Pleasanton trustees hear results of STARR tests, bond election will be held in May



Trinity Pride for Excellence recognized two Pleasanton ISD teachers as Distinguished Educators, out of hundreds nominated. Jeff Brown is an elementary teacher. The second is Carrie Bird, who received Teacher of the Year award. The School Board also recognized the students of the month, whose selection is based on behavior, academics and leadership.

Four students made All State Band this year. Colleen Solis, who has won a seat on the band two years, Cassie Ortiz, Lillian Unger and Ryan Moos, who is also a second year winner and awarded first chair this year. There are over 1,200 districts in the state, so these students had about 1% chance of winning. This is something of which to be very proud.

Michelle Cardenas from the Atascosa County Appraisal District addressed the board regarding the future of the county taxes. There has been an increase of 24.7% in property values, with big industrial values up 231% and other industrial values going up 391.95%. This has to do with the influx of the oil industry. Many acres that were formerly farm, are now commercial or subdivisions. On March 12, she will present the 2013 projection on the oil and gas figures.

In the transition from TAKS to STAAR testing, the students rated higher than the state in several areas, but the figures also show that some areas do need continued work.

A review of the new Pacesetters Constitution shows an increase in standards for the girls, in academics, dress and actions, since they represent the school. They won the Outstanding Entertainment Award and Sweepstakes at a competition on the previous Saturday. Ami Powell made the motion to accept the improved constitution; Jamie Downs seconded. The vote for approval was unanimous, with Clinton Henson, Danny Brown, Blasa Chapa and President Frank Tudyk, Jr. all voting.

The Cheerleading Constitution has also been updated to hold the students to a higher standard, since they are in a leadership position. Main changes are in a demerit system and in given them credit for areas in which they are working. The team attended the American Cheer Power Nationals for the fist time and came home with a third place trophy. The updated constitution was approved unanimously.

The district academic calendar was approved as presented. Investment procedures have to be reviewed and approved annually. There were no changes and were approved unanimously.

The two bids for replacing the high school roof and the HVAC system, along with the junior high HVAC system were considered and awarded to Rain Seal Master Roofing and Comfort Air. This will be paid from the 2010 bond that has $840,000 left to spend.

The election for May 11 was called and will be held jointly with the city election. Districts 1, 3 and 6 are up for election.

There was a lengthy discussion regarding the proposed bond election. After many preliminary assessments, focus groups, meetings with advisors and demographic studies, it was decided that the best alternative to keep up with the growth of the district is to build a new high school and upgrade the remaining facilities for the lower grades. The current high school was built in 1957. Dustin Traylor, representing RBC Capital Markets, was there to advise and answer any questions the trustees might have. Average growth, without the oil boom, is figured at 4% annually. Based on current property valuations, the bond would cost taxpayers about 33 cents more on their tax rate. If a bond is approved, the money could be available by the end of August. The new facility would have classrooms for 1,200 students with the expansion capacity of 1,600. There will be a new stadium built, as well. Dr. Cynthia Clinesmith, Superintendent, added that the investment would be good for business, generating a work force and bringing in even more families. The trustees have “a forward vision that I really like.” They unanimously called a bond election for $85 million. If there is any money left in the bond, it can be used for other necessities in the district.

The bond counsel chosen was the current law firm of Fulbright Jaworski, LLP. The Architectural firm is Garza Bomberger and Associates. The financial advisor selected is RBC Capital Markets.

Meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

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