Relationship Community/Economic Development

Greetings everyone!  For the past several months, we have been working quietly with Frank and Kim Spillers (Global Horizons, LLC).  In this case, the “we” involves the school in partnership with Interstate Communications.  I’ve written an article for an upcoming Roadrunner Report on what we are attempting to do with this initiative; thought it may be wise to share that article here as well.  This is a rather unique approach to community and economic development – especially with a school taking a leading role – but the concept fits so beautifully for our rural I-35 school district.  Please feel free to shoot me any questions you may have after reading.


From the Desk of I-35 Superintendent Kevin Fiene


We’ve publicized this through our website and Facebook page, as well as discussed at Board meetings several times over the past six months.  A quick history on this initiative may prove useful as a review:

  • Relationship community/economic development focuses on rural areas where there is a strong presence of a local telephone company and plentiful access to high speed internet
  • Processes are used to help communities work together to optimize being “move-in ready and welcoming”
  • Recruitment efforts are focused on people with school-age children that have either the ability or desire to work from home because of access to high speed internet, telephone, etc., e.g., potential to bring jobs with them.

Interstate 35 Community Schools is partnering with Interstate Communications in working with Frank and Kim Spillers from Global Horizons, LLC.  We have met with the City Councils from New Virginia and Truro, and are scheduled to meet with the St. Charles City Council in November.  The next step in this process is to have an open meeting with Frank and Kim Spillers to learn more details about how all of this would work over the next 3-5 years.  This meeting is scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, November 14, 2016
  • 6:30 pm
  • High school library

All City Councils have been invited, as well as representatives from the school and Interstate Communications.  District patrons are both welcome and encouraged to also attend the meeting on November 14.

One may ask why a school is spearheading economic/community development as that is rather unusual.  The bottom line is one driving question:  “What is the one thing that ties together our communities of New Virginia, Truro, and St. Charles?”  The only answer we’ve come up with is the Interstate 35 Schools.  With controlled growth, we are pursuing the proverbial win-win-win situation: 1) the school benefits as school financing is based on student enrollment; 2) Interstate Communications benefits by potentially getting more customers; and 3) the communities benefit through an expanded tax base with a growing population.

If available, please join us to learn more on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 pm!

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