The Levelland ISD Board of Trustees met Thursday night in a regular meeting. The full report from that meeting is below……
1) The official returns from the Bond Election on May 11 was certified by the board which makes the returns official. The board also certified the returns from the District 1 and District 3 Trustee Election.
2) Superintendent Kelly Baggett presented a plaque to outgoing trustee Joyce Johnson for 9 years of service to the district.
Johnson said it was an honor and I feel blessed to have served in a district that allowed me to be a servent for them. I’m glad to go out on a positive note, thanking the voters for passing the bond issue.
3) The school board elected F.E. Shaheen as board president, Glen Smith as Vice President, Rusty Gibson as Secretary.
4) The board also designated Paul Ochoa as the delegate for the TASA/TASB Fall Convention, Rusty Gibson will be the alternate in the event Ochoa is not able to attend.
The board then began the Public Forum portion of the meeting. It was a packed house with standing room only. Several people spoke to the board concerning the non extension of the contract for head Girls Basketball Coach Terri White. 2 employees of the district whose contract was also not extended at the last meeting spoke. A summary of those comments are below…….
Terri White–She spoke to the board in regards to contract non extension. She did not receive phone call until after the fact that board had voted 4-3 to not renew her contract. She noted she was recommended by her athletic director, principal and superintendent and then board went against that recommendation. She pointed out that she always felt she met the mission of Levelland ISD. It has always been my philosophy to lead by example and to be a productive citizen. This job has meant being there for student athletes through all facets of life. She will complete her 20th year as teacher and coach for Levelland ISD and her 13th year as head girls basketball coach, 12 of those 13 years the team has advanced to the playoffs. She thanked the board for their time, she received a standing ovation of a standing room only crowd.
Stacey Brown spoke concerning her contract not being extended at the last board meeting. She also pointed out that she was also recommended by her principal and superintendent in the past several years. She pointed out she was not notified of the contract non-extension until Friday morning after the board meeting and after it was broadcast by local radio. She pointed out that she served as the lone counselor for the high school campus for 21 weeks as her co-worker was out of the office by Doctor’s order. She pointed out the chief complaint she was told was that she was inaccessible to parents and students. She pointed out that she felt people were not fully aware of circumstances. She did state that if she is on the phone concerning a student matter or is counseling a student she is behind closed doors and stated that will not change. She did say that phone messages are returned within 24 hours. She asked the board to reconsider the extension of her contract.
Amanda Davis spoke concerning contract non extension for her position. She said it is saddening that she has to stand before the board for this reason. She felt she had done the best possible for her job based on positive feedback from her supervisors including the principal and superintendent. She was upset that the board would ignore the 60 plus years experience of her principal and superintendent to renew her contract. She also feels the board did not follow their own policy in the non renewal.
Several parents and even past players spoke to the board concerning the non extension of Terri White’s contract. Some spoke in support of the coach while others spoke against the coach and thanked the board for their decision, adding that it was time to start the search for a new coach.
Abel Rodriquez also spoke to the board urging them to re-consider before they approve the hiring of a second athletic trainer since enrollment is declining. He said he found on the Texas High School Coaches website that the district was looking to hire another athletic trainer.
The board acted on a recommendation of the School Health Advisory Committee concerning dental screenings and sealants for 3rd graders. It was noted that Doris Reding Jackson, Foundation Director and Social Services Director for Covenant Health System in Levelland and Julie Flatt with Covenant Health System in Lubbock recommended this program for eligible third graders starting next fall in order to help support student wellness. Parent permission would be required for participation. Local dentists would go to the campuses to provide the service. Program has been done in other districts in the area. It would be free to the parents. Four local dentists have agreed to provide the service. It was approved.
The board discussed changing from a 2 year contract to a 1 year contract. The Supt. noted that this was brought up in the April meeting. He provided some background information concerning law as it relates to this matter. It was also pointed out that many districts in this area currently use a 1 year contract following their probationary contract. The Supt. asked the board to consider changing its policy to award a 1 year contract following probationary period–it was pointed out that current staff would be grandfathered in if they are currently on 2 year contract or approved for 2 year contract in April meeting or are currently on a probationary contract and was hired prior to the 2013-2014 school year. Motion was made by Tania Moody after discussion to table action on this item at this time. Board members voted 4-3 with Moody, Gibson, Himango and Etheridge voting to table.
The board heard several reports…..
The board heard a report on the March exit Level TAKS Retest results. All students eligible for graduation for 2013-2014 will graduate–they have all passed the exit level retests.
The board heard a report on the Hockley County Appraisal District audit. The audit is available online for the public to view. It was a clear audit and it was noted that they did operate within budget.
The Levelland ISD Activities Fund Report–The board received a report on the various activity fund balances throughout the district. It was noted that the Superintendent has reviewed detailed reports.
Trustee Glen Smith thanked Nick Williams and Kelly Baggett for their work in the many presentations concerning the bond issue that he feels certainly helped the issue to pass.
Superintendent Kelly Baggett reminded the board members of many upcoming activities…..
The board also handled personnel matters, approving retirements and resignations. They also approved some new hires.