City Manager Ed Broussard spent his day Tuesday managing Robert E. Lee High School. He arrived before the sun came up and jumped in head first as the students began rolling off the buses.

Broussard took part in Tyler ISD’s Principal for a Day program. The goal of the event is to get different community members involved and let them have a look at the logistics of running a campus. All of Tyler ISD’s campuses participated.

Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford hopes getting community leaders involved will provide them a realistic picture of life at Tyler ISD.

“I think more than anything, it’s to showcase our schools to community members who haven’t been on our campus,” he said. “In Ed’s experience, he’s a parent. Letting him see what Dr. C faces on a daily basis is a good snapshot to help him understand what’s going on in our schools.”

For Broussard, it allowed him to put faces and context on the stories from his children who attend Lee.

“What I’m hoping to get out of this is the opportunity to really learn what goes on inside these schools day after day,” Broussard said.

Robert E. Lee Principal Dan Crawford stressed the importance of finding new ways to boost attendance. He said it is the greatest challenge he faces as principal.

As part of his program, Broussard got a taste of the school’s theme days, for which students are encouraged to dress up and have been shown to have an impact on attendance. Tuesday at Lee was western day and had students outfitted in jeans, boots and other ranch wear.

“You’re going to laugh, but Hat Day last week, in the first eight weeks of the school year, was the best attended day,” Principal Crawford said.

Broussard’s day started at the bus loop behind the school, where he helped manage traffic flow. By starting there, Broussard was able to get a feel for the logistics involved in managing more than 2,500 students. Many of those students get off the bus and immediately get on another to spend their first few periods at the Career and Technology Center.

“This is a chance for you to talk to some kids, too, being there seeing what it’s like.They’ll tell you the truth,” Principal Crawford said. “We’re excited about Ed being here, because I really believe he’s going to get some perspective of what our staff and students do every day.”

Broussard also got to spend time with instructors and going in the classroom.

“It’s just amazing what our parents, our teachers, principals and school staff are dealing with,” he said. “(It’s amazing) that our schools are run so well. Just to kind of be in it and see how this all happens is very interesting, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Leaders from more than 20 local businesses and organizations participated in the program, placing leaders at schools across the district.

After spending the first half of the day on campus, the community leaders reconvened for lunch and discussed what they learned.

Twitter: @TMT_Cory


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Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on The Murder Tapes, Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.