Jourdanton ISD recognizes Johnson for 43 years

History teacher Judy Johnson was recognized for her 43 years at the Jourdanton ISD. Last year, Johnson was chosen as the area Seventh Grade History Teacher by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and went on to win the State Outstanding History Teacher in Texas. In accepting her local certificate, she said, “the kids have made me the teacher I am. I’ve learned a lot more from them than they’ve ever learned from me.” Barbara Peeler, acting board president in the absence of Ramon De Leon, added that, “Jourdanton is blessed with many long term teachers.” She thanked Johnson for her service and all members of the board praised her work and said that she could not retire for a long time.

The consent agenda including the minutes from the last meeting, Business Office report and non-conflict of interest bills was approved, with Tricia Taylor making the motion and Pamela Manning seconding. Peeler, Mary Ramirez, Jane Andrus and Amador Lugo all voted to approve. The total in all funds, including money market, Lone Star Investment Pool and CDs were $7,590,484.83. The monthly bills totaled $524,419.60. Monthly tax collection was $78,194, which brings the year-to-date collection rate to 105.49%.

A representative from McKinstry and Superintendent Lana Collavo discussed the improvements of the home stands at the football field. The intention to improve handicap accessibility originally included adding a lift to the structure. However, there were concerns about the height of the lift and how it would block the view of many seats. After some refiguring, the plan is to raise the seating platform by 20 inches, thereby losing a couple of seats, but not blocking the view. Motion was approved unanimously.

In an attempt to get matching funds for a grant, the district was listing booster club donations, which is not unusual. However, on closer inspection, they found out that none of the booster clubs had their non-profit status or were registered with the state. Based on the recommendations of the auditors, the district has formulated guidelines for all booster groups. This would affect the FFA, Band Boosters and Athletic Boosters. Board voted to accept the guidelines. Collavo said that they were all registered with the state now and were working on getting their 501(c)3 designations.

Insurance on the property and vehicles, including liability, is up for renewal. The district has been with TASB Risk Management Fund for many years and has had good luck with them. Any increase in premium this year is mainly due to the increase in coverage due to the renovation done recently. Collavo said the company has been good to the district and is good to work with. The trustees voted to renew for three years as presented.

There was a long discussion about the staff salary steps and staff health insurance benefits. Currently, the district pays up to $298 on teachers’ insurance, but they can individually opt for a more comprehensive policy by paying the difference in the premium. Collavo suggested giving a $1,300 across the board for them to pay the difference or include their dependents. The aim of this is to attract and retain quality teachers. Many alternatives were examined, attempting to find the best approach for the employees. Finally, it was agreed to continue paying the maximum of $298.33 for insurance, give a raise of three percent and add step 30 to the schedule.

Collavo requested that she be allowed to approve professional contracts because teachers had a deadline to turning in their resignations at other districts. Otherwise, the board would have to meet weekly until that date. It was decided that Collavo be allowed to approve the contracts from June 11 through July 12, with hires being presented at the following board meeting.

The trustees retired into executive session at 8:34 p.m. to consider professional contracts for teachers. Upon returning at 8:45 p.m., Taylor moved to accept the recommendations as presented. Affirmative voting was unanimous.

The meeting adjourned at 8:46 p.m.

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