LISD Trustees approve data usage payment
By Wesley Gardner
The Lockhart school district Board of Trustees on Monday voted to approve a $43,000 budget amendment that will allow the district to add $100 to each teacher’s May paycheck to offset personal data usage during the school closure.
According to Chief Financial Officer Tina Knudsen, many teachers throughout the district likely incurred increased data usage over the month of April as a result of the switch to online learning. The $100 will be paid out to each of the district’s 432 teachers to help offset added data usage for the months of April and May.
Trustees also approved a new out-of-district rate of $3,200 for students applying to transfer to the district beginning in the 2020-21 school year.
The tuition would be paid out in two installments at the beginning of each semester.
According to Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Brents, current out-of-district transfers will be grandfathered in for the 2020-21 school year and each year thereafter as long as they maintain consecutive enrollment with the district.
Brents added that children of non-resident district employees would still be eligible for free out-of-district transfers.
In other business, the district announced the selection of new principals for PRIDE High School/Lockhart Discipline Management Center (LDMC) and Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary. Ethan Peters, who has been serving at interim principal at PRIDE will take on the position officially next year, while Dr. Benjamin Grijalva will serve as the new principal at Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary.
Peters started the 2019-20 school year as the assistant principal of PRIDE High School but took over as principal after Barry Bacom left the post to serve as the new principal of Lockhart School.
Prior to working with the Lockhart school district, Peters served as secondary assistant principal at Sci-Tech Preparatory School in Wayside Schools. He’s also worked as an instructional coach, night school coordinator, and teacher with the Austin school district and Austin CAN! Academy.
Earlier in his career, Peters served as a research associate at Florida Atlantic University and biology and ecology laboratory instructor at State University of New York – Fredonia.
He earned both a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science at the State University of New York at Fredonia.
“I am proud to be the principal of PRIDE High School/LDMC, a place that is truly designed around the student community — a place where each student can learn the way they like to learn and get the one-on-one support that they need,” said Peters. “I will continue to help support the growth of PRIDE High School, to open more doors for our students and teachers, and to help guide each and every student that comes through our doors.”
Grijalva will take over at Strawn Elementary after most recently serving as the principal of AJ Briesemeister Middle School in the Seguin school district.
He’s previously served as director of bilingual/ESL programs in the San Marcos consolidated school district, assistant principal at Vogel Elementary and summer school principal for Rodriguez and Jefferson Elementary Schools in Seguin, and as a dual language teacher in the New Braunfels school district.
He started his career in education as a Head Start teacher at Carver Early Education Center.
Grijalva earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Park University in El Paso, as well as a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Doctor of Philosophy in School Improvement from Texas State University. Additionally, he has generalist teacher, bilingual teacher, principal, and superintendent certifications from Texas State.
“I am honored to be named the new principal at Alma Brewer Strawn Elementary” said Grijalva. “I want to thank the school board and Superintendent [Mark] Estrada for the opportunity to serve the Lockhart community.
“In particular, I am excited and enthusiastic to serve the students, teachers, and parents at ABS Elementary. Together we will achieve great things in the years to come.”