Category Archives: Grand Prairie ISD

SGPHS to Hold JROTC Change of Command Ceremony on Wednesday

The Change of Command for the South Grand Prairie High School Junior ROTC program will be Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.  The Ceremony will take place on the football field at South Grand Prairie High School. Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Jazmin Lemus will relinquish command to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel April Zuniga. The Change of Command is a military tradition emulated at the JROTC level. It represents the transfer of responsibility and cadet authority for the battalion. In the life of a JROTC cadet, it embodies the history, tradition, and accomplishments of that command. The passing of responsibility represents a continuation of trust and genuine allegiance, from outgoing leader to incoming leader, of the South Grand Prairie High School JROTC program.

  • WHO: South Grand Prairie Warrior Battalion
  • WHAT: Change of Command ceremony
  • WHEN: Wednesday, April 27 at 9:30 a.m.
  • WHERE: South Grand Prairie High School Football Field (behind the Dr. Vern Alexander Building located at 305 W. Warrior Trail, GP, 75052)

For more information, visit https://www.gpisd.org/southgphigh.

Grand Prairie ISD Set to Host Job Fair on March 26

Grand Prairie ISD will be hosting a job fair on Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at South Grand Prairie High School. The District is hiring for open positions throughout various departments and campuses districtwide and is looking for dedicated professionals and paraprofessionals/support staff to fill the vacancies.

GPISD is currently hiring:

  • Substitutes
  • Childcare Workers/After-school Care Workers
  • Certified Teachers
  • Alternative Certification Teachers (Statement of Eligibility Required-SOE)
  • Instructional Aides
  • Cafeteria Workers
  • Bus Drivers
  • Maintenance and Auxiliary Workers


WHO: Grand Prairie ISD

WHAT: Find Your Fit in GPISD! Job Fair

WHEN: Saturday, March 26 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

WHERE: South Grand Prairie High School, 301 W. Warrior Trail, Grand Prairie, TX 75052

For more information, please visit www.gpisd.org/jobs.  

Math Success and Mentorship Equal a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Emily Dickerson

Dickerson (Photo courtesy of GPISD)

At Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, Emily Dickerson’s ninth-graders know that math is a lifetime skill. That’s because her creative lessons encourage students to explore how math fits into the world around them, incorporating current events in new ways to engage and challenge young minds. Today following an all-school pep rally, Dickerson was surprised with a national Milken Educator Award for her indelible impact on students and colleagues alike. The recognition includes a $25,000 cash prize that she can use however she chooses.

Milken Educator Awards Founder Lowell Milken was joined by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath to present Dickerson with the prestigious honor before cheering students, appreciative colleagues, state and local dignitaries, and media. In addition to today’s fanfare, Dickerson will join a national network of more than 2,800 Milken Educator Award recipients dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.

Dickerson is among more than 60 educators across the country who will receive the Award during the 2021-22 season. She is the first recipient from Grand Prairie Independent School District.

“Emily Dickerson instills a passion for learning in her students that will influence their pursuit of excellence long after graduation,” said Lowell Milken. “Her effectiveness in the classroom, combined with her instructional leadership at large, make her a force in the community and a model for the state and nation.”

Extending beyond the classroom, Dickerson’s spirit of mentorship led her to serve as a TAP System for Teacher and Student Achievement mentor teacher through Grand Prairie’s partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). Her work helps support student success schoolwide through her role as math department chair and involvement with initiatives like AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) that build college readiness and increase inclusive opportunities for all students.

“Emily Dickerson reflects the very best of the teaching profession in Texas,” said Commissioner Morath. “By holding her algebra students to the highest of standards, her diligent work and dedication benefits the Grand Prairie High community today while strengthening the Texas of tomorrow.”

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues, and communities. The Awards are not designated for lifetime achievement. Recipients are heralded while early to mid-career for what they have achieved — and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities inherent in the Award.

More About Emily Dickerson

In the Classroom: Dickerson fosters curiosity, critical thinking skills, and a growth mindset through real-world applications of math. Her algebra students explore exponential functions by studying transmission patterns of COVID-19. When she taught geometry, her students learned to find the midpoint between two points on a coordinate plane by looking at a map of Grand Prairie and calculating the center between the two closest grocery stores. The lesson continued beyond math as the class discussed the concept of “food deserts” and how they might use their findings to advocate to city officials for the construction of a community garden or grocery store. Dickerson’s classroom mantra is “Be the change,” encouraging students to make choices each day that will have a positive impact on not only their own futures but the lives of those around them.

New Data-Driven Strategies: Dickerson creates an inclusive and respectful environment where student data informs every instructional decision. She is never afraid to try new approaches, adjusting as she discerns student needs. Hoping to improve student performance, Dickerson instituted small group instruction in Algebra I several years ago. By the end of the 2019-20 school year, students were showing tremendous growth, and Dickerson introduced the strategy to the rest of her team.

School and District Leadership: Dickerson works with student teachers, mentors new educators, serves on the district math leadership team and leads professional development for the building and district. As math department chair, Dickerson turns department meetings into an extension of her classroom, building in activities she hopes colleagues will use with their own classes. During the pandemic, she modeled the use of breakout rooms to raise teachers’ comfort levels with virtual instruction and shared strategies for building relationships during online learning.

