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Hawkins ISD Board of Trustees

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Gym available for graduation; Kevin White: HS principal
By JOHN SPARKS

 Following expressions of concern by trustees about slipping construction schedules at April's meeting of the Hawkins Independent School District, both the architect and the owner of the general contracting firm reassured the board at the May meeting held Monday, May 5 that the gymnasium will be completed and turned over to the district in time for the graduation. The board also filled the post of principal of the high school with the hiring of Kevin White.

In April's board meeting, a number of schedule concerns were voiced by members of the board of trustees during the presentation of construction progress by architect Brice Davis of Thacker-Davis. Primary among those concerns was the issue of a completion date for the new gymnasium. Trustees insisted it must be completed in time for high school graduation on June 6. Frustrated to hold someone accountable, trustees finally asked Davis to make arrangements for an official from WRL to appear at the next board meeting (Monday, May 5) so that their questions could be asked directly of the contractor.

William R. Levine, owner of WRL Contracting, Inc. appeared at the May meeting and satisfied trustees concerns about the gymnasium and indicated affirmation of a new overall construction schedule that Davis presented. Levine indicated that increased staffing by various sub-contractors had permitted improvements in the delivery dates of certain project areas.

In other construction related issues trustees approved funding of two proposal requests for work that was not in the original bid documents. The support system for the operable panel separating the elementary portion of the cafeteria from the junior high portion was approved at an added cost of $9,098. A second proposal request covering the removal and replacement of a mortar bed/floor tile bed with poured concrete in the former kitchen area in the high school was approved at a "not-to-exceed" cost of $14,566.75

Trustees also filled the post of principal of the high school created by the pending departure of Charles Lefall, who has served for the past three years. A citizens search committee and the administration recommended the hiring of Kevin White to replace Leffall for 2008-2009. Trustees followed the recommendation and signed White to a two-year contract at $70,000 (see related story elsewhere in this issue).

In other personnel related matters Superintendent Dan Rose announced the resignations effective at the end of the school year of Kim Sines, a junior high counselor and James Powers, the high school chemistry and physics teacher. These resignations follow the resignation of a high school math teacher last month. Earlier in the meeting's public comment period, Frank Rucker, a Hawkins citizen and former board member expressed concern about the losses of teachers and asked if additional salary and or other financial incentives would help the district attract and retain good teachers.

Superintendent Rose said that competition for teachers does appear to be heating up with many school districts in the Metroplex and in larger cities offering signing bonuses and other incentives. It is a growing problem for smaller districts across the state.

During discussion regarding a budget amendment to move surplus funds totaling $75,000-to-$80,000 into the food and transportation departments to cover extradorinary cost increases in fuel ($15,000) and food (55,000-to-$60,000). Rose and Business Manager Robert Fair discussed these rising costs and how much of an impact they will have on next year's budget deliberations for the trustees. Rose called the rising costs of fuel and food a "crisis issue" not only for schools, but also for the next state legislature.

In other matters, trustees: - agreed to have the administration pursue needed improvements in the fence and fence line on the northern boundary of of the school district property. Preliminary cost estimates are in the $10,000-to-$12,000 range.

- heard a report on school enrollment and attendance.
- adopted certain local policy updates as recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).


The next regularly scheduled meeting of the HISD Board of Trustees is set for Monday, June 2 at 7 p.m. Special meetings of the board may be held with 72-hour advance public notice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2009 16:32  

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