WFISD staff reacts to new high schools timeline


Lenia Lange

Construction continues on Memorial High School

As the outside world drives by, there are two almost identical construction sites on each side of the city. One is Legacy and the other Memorial. These two similar buildings will open in 15 short months to students and staff. 

Though progress has been made and the district has said construction is on schedule, there are many details to opening the schools. The first order of business is hiring principals for each school, which will be announced in June. 

Based on the district’s timeline, administrative teams should be in place by December and teacher placements finalized by March. 

“There’s a lot to get done when you have so much to take care of,” Radtke said. “Especially hiring that volume of employees. I’m sure they have sat down and put paper and pen to it, to make sure it will be sufficient time.”

There has been concern regarding the interview process, especially because of the amount of work and resources that are needed for such a big undertaking. 

“We try to jump on hiring as quickly as we can and we usually just have a handful each year, just because we want to get it taken care of as soon as we possibly can,” Radtke said of how Rider handles yearly hiring. “It’ll be a big undertaking for whoever the new principals are.”

Teachers are anxious to discover which school they will call home.

“It’s hard because we all really want to know where we’re going to be placed and what position we’re going to be in. So, I wish they would move faster on that,” Rider math instructional leader Keri Jones said.

Wichita Falls ISD is going from three high schools to only two. Because of this, many students who have grown up together at the same schools will be separated, especially after thinking they will also attend high school together.

“I think it’s going be really hard for a couple of years as far as teams and kids that have grown up together are literally going to be split,” Jones said. “That’s going to be really hard for a while.”

Another challenge will be creating a sense of community and togetherness. Each high school has multiple traditions that might be gone with the new schools.

“They’re going to be beautiful, they’re going to be amazing, and I’m so happy for the students and how nice they’re going to be,” Jones said. “But it’s the unified dynamic that is going to be hard for a while.” 

Science department leader Bryce Henderson is looking forward to hearing where he will be and think the timetable for hiring is good. 

“I think they’re nice to see the timetables and have a better idea of when they’re going to make the decisions,” Henderson said. “I’m most looking forward to getting into the new schools and seeing the science labs.”