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On Sept. 1, the TRS-board met to approve changes to the proposed TRS-Care plans set to be implemented Jan. 1, 2018. The board approved plans that reduced deductibles from $3,000 to $1,500 and maximum out of pocket expenses from $71,50 to $5,650 for non-Medicare retirees. These changes come from an additional infusion of money approved by lawmakers in the special session. Legislators appropriated an additional $212 million in the summer special legislative session to TRS-Care. view article arw

A special education teacher was indicted by a Dallas grand jury Wednesday after she was arrested in March for having an inappropriate relationship with an eighth-grade student. Rebecca Goerdel, 29, a former educator at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Kennedy Middle School in Grand Prairie, Texas, was arrested in March for soliciting a male student, WFAA reported. view article arw

Cy-Fair ISD’s Bus Buddies program has volunteer chaperones help younger students get off at the right bus stop safely during the first two days of the school year. Due to CFISD postponing the first day of school after Hurricane Harvey and volunteers still recovering from the storm, the program is reconfirming times with original volunteers as well as asking for replacement volunteers. view article arw

Hays CISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved hiring Karen Zuniga as the new principal for Science Hall Elementary School during its Aug. 31 meeting. Zuniga began her career at Hays CISD at Hemphill Elementary School in 2002.  From there, Zuniga taught at Tobias Elementary School and Chapa Middle School before becoming an instructional strategist. In 2013, she was named the assistant principal at Chapa Middle School, which was designated a Texas School to Watch by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. In 2017, Zuniga served as the Hays CISD summer school principal.  view article arw

A consultant who is paid $1,500 a day by the El Paso Independent School District helped arrange meetings between Superintendent Juan Cabrera and a company that won a bid to oversee the district’s $669 million bond program.  Scott Himelstein, a San Diego consultant who began working with the district two years ago, helped set up multiple gatherings between Cabrera and officials for Gafcon, a San Diego construction management company, according to documents obtained by the El Paso Times through the Texas Public Information Act. view article arw

A Dallas area special education teacher was recently indicted by a grand jury for allegedly sexting an eighth grade student and asking him to draw her nude. view article arw

A teacher shortage has led legislators in several states to lower requirements to become a public school educator. The Wall Street Journal's Joseph De Avila and Tawnell D. Hobbes reported that several states, including Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, Utah, and Kansas, have in various ways revamped the requirements for being a public school educator. view article arw

Edinburg CISD Superintendent Dr. René Gutiérrez recently encouraged approximately 5,000 teachers and staff to “Connect With ECISD” during the District’s General Assembly at the McAllen Convention Center. Everywhere you looked, educators displayed ”#ConnectwithECISD” signs, which highlighted the District’s theme for the 2017-2018 school year. view article arw

The program, implemented last spring, allows district teachers and administrators the opportunity to expand their skills, obtain a doctoral degree in the field of educational administration or a master’s degree with an administrative license in principal certification. view article arw

 The Texas OnRamps program at The University of Texas at Austin honored six outstanding teachers for the OnRamps Instructor of the Year Award on July 28, 2017. OnRamps’ dedication to cultivating teacher excellence, best-in-class instructional materials and extending teacher quality throughout the public school system in Texas is echoed in the six teachers chosen. view article arw

Teachers are wired to help kids. It’s what they do. So when Simone Kern, director of literacy interventions at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, couldn’t go in person to work with children evacuated to shelters after Hurricane Harvey, she found a way to organize teachers who could. view article arw

A former principal at Eanes, Austin and Round Rock ISDs was arrested in Arizona for allegedly trying to lure teenage girls online. Karl Waggoner, 59, was taken into custody Tuesday in Phoenix, where he is currently an elementary school principal. Authorities in Phoenix say Waggoner posted an online ad for teenage girls to come out for a skinny dipping party at a pool in Scottsdale, Ariz. An undercover sheriff’s deputy responded to the ad, posing as a 14-year-old girl. view article arw

