by Michael G. Maness
Colmesneil ISD Board president Curtis Pittman convened the board, and secretary Kenneth Adaway led the invocation at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening, June 17. On the consent agenda, the minutes from a special board meeting on June 4 were approved, where the board had approved the hiring of Edd Thomas Trotter as the school's new athletic director.
Later, Trotter said, "I am excited to come to Colmesneil and plan on building and continuing their success." Originally from Nacogdoches, for the last seven years he has been at Diboll ISD as junior high athletic coordinator and head baseball coach from 2009-14, where their baseball team made several regional and area finals every year from 2011 to 2014. He also has served West Sabine ISD, Shelbyville ISD, and Huntington ISD. He has a B.A. from SFA and a M.A. from Walden University.
Elementary school principal Yvette Carlton reported some outstanding stats on the recent STAAR analysis. Nearly all of the grades reported average test results above the state average. For example, third grade reading was 92 percent, up from 83 percent last year, while the state average was 76 percent. Sixth grade math was 86 percent, in a state average of 78 percent. Many of the averages were up ten or more points from last year.
High school principal Walter McAlpin also reported increases, with a whopping 100 percent in eighth grade reading, in a state average of 82 percent. Eighth grade math was at 91 percent, in a state average of 79 percent.
Both Carlton and McAlpin were thankful and proud for their teachers and students.
Superintendent Angela Matterson reported that Lake Tejas would be starting swimming lessons, proud that several of their students were certified, and the money earned would go for scholarships. The large school billboard that was removed when the Family Dollar was constructed will find a new home, likely courtesy of board member Jim Carlton, who will report back next month with prospects for a location.
The board discussed at length the Pre-K program for the up-coming year. Matterson was excited that they had 31 prospects, 13 of which qualify for full state funding. The board approved for the school to move ahead and allowed for a $225 monthly tuition for those kids who did not qualify for state aide, encouraging Matterson and Carlton to work with parents who might have trouble paying the monthly tuition.
Matterson was especially proud to report that 82.6 percent of their teachers completed the anonymously recorded TELL Texas State Survey of school-based licensed educators given earlier in the year and required by law in Texas HB 2012. Colmesneil was on page one of the 31-page report, 16th from the top in Texas in a list of 1,228 schools with 82,979 total responses. See the survey and list at TELLTexas.org. Sadly, within the state, 1,000+ schools had less than 50 percent of their teachers reporting, 800+ < 25 percent, 500+ < 10 percent, and 200+ with zero reporting. And, so often in the news lately, only 8.03 percent of Beaumont ISD's 1,631 teachers responded. Matterson beamed and stressed how important it was for their leadership to have responsive teachers, saying, "We utilize and need good teachers' feedback."
On their transportation needs, a lively discussion ensued. Matterson will be looking at the purchase of a suburban-type vehicle to avoid both the excessive cost of refunding staffer's vehicle use and the waste of using full-size buses for trips with few staff and students.
The board adjourned proud of their teachers and students.