National Merit Scholars honored
Derik Moore/Special to The Community News: Weatherford High School students were honored at the Thursday, Oct. 15 meeting of the WISD School Board for being recognized in the National Merit Scholar Program.
Pictured (ABOVE, from left) are Beau Black, Commended Scholar; Nathan Collier, Semi-Finalist; Terrell Saltarelli, Commended Scholar; and WISD Board Member Kip Hooks. [BELOW] Spencer Christiansen with Board Member Kip Hooks (not pictured is Stephanie Novak, Commended Scholar; and Laramie Rich, Commended Scholar)
Derik Moore/Special to The Community News
By Jordan Young and Derik Moore
Members of the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees heard a series of campus and departmental reports as part of the Thursday, Oct. 14 meeting in the District Services Building Board Room.
Grant Priess, WISD Director of Safety and Security, said in his energy management annual report that the District had an overall 14-percent energy reduction during the 2009-10 school year.
“The state has pushed school districts throughout the state to have a 5-percent reduction in energy savings,” Priess said. “Our District has nearly tripled that recommendation.”
Board member Col. Kim Olson (Ret.) also asked Priess if he would look into the possibility of capturing rain water for conservation at the new agricultural facility located southeast of the high school campus.
Priess also said in his transportation report that student ridership on buses has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
“Currently, Durham School Services averages 1,825 students each day on 47 AM and PM routes,” he added. “This does not include 50 shuttle buses that run daily from the secondary campuses to other educational facilities.”
Priess said one of the department’s major initiatives is to reduce the total amount of time students are riding on the buses each day. He also explained that WISD’s boundaries are unique because the total square miles are long north and south, but short east and west.
“Some of our buses have to go as far as 25-30 miles out just to begin their routes,” Priess said. “This school year, we began a pilot program with five single-route buses (including both elementary and secondary students) hoping to minimize the ridership time.”
In other action, Crockett Elementary Principal Debbie Braudaway presented her Principal’s Report for her campus.
She said although Crockett Elementary has been a TEA “Exemplary” campus for the past three years, her staff is not completely satisfied until 100-percent of the students pass each subject of the TAKS test.
“We are making great strides in reaching our goal, and our TAKS scores were 100-percent across the board in science for the 2009-10 school year,” Braudaway said. “In fact, our lowest percentage in any subject area was 92 percent – and we are very proud of that.”
One additional report was provided by WISD Director of Communications Derik Moore, which included data from the 2009-10 school year. Additionally, he talked about the major goals and initiatives for the 2010-11 school year that included the recent tax ratification election, a new district Web site, and other media-related items in the near future.
Tracy Ray, WISD Assistant Superintendent for Business, also conducted a public hearing on the District’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report.
According to the Texas Education Agency Web site, the purpose of the financial accountability rating system is to ensure that school districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.
Other agenda items approved at Thursday’s meeting include:
Consent Items (tax report for August 2010; comparison of revenues and expenditures to budget; investment reports; cash position by bank account; consider 2010-11 Campus Attendance Review Committee; and consider expulsion of Tison Middle School student)
Agreement to support a letter-writing campaign regarding a school finance overhaul
Restructuring of Series 2010 bonds
FFA out-of-state trip to the National FFA Convention in Indiana
Administration’s recommendation to request a TEA maximum class size waiver
National Merit/College Board Scholars: Six students were recognized for earning National Merit Commended Scholar or National Merit Semi-Finalist status. These students were Oscar Black (Commended Scholar), Spencer Christiansen (Semi-Finalist), Nathan Collier (Semi-Finalist), Stephanie Novak (Commended Scholar), Laramie Rich (Commended Scholar), and Terrell Saltarelli (Commended Scholar).
Performing Arts Association of Weatherford (PAAW): The Performing Arts Association of Weatherford has been a partner of our school district since 1982. Their mission is to provide a variety of cultural experiences that will enrich the educational opportunities for our students and encourage their appreciation of the fine arts. Each year they send entire grades (grades 3-9) on fine arts field trips. For example, each year they send our fourth graders to the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth to see the Fort Worth Symphony perform. Other grades take a trip to the Durant Auditorium to see the Fort Worth Children's Opera, musicals performed by national touring companies, and see Cal Lewiston and the Weatherford College Jazz Band. These field trips provide cultural experiences that can spark an interest in the fine arts. Every year, they donate between $12,000-15,000 to provide these field trip opportunities. This year the PAAW hosted a luncheon and fashion show. Board members include:
Julie Swain - President
Karen Novak and Ann Huggins – Co-Vice Presidents
Becki Lee - Secretary
Pam Walker - Treasurer
Elane Hardaway - Artistic Director
Other members include Elizabeth Baker, Lori Hill, Kathy Porter, Charlotte LaGrone, M.J. McDaniel, and Bel Wise.
The next regular-scheduled Board meeting is Nov. 11 beginning at 7 p.m. in the District Services Building Board Room.