Club continue to abound. Sponsor Shawonna Rhoades led her club in claiming eight state titles, five second places and five third place finishes and adding Gabby Wood as the new President of Texas Beta. Our Beta Club was awarded as an “Outstanding Leadership School” and placed fourth overall in the nation. Their community service hours merit them top honors yearly. They will be traveling to the national Beta convention this summer in Oklahoma City.
Mr. Bassano on the junior high campus believes we have the best students in Texas. He is a hands-on principal and strongly supports his staff and his students.
“It’s been another great year at Prairiland JH,” he said. “We welcomed five new teachers to our campus: Cayla Dobson, Ryan Kennedy, Angela Shannon, Callie Tucker, and Toni Figueroa. Prairiland JH had a strong showing at this year’s District Academic UIL Contest, bringing home the second place trophy. At the District One Act Play competition, Reese Bassano received honors for Best Actress, Grant Jordan was named to the All-Star Cast, and Carly Bell was named to the Honor Stage Crew for Outstanding Technician. Science fair winners from this year were: sixth grade — Lucas Cox, James Metts, Hagen Jordan, and Butler Mathews; seventh grade — Kindle Fox, Aubree Phillips, Elizabeth Stowell and Ryleigh Mayer; and eighth grade — Ethan Adams, Rylan Berry, Grant Jordan and Makenna Guest. These students went on to represent Prairiland at the Region 8 Science Fair. Junior high school athletics was highlighted by our eighth-grade volleyball team winning a district championship for the second consecutive year as well as our seventh grade winning district, also. At the top of the list for facility improvements is the installation of a buzz-in door system. We are very pleased with the added level of security that this system has provided for our campus. We are extremely proud of our students and staff for all of the hard work they have put in this year and for all that they’ve accomplished.”
Deport Elementary has recently added a new extracurricular activity, archery. Mr. Matthews is pleased with the interest this activity has sparked among the student body. The students are enjoying this competition as they learn to master accuracy and focus. This archery program has been well received by the students and faculty alike.
Blossom Elementary is growing and teachers are ready to meet the challenge. Blossom Elementary has even started a project this year, the Care Closet, to assist students who might have a need for personal hygiene items. Items are donated by staff and citizens to be given to any student who is in need. Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Nation expressed concern for our students and the community provided items with overwhelming support.
As superintendent, I feel strongly that Prairiland is a great, successful school because of supportive environmental conditions, a district wide climate of high expectations, enthusiastic teacher support, active family engagement, and strong social and emotional student growth. We are always pleased the awards and recognition that our students receive, but we are more importantly concerned with the academic improvement that our students show throughout the school year. Still, the bottom line to our success is that we try to prioritize what is best for our students. It’s all about the students here at Prairiland ISD.