At their regular meeting on December 8, trustees of the Blanco Independent School District approved the contract of Kathryn Rutherford for Director of Special Education effective July 1, 2009.
Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford expressed his enthusiasm for the trustees’ choice. “We are very excited about having Kathryn Rutherford as our Director of Special Education for the 2009-10 school year.
She brings with her 25 years of experience working with students with special needs. For the last four years she has been an Instructional Supervisor for the Hays-Blanco Special Education Co-op, with many of her responsibilities occurring here in Blanco. Her appointment to this position ensures not only a smooth transition as we embark upon providing our own special education program, but at the same time ensures a continuation of the quality of services our campus administrators, teachers, parents, and students have come to expect.”
Dr. Ford also reported progress on several of the athletic infrastructure improvements approved by the board in earlier meetings. He praised maintenance director Tony Petri and his crew for their hard work on completing the softball field building.
He also reported that the new weight room facility on the south side of the parking lot should be completed by Christmas. The baseball bleachers have not been installed; however, they should be ready by baseball season, according to the superintendent; and the new football bleachers should be complete by May.
Fromberg and Associates, the consulting firm hired to coordinate construction of new tennis courts, is waiting for a soil sample report before the next phase of construction can begin.
Dr. Ford commended the Blanco Panthers’ football team and coach Danny Rogers for “the way they represented us” in their win over Refugio in San Antonio last Saturday. He reported that the next playoff game will be held at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, next Friday night at 7:30pm. Tickets will be sold at Blanco High School through Thursday at 5:00pm, $8 for adults and $5 for students. School will run from 7:30am to 11:30am on Friday to allow driving time to Dallas.
DirtWorks’ Wayne Dworaczyk has reserved buses at a cost of $20 per person, which must be paid in order to reserve a seat. Gates at the stadium open at 6:00pm and the parking lot at 5:00pm. Cost for parking will be $5 per car, and cars should enter through Gate 3.
In other business, Keith Neffendorf of the firm Neffendorf, Klein, Horry, and Doss, P.C., presented the 2007-08 annual BISD financial audit. He reported that the district is in “a good financial position,” with net assets of over $17 million, net equity of $10 million, and a net profit of $1,842,000. Investments are in compliance with the Public Funds Investments Act. Neffendorf concluded, “The district has done a good job with its fund balance and use of its resources,” and attributed its position to the work of financial officer Kay Fraser and the trustees. A copy of the audit must be submitted to TEA in January.
Kay Fraser reviewed the district’s investment policy, as required by the Public Funds Investment Act. Fraser reported no changes since last year, with most investments in TexPool and the Lonestar Pool. She described the funds as “very liquid” and fully covered. The district holds over $5 million in investments.
A financial advisory services agreement was approved with a new firm, Specialized Public Finance, Inc. Representatives Dan Wegmiller and Jennifer Douglas, both of whom formerly worked with Blanco as part of First Southwest Company, were present to answer questions by the trustees.
Trustee Matt Herden called the decision to use a smaller, “more focused firm”, “a good move on our part.” Wegmiller said, “We are really excited about the new opportunities,” in the new firm, which already has 55 clients, and in his words, “is growing by the day.”
Dr. Ford announced that the district has met requirements for highly-qualified teachers, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. 100 percent of all Blanco teachers are rated as highly-qualified based on NCLB criteria.
He also announced that all trustees have fulfilled the number of training hours required for the year. Trustees’ hours are as follows: MaryAnn Weaver, 46; Matt Herden, 29.75; Bernie San Miguel, 27; Troy Immel, 23.5; Kirk Felps, 18.5; David Behrends, 10.25; and Charles Riley, 8.25.