Joined by community and elected leaders, students and staff at the Inspire the Future luncheon, Superintendent Paul Cruz today delivered his annual State of the District address.
The annual event brings together key district supporters at the AISD Performing Arts Center, and raises money for the nonprofit Austin Ed Fund.
"The state of the district is strong, and I am proud to serve as superintendent of this phenomenal urban school sytem," Cruz said.
Cruz detailed student successes, including achieving a record-high graduation rate of 89.7 percent in 2015 and continuing to outperform their peers in the nation and state on both the SAT and ACT.
Attendees heard from students about the importance of programs such as robotics, dual language courses and Social and Emotional Learning.
"SEL is important because it allows students to have a positive influence in their communities, and it allows us to succeed beyond high school," said Reagan student Yami Lexis.
Cruz also talked about some of the district's challenges and the hard work needed to face those challenges, which include closing achievement gaps among student groups and sending $406 million to the state for recapture payments.
He then thanked teachers and staff for their dedication to the district's nearly 84,000 students.
"You are making a difference," he said. "You are making a big difference in the lives of our students."
Funds raised at the event support Austin Ed Fund's Innovation Grants, up to $10,000 given to classroom teachers using new ways to inspire and challenge their students.
Since the inception of the grants, $125,000 has been awarded to 30 recipients.