The April meeting of the Blanco Independent School District’s Board of Trustees began with the Spotlights on Students and Personnel.
The Student Spotlight was presented by Middle School Principal Keitha St. Clair. She announced nine students that have recently broken BMS track records. “These kids have been phenomenal this year. It seems like every track meet… they break another record.” The events each student set a record in are: Will Granberg- 200 meter dash, Carly Haack- 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay, Pole Vault, Lily Avila- 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay, 4x400 relay, Taylor Kotfas- 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay, 4x400 relay, Hannah Srackangast- 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay, 4x400 relay, Kenzie Warner Warner- 100 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles, Pole Vault, Skylar Wiseman- shot put, Chloe Flores- 1600 meter run, and Johanna Villarreal-, 4x400 relay, 2400 meter run, 800 meter run, 400 meter dash, 1600 meter run.
The Personnel Spotlight was presented to PTO representatives, with special permission from the Board as they are not official employees. “These ladies spend enough time on the campus, and doing things for the school, that they do everything but get paid for it. ” said Elementary School Principal Linda Romano. Though only three ladies were able to attend the meeting, due to other obligations, a total of twelve were honored. “They’re my ‘Dedicated Dozen’.” said Romano. They are: District PTO President Lisa Barnett, Lori Anderson, Belinda Creswell, Veronica Hernandez, Veronica Jones, Kay Kuebel, Anya Ludolf, Krystal Mulvaney, Paige Murphree, Alisha Richnow, Jessica Schlinke, and Megan Topper. “They’re all mothers, most of them have full time jobs as well… I just want them to know how much they are appreciated.” Romano concluded.
Tentative staffing plans for the next school year were presented to the board by Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford and campus Principals. Notable changes were presented by Dr. Ford. The part-time direction of Federal and Administrative Programs has been eliminated and consolidated under the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. The Middle School has eliminated one language arts position. “The program has been restructured to provide more flexibility in meeting student needs.” explained Ford. The Middle School has added the position of an Assistant Band Director at the request of Band Director Brian Hecimovich. The Elementary School is adding one teaching position due to enrollment growth, and adding a new position; TAG and Enrichment Program teacher. There were no significant staffing changes being requested at the High School, though the Assistant Band Director at the Middle School would assist at the High School and Elementary School. “The expectations that we have [of our band] is so high, we need help there to meet those needs.” said Dr. Ford. The tentative plans were approved by the Board.
The Board election to be held May 10 was cancelled as Tim Nance and Larry Kuebel have filed for places 1 and 2 unopposed. Troy Immel will retire from the Board.
The Campus Improvement Plan was also presented to the board, It was approved without discussion. Information about the Plans will appear in the Blanco County News in a later issue.
The last item for Board approval was the purchase of two new “activity busses”. Dr. Ford explained that, in the past, the School District would expect to buy one new bus per year, but that the newer models of busses have a shorter life expectancy. Three buses are currently in “chronically bad shape” Dr. Ford reported. The district currently runs nine morning routes and ten afternoon routes. Dr. Ford told the board that two of these routes are near full capacity, and with an expected increase in enrollment, new routes will need be to be added. Four buses are designated as “activity buses”, mainly used for extracurricular activities. The new “activity buses” the district is looking at are upgraded with air conditioning and adjustable “activity” seats, luggage racks, and external storage compartments, much like charter buses. “Many of the extracurricular trips students take are long. They return late at night and are expected to return at their best in the morning.” said Dr. Ford. He also explained that, according to research done by High School Principal Dr. Barton, that these style buses are now “the rule rather than the exception” in most districts. Business Manager Kay Fraser told the board that the District does have the funds for the cost of each bus at $98,422. However, she did request the Board to consider payment options until the District was aware of the State Funding amount for the ‘14-’15 school year. The Board approved the purchase of the buses, and payment will be decided upon delivery.
After executive session, the Board recoveined and approved several items. They accepted the retirement notice of Nurse Peggy Pepper effective March 31; the resignation of Middle School Languarge Arts Teacher Mary Ann Johnson effective at close of the school year. They also approved the employment of Nurse Robin Johnson and the employment of Elementary Teacher Colton Clark for the 2014 – 2015 school year.