The Brownfield ISD Board of Trustees met on Monday, January 13th and worked a lengthy agenda. All board members were present for the meeting, which also honored the School Board’s work. January is School Board Appreciation Month. A meal was served to the board prior to the meeting.
During the meeting, a video presentation prepared by SRO officers Alan Nelson and Zach Nettle was presented to the board. The video included thanks to the board from every campus, and students across the District.
The Board went into Executive Session to discuss Superintendent Chris Smith’s evaluation and a new contract and compensation package. Smith’s contract was extended by one year which gives him a three year contract. Smith was also given a raise.
In Smith’s time at BISD, the district has seen academics on the rise, going from three Improvement Required campuses to zero, District and Campus Ratings have all gone up, BISD’s financial rating has gone from a C to an A, the District has passed a $40 million bond which includes improvements on all campuses, including the new BHS building, the bond was presented and passed in a timely manner which saved the district considerable money due to legislative changes since the bond passed, over $700,000 in grants have been written and awarded to the district under Smith’s leadership, and College Readiness scores have quadrupled.
Board President Geoff Cooper stated, “Due to the successes we have seen as a district and the improvements to the district, plus the leadership we have seen in Mr. Smith, we felt like he was very deserving of an extension and a raise. We look for a great things for many years down the road under his leadership.”
Smith stated, “I am humbled and thankful for the board’s confidence in me. I am grateful to them and to this community for trusting me and allowing me to lead this district. I see lots of great things happening now and in the future. This is a great place to be and a great community in which to live.”
A presentation by Parkhill, Smith and Cooper, architects for the new BHS building, was also given during the meeting. Representatives went over the progress of the building and what to expect in the coming weeks. A Ground Breaking for the new building will be held on January 21 at the site. Following this ground breaking, engineers from Sandia Construction, who is the actual contractor of the build, stated that the first thing citizens would see would be lots of dirt being hauled in and then the digging out of the area where the gymnasium will be located. Ashley Horsley of PS&C also showed the board pictures of a proposed outdoor classroom area on the east side of the building which can be used for many activities in the future.
The Board approved the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for Package 1 of the building project. This package includes the earthwork, building pad, general conditions, bond insurance and contingency and was approved in the amount of $1.3 million. This was prepared through Sandia Construction and PS&C.
In the financial report, CFO David Martinez reported that just over $220,000 had been earned in interest on the bond fund, for a balance of nearly $40 million still available. Expenditures of $98,000 were reported so far.
Assistant Superintendent Melissa Oliva also presented the Texas Academic Performance Report, as required by law. The board had previously seen all these numbers, so there was not much discussion over any of it. This report was mostly scores from last year’s testing data. Reports definitely show an upward trend in scores for BISD.
The Board did vote to call for the May election of board members. Members whose terms are expiring are District 4 – Geoff Cooper, and District 5 – Tim Swaringen. Any eligible voter can file to run for either of these positions through the Terry County Elections Office, beginning on January 15.
New equipment for the playground at Oak Grove was approved by the board. The equipment will not be purchased or installed until the Summer.
In the Superintendent’s report, Smith reported that current BISD enrollment was 1666 with a 94.8 attendance rate for the school year thus far. He also reported that the flu bug has hit hard and that Colonial Heights reported an attendance rate of 78% for this week. The board urges everyone to work hard to prevent the spread of the flu right now. “We understand that the flu bug is bad this year and we want parents to know that we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the flu. This year’s bug has hit pretty hard,” stated Smith.
Athletic Director Aaron Flores reported on the athletic programs. He stated that the softball field was nearing completion and he reported that Stanley Ford had purchased all the wind screens at the new softball field. “We are so grateful to Stanley for doing this for our students. This was no small purchase for them.” He reported that softball practice will start on January 24 and baseball practice will start one week later. These start dates are set by UIL.
BEC Principal Chris Edwards reported that BEC Graduation will be held on January 23rd at 6 p.m.
Also on the agenda were the recognition of the District-Wide Student and Employee of the Month, as well as the campus Employees of the Month. Student of the month from BHS was Gabrielle Fields. Gabi is a Sophomore and a leader in every area, according to BHS Principal Dr. Gionet Cooper. The Employee of the Month, also from BHS, was Taylor Silvas. Taylor teaches Home and Family Living classes at BHS and makes a difference in the lives of students everyday.
Campus Employees of the Month were:
BBAC – Clarisa Gonzalez
Colonial Heights – Geneva Hernandez
Oak Grove – Amanda Ware
BMS – Eric Morin
BEC – Jacob Franco
These were presented their awards by Smith and board member Randy Anthony.