A long-standing practice of allowing the superintendent to hire teachers in the summer without school board approval was ended in Decatur Monday.  The board approved, by a 4-3 vote, a change to a local policy which granted the superintendent the authority to hire employees during the summer months.  Previous board policy stated that the board retains the final authority for employment of contractual personnel; however, from June 1 to Aug. 31, the board delegates that authority to the superintendent, who must inform the board of all hires. The revised policy removes that authority from the superintendent.  Board President Thomas Houchin said he personally did not like seeing that authority granted as part of local policy and wanted the board to vote on granting that authority each May, which would allow them to change the date range depending on how the calendar falls each year. view article arw

In the darkest days of the pandemic, the staff at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital devised a way to allow families to say goodbye to loved ones who were terminally ill with COVID-19. They moved patients to rooms where they’d be able to see and communicate with visitors through a window. To facilitate the goodbye, a nurse wearing an isolation gown, gloves, and both an N95 mask and a face shield, would hold a phone to the patient’s face while family members spoke to them for the last time. It was a grueling task. Not only did nurses risk infection and incur the psychological toll of witnessing family trauma, but underneath the PPE, it often got brutally hot and difficult to breathe. At the end of an hour-long meeting, nurses found themselves drenched in sweat and light-headed, their arms numb from holding up a phone or iPad for hours.    (19) view article arw

BULLARD, Texas (KETK) — Kylie Burns is the new head volleyball coach at Brook Hill School. She comes from Hallsville ISD where she was was a teacher and volleyball and track coach. Before that, she was an assistant coach at the University of Northwest Ohio and Midwestern State University. She has worked with USA Junior National Tryouts and Camps, served as coach for the Texas A&M volleyball club team and other teams. Burns has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in sports administration from Midwestern State University. view article arw

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Good news, Aldine ISD teachers! District employees can expect to see some extra cash soon after the board of trustees approved a resolution to show appreciation for employees' hard work during the pandemic.  The resolution, which was approved Tuesday, gives all employees a one-time bonus payment of $1,500 to exempt staff and $1,000 to non-exempt staff as a reward for going above and beyond during the unprecedented 2020-2021 school year. view article arw

SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) -- Two Sherman Independent School District educators were named Teacher of the Year on Wednesday. The district's independent staff recognition program selects one elementary and one secondary teacher who showcase excellence in teaching and instructional leadership. Shann Schubert from Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center and Doretta Kinnison from Piner Middle School were each surprised with a $500 check and the use of a new Chevrolet Equinox for one year. view article arw

HOUSTON – Aldine ISD is rewarding its employees for their efforts during the 2020-21 school year amid the pandemic. During a meeting Tuesday, the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to give all district employees a one-time bonus payment as a thank you. According to a press release from Aldine ISD, all employees a one-time incentive and retention payment of $1,500 to exempt staff and $1,000 to non-exempt staff. view article arw

The plan would raise salaries to a minimum of $57,000, with bonuses built into the school year ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The plan would raise teacher salaries to $57,000 with bonuses built in to the school year. It would also increase wages for hourly employees to a minimum of $12 an hour. The board also unanimously voted to hire two new principals within the district. view article arw

Pasadena ISD trustees have unanimously approved raises for district employees for the 2021-22 school year as well as authorizing a boost in hourly pay for summer school teachers. All employees will benefit from a 3 percent raise based on the midpoint of their respective salary ranges for the 2021-2022 school year. view article arw

The respect from former students and co-workers is what makes teaching rewarding for Poteet High School English teacher Mary Briones. This year she celebrated 50 years of teaching at Poteet ISD. Briones started her education at Poteet ISD as a student in 1955. “When I started, I knew no English,” said Briones. “So it was really a struggle, not knowing what people were saying.” view article arw

In a move to create educational equity, Texas is set to offer some of its best teachers more than $100,000 annually, rewarding them for work in the state’s poorest schools where COVID-19 has devastated communities resulting in months, if not years, of learning loss. “We need our best teachers to be able to do this work,” San Antonio ISD Associate Superintendent of Strategy, Talent, and Innovation Mohammed Choudhury said. “We need them to extend their work and their leadership beyond their classroom to not only be able to move beyond COVID-19, but to build back better.” For the 193 teachers in San Antonio designated to lead this effort, that could mean extra days of intervention during holiday breaks throughout the school year, and tutoring after school and during the summer.    (17) view article arw

Jean Coleman had 25 years of service to MISD with 30 total years of service in public education as a teacher. She served as a second-grade teacher for Midlothian ISD at L.A. Mills Elementary. Ms. Coleman showed “incredible patience and caring toward children, and she was genuinely loved by all the people she came in contact with.” She was a mentor to fellow MISD teachers and an active member of the Midlothian community. To honor her memory, her family established the Jean Coleman Award for Excellence in Reading Education in 2019, which is given to a second-grade teacher in our district. Ms. Coleman was loved by her students and colleagues, many have shared fond memories of having her as a teacher. view article arw

