School board extends Malone contract

The Italy School Board of Trustees extended Superintendent Jimmie Malone’s contract for an additional year Tuesday night at its monthly meeting. The vote was not unanimous, however, as Cheryl Owen and Curtis Riddle voted against extending the contract.

In other business, Malone named Lisa Jacinto Employee of the Month.

Jacinto, the mother of two boys, started her tenure with the district in August of 2006 as a technology aide. She is now secretary to the elementary principal.

Malone said besides her secretarial duties, she is a nurse, a counselor, a hugger while being firm and consistent. He said Jacinto does her job well, does it professionally and is able to keep a sense of humor,

Malone also honored the board members by presenting each of them with tokens of appreciation for the job they do. He reminded the board and those in attendance that the board members receive no financial compensation for their service to the district.

He read a letter from Ellis County Judge Carol Bush and a proclamation on behalf of the Ellis County Commissioners Court thanking board members for their service. Malone also gave each member a copy of a proclamation from Governor Rick Perry.

Both principals were present to update board members on benchmark TAKS testing.

Carolyn Maevers, Stafford principal, and Tanya Parker, junior high/high school principal, both said there are areas of concern that teachers have begun to address.

Maevers said a consultant from Region X has been to the elementary school to address some of the issues facing the teachers regarding the testing.

Parker said she plans to implement an individual plan for each student. Currently, she said 13 seniors need to pass required TAKS testing for graduation but felt confident that they could pass one of the two upcoming testing dates. An individual boot camp for more individualized training is set for each Saturday in February and after school.

Kevin Witte, technology director, updated the board regarding the current computer set-up and the programs now in place. He noted the need to begin upgrading to wireless capabilities.

Greg Shropshire, CPA with Patillo, Brown & Hill, reviewed the financial audit for 2008-2009. He said internal controls are in place and found no compliance issues.

Malone thanked Shropshire for his time but impressed upon him to get the audit to board members several days before the meeting rather than presenting the report to them at the board meeting.

Current enrollment, according to Malone, is 642 students – 343 at Stafford and 299 at the high school campus.

During financial reports, Monica Boyd, business manager, said the money market earned $1,087 in interest.

She also pointed out that the electric bill was significantly higher this month. She said the utility company discovered they were charging a rate lower than the approved contract and had been doing so since July of 2009. Once the utility company discovered the error, they added that underage to the current bill.

Boyd said the district has realized 38.93% of its revenues and spent 36.46% of its expenses.

The board also approved minutes of the Dec. 14 and Jan. 11 meetings and accepted the resignation of Robert Sollers effective at the end of the school year. They approved budget amendments and took no action regarding the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property.

The meeting adjourned shortly after 11 p.m.

The next board of trustee meeting is set for Monday, Feb.22.