School district hires three new teachers

The Italy School Board of Trustees replaced three teachers Monday evening at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

After reconvening into executive session at 9:56 p.m., the board approved the hiring of Marilyn Seidlitz as art teacher at the high school. They approved the hiring of Theresa Cockran as a third grade teacher and Kristi Holley as sixth grade ELA teacher at Stafford Elementary.

These three replace resignations recently received from Jessica Emmett, Jennifer Jones and Penny Rossa.

In other business, the board named Penny Mattson, director of special education, as district administrator in the absence of the superintendent. Jimmie Malone, superintendent, said Pam Luttrell, the former special education director, served in that capacity last year.

Upon recommendation from Tanya Parker, newly hired junior high/high school principal, the board voted to add that a senior placed in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) the last six weeks of school would not be allowed to walk across the stage at graduation. They will, she explained, receive their diploma but will not walk across the stage with fellow graduates. This addition will be included in the Student Code of Conduct for the upcoming year.

The board also gave the district approval to investigate an Optional Flexible Year Program (OFYP). Malone said the principals will take this option to their campuses for further evaluation.

During financial reports, the district has realized 91.38% of its revenue and has expended 85.52% of its expenditures. The board approved all financial records as presented.

During the superintendent’s report, Malone said the business manager has prepared a tentative budget based on current law and one with stimulus funds added. The preliminary budgets are based on 585 average daily student attendance.

The board scheduled a budget workshop for Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. to discuss the budget in depth. A second meeting, if needed, is tentatively set for Aug. 10 at 6 p.m.

Malone also reported that the roofing and lighting projects for both campuses are near completion. He explained that there are minor issues that are in the process of being corrected.

The board convened in executive session early in the meeting after Bryant Cockran requested an audience with the school board to discuss a matter occurring at the end of the school year. The board took no action on the matter in open session.

Malone gave special recognition to David Wood who filled in as business manager following the resignation of Laurice Marshall. Malone said Wood kept the district financially sound and was a loyal employee.

Wood said he spent nine months with the district and, addressing the board, said he enjoyed working here and getting to know the board. However, he assured them that Monica Boyd, the current business manager, is on top of things.

The board also acknowledged a letter received from Russ and Kelly Lewis in appreciation to Coach Stacy McDonald for the female sports camp at Italy. They said coaches Craig Bales and Kyle Holley had done the same thing for the boys programs and was especially excited to see this done for the female programs as well.

The board approved the following items:

  • Minutes of June 23 and July 14, 2009;
  • 2009-2010 PDAS appraisers;
  • 2009-2010 District Improvement Plan;
  • 2009-2010 junior high/high school Code of Conduct;
  • Membership for retainer with Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Aldridge & Gellegos, P.C. for legal services;
  • A resolution approving Ellis County 4-H under Texas Administrative Code; and
  • Appointment of Mark Arnold, Page Bishop and Rita Hodges as adjunct faculty.

The school board’s next meeting is set for Monday, Aug. 17.