By TRAVIS M. SMITH
DUBLIN (April 20, 2015) – Monday evening’s Dublin ISD School Board meeting had a resignation, seven new hires, the sale of outgrown property, the purchase of new property and several students recognized for their academic and extracurricular efforts.
In just her second year of service on the DISD School Board, Dr. Sue Lewis chose to deliver her letter of resignation, citing the school district’s nepotism rule. Nepotism, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially giving them jobs.” Lewis has a relative in consideration for a teaching position, and her resignation was unanimously approved by the six voting members present.
“You have your all man board now,” a disgruntled citizen said, “you all can do whatever it is you want now. This is discrimination, and that’s about all that I have to say.”
Also unanimously approved, was the sale of the real property located at 1390 Harbin Drive and the purchase of 1195 West South Loop – both in Stephenville – by the Erath County Appraisal District.
“The building (at 1390 Harbin Drive) is very tight over there,” Jeff Weaver said. “It is well deserved and well needed. We have been saving up for this for quite a while and it will not cost the taxpayers any more money.”
When the old property on Harbin is sold, it should bring in close to $450,000 and will offset the cost of the new building, according to Weaver. The board did consider purchasing property in Dublin, but “the Stephenville location was just a better fit,” Superintendent Dr. Rodney Schnieder said. The board needs the approval of at least 14 of the 18 Erath County Appraisal District’s board members, and is currently three short, but sees no issue with obtaining the remaining signatures.
The board entered a closed executive session two separate times to discuss the hire of a new Director of Special Education and several other positions. Callie Mitchell – a Hico native – was unanimously approved by the board to assume the role of Director of Special Education. She assured the board members that she only “drives through Hico now, and will even wear green and gold on Fridays.”
Schneider announced, 95 percent of city taxes have been paid, totaling $3.3 million, and that the student enrollment is up from March.
“I’m very proud of that trend,” Schneider said. “It’s unusual. Usually around this time it is in a steep decline, but that trend is good and good for the budget.”
Teacher Appreciation Week was also passed for May 4-8, as the board cited the exceptional work exceeding state requirements over the past three years. They also unanimously approved for all school books for the 2015-16 school year to be bought under the TEKS guidelines. An increased budget for the Career and Technology department was also easily passed, with the majority of the new budget going to improvements to the agricultural department.
Numerous students were recognized for their academic and extracurricular accomplishments, including Academic and Extracurricular Scholars of the Month, Athletic Scholars, FCCLA, the Odyssey of the Mind team, Extracurricular Scholar of the Month, fifteen members of One-Act Play, and nineteen members of the UIL team.