Unofficial School Board Meeting Minutes


Unofficial Minutes of Regular Meeting - August 23, 2021

The Board of Trustees - Athens Independent School District    


A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Athens Independent School District was held Monday, August 23, 2021, beginning at 6:00 PM in the Administration Building Board Room, 104 Hawn Street, Athens, Texas.


I. Call to Order/Certify Notice/Establish Quorum

Mr. Eugene Buford, 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: Mr. Eugene Buford, Mr. Chris House, Mrs. Gina Hunter, Mr. Bryan Barker, Mrs. Alicea Elliott, Mrs. Margaret Richardson, Mr. Freddie Paul

Members absent: None

Also present were: Brooke Brock, Director of Special Populations; Ginger Morrison, Assistant Superintendent of School Operations; Cathy Kirkland, Director of Federal Programs; Randy Jones, Chief Financial Officer; Tony Brooks, Technology Director; Barry Choate, Executive Director of Maintenance & Operations; Chris Baker; Sloane Smith; Duncan Tilley; Kourtney McEvoy; Gail Carnes, Executive Assistant and Dr. Janie Sims, Superintendent.


II. Invocation was given by Mr. Randy Jones.

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


IV. Audience Participation

No one signed up to speak.


V. 2021 Tax Rate Hearing

Mr. Randy Jones, Chief Financial Officer, conducted the 2021 Tax Rate hearing. This is designated as a public hearing to discuss adoption of the 2021 tax rates. No one signed up to speak.


VI. Information/Discussion Items

A. Administrative Report – COVID-19 Related Matters, Beginning of 2021-2022 School Year, ESSER

Dr. Janie Sims, Superintendent, reported to the Board of Trustees the number of active cases in our schools and told them about the COVID dashboard that is now on AISD website. She also told them we’ve had a smooth start to school except for the ongoing traffic situation at AMS. Dr. Sims also gave the Board a summary of the ESSER I, II, and III funds as understood as of today.

B. Cain Center Presentation

Chris Baker, Director of the Cain Center, gave the Board of Trustees a summary of what the Cain Center now offers and programs that will be implemented in the near future. He also introduced the other three employees of the Cain Center, Duncan Tilley, Sloane Smith, and Kourtney McEvoy.

C. STAAR Assessment Update

Motion was made by Mrs. Alicea Elliott and seconded by Mr. Chris House that this item be moved to next month’s agenda. Motion carried 7:0.


VII. Action Items

A. Consider Adoption of 2021 Tax Rates

Motion was made by Mr. Bryan Barker and seconded by Mrs. Alicea Elliott that trustees approve and adopt the tax rates per $100 of valuation for the 2021 levy as presented. Local Maintenance at $0.87200 and Interest & Sinking (Debt Service) at $0.39909 for a total of $1.27109. This tax rate will raise more taxes from maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate even though it is $.0645 lower. The tax rate will effectively be raised by 2.20148 percent and will raise taxes for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $27.38. Roll call vote was taken with all ayes for a unanimous vote. Motion carried 7:0.

B. Consider Expenditures Over $50,000 – Counseling Services

Motion was made by Mr. Chris House and seconded by Mrs. Margaret Richardson that trustees approve the contract with Next Step Community Solutions in the amount of $66,000. for counseling services that will include three additional counselors for 27 weeks of the 2021-22 school year as presented. Motion carried 7:0.

C. Consider Nominee to Henderson County Appraisal District Board of Directors

Motion was made by Mrs. Gina Hunter and seconded by Mr. Chris House that trustees nominate Jess Laird for the Board of Directors of the Henderson County Appraisal District as presented. Motion carried 7:0.


VIII. Consent Agenda

A. Minutes of the Regular Meeting Held on July 26, 2021 and Special Meeting Held on

August 10, 2021

B. Financial Statements for the Month of July 2021

C. Consider Certified Property Tax Values

D. Consider TASB Unemployment Compensation Program for October 1, 2021 - September

30, 2022

Motion was made by Mr. Freddie Paul and seconded by Mrs. Alicea Elliott that the consent agenda items be approved as presented. Motion carried 7:0.


IX. Executive Session Discussion

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

At 6:38 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 7:36 p.m.


X. Executive Session Action – Open Session

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

As stated in Policy DC (LOCAL) under Employment of Contractual Personnel:

The Board retains final authority for employment of contractual personnel; however, from April 1 to August 31, the Board delegates to the Superintendent the authority to employ contractual personnel. The Superintendent shall inform the Board of any persons hired under this authority.

The following professional personnel contracts have been approved:

Jammie Rhea

Holden Sparks

Ester Sebua

Audrey Shipley

Brianna Stephens


The following resignation has been approved:

Deborah Baker





XI. Adjourn

Being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:37 p.m.



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