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Trustees hire second full-time officer

by Dolores Hamilton
The Iowa Park school district added a second full-time police officer Thursday after school trustees approved hiring Jason Owen as a police officer for W.F. George Middle School.
Owen, who has been employed by the Iowa Park Police Department, will join the school district’s Police Chief Ray Schultz to add security on the district’s campuses. The school district will continue to hire part-time officers to help with the elementary schools.
Other new hires after the board met in executive session include Becky Holster, Kidwell special education teacher; Shawnee Powell, Kidwell PPCD aide; Lani Hudgens, Bradford special education aide; Tammy Holland, Bradford special education aide; Kelly Fields, middle school school nurse, LVN.
Also, Desire Hardman, middle school learning lab aide; Gabriel Pena, high school Spanish teacher; Ashley Smith, high school agriculture/science teacher; and Jacalyn Cook, high school ELA teacher.
Resignations were accepted from Annetti Grinnell, Kidwell special education teacher; Payton Jackson, high school teacher/coach; and Tiffany Holland, high school agriculture science teacher.
In other business the contract for services by Region 9 Education Service Center for 2018-19 was approved, and lunch prices for the next school year were approved and will remain the same. They include: Kidwell Elementary, $2.25; Bradford Elementary, $2.55; W.F. George Middle School, $2.85; Iowa Park High School, $2.85; Adults (all campuses) $3.75; and Guests (all campuses) $3.75. The district will continue to provide breakfast free of charge for all district students.
Results of the 2017-18 preliminary STAAR-EOC tests were given. “We did very well. Our students and teachers succeeded well on testing,” said Superintendent Steve Moody. “We are above the state in almost every area. Bradford Elementary, W.F. George Middle School and the high school outscored the state in all areas.”
In an update on technology, the trustees were told that computer projector boards are being added at Bradford Elementary, middle school and high school.
The board discussed employee local leave days in which the state gives five days and school districts give additional days. In the past, the Iowa Park school district has been giving one day, and the board voted to increase that to five extra days with accumulation up to 100.
During a preliminary review of the budget for 2018-19, trustees discussed several items to be added. They include an increase in the amount allotted for student meals when they travel, two or three percent pay raises across the board, covering the increase in insurance for employees, and band instruments. These will be incorporated into the new proposed budget and board members will look at them again when they have all the numbers.
During the superintendent’s report, Moody said school enrollment at the end of the year was 1,828. Dustin Hostas was appointed delegate and Brad Green alternate for the TASB Conference. Tim Kingcade reported on the summer maintenance projects taking place.