by Michael G. Maness
"Alicyn D. Mitcham Softball Field" was designated by the Colmesneil ISD board at its meeting Tuesday evening, March 21, in a heartwarming meeting.
President Curtis Pitman convened the board meeting, asked Secretary Kenneth Adaway to lead the invocation, and Pitman led in the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags.
Superintendent Angela Matterson welcomed the girls softball team and a few parents, about 35 in all, including Heather Mitcham and Glenda Graham, the mother and grandmother of Alicyn Mitcham who died at the age of 17 in a tragic skiing accident in Colorado on February 15.
Matterson recommended to the board the naming of the field in young Mitcham's honor. She led the memorial statements with how much she felt that Mitcham had embodied all the qualities of a hero and role model, choking up a tad, but with clear, tender pride in Mitchams's heart for all. In Matterson's typical manner of including others, the students had been invited to be a part of the recommendation process, and the room seemed to shade in sorrow.
Each student had written what Mitcham had meant to them on a card with a recommendation to name the field in their dear friend's honor. A few barely finished for the tears. After each finished, they gave their cards to Mitcham's mother, sitting on the front row, seeming to hold her breath most of the time, trying to be strong for the students, herself a teacher there, too. Hardly a dry eye, some were so moved they could not stand and read their card.
When all had finished, Pitman put his hand over his chest, tears in his eyes too, noting that the board worked for them and felt their sorrow, choking up, and then he added that they also retire the number "3" in Mitcham's honor.
As though the spirit of young Mitcham hovered over all, the student's words reflected the best of Colmesneil High School softball. "The softball field was her home." "Her smile." "Her love for the game." "Alicyn gave everything she had." "She will always be with us."
And sweet Alicyn's mother—hardly able to talk—received yet again the hugs from all there, and everyone hugged each other, tears flowing again, the board members too.
As the students departed, it took just another minute for the board to recompose itself. This was a family. Everything else seemed downhill as Pitman proceeded to go through the agenda.
In succession, board approved all ten items of the substantial agenda, Matterson showing the important points from her computer projected onto a screen.
March was proclaimed "Celebrate Texas Public Schools." The technology plan was approved that will continue the use of computers and seek a lower cost broadband provider. The board approved the lower bid by Local Sanitation to come twice a week.
The board approved for Matterson to proceed with the pursuit of getting Colmesneil ISD designated as a "District of Innovation," a technical status that starts with the district already meeting and exceeding the TEA standards and frees the school to make more decisions locally on a host of issues.
Lake Tejas received a FEMA grant that will go to replacing the culvert once the bidding process is complete.
High School Principal Walter McAlpin was proud to note how well their students did in the UIL competition, including 9th-grader Julius Mabry who came away with the most of points over every other competitor. He also felt their students were above average on the technology front, which was also affirmed by Board Member Danny Brown.
Elementary School Principal bragged on their open house and also reflected how well their young students were doing with the computers, noting that they often took to them better than some of the parents.
A bid notice will be published soon from the school as it seeks to divest itself of some old buses and some cafeteria equipment.