College and Career Readiness: Dickerson is on the Grand Prairie High School site team for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a program that helps build college readiness and increase opportunities for historically underrepresented student communities. To raise the program’s profile and expand the impact of its college-going culture across the campus, Dickerson and colleagues created the “My AVID Is Your AVID” buddy system, encouraging 11th graders in AVID to share learning strategies with their peers.

Educational Equity: Equity is an important focus of Dickerson’s practice. She is part of the committee that advocates for culturally relevant teaching, tackling issues on how to deliver instruction to the school’s diverse student body. Dickerson partnered with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity to learn about equitable access to STEM opportunities.

Education: Dickerson earned a bachelor’s in business in 2013 from Baylor University and a master’s in school leadership in 2020 from Southern Methodist University.

More About the Milken Educator Awards: 

“The future belongs to the educated.”

Along with the financial prize, Milken Educator Award recipients join the national Milken Educator Network, a group of more than 2,800 top teachers, principals, and specialists. The network serves as a rich resource for fellow educators, legislators, school boards, and others dedicated to excellence in education.

The honorees will also attend an all-expenses-paid Milken Educator Awards Forum, where they will network with their new colleagues as well as veteran Milken Educators and other education leaders about how to increase their impact on K-12 education. In addition, they will learn about how to become involved in the Milken Friends Forever (MFFs) mentoring program, in which freshman Milken Educators receive personalized coaching and support from a Milken Educator veteran on ways to elevate their instructional practice and take an active role in educational leadership, policy and practice.

Over the years, more than $140 million in funding, including $70 million for the individual cash awards, has been devoted to the overall Milken Awards initiative, which includes powerful professional development opportunities throughout recipients’ careers. 

Veteran Milken Educators frequently go on to serve in leadership roles at the state, national and international levels. 

“We find you. You don’t find us!” Unlike most teacher recognition programs, the Milken Educator Awards initiative has no formal nomination or application process. Candidates are sourced through a confidential selection process and then reviewed by blue ribbon panels in each state. The most exceptional candidates are recommended for the award, with the final selection made by the Milken Family Foundation. 

The $25,000 cash award is unrestricted. Recipients have used the money in diverse ways. For instance, some have spent the funds on their children’s or their own continuing education, financing dream field trips, establishing scholarships, and even adopting children.  

Oprah, a longtime education advocate, shared her congratulations to this year’s recipients in a video message thanking “the most incredible educators around the country” and acknowledging her deep appreciation for the “tireless work” they do.

To get regular updates on the surprise Milken Educator Award events or to watch the award events unfold, follow and use the #MilkenAward hashtag on Facebook (@MilkenEducatorAwards), Twitter (@Milken), YouTube (/MilkenAward), Instagram (MilkenFamilyFdn), and TikTok (@MilkenAward).

For more information, visit MilkenEducatorAwards.org or call the Milken Family Foundation at (310) 570-4772.

GPISD to Honor the Legacy of Christine Blubaugh, Impact of SB 9

In March 2000, Christine Blubaugh was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. At the time, she was a junior at South Grand Prairie High School, a member of the tennis team and the orchestra. Christine’s untimely death shocked the campus, the school district, and the Grand Prairie community. How could this happen? What could have been done to prevent her death?

Fast forward 21 years and Senate Bill 9 is signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in September. SB 9, or the “Christine Blubaugh Act” – went into effect December 2. The Act requires “public schools to provide instruction and materials and adopt policies relating to the prevention of child abuse, family violence, and dating violence.”

The passage of the bill was the result of the persistence of a dedicated team including the Blubaugh family, GPPD Assistant Chief Ronnie Morris, and State Senator Royce West. Young people across the state will now have the opportunity to educate and empower themselves about this preventable issue.

To honor Christine’s legacy and the far-reaching impact of SB 9, GPISD and the Grand Prairie Police Department will host a ceremony at South Grand Prairie High School on Monday, February 14, at 10 a.m.

  • WHAT: Ceremony to honor the legacy of Christine Blubaugh (the inspiration for SB 9)
  • WHEN: Monday, February 14, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.
  • WHERE: South Grand Prairie High School (main entrance), 301 W. Warrior Trail

Please contact Sam Buchmeyer, GPISD Public Information Officer, at (972) 237-5380 if you have questions or need any additional information.

GPISD to Conduct Public Hearing on TAPR Report

The Grand Prairie Independent School District Board of Trustees will conduct a public hearing to discuss the 2020-2021 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR) as part of its regular meeting on Thursday, February 17, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. 

The TAPR report is published annually by the Texas Education Agency.  The report includes student performance and profile information concerning students, finances, and staffing.

The hearing will be held in the Board Room at the Dr. Susan J. Simpson Education Center located at 2602 S. Belt Line Road in Grand Prairie.

WHAT: Public hearing to review the 2020-2021 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR)

WHEN: Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Dr. Susan J. Simpson Education Center Board Room, 2602 S. Belt Line Road, Grand Prairie, TX 75052

For more information, please contact Sam Buchmeyer, GPISD Public Information Officer at (972) 237-5380.