Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mayor Tom is the real deal

I have been very encouraged by my interactions with Mayor Tom Leppert, a man who has surprised me with his sincerity as well as his generosity (both of his finances as well as his time). I will admit that I was at first hesitant about him, but he has quickly demonstrated some bold and significant leadership in his short term.

Here is his the copy from his recent eNewsletter, "Shining a light on education":

Greetings friends, colleagues and supporters,

The school year is wrapping up. And I must say, we've surpassed not only what critics said we could accomplish but also what we imagined we could achieve in eight months.

I promised you I would shine a light on education, and your support allows me to keep that promise.

Here are just a few of our achievements:

  • The Mayor's Intern Fellows program grants students from some of Dallas' poorest schools the opportunity to participate in an eight-week paid internship with top-level executives and to earn real-world experience.

  • The Mayor's Chesapeake Energy Scholarship Fund provides at-risk students with the support and preparation required to attend college. I donated $200,000 from my mayor's salary over four years, and I feel confident we can reach our $1.25 million fundraising goal.

  • More than 10,000 preschoolers will benefit from the Ready to Read @ Dallas program, which prepares kids to learn to read by kindergarten.

  • I was honored to meet the winners of DISD's contest to design a poster with an anti-"cheese heroin" message. These students demonstrated the effectiveness of kids helping kids.

  • The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation donated $5 million to DISD to create a database of student academic information and other district-related data.

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates and the Michael & Susan Dell foundations each donated $20 million to the $71 million Texas Science Technology, Engineering and Math Initiative.

The list goes on and on. The result is that our kids benefit from receiving a solid education, better college preparation and access to the tools needed for success. We have further challenges to conquer, but I know the City of Dallas and its residents remain dedicated to accomplishing our goals together.

I look forward to future success in education.

Thank you,

Mayor Tom Leppert

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