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Trustees finalize personnel for new school year

by Dolores Hamilton
A large part of the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the Iowa Park School Board was devoted to preparing for the upcoming school year.
Twelve new teachers were hired. They include Mindy Dutton, Kidwell kindergarten teacher; Megan Bolding, Middle School ELA teacher; Lilian DeLuna, Middle School learning lab aide; Loretta Reed, Middle School special education aide; Jacobi Sidlauskas, Middle school boys P. E. coach; Melissa Wheeler, Middle School history teacher.
Also, Brian Davidson, High School science teacher; Sam Shirley, High School SS composite teacher coach; Drew Davidson, High School theater arts teacher; Martha McArthur, High School English/journalism teacher; Trent Yurcho, High School ELA teacher, and Laura Epps, High School English teacher.
Other newly-hired personnel include Heather Miller, Kidwell counselor; Jerry Cerny, technology; Sarah Taylor, High School Academic Coordinator; and Paige Liggett, Admin. Bldg. District Services Coordinator/PEIMS.
Resignations were accepted from Jeremy Kirk, Middle School teacher/coach; Brandi Neville, Middle School English teacher; Megan Franks, High School English/journalism/yearbook; Elizabeth Reynolds, High School science teacher; and Cindy Skjelstad, High School Academic Coordinator.
The retirement of Patricia Raby, Kidwell kindergarten teacher, and Janet Bowling, District Services Coordinator/PEIMS, was accepted.
No changes were made in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbooks, or the Employee Handbook for 2018-19.
A policy change was approved for DEC (Local) employee compensation and benefits. All employees shall earn five paid local leave days per school year in accordance with administrative regulations. Local leave shall accumulate to a maximum of 100 leave days.
The TTESS Calendar,which is an official calendar for teacher appraisals, was approved. Also approved was the inter-local contract for cooperative purchasing with HGAC Buy.
The contractual agreement with Vernon College for the 2018-19 nursing program was approved.
Permission was given for the high school fishing club to use the school name. The club is associated with the Texas High School Bass Association. It meets after school hours and tournaments are held on weekends. Membership is open to any student (boy or girl) who wants to join. There is no cost to the school.
The budget for 2018-19 was reviewed and Chief Financial Officer Sharon Godwin explained the sources of revenue and increases in expenditures for this year’s budget, which will have a deficit. Preliminary figures have total revenue at $18,457,755, and expenses of $18,732,411, leaving a deficit of $274,656. Godwin and Superintendent Steve Moody explained how the budget shortfall could be lower by the end of August.
On a positive note, Moody said, “We have a healthy fund balance of $5.6 million. We added $400,000 to it last year.” He said if everything remains the same the district could gain $300,000 in state funding for next year. Also, if enrollment continues to go up and values start coming back up, that will make a difference.
Trustees approved the Budget/Tax Calendar and Calculations and proposed tax rate of $1.33, the same as last year. There will be a public meeting on the budget and proposed tax rate on August 28. The board may adopt the budget and tax rate at that time.
In other business, architects from VLK were at the meeting and gave an update on facility planning. Jodi Schlaud gave the district’s preliminary STAAR/EOC results which were very good. An in depth story will be in next week’s issue of the Leader after the official results are in.
Trustees voted to retain the firm of Walsh, Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle for school attorney legal service, and the first reading of TASB Policy Update 111 was held by the board members.