Late last year, I headed out to Mineral Wells ISD to spend the day with Natalie Griffin, the district’s executive director of special programs, and one of Education Week’s 2023 Leaders to Learn From.
Through conversations with John Kuhn, the superintendent, and administrative support staff, Wanda Harley and Shelia Crabtree, it was clear the district’s success in helping English learners perform on par with their peers in reading starts with a collaborative environment in the central office.
From the district office, we headed to Houston Elementary School in Mineral Wells, where we observed a 3rd grade class taught by bilingual teacher Noelia Kuhn. Her students were engaged and outgoing. Kuhn seemed to genuinely care about the well-being of her students. Her passion and drive were obvious.
Though I visited Mineral Wells as a photographer for Education Week, I have a background in education and run a non-profit for creative teens. I found it rewarding to see the district’s approach to bilingual learners up close.
— Nitashia Johnson for Education Week