Italy ISD Board renews professional contracts

The Italy School Board approved professional contracts at a meeting held Thursday evening. They renewed contracts for an additional year for Pam Luttrull, director of special programs; Carolyn Maevers, Stafford Elementary principal; and Craig Bales, athletic director.

Following a lengthy executive session, the board of trustees reconvened into executive session at 10:50 p.m. to announce the contract renewals. They approved all three positions unanimously.

In other business, the board adopted a resolution calling for a May 9 election to fill two seats currently filled by Ricky Boyd and Cheryl Owen. The election will be held in the Wayne Boze building on Main Street in a joint election held with the City of Italy.

Jimmie Malone, superintendent, said the city chose not to go into a joint election with the Ellis Emergency Services. The school board approved the joint agreement with the EES district as well; thus splitting the school’s 50% cost between the two entities.

Early voting runs from April 27 through May 5 in the ISD administrative office, 300 College Street, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Candidates may pick up an election packet from the superintendent’s office. The deadline is 5 p.m. on March 9 to submit packets.

The board named Monica Boyd early voting clerk and Kristi Dollar as alternate early voting clerk.

Employees Recognized
Two school employees – Jesus Perez and Patrick Anderson – were honored as Employees of the Month.

Perez received this honor in January but was unable to be at the meeting.

Perez started teaching band at Axtel after graduating from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He has been in Italy for three years.

“You have made an impact on the music program,” Malone told Perez. “I want you to know how much we appreciate your service. The band is not an easy thing to teach and I know you put in lots of hours.”

Anderson, a 17-year employee of the district, is head custodian at Stafford Elementary.

Malone said Anderson has done a good job in his leadership role.

Both received a ceramic apple and a Wal-Mart gift card.

From the public
Malone said two families had donated to the district.

He said Marty and Tina Haight donated $8,900 to the school district to repair the tennis courts on College Street.

Another couple, Ecidrio and Marelene Arrambide gave the district a $1,000 check to use at Stafford Elementary.

Two people addressed the school board regarding separate incidents occurring recently.

William Dillinger said he was at the meeting on behalf of his kids and his mother. He said someone in the district had mistreated both his kids and his mother.

He continued, “You wrongly fired my mother. There are three things you don’t do – mess with my family, my kids and my mother. I’m speaking up for the kids because nobody stood up for me when I was a kid.”

He referred to an incident that supposedly occurred in the school cafeteria. He alleged that a school employee took food out of the hands of his children. Malone stopped him from continuing because he was about to name the person involved in the incident. Malone said this incident needed to be discussed in executive session.

“Anybody jacks with my kids, I’ll tear them apart,” Dillinger warned.

Malone said they could meet in executive session when his mother was available to be there.

“I’m not going to be satisfied until it’s all taken care of. And I have a bad temper,” Dillinger warned again.

Another parent, Wendy Smith, addressed the board concerning an assault to her son that occurred on the school bus about four weeks ago.

She acknowledged that her son made a racial slur but defended him saying that African-American children in the neighborhood make the same racial slur to each other. She said her young son did not realize he was making a racial slur since he heard it being said by others in the neighborhood.

The next day her son and another child were assaulted up on the bus.

She blamed the school district saying there was not a monitor on the bus that day.

“The monitor was sick that day. You should have gotten someone else. If the monitor is absent, get a replacement.” She added, “If not, get cameras on the bus.”

Smith said she feels the boys are still a threat to her son. The offenders, she reported, were removed from the bus and sent to AEP for five days. “That’s not enough,” Smith said. “I don’t think this was handled properly. I want to know what the school board is going to do about this.”

Other business
Current enrollment is 619 with 343 at Stafford and 276 students at the high school.

With board approval, Malone said he was going to apply for a waiver with the TEA. State law allows schools who have more than 10% of the student population out of school for illness can request a waiver that would omit the count on Jan. 26.

The board also named Sharan Farmer as District Textbook Custodian; approved a 2009-2010 school calendar and instructed Malone to request bids for the school’s depository contract. The board approved a 2009-2010 school calendar.

Malone also presented the board with a legislative update from Austin.

Minutes from the previous meeting were approved and the financial report was approved. Current receipts are approximately 55.25% of expected revenue. Expenditures are at 45.11%.

The next meeting of the Italy School Board of Trustees is set for Tuesday, March 24.