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Orange Chamber Holds Ribbon-Cutting for WOCCISD’s New Transportation Center

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The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for West Orange-Cove CISD’s new transportation center on Monday, January 9, 2023.

WOCCISD School Board President Linda Platt-Bryant stated, “We are excited to announce the grand opening of our school district’s new bus barn! Here in West Orange-Cove, we (the Board) continue identifying the district’s needs. This new transportation center was one of those needs.”

The new building was a part of the 2018 bond approved by WOCCISD voters. The project included new construction with offices, a meeting space, covered bays for buses, a wash station, and a garage, making it easier to perform maintenance on buses.

“We are pleased that the taxpayers have provided a state-of-the-art facility and technological resources so we can continue to transport the children of West Orange-Cove CISD safely,” Superintendent Dr. Rickie Harris said.

In addition to the new facility, WOCCISD Transportation has recently launched the SMART TAG bus tool that allows the district and parents to monitor bus activity and track students to and from school using GPS.

Vidor ISD Holds Community Opening for New School Building

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Vidor ISD would like to invite residents to the Community Opening for the new Oak Forest Elementary Campus.

It will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2023, from 5-6:30 PM at the Oak Forest Elementary Campus at 2400 Highway 12 in Vidor.

In 2017, Tropical Storm Harvey destroyed Vidor Middle School and Oak Forest Elementary. Due to the destruction wrought by the flooding of this storm, students from both schools had to learn from portable buildings.

Oak Forest Elementary staff and students are set to move into their new campus on January 9, 2023.

According to 12NewsNow, Oak Forest Principal Devan Dart says having new technology and space for kids to learn will be so beneficial. “When we transition, just going to different classes, we are outside. So, when kids are outside, they get distracted, plus when it’s raining or cold. It will be different once we are all under one roof,” Dart said.

FEMA approved the funds to tear down and rebuild both campuses in September 2018. Most of the money it will take to rebuild the schools is coming from FEMA. In 2019, Vidor ISD received a $1 million grant from Rebuild Texas Fund. The organization helps communities in Texas rebuild after Harvey and focuses on smaller communities.

Many gathered as the Vidor Independent School District broke ground on a new middle school in June 2021. District officials said they received almost $19 million for the project.

Lamar State College Orange Announces Significant Enrollment Growth

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Lamar State College-Orange (LSCO) announced today that its Fall enrollment of 2,629 students is the highest since 2012. This represents an 11.7% increase in enrollment from last Fall.

Enrollment at LSCO has grown by creating new academic and vocational programs as well as expanding to 8-Week Terms. Additionally, more dual credit students in area high schools are now being served by the college.

“We are seeing that when students are given opportunities to thrive, they are taking them here at Lamar State College-Orange. More and more people in Orange and Southeast Texas are seeing the benefits of creating a bright Orange future. The increased enrollment we’re seeing is a testament to the incredible work our faculty and staff are doing to meet students where they are and to offer innovative and state-of-the-art educational instruction,” said LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson.

“Our increased enrollment is undoubtedly a result of our faculty and staff working to ensure that LSCO students are prepared for the needs of our local industry. LSCO takes great aims to cultivate constructive conversations and partnerships with our local industries, ensuring that our students are ready-to-work upon graduation and are adding value in the workplace with the credentials and degrees that they are earning here at LSCO,” said LSCO Provost and Executive Vice President Wendy Elmore.

Spring classes at LSCO begin on January 17, 2023.

LSCO’s Becky McAnelley Awarded Regents’ Staff Excellence Award

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The Texas State University System Board of Regents today formally recognized recipients of the Regents’ Professor, Student Scholar, and Staff Excellence awards for 2022.

The Regents’ Staff Excellence Award (honoring staff who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the university, job competency, collegiality, and community involvement) went to LSCO’s Becky McAnelley, Assistant Dean of Students/Registrar.

The board adopted resolutions honoring the award winners during its quarterly meeting on November 18, 2022, at Texas State University.

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