by Michael G. Maness
Colmesneil ISD will ramp up repairs to Lake Tejas after hearing a lengthy report from camp managers Jason and Tracey Powell at the ISD board meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 19.
After convening by President Curtis Pittman and an invocation by Secretary Kenneth Adaway, the board immediately swore in returning and new members, including Pittman, Danny Brown, and Kenneth Graham, the three repeating the pledge from Robyn Bass.
Lake Tejas will be hosting the fourth annual Triathlon and Duathlon on Saturday, April 12, 2014 (LakeTejasTriathlon.com), but several repairs would be critical, reported the Powells. The piers, dam, and drainage and a host of other concerns captivated the board and motivated them to immediately look at setting aside $25,000 to move ahead.
Mrs. Powell also reported with great pride how their Life Guard Training Program is now nationally accredited, granting the student a certification qualifying them to work as anywhere in the U.S. for still-water rescue. Mr. Powell's attention to detail ran the gamut, indicating a studious attention to care for all aspects to the school's precious lake, from safety, handicap access, senior accommodations, campers, and his resourcing for repairs.
The board and Interim Superintendent Yvette Carlton looked at several ways to expedite camp repairs, thankful for the ever ready help from Commissioner Mike Marshal and the past help from the Gib Lewis Prison, looking to their aid in the future. Carlton helped the board with the status on several material acquisitions already underway for Lake Tejas (LakeTejas.net).
High School Principal Walter McAlpin used an interactive Power Point to present the results of several studies and projects. Proud that several of their 32 seniors had already decided on universities, with six looking at the military, he proceeded to summarize their proactive networking with several colleges to further challenge their students to look ahead after graduation. The students had raised $1,090 already for their trip to New York. Their agriculture shop renovation was under way and McAlpin requested help to install two overhead doors, so they could close in the shop.
The board also approved Marshal to serve another term on the Tyler County Appraisal Board, and approved Don Baird to serve on the Appraisal District Review Board.
Daniel Rainey presented the 53-page audit from Goff and Herington, noting Business Manager Gina May's scrupulous care, reporting "no findings on internal control or generally," reflecting that it was "very clean" audit.
The board approved Policy Update 98 from the Texas Association of School Boards, which included 14 pages of summary legislative changes which included what appeared to be over a 100 tweaks in policy and law, from sale of goods of minimal nutritional value to SB 939 that requires the posting in English and Spanish of the Dept. of Family and Protective Service's phone number and other guidelines on reporting child abuse. Weird – HB 1862 removed switchblades knives from the list of prohibited weapons in the Penal Code.
Importantly, HB 308 on "winter celebrations" outlined "when scenes or symbols may be displayed, and permits the exchange of traditional holiday greetings." It officially allows staff and students to offer "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah," and such, and even allows for a nativity display, but only if more than religion is displayed.
The board went into executive session to review the search for a school superintendent.