Three Way ISD to hold its first senior graduation in May
Three Way ISD has been growing exponentially within the past several years, with this year being the first year that the district has had a senior class and will host its first graduation in May.
“For many years they [Three Way ISD] had only Kindergarten through sixth grade,” said Superintendent of Three Way ISD Paul Ryan. “Probably in the last 15 years, they started growing a little. I got here seven years ago and we were at 51. What I was told, is that it was always around 50 or less kids in the school.”
“We are at 215 today,” Three Way ISD Principal Kayla Sparks said. “This is our first year to have seniors so we are pre-K through 12. We have 10 seniors.”
Ryan said the growth of the district has been a plan for years.
"It’s the fulfillment of a plan that goes back a ways,” he said. “Multiple people have been involved in that plan. To see that, to make a promise to your community that, here’s what we’re gonna try to get to, a goal we’re gonna try to reach and to actually see it come about, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Three Way ISD is still expanding, with the district currently building an agriculture facility and a CTE center.
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller also donated the frame of a greenhouse to Three Way.
“We’re here for the long haul,” Ryan said. “I don’t believe we are in danger. When I got here, we were in danger of losing state funding. Our numbers were so low. We’re past that point. Now we’re trying to reach that next level and I think ultimately, it’s going to take the community's help to do it. We’re going to need a new junior high. We’re going to need a new gym. We’re going to need a new elementary building. We’ve got the growth to support it.”
Sparks and Ryan pride themselves on being part of a family, not just a school district.
“We take care of each other. We look out for each other. We’re not looking at numbers,” Sparks said. “We’re looking at people, and we truly care about who people are and how we help them and how we can grow together as a family.”
“Students would come to me in junior high and they would say things like, ‘We don’t want to leave here. We don’t want to have to go to another school. This is our family. This is what we want to be a part of.’ That’s what led to the conversation,” Ryan said. “You treat kids like they’re your own. If you have that mentality in the school district as a whole, people get it, kids get it and they know when you’re being real. There may be a tear or two shed at that graduation on many levels. I've seen these kids grow up.”
Sparks said she knew it was going to be a challenge trying to incorporate and build a high school in the district.
“It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s been fun,” she said. “I'm excited to see this first graduating class. I'm excited to see the hard work pay off. We’re probably going to have a huge crowd come to this graduation. In the past, whenever they [the students] would get to eighth grade, they would have to transfer to Hico or Stephenville. Now they can stay for the rest of their high school career.”