School board members take oath of office

Image: Oath — Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr. administered the oath of office to Marty Haight and Cheryl Owen.

Oath — Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr. administered the oath of office to Marty Haight and Cheryl Owen. (Alysa Kirton)

Ellis County Justice of the Peace Jackie Miller Jr. administered the oath of office to Marty Haight and Cheryl Owen, newly elected members of the Italy Independent School Board of Trustees, Monday evening. Owen won her second term in office and Haight replaces Ricky Boyd.

Boyd, who did not run for re-election, received accolades from Jimmie Malone, superintendent. Boyd served six years and Malone said his focus has always been on the students and employees.

“When I was hired, you didn’t micromanage me, you let me do my job,” Malone said. “And I appreciate that. Thank you for your service to this district.” Malone gave Boyd several parting gifts including a plaque and Gladiator watch.

Boyd thanked fellow board members, especially those who had to make tough decisions in recent years. He also thanked the staff who “stuck it out during the hard times.”

“This institution is important to this community.” Boyd added, “I hope you nothing but the best in the future.”

The board elected new officers by acclamation: Larry Eubank, president; Cindy Carter, vice president; and Cheryl Owen, secretary.

Malone introduced Celeste Carroll, his new secretary, who replaces Monica Boyd who has become the district’s business manager.

He also recognized Rochelle Helner, the May Employee of the Month. She received an apple and Wal-Mart gift card.

Helner, a fourth grade teacher at Stafford Elementary, is an IHS graduate. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University and has been with the district for 6 years.

Malone praised Helner for being one of those teachers who comes in, does their job and goes home. “You take care of your business and get the job done,” Malone said. “We appreciate it and look forward to many more years with you.”

The superintendent introduced Tyler Boyd, the 2009 IHS valedictorian. Malone presented Boyd, who has a 3.96 grade point average, with a Borders gift card. The salutatorian, Michael Vlk, was not present.

During the approval of the consent agenda, the board accepted the resignation of Scott Herald, junior high/high school principal. Malone thanked Herald for his service and wished him well in his new endeavor.

The board approved financial reports that revealed the district has received 73.88% of its revenues and has expended 69.98% of its expenditures. Boyd told the board that the district put one million dollars into a six-month certificate of deposit.

Malone informed the board that the district was purchasing mimio boards for each classroom with stimulus money. A mimio bar, a computer, and an LCD projector can convert a standard whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard.

Board member Curtis Riddle said he has seen the mimio board in operation at the elementary school and said the “kids interact with it well.”

The superintendent presented the board with preliminary 2009 property values from the Ellis County Appraisal District. He also presented a 5-year plan on HVAC and roofing needs should the TRE money continue to be allocated to the district.

The voters approved a TRE rate increase last year. Those funds should continue unless the Texas Legislature makes changes. The superintendent briefly updated the board on pending legislation that could affect the district should it pass.

Malone said Speed Hamby has coordinated with the roofers and those installing new hearting and air conditioning units. Installation and replacement should begin June 8. Bids will be opened June 9 to update the school’s lighting issues.

Current student enrollment is 628, up 25 from the same time last year. Refined average daily attendance is at 96.05%.

Boyd said all employees, who have not been fingerprinted as required by the Texas Education Agency, would do so on June 24 and 25.

The board also approved an update to the TASB Board Policy concerning donations and gifts more than $10,000, voted to sell a 1991 school bus through sealed bids, approved the board minutes of April 20 and May 12, ratified a waiver to the Texas Educational Agency for low-attendance days and renewed a cooperative agreement with Region 10 ESC for 2009-2010.

The board took no action following a brief executive session.

The next scheduled board meeting is set for June 15.