Teachers Organize To Help In Texas

September 0508:15 AM

More than 200,000 students in the Houston Independent School District were supposed to begin classes last week. But after Hurricane Harvey hit, officials delayed the start of the school year until September 11. Until then, what happens to the students, many of whom are living in shelters? Kristin McClintock is a special education teacher in Houston. And last week, she started Teachers Volunteering in Shelters, a group of area educators organizing to help children in southeast Texas. She joins us now from Houston. Good morning. view article arw

Two teachers of the year for the Lubbock Independent School District represent both ends of the educational spectrum, Superintendent Berhl Robertson Jr. said as the two educators were honored recently. Kelly Baum was honored for teaching fourth grade math at Waters Elementary School, while Carol Alonzo was honored for teaching audio and video production to high school students at the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center on. view article arw

Clear Creek ISD confirmed on Facebook Tuesday that longtime former Clear Creek High School track and football coach Ruben Jordan has died. In a blog posted by Jordan's family and published by the school district, family members said Friendswood police confirmed his death but did not provide any details. Relatives told KHOU-TV that Jordan had perished in the floods. view article arw

Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District trustees approved a $114.3 million budget that includes the same tax rate as last year and a 3 percent raise for all employees at a meeting Monday in Los Fresnos. view article arw

At a special meeting of the Hart ISD School Board on Tuesday, Aug. 22, Superintendent David Cox announced that Teresa Montemayor, Hart ISD business manager, will become the chief financial officer for Brownfield ISD. Cox said Montemayor will be available to help with the upcoming financial audit for the current fiscal year. view article arw

The Texas Association of School Administrators announced its regional Teachers of the Year, along with six outstanding educators from across Texas chosen as finalists in the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year program. The finalists for Region 7 were Rachel George of William B. Travis Elementary School, Marshall ISD, and Palestine's very own Kathleen Brown, a teacher at Palestine High School to represent Region 7. view article arw

As far as George McFarland is concerned, Sweetwater is home. At least, it is now. Sure, he's actually from Abilene, a member of Abilene High School's Class of 1986. But his new employer, the Sweetwater Independent School District, is close enough. Far closer than his previous city, Tahoka, near Lubbock. view article arw

Trustees for the Employee Retirement System of Texas voted Wednesday to decrease earnings assumptions for its $26 billion trust fund, a rare move that could have major implications for the state budget and the retirement system’s beneficiaries.  In a 4-2 vote, the board cut the fund’s expected annual rate of return from 8 percent to 7.5 percent, reflecting gloomier market conditions and other factors straining the system. The board also voted to revisit the rate in two years.   view article arw

Late Friday evening, almost two full days after a 9Wants to Know report showing East High School cheerleaders forced into the splits, the Denver Public Schools Superintendent said Coach Ozell Williams has been fired. Superintendent Tom Boasberg told reporters in a press conference that what he saw in the videos of these cheerleaders was "wrong," and "dangerous and unacceptable." "We do not permit 'forced splits,' or any practice, or any technique, that puts the physical safety, emotional well-being of any of our kids at risk," Boasberg said.  view article arw

A fourth-grade teacher at Lamar Elementary School in the San Antonio Independent School District is one of three finalists for Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. Andrea Lucas began her 14th year in the classroom on Aug. 8. A panel of judges selected Lucas and the other two finalists from elementary teachers of the year at each of the state’s 20 Texas Education Service Center regions, according to the Texas Association of School Administrators, which facilitates the award program. view article arw

A Hawley ISD nurse was named Texas 2017 School Nurse of the Year. The Texas School Nurses Organization recognized Martha Anderson with the award. “I’m in awe,” Anderson said. “I mean never in my wildest dreams did I expect to get an award like that.”   view article arw

At Tuesday night’s Plano ISD board meeting, two new members of the superintendent’s cabinet were announced. Dr. Beth Brockman was named as Plano ISD’s assistant superintendent for employee services, replacing Dr. Matthew Gutierrez who served in the role before being tapped to become Seguin ISD’s new superintendent of schools. Dr. Katrina Horn-Hasley was named assistant superintendent of academic services replacing retiring Assistant Superintendent Dr. James Wussow. view article arw

