School board names principal, director of special programs

The Italy School Board of Trustees named Tanya Parker the new junior high/high school principal and Penelope Mattson the Director of Special Programs at its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

Parker, assistant principal at Timberview High School in Mansfield, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and M.Ed. in Education Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington. She is working toward a Ph. D in Curriculum & Instruction from The University of North Texas.

She was principal at Maypearl Secondary Schools and has been employed with the Weatherford ISD and Burleson ISD.

Mattson received her Associate of Arts from Weatherford College and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cameron University. She obtained her Master of Science Degree and Principal Certificate from Texas A&M in Commerce.

Currently, Mattson is employed as Special Education Coordinator/Educational Diagnostician with Forney ISD. She has also been employed with the Mesquite ISD, Wylie, ISD and Lewisville ISD.

In new business, the board voted to change the district’s depository contract for 2009-2011. The board received proposals from both local banks. Jimmie Malone, superintendent, said both proposals were similar.

Mike Boyd, senior vice president with the First State Bank of Rice, was present to answer questions from board members.

Malone said the First State Bank of Rice agreed to give the school an interest rate of two percent on a $1,000,000 certificate of deposit, something no other area bank would offer. At the same time, he said he appreciated the scoreboard donated by Citizens National Bank.

Following a brief discussion, the board voted to move their banking business to First State Bank of Rice. The depository change will become effective Sept. 1.

The board approved the lone bid for the disposition of a 1991 school bus. The bid for $1,501 came from the First Baptist Church of Italy. Paul Cockerham, a member of the church, abstained from voting.

The board also approved a bid from Lime Energy of Austin for the installation/retrofitting of lighting at both schools. Clint Hulsey, with Hulsey Engineering, said Lime Energy turned in a bid for $132,807.85. This bid was about $2,000 less than the second bid submitted.

The board approved the Ellis County Appraisal District proposed operating budget for 2010 and extended the district’s independent financial audit through Pattillo, Brown & Hill. The proposal varies from $12,500 to $13,000.

Trustees approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Italy for the maintenance of the George E. Scott Park in the 300 block of College Street.

Kevin Witte, technology director, presented the board with a proposal to upgrade the phone system district-wide. He explained that the current phone system is antiquated and is becoming impossible to find replacement parts.

He received a quote from CMC Network Solutions of Garland for $19,172.34. This would create a single telephone system for both campuses. Installation would take four to six weeks after purchase. He also discovered an e-rate program the district has not been utilizing. This program, in effect for 11 years, gives back 80% of these costs to the district. Trustees approved the bid.

Craig Bales, athletic director, reported there were 11 different sporting events offered at the school this past year. Eight of those teams made it into post-season play with seven of those teams making it further than the first round. One sporting event advanced to State competition.

Bales said the district had a small graduating class and a large eighth grade coming into high school. He said athletics as a whole was successful in 2008-2009 and expected more success in the coming years.

Larry Eubank, board president, read two letters to the board. One was from Cherilyn Davis praising Malone for his professionalism, his positive attitude and his character. The second letter was from Rita Hodges, County Extension Agent Family & consumer Sciences. She lauded Ann Hyles and the FCCLA efforts in the 2009 Ellis County Youth Expo-Creative Arts Division.

Bryant Cockran requested placement on the agenda in July regarding an incident at the school cafeteria. He wants to know the policy and procedures regarding children eating in the lunchroom.

Malone reported that final enrollment was 627 and refined average daily attendance was 584.

Trustees approved financial reports, minutes from the previous meetings, 2009-2010 campus handbooks and improvement plans.

The next school board meeting is set for July 20.

Comment by Tricia Casey, June 25, 10:37am

It really shouldn’t make me any difference one way or the other since I actually do not live in Italy or have any affiliation with the school any longer but it really upset me when I read that the school was moving their banking business to First State Bank of Rice. During the time I spent in the booster club in Italy no business in town contributed more to the school than CNB. Why would you vote to move the banking business to a bank outside of your own town? Was the difference in the interest rate worth possibly losing other donations from local banks? Will First State Bank of Rice put up new scoreboards at the baseball and softball fields? Will First State Bank of Rice give out scholarships to Italy students, contribute in other areas where needed? When I called CNB and approached them about the scoreboard, they were excited about helping out. They told me from the very beginning they would put up a scoreboard whether they could get anyone else to contribute to it or not and they did! All you have to do is look around at every school in Ellis County and see who is supporting them….its CNB. CNB is a huge supporter of every school in the county. They put a lot of advertising dollars to work within each school….scoreboards, stadium chairs, lawn chairs, cushions, footballs, t-shirts, etc… All of CNB’s donated items to our booster club turned into quick cash to use for other much needed items, all to benefit the students of Italy. Will First State Bank of Rice, home of the Rice Bulldogs, help out our Italy Gladiators?