This week, some of our FHS and FMS students competed in the State Round of the Cyber Patriot competition. They compete in our own computer labs so I stopped by to learn more about what the competition entails. Debra Peri and Mr. Hineman are the coaches and Lt. Col. Kristy Leasman, Texas Air National Guard and FISD parent, mentors the teams. What I learned was that the competition is, to me, the least important thing happening in that room. In my opinion, the important things happening are much bigger and longer-lasting. Through Cyber Patriots, students are learning skills that translate directly into the workforce. In the competition, students are trying to figure out how to protect a mock company’s online presence. This is not like answering questions, it’s not just learning facts, it’s understanding facts and concepts then putting it all together to come up with a solution. It’s what we want students to do every day. Honestly, I can’t tell you if they were doing a good job or a bad job, but I can tell you that they were collaborating, thinking and engaged in their work. It was a perfect example of student-center learning where teachers are guides, but students are in charge of their learning. And, the good news is that it’s happening all over our district. As our Strategic Plan outlines, we are moving to a student-centered instruction model where students are given agency, a voice and choice in their learning. I am proud to be the superintendent of a district that continues to improve the way we teach and reach students.