Unofficial School Board Meeting Minutes

Unofficial Minutes of Regular Meeting - January 30, 2020

The Board of Trustees - Athens Independent School District    


A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Athens Independent School District was held Thursday, January 30, 2020, beginning at 6:00 PM in the Administration Building Board Room, 104 Hawn Street, Athens, Texas.


I. Call to Order/Certify Notice/Establish Quorum

Mrs. Alicea Elliott, President of the Board of Trustees, announced a quorum of Board Members was present and called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Members present: Mrs. Alicea Elliott, Mr. Eugene Buford, Mr. Chris House, Mrs. Gina Hunter, Mrs. Margaret Richardson, Mr. Robert Risko, Mr. Freddie Paul

Members absent: None

Also present were: Ginger Morrison, Director of Federal Programs & Human Resources; Tony Brooks, Director of Technology; Brooke Brock, Director of Special Populations; Clay Tracy, AHS Principal; Claudia Stiles, CAE Principal; Lisa Howell, BAE Principal; Barry Choate, Director of Operations; Kendra Hensley; Tim Hensley; Randy Jones, Chief Financial Officer; Jami Ivey, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability; Jennifer Lehr; Marjan Spurling; Eliza Spurling; Brian Spurling; Jennifer Nicholson; Jennifer Livingston; Tony Sikes; Beth Faulk; Jessica Jones; Sarah Tinsley; Denise Swartwood; Emily McGraw; Shannon Pursley; Nikki Mason, SAE Principal; Jason Iglehart; Zac Harrell, Athletic Director; Dr. Janie Sims, Deputy Superintendent; Gail Carnes, Executive Assistant; and Blake Stiles, Superintendent.


II. Invocation was given by Mr. Eugene Buford.


III. Pledge of Allegiance was given to the national and state flags.


IV. Audience Participation

No one signed up to speak.


V. Recognition of School Board Members

School Board Appreciation Month - Theme: Launching the Next Generation

Toni Clay, Communications Coordinator, recognized the Board of Trustees for their dedication to the students of our school district. Board members and their families were treated to dinner prior to the regular scheduled meeting. With the theme “Launching the Next Generation” for January Texas School Board Appreciation month, Board members were presented with several items relating to that theme. BAE donated library books in the Board’s honor, made decorations for display case and wrote thank you notes. CAE provided thank you notes, posters, and rocket popcorn boxes filled with candy. SAE made a rocket poster and provided hot chocolate in coffee mugs. AMS art students made Star Trek characters with Board members’ faces on them and AHS culinary arts provided goodie baskets to each Board member.


VI. Recognize Athens High School AP Scholar Students

Nicole Cornish, AHS Dean of ECHS, introduced the AP Scholars to the Board. AP Scholars, students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams, are Tucker Hall, Natalie Harrell, Aryn Rodriguez and Eliza Spurling.


VII. APEF (Athens Public Education Foundation) Presentation

Dr. Janie Sims, Deputy Superintendent, introduced Emily McGraw, Athens Public Education Foundation (APEF) Board President. APEF presented the District with a check for $38,459.26 that will fund many innovative teaching grants submitted by District teachers. A total of nineteen grants were awarded among all five campuses. The APEF Cash Bus visited campuses on Monday, December 16th, to honor and award the teachers whose grants were funded.


VIII. Information Items

A. Administrative Reports – Testing Data

The campus principals reported to the Board of Trustees testing data by grade and subject matter. For the most part, there was improvement in most areas and grades. The principals explained their areas of concern and their methods for improvement for each campus.

B. Textbook Committee

Jami Ivey, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability provided the Board of Trustees with a list of instructional materials committee members for English language arts and reading, grades 9-12.

C. Facilities Projects Timeline Update

Barry Choate, Director of Operations provided the Board of Trustees with an updated timeline for the facilities projects that were approved in December.

D. Daktronics Information

Randy Jones, Chief Financial Officer provided the Board of Trustees options for continuing and/or changing the current provisions with Daktronics.

E. Lunch Mentor Update / 4 Day Calendar Survey

Ginger Morrison, Director of Federal Programs & Human Resources informed the Board of Trustees the protocol that has been set for the lunch mentor program on the campuses.

Blake Stiles, Superintendent, provided copies of the 4 day calendar survey and explained some of the responses. There was discussion of some additional items for the next survey.


IX. Action Items

A. Consider 2020-2021 School Calendar

Motion was made by Mr. Eugene Buford and seconded by Mrs. Gina Hunter that trustees approve the 2020-2021 school calendar as presented. Motion carried 6:1. Margaret Richardson opposed.

B. Consider Request for Maximum Class Size Waiver

Motion was made by Mr. Eugene Buford and seconded by Mrs. Margaret Richardson that trustees approve to apply for maximum class size exception waiver for PreK 4 at South Athens Elementary as presented. Motion carried 7:0.

C. Consider Expenditures Over $50,000 – Athens Virtual Academy

Motion was made by Mr. Robert Risko and seconded by Mrs. Margaret Richardson that trustees approve the Athens Virtual Academy purchase option 2 in the amount of $72,500.00 as presented. Motion carried 7:0


X. Consent Agenda

A. Minutes of the Regular Meeting Held on December 19, 2019 and Special Meeting Held

on January 14, 2020

B. Financial Statements for the Month of December 2019

C. Quarterly Investment Report

D. Order Board of Trustee Election for May 2, 2020 to fill the expired terms of Place 1

and Place 2

Motion was made by Mr. Eugene Buford and seconded by Mr. Chris House that the consent agenda items be approved as presented. Motion carried 7:0.


XI. Executive Session Discussion

A. Employment/Resignations of Contract Employees - Texas Gov't Code 551.074

At 8:46 p.m., the Board President announced that trustees would adjourn to executive session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code and/or Education Code concerning any and all purposes permitted by the Act. Should any final action, final decision, or final vote be required, then the final action, final decision, or final vote shall take place in open session. The Board returned to open session at 9:23 p.m.


XII. Executive Session Action – Open Session

A. Employment/Resignations of Contract Employees - Texas Gov't Code 551.074

Motion was made by Mr. Robert Risko and seconded by Mr. Eugene Buford that trustees approve the professional personnel contracts for: Bonnie Oberg, Michelle Schallhorn and William Whitehead. Motion carried 7:0.

The following resignations have been approved: Whitney Penn, Stephanie Brookens and Dana Wade.


XIII. Adjourn


Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:24 p.m.



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