By Kathi Bliss
During an unusually short meeting of the Lockhart Independent Board of Trustees on Monday evening, the Board put a unanimous vote of confidence in Superintendent Dr. Jose Parra, offering a 7-0 vote to extend his contract until 2015.
The vote comes hard on the heels of the exciting announcement last week that all but one member of the Lockhart High School Class of 2012 had met the state-mandated testing requirements on the Exit Level TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test, and will be eligible to “walk the stage” on Friday night and receive their diplomas.
The one student who did not pass missed scoring requirements by one point, and according to district administrators is a transfer student who arrived at LHS mid-year.
When Parra first arrived in the district in 2007, there were more than 100 students who had not met their Exit-Level TAKS requirements.
In an additional award to Parra, the Trustees voted last week to offer him a $15,000 salary increase.
After an extremely abbreviated executive session, the Trustees approved the hiring of Mark Estrada, formerly a Del Valle ISD elementary principal, to take the helm at Plum Creek Elementary School. The top spot at Plum Creek was vacated last month when longtime principal Evangelina Orta announced her retirement.
In other news, the trustees witnessed the swearing in of new trustee Rick Womble, who received his oath of office from Justice of the Peace Raymond DeLeon on Monday.
After Womble took his seat on the Board, the Trustees discussed the possibility of reorganizing the board and assigning new officers. In a 4-3 vote, the Trustees voted to assign new officers, naming Susan Brooks as Board President, Womble as Vice President, and Alfredo Munoz as Secretary.
They replace former president Timoteo “Tim” Juarez, Jr., Brooks as Vice President, and former Secretary Juan Alvarez.
In an election-related item, the District released figures this week spelling out the cost to the taxpayers of the recent special-called election.
According to a spreadsheet provided by the LISD, the election has cost a total of $36,473.42, including $15,793.99 in legal fees over the course of the eight months the board members quibbled over the vacancy. Also notably, “election systems and software” came with a price tag of $10,092.46.
While the Board met in the LHS conference room, elsewhere on campus, coaching staff and members of the Lion Athletic Booster Club hosted a surprise dinner in honor of Athletic Director Melinda Kirst, who announced her retirement earlier this year, effective in June.
There have not, as yet, been public discussions about who might step into Kirst’s position after she leaves the district, though some names have been bandied about within sports circles.
The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees routinely meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at Lockhart High School. The meetings are open to the public and are web-streamed at www.lockhartisd.org. The next meeting is scheduled for June 25, 2012.