BELTON — The Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Kimberly Winters as the next principal at Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow at its regular meeting Monday night, according to a news release from Karen Rudolph, communications specialist for BISD.  Winters is currently the principal of Pearson Ranch Middle School, a science, technology, engineering, art and math-focused campus in Round Rock ISD she helped open in 2016. Her 20 years of education experience also includes leading Noel Grisham Middle School in RRISD, a campus with an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program view article arw

Hays CISD will soon receive a new leader for the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. The Hays CISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved hiring Marivel Sedillo, the district’s chief human resources officer, as the new chief academic officer. Sedillo will be replacing Sandra Dowdy for the position. “I am excited that Marivel has accepted the challenge of leading our Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) Department,” said Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright, “Her skill and experience in this area, combined with her knowledge of our district, our personnel, and our students will make the transition smooth. And, she is poised to build on a solid foundation that is in place because of the work of Mrs. Dowdy and our C&I team.” view article arw

A man who allegedly tortured four cats to death over a five-month period is a former Fort Bend ISD teacher. Graham Reid, 29, from Sugar Land was arrested April 28 and charged with four counts of felony cruelty to non-livestock animals after allegedly beating and torturing his four cats to death on separate occasions. He posted bond the same day. view article arw

In a move to create educational equity, Texas is set to offer some of its best teachers more than $100,000 annually, rewarding them for work in the state's poorest schools where COVID-19 has devastated communities, resulting in months, if not years, of learning loss. "We need our best teachers to be able to do this work," said Mohammed Choudhury, associate superintendent of strategy, talent and innovation for the San Antonio Independent School District. "We need them to extend their work and their leadership beyond their classroom to not only be able to move beyond COVID-19, but to build back better." view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Manor Independent School District Chief of Police has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of falsifying employee timesheets and improperly donating used cellphones to a local domestic violence shelter. The defense attorney representing Chief Shane Sexton and three other officers in the force, said credible evidence has been submitted to the district to show that all timesheets have been accurate. Sexton’s attorney Brad Heilman said Verizon Wireless donated the cellphones to the department, came at no cost to the district and were no longer being used. view article arw

In preparation for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) announced Thursday the selection of two Associate Superintendents, an Early College High School Principal, and Central Office Director.  ouisa Aguirre-Baeza, current Interim Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, has been selected as the Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. Aguirre-Baeza began her professional career in 1996 as an elementary teacher in the Socorro Independent School District. During her tenure in education, she has served as director of academic language programs, grant coordinator, curriculum and development consultant, assistant principal, college professor, and bilingual teacher. Aguirre-Baeza received her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 1996 and her Master’s Degree in Education in 1999 both from the University of Texas at El Paso. view article arw

The Austin Independent School District is no longer allowing school PTAs to pay for staff salaries. The district said it's outlawing the practice because it creates inequities between schools with a parent base to raise a lot of money and those without one. Twelve schools are using PTA funds this year to cover salaries. The money primarily is going toward support staff — including library clerks, tutors and lunch monitors — but funds are also paying for specialists. view article arw

Lorena police have identified 36-year-old Nicholas Scot Crenshaw as the substitute teacher they arrested following an investigation into an indecency case involving a four-year-old child. Crenshaw was booked into the jail Friday and posted $75,000 bond and was released shortly after midnight Saturday morning. view article arw

Carroll ISD has a new coordinator leading its special education programs. According to the district, Aaron Heil has worked in education for more than 22 years, with 16 of those years serving Carroll ISD. His first educational role was as a paraprofessional at The Lattice Foundation in Santa Rosa, California in 1997. Since then he went on to serve a variety of roles for The Texas School For The Blind, The LEO Center and Leander ISD before he took on a teaching and coaching position at Fort Worth ISD in 2003. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A payment, promised to nearly half a million retired Texas educators and school employees, likely won’t ever make it to their bank accounts. House Bill 3214 would have provided a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to all retirees, but it has stalled in the legislature. Joe Ramirez, president of the Austin Retired Teachers Association, said the bill never made it to the House floor for a vote despite being voted out of committee and scheduled to be placed on the calendar last month.    (14) view article arw

The Neches ISD board of trustees will consider the resignation of Superintendent Randy Snider in a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. The agenda states the board will also consider hiring an interim superintendent and a method to filling the vacancy. Snider is the husband of Kimberlyn Snider, who is the elementary school’s principal. Kimberlyn Snider is facing criminal charges of tampering with evidence and official oppression. view article arw

The ongoing battle between Marion ISD parents and the school district over changes to the district’s agriculture program continued on Wednesday, with demands that key administrators resign.   “When we were informed of the changes to FFA that were coming down the line, we thought it was just that,” Marion alum and parent of a future Bulldog Matt Murdoch said as he addressed the board during the public comment portion of the meeting. “We quickly learned there is much more. We want all students to benefit from the time at Marion ISD. We want all teachers to have the full support and all of the tools and resources necessary to thrive and we want administration that back them up consistently.” view article arw

