Blanco Independent School District (BISD) called an election for May 9 during regular session on Monday, Jan. 12 in the high school library.
Places 3 and Place 4 are up for consideration during this election cycle. Kirk Felps and Darrel Wagner, the incumbents respectively, both said they would seek reelection.
The calling of the election coincided with School Board Appreciation Month.
"I want to thank and recognize the citizens who serve on our school board," said BISD superintendent Dr. Buck Ford. "School board members give countless hours working to make public education and Blanco ISD the best it can be for every child."
Ford noted the board has responsibility over a $10 million annual budget, 994 students, and 164 employees spanning three campuses.
"I commend them for their commitment to school quality, their advocacy for our children and their support for Blanco public schools," Ford added. "We proudly salute these education advocates for providing leadership, student achievement, academic programs, school funding and school facilities."
While trustees appreciated the platitudes of the superintendent, it was the presentations by children that made board members smile.
"Just like the sun in the sky, we appreciate your work to look over us and guide us," said Evelyn Trammell, a fifth grader. Her sentiments were representative of those authored to each school board trustee.
The school board is comprised of Charles Riley, Bernie San Miguel, Matt Herden [president], Tim Nance, Larry Kuebel, Wagner and Felps.
Newly promoted Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Programs Dr. Dustin Barton updated trustees on the district's Texas Academic Progress Report.
"In previous years we have reviewed the relevant literature on college readiness, reported on college and career readiness programs at the three campuses, reported on our college readiness program with Austin Community College, and have reported on how our curriculum, instructional, professional and developmental programs support our overall design to achieve our goals," Barton said.
The school district meets and/or exceeds all state standards in these disciplines, and Barton credited the experienced staff at BISD. The school district has a very low turnover rate [7.4 percent teacher retention] compared to the rest of the state average [16.2 percent].
He said the experienced staff also played a role in the success of the second report Barton delivered to trustees. Each year, the Texas Education Code Chapter 39 requires each district to issue an academic performance report.
This report examines the district's overall campus performance objectives. Every campus must exceed state standards, including the student dropout rate, as well as maintaining a "safe, orderly, and drug-free environment" to students. In all the standards set forth by the state, BISD is performing nicely, with a miniscule dropout rate, and virtually no drug-related arrests that require law enforcement intervention.
BISD athletic director Danny Rogers was honored as the school district's employee of the month.
"Coach Rogers came to Blanco ISD in 1993," Ford said. "Following the 2001 season, after serving as our defensive coordinator, Coach Rogers was named the athletic director. Over the course of the last 13 years, our overall athletic program has been recognized as one of the best in the region. Both our boys and girls programs field teams that are well prepared, work hard, represent our school with pride, and has carried on our legacy of success. Our coaching staff is stable and works as a team. Our coaches are good, have high expectations and are devoted and loyal to our district."