By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 17, 2014) — Stephenville ISD has a new Vice President and Chamberlain Elementary School will soon have a new principal.
The school board unanimously selected trustee Gary Sult as its new Vice President. He replaces Doug McLemore, who resigned after more than six years on the board, citing workload as he takes over pastoral duties at First Presbyterian Church of Stephenville.
The board elected not to fill the seat vacated by McLemore. Trustees had the option of appointing someone to the seat, but Superintendent Matt Underwood advised there may be concern from the community with the appointed trustee holding an “incumbent’s advantage” when the spot is up for election in May.
Jennifer Salyards will be the new principal at Chamberlain, serving grades 1-2. Salyards has been with Birdville ISD and begins duties at Chamberlain on Jan. 5.
UIL Swimming was discussed as part of the superintendent’s report, but was not presented as an action item. A group of district parents proposed swimming as a high school sport at the board’s October meeting.
Underwood has been researching the matter, but said he has not received a formal statement from Tarleton concerning the availability and costs of facilities, and was therefore not comfortable presenting the board with an estimated cost of the potential new sport.
“Surprisingly, after digging into the numbers, we did find 54 schools listed in the 5A classification (of swimming) that are 4A schools (like Stephenville),” Underwood informed trustees. “But even though they are listed as participating in swimming, they may not have anyone competing that year.”
Underwood cited two primary concerns with adding swimming – cost and facilities.
“We’ve lost a little enrollment and are expecting a $400,000 shortfall,” he explained, adding, “I’ve heard (informally) through the administration at Tarleton that their pool may not be as available as we thought.”
Underwood said he hopes to have more information including something formal from Tarleton to present trustees at their December meeting.
The board recognized several high-achieving student groups, including all-state Jazz Ensemble, the area-qualifying Yellow Jacket Marching Band that just missed reaching state, and the area champion Honeybee volleyball team.