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Weatherford ISD

Board remembers fallen colleague

Toby Taylor was active member


A somber start to the Weatherford ISD board meeting Monday (Feb. 12) left members and attendees in tears as a short remembrance took place for Toby Taylor.

Taylor, 53, passed away Feb. 3 following complications from the flu. 

“He will be missed,” said board president Mike Guest. 

Taylor joined the WISD board in November 2020 and was re-elected in 2023. He served as a Watch Dog Dad at Curtis Elementary, the campus he was assigned to as a trustee, and also served on the CTE Advisory Council. 

During an emotional invocation, board member Jeff Ford asked for continued prayers and thoughts for Taylor’s wife and children. 

After taking a moment to gather themselves, trustees then heard a campus report from Ikard Elementary by J.P. Kechnie, Executive Director of Facilities, on how the Facilities Program is progressing.

Kechnie highlighted the 25 employees who work with him and who specialize in many trades. He also laid out plans for the completion of a master plan by the end of the year and other initiatives. 

Ford asked whether there was an existing master plan in place. 

“[We are being] mostly reactionary,” Kechnie said. 

Superintendent Dr. Beau Rees said that without board direction, getting a master plan is a little more difficult to do since facilities encompasses a myriad of factors. 

Guest agreed and reiterated that the board needs to figure out how to get the dollars to spend to the department so it can be less reactionary and more proactive. 

The board is set to have a work session on the state of facilities – mostly regarding HVAC equipment – at 6 p.m. on March 4 and will use the information received in Kechnie’s report.

Additionally, board members:

Approved current board policy regarding volunteers in the district who are chaplains, as required by Senate Bill 763. The district allows chaplains in addition to staff counselors. 

Approved recommended curriculum by the School Health School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) regarding House Bill 3908, known as Tucker’s Law, that requires appropriate grade levels learn the dangers of opioids and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. SHAC committee members created Roos Choose Guidance Lesson for grades 6-12 that will be covered in the fall. 

Approved the submission of expedited waivers to limit the number of foreign exchange students to five per high school for the years of 2024–27. Five is the current number the district has in effect and aligns with other schools the same size as WHS. 


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