One Willis: Willis ISD Incorporating "Vertical Integration" From Middle To High School Sports
UPON THE ARRIVAL OF JASON GLENN AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS AND FINE ARTS, THE INTEGRATION OF BRABHAM AND LYNN LUCAS MIDDLE SCHOOLS INTO THE WILLIS HIGH SCHOOL CULTURE BEGAN IMMEDIATELY.
“We want our middle school students and coaches to feel like they are already at Willis High School,” he said. “It’s a vertical integration that the most successful districts in Texas implement.”
It will reflect in the uniforms this season as the “Big W and the State of Texas” will be prominent and the middle school name will be written underneath.
“It’s our brand,” he said. “We wanted people to know that, this is Willis,” he said. “That’s how you build a community. We want to have a true family feel and these are the things it’s going to take. It’s not about one school or the other, it’s about Willis. We will all be eating at the same, big table.”
High school coaching athletic schedules also had to be tweaked to allow for the most important part of the integration.
"This will allow our high school coaches to go observe at the middle schools,” Glenn said. “The students need to see the faces of their future high school coaches and the coaches need to be able to coach up the middle school coaches. It goes back to alignment.”
New football head coach Trent Miller is also excited about the program.
“We are looking forward to mentoring the high school coaches,” Miller said. “Just bringing them more into the fold, visiting them on campus to help with the athletes and building relationships with them is a huge win for everyone.”
The vertical integration also reaches the elementary schools with its “Rising ‘Kats” program, where students from Kindergarten to 6th grade will run with the Wildkats at home games.
This is how you build a community. In the words of Jason Glenn, “Let’s do this.”