As marketing director for the Lewisville Independent School District, Bill Lee’s job is to find ways to promote the benefits of students attending one of its 68 campuses.
One method he has developed is a series of ambassador programs where groups of people can learn what LISD offers and help spread the good word throughout the community.
“We have a phenomenal story to tell. We are so blessed in this community that has such a high caliber, high quality school district and my job is getting out and telling the community all about it,” said Lee.
The first such group – the Realtor Ambassadors – launched last year. The idea came when Lee was selling a home in Flower Mound and worked with a few Realtors who were unaware of all that LISD had to offer.
Lee contacted as many Realtors as possible to update them on the district. With the help of the LISD Communications team, he put together and distributed a book compiling all campus profiles in one place providing Realtors extensive details on each school when talking to their clients.
“If we could get positive walking billboards from the Realtors who really knew the LISD story to communicate that from my standpoint then I’m a third of the way there,” he said.
Next on Lee’s list was the Senior Ambassadors aimed at Denton County residents age 60 and above. He began formulating his promotional plan including a slick brochure in January with May targeted for the first of a series of breakfast events. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened putting the program on hold.
“One of the things this calls for is to get a lot of seniors together where they learn about LISD,” Lee said. “We are blessed to have such an incredible talent pool and large number of senior citizens in Denton County.
“Seniors want to be involved and we felt if we get them in an ambassador program, they would not only be that walking, talking positive billboard, but there are opportunities if they want to volunteer.”
Those opportunities could include campus greeters, event ushers, elementary school classroom story readers, and more. When the program does resume, ambassadors will have picture IDs and go through background checks for on-campus events. They will receive senior VIP cards allowing them to attend sporting and performance arts events for free based on availability.
Senior ambassadors also will be able to take part in a free spa day courtesy of Tech Center Cosmetology students and have their vital signs checked by medical assistant students.
“We think it’s a win-win situation,” Lee said. “We have great hopes for this campaign.”
The other group is the first district-wide Alumni Association which started recently. It includes any person who graduated from one of the five LISD high schools. Details can be found on the alumni tab of the bestschoolsintexas.com website where former students can sign up to receive a quarterly newsletter, digital copies of the new school magazine The Loop and be included in a database to learn about reunions.
“What we’re looking for is guest speakers for our students,” Lee said. “We’re also going to let them know about things like our Incubator Programs where we need mentors and coaches. We’re reaching out to the alumni and keeping them informed about the district and how they can become involved.”
Programs like the Ambassadors are necessary because public school systems like LISD face competition from homeschools, charter schools and private schools and Lee continues to find ways to tell its story to new audiences.
“We know parents and students have a choice today and we think we are the best choice,” Lee said. “It’s my job to get out and show them why that is. We have extraordinary things to offer from our vocational programs to our STEM academies to our Pre K discovery academies to our collegiate academies where for the first-time LISD students can graduate with an associate degree.
“Our firefighting academy recently graduated 16 certified firefighters at Lewisville High School who could literally walk across the street to the Lewisville Fire Department and if hired, could start a very successful career. Where can that happen?”
Lee is continuing to lay the groundwork for the Senior Ambassadors including contacting various groups and through social media. He eventually will speak at senior and community centers to pitch the program.
“I’m hoping when COVID comes to an end sometime in 2021 or possibly when we get a vaccine so big groups can gather safely, we’ll be able to get everybody together and show them it’s a win-win,” he said.
To learn about any of these programs, visit bestschoolsintexas.com or email Lee at [email protected].