The University of Texas at Tyler and Greater Texas Foundation have partnered to enrich math education in East Texas. With a $203,296 GTF grant, The University of Texas at Tyler offers "Middle Math Matters" training to Grades 6 – 8 mathematics educators in rural area school districts. For associate professor of mathematics education Dr. John Lamb, it's the perfect equation to enhance intermediate math education in East Texas by providing quality professional development for rural area teachers. view article arw

A former teacher in the Galveston Independent School District has been arrested and charged for alleged sexual assault of a minor. According to the Galveston Police Department, 27-year-old Eliezer Marquez was taken into custody on Wednesday after an investigation revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl who attended Ball High School. view article arw

The Texas Association of School Administrators announced Monday that six outstanding educators from across Texas have been chosen as finalists in the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year Award. United ISD's own Andrea Garza is a finalist for this award. Garza teaches 10th grade world history at United South High School and is the most recent recipient of both United ISD's Secondary Teacher of the Year and Region One District Secondary Teacher of the Year. view article arw

Lorimer Arendse looked out over a fourth-floor balcony on Sunday as he got a special preview of a new classroom tower at Grand Prairie High School. To his left, AT&T Stadium in Arlington appeared as close as next door.  To his north sat Lone Star Park. And below him sat the district's fabled Gopher-Warrior Bowl, from which his upper-level perch provided the best seat in the house. view article arw

School districts compete for the best teachers -- and one way to do it is with a bigger paycheck, leaving pay gaps between some districts. "Good boy. Down. Good boy," commanded dog trainer Melissa Connaughton. From kids to K-9s, Connaughton still teaches but not in a classroom. view article arw

Bryan teachers received a pay raise Monday night. The school board unanimously approved a $1,300 salary increase for teachers one month after approving a 3 percent raise for employees in non-teaching roles, including secretaries, bus drivers and cafeteria staff. view article arw

A Hallsville city alderman and a Hallsville ISD assistant principal announced on Tuesday that they will face off in November for the city's open mayor position. Hallsville Alderman Brandon Sheffield and Hallsville Junior High School Assistant Principal Jesse Casey both said Tuesday they are running for the city's mayor position, which will be vacated by outgoing Mayor Steve Eitelman. Eitelman announced this spring that he would not seek re-election due to the city's council reducing the mayor's salary and duties in preparation of hiring a city manager or administrator at some point in the future. view article arw

A South Texas high school assistant football coach collapsed on the field and died during the school's first football scrimmage of the season. Art Cantu was defensive line coach for Pace High School in Brownsville. He died at a hospital Friday shortly after he was stricken during a scrimmage with Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Memorial High school in Brownsville. The Brownsville Herald reported that Pace athletic trainers starting performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Cantu until paramedics arrived and took over the effort. view article arw

McDade ISD faculty and staff were welcomed back to school with team building exercises at Camp Swift Training Center recently.  The faculty and staff reported promptly to duty at 8 a.m. for a bus ride to Camp Swift. Upon arrival, they were briefed in one of the camp’s training facilities by McDade Principal Frances Williams and Assistant Principal Codi Kadlecek. The McDade teachers and staff participated in team building presentation and activities presented by Tim Williams of Frontier Communications.  view article arw

Abilene ISD adds four new coaches

August 2307:30 AM

Softball, swimming, soccer and golf programs in Abilene ISD will be led by new coaches in the 2017-18 school year. Abilene High softball: Longtime AISD teacher and coach Jim Reese returns to the field to take over the Lady Eagles. Before recently stepping away from coaching to teach at Woodson Center for Excellence, Reese’s coaching career included stops as a head baseball coach at three Class 6A schools – Cooper, Abilene High and Plugerville. Reese played football and baseball at AHS, and he also played football and coached at Abilene Christian University. view article arw

The Texas Association of School Administrators announced the six finalists for the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year program Monday. Alicia Lohberger, from Lakeview Elementary School, at Canyon ISD and Amanda Head, of Caprock High School were both hopefuls from Region 16 but neither was selected as a finalist. view article arw