By TJJD Communications
Executive Director Shandra Carter, Chief of Staff Sean Grove and other TJJD leaders kicked off the new year by visiting all five secure facilities, where they met with the superintendents and local leadership teams.
The mission: To connect everyone to the leadership vision, and to feel inspired and hopeful about moving the agency forward. The coming year will be a busy one, encompassing potential legislative action affecting the agency, and actions to improve TJJD and healthy leadership at the facilities are key to our success.
Carter detailed these developments and stressed the importance of maintaining respectful professional leadership and creating teams that work together cohesively and collaboratively as the agency moves forward.
Hardworking TJJD staff need the full support of their leaders. They need to know that they are respected and valued, Carter emphasized.
The visits, which took place over several weeks, brought everyone together, raised camaraderie and ideas as the working groups shared holiday treats and posed for pictures to commemorate the launch of 2023.
At Evins Regional Juvenile Center, Carter and her team brought a rosca de reyes, a wreath of decorated sweetbread commonly baked in the Rio Grande Valley to celebrate Epiphany on Jan. 6. A plastic figure representing the Baby Jesus is baked inside the rosca de reyes or round bread of kings. The person who ends up with the “baby” is conferred good luck and designated to bring tamales for Dia de la Candelaria on Feb. 2. Neat way to rustle up more tamales!
As they traveled the state to touch base at the secure facility campuses in Edinburg, Brownwood, Giddings, Mart and Gainesville, Carter and her team also visited several halfway houses and probation departments.
“It was great to connect with our facility leadership teams,” Carter said. “We focused on alignment on how to achieve our mission and I’m optimistic about this year.”
(Photos: Top right, Evins Regional Juvenile Center; top left, Gainesville State School; below, l-r, Giddings State School; Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex; McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility)