I write this as Mayor Wilcox and her husband celebrate his retirement on an Alaskan adventure … fishing, sightseeing and viewing the wonders of nature far far away from our quaint little lakeside village. While she was reluctant to leave her post, I was grateful for the opportunity to fill my role as backup quarterback. Most notably, I had the honor of recognizing some amazingly talented students at our July 22nd Council Meeting.
Dianne Ashmore and her fellow Lions from the Highland Village Lions Club chose 40 semi-finalists and 5 finalists from an astonishing 800 entries, students of all ages from our community schools, in the Highland Village Balloon Festival Poster Contest. In the second year of this initiative, the five finalists will have their winning creations posted all over the city advertising the 27th Annual Balloon Festival being held August 15-17 at Unity Park in Highland Village. Event details can be found at www.lionsballoonfest.com.
I don’t know whether I was more impressed with the remarkable participation, or the artwork itself, but both prompted my focus for this article. Having three boys myself, ages 15, 8 and 8 months, it is important that our family lives in a city that offers top-notch education, a safe and healthy environment, and a variety of activities and programs in which our kiddos can participate. While I am a bit biased, I can’t think of anywhere that offers that complete package more than our very own Highland Village.
Our three elementary schools and one middle school provide exemplary education and rich opportunities for social and developmental growth. Our police department, in conjunction with LISD, facilitates a re-vamped LETS program (Law Enforcement Teaching Students) which is a program designed to enhance the student’s basic knowledge of the dangers of alcohol and drug use, bullying, building a positive self-concept, developing sound decision making skills, and recognizing and coping with peer pressure. This program, along with Bicycle Rodeos, Stand Up Against Bullying campaign, Police Involving Parents, Test My Teen, and many other initiatives assist greatly in fostering a safe and healthy school and community environment for our children. In addition to learning valuable safety tools, students also have the opportunity to visit City Hall, the Police and Fire Departments, and learn how City Government works. Students can even be Mayor for the Day where they may attend a luncheon and preside over the evening’s Council Meeting. In kid talk, that’s so cool!
While education and safety programs are essential to the positive growth of our children, they also need to be kids and have fun!! HVABSA offers baseball and softball leagues, Neighborhood Sports offers basketball and flag football, and our recently added Highland Village Tennis Center offers tennis camps and lessons for all ages. Highland Village also hosts events such as Family Campout, Our Village Glows, Concerts in the Park (see website for upcoming schedule), Celebrate Highland Village with Kid Fish, Daddy Daughter Valentine Dance, Santa Routes at Christmas and many more family and kid-friendly activities. One of the favorites my boys have enjoyed over the years and most recently as last week is our fun-filled Kids Kamp. Kids Kamp runs from mid-June to mid-August and is an affordable weekly camp in which participants, ages 6-12, enjoy organized games, activities and crafts in the mornings, and fun and unique field trips in the afternoons. There are still two weeks of camp in session this summer. Check it out at www.highlandvillage.org – Parks and Recreation – Kids Kamp.
I have had many wonderful opportunities while serving for Highland Village, which began in 2007 as an Alternate on the Planning & Zoning Commission. One of my very favorites was participating in Leadership Lewisville, which opened my eyes to so many organizations, programs and people who make our Community, including Flower Mound and Lewisville, work so beautifully. During this 9-month program we were tasked with creating a Class Project. Because of our passion for youth and their part in the future of our Community, we developed a program called Students 2 Stewards, which is designed to educate youth on the organizations and resources in our Community, and empower them to become engaged and serve those in need. This is one of the main reasons I serve on City Council, at our Church, at the schools – I want my boys to witness the importance of being engaged in their Community. Just as we encourage your children, I would encourage you to become involved in making sure Highland Village remains a city in which your children can learn, grow, and play. If you are interested in serving on a Board or Commission, please search ‘volunteer opportunities’ on the city’s website, or contact the City Secretary’s office by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 972.899.5132. I can honestly say that serving over the last 7 years has provided as much or more value to my life as I strive to provide to the residents of Highland Village.
While I’m certain I didn’t cover every nook and cranny of what Highland Village has to offer to our kids, I hope I shared my passion for our city’s youth and the role our Community plays in their growth. As Charlotte returns and I take my place back on the bench, I appreciate each day I am able to serve with six other members, and a fantastic staff, who genuinely have the best interests’ of our residents, including our KIDS, at heart.
Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, stay safe, and hug your kiddos!