SISD trustees add year to supt. contract

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Sabine ISD trustees on Monday approved a one-year extension to Superintendent Stacey Bryce’s ongoing contract.

Five of the school’s seven trustees met with Bryce in closed session following the open portion of their first, regularly-scheduled monthly meeting of 2018.

Following the closed door dinner and discussion, the trustees returned to open session and voted 4-0 to add a year to Bryce’s rolling, three-year agreement, extending the contract through the 2020-2021 school year; district salaries are set separately when the budget is approved in the summer. Trustee Patty Pickle abstained; board members Art Morchat and Rusty Taylor were absent.

In other business Monday, the board members adopted ‘Long Range Facility Plans’ for the district, a list of 10 items the group developed during team training in December. The board members also insisted the Sabine Education Foundation use new grant funds rather than pay back the school for the costs of founding the organization last year.

The foundation was recently granted $15,500 from the Texas Pioneer Foundation – the district applied for the funds while the foundation was being established, Bryce noted. The school board had two options for the funds Monday, he added: either to allow the foundation to keep the money and use it for awarding teacher grants or to request the funds as reimbursement of the money used to launch the foundation.

“As a district we put up the starting money to get it going because it is going to benefit the students and the classrooms and the teachers,” Bryce said, putting the new funds at the board’s discretion.

The trustees didn’t hesitate.

“Let the foundation keep the $15,500 and use it as they see fit,” board president Tony Raymond said with support from the other board members.

Per state requirements, the trustees performed their annual review of the district’s investment policy and signed off on the strategies during the Jan. 8 meeting. They also unanimously-approved utilizing funds from the district’s 2013 bond proceeds to pay for additional mulch in the elementary school’s playground area.

“It needs more. It packs down,” Bryce said. The project is eligible to be funded from the remaining bond revenues since the money ($8,278.77) will be used solely at the elementary school: “We’d like to add more mulch to those playground areas for the safety of those kids.”

Pickle’s motion was approved 5-0.

Following mandatory team training Dec. 18, Bryce took items from the group’s long range facility planning discussion and separated them between future projects and those that could be placed on the district’s ongoing maintenance list.

Bryce presented the long range facility plan items – in no particular order – for the trustees’ consideration and adoption Monday.

“We are in the process of obtaining quotes for the items and work listed,” Bryce noted, “so we can prioritize the list at our next meeting.”

The unprioritized items include:

• Softball complex

• New tennis courts

• Ag. Farm updates

• Additional classroom space at the high school and middle school

• New restrooms/concessions at the football stadium

• Security upgrades at the high school and middle school

• Updated lights, sound and seating in the auditorium

• Replacing bleachers in the high school and middle school gyms

• Turf on the football field

• A new marquee sign at the elementary

In their final action item of the meeting, Bryce noted the board members in December stated a desire to make the softball field as a priority item on the facility list.

“There are ways that we can cut some costs and still have a really, really good facility out there,” he said. “Before I can get pricing I would need the board to put that out there for bids.”

The trustees in attendance unanimously approved trustee Danny King’s motion to bid the project.

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