Twelve educators will be honored by the Cleburne ISD Board of Trustees at their Monday meeting as the 2020-2021 Campus Teachers of the Year. Honored educators at the elementary level include Jennifer Gaston — Adams Elementary School; Jennifer Ricketts — Coleman Elementary School; Elissa Hendricks — C.C. Cooke Elementary School; Amy Brown — Gerard Elementary School; Faith Chapman — Irving Elementary School; Nicole Doty — Marti and Glorimar Asencio — Santa Fe Elementary School. Rendon Ellis is the Smith Middle School Teacher of the Year and Sarah Moulden has been honored by the staff at Wheat Middle School. Adair Smith is the Cleburne High School honored educator, with Matthew Hilts selected by the TEAM School staff as Teacher of the Year. Rachel Bays is the Phoenix campus honoree. view article arw

Job seekers listen up! Galveston ISD and The Galveston Chamber are hosting a job fair this week on the island. As a part of the WORK Galveston County project (WGC project), the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce and Galveston ISD will host the Galveston Island Job Fair on Tuesday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the GISD Scott Building located at 4116 Avenue N. view article arw

Former Denton ISD teacher Charles Kenneth Brown II has been arrested on two counts of an improper relationship between an educator and student. Brown was a teacher at Denton High School, and his employment with the district ended roughly a year ago, said a district spokesperson, who on Friday could not provide an exact date Brown’s employment ended. The alleged incident that resulted in the charges occurred on April 15, 2017, according to Denton County Sheriff’s Office records. Brown was arrested Thursday by deputies and was released later that day after posting $15,000 bail. view article arw

Monday, the Mesquite ISD’s Board of Trustees approved the following new administrative roles for the 2021-22 school year. Stacy Bennett – principal – Smith Elementary School In 2011, Bennett began her career in education as a science teacher for two years at Winfree Academy Charter School in Grand Prairie. She then moved to Stephen F. Austin Middle School in Irving ISD for one year as an eighth grade science teacher. Stacy returned to Winfree Academy Charter School in 2014 as a principal intern and lead teacher for three years. She was an assistant principal in Ferris ISD two years before being hired in Mesquite as an assistant principal at Tisinger Elementary, where she has been the past two years. This year completes her 10th year in education. view article arw

Along with other district employees, Killeen Independent School District Superintendent John Craft will also receive a 3.5% raise in accordance with his current contract. The raise comes after the Killeen ISD school board unanimously approved a series of pay raises and incentives for district employees Tuesday. Read more here: https://bit.ly/3uM5cL0. Beginning July 1, according to the district, all district employees will receive a 3.5% general pay increase. With a 3.5% pay boost, the superintendent would earn an additional $10,850, increasing his base salary to $320,850. view article arw

Pine Tree ISD has approved a new teacher salary scale that includes higher pay for first-year educators. A starting teacher in the district will make a base salary of $40,000 for the 2021-22 school year, an increase of $1,070, after the board approved the changes Monday. The previous salary scale topped at 27 years of experience with a base salary of $58,040 before stipends. The new scale goes up to 30 years with a base salary of $61,500 before stipends. The new salary scale also raises the pay bump that Pine Tree ISD teachers get after their first year, from $500 to $600. Superintendent Steve Clugston said the average yearly salary increase for educators is about $1,000.  He said the district is able to increase salaries through its general fund by finding ways to be cost-efficient in other areas of the budget. view article arw

When Sienna Crossing Elementary principal Rachel Rosier emailed Sarah Sutar to wear a nice dress last Friday, Sutar believed it to just be in preparation for yearbook photos or a video recognizing teachers for various accomplishments during the year. The real occasion, however, brought out an uncontrollable flood of emotions. “All of a sudden there were announcements, and they were preparing to say something, but it still didn’t click to me. When the door popped open, I was in shock,” said Sutar, who teaches fifth grade math and science at Sienna Crossing in Missouri City. “I was shaking inside – I just felt so thankful in that second. I just had a million emotions and feelings that came out as happy tears.” view article arw

The Austin Independent School District has created a brand new department and hired a high-ranking Texas Education Agency official to lead a team tasked with remedying years of declining enrollment. Alejandro Delgado, the former Deputy Chief of Staff for TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, will oversee enrollment efforts, set direction for recapturing previously departed families, engage with community stakeholders and deliver resources to campuses wishing to extend their reach to within the community. view article arw

The Sweetwater Independent School District will be giving teachers and staff $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees and $500 bonuses to part-time staff. "In Sweetwater we have a hard time retaining teachers. They come for the first two or three years, and they go off somewhere else," said Sweetwater ISD Superintendent Dr. Drew Howard. view article arw

Killeen ISD School Board Trustees approved a 3.5 percent general pay increase for all employees in a meeting Tuesday night. “Texas teachers, and especially the hourly employees or what we call the education support professionals, have been underpaid for years,” says Killeen Educator Association President Rick Beaule. Beaule is hoping this proposal will compensate teachers for their professional work. view article arw

During Pleasant Grove Independent School District’s regular board meeting on Tuesday, May 11, Superintendent Chad Pirtle announced the hiring of Matt Fry, Liberty-Eylau ISD Director of Communications, as their new Director of Operations. Fry joined the Leopard Family in 2004 as a Teacher in various subjects such as journalism and graphic design. He moved into the Director of Communications role for the district in 2012. “It is always hard when you lose an employee like Mr. Fry who has been a loyal, dedicated Leopard, but we also recognize that one must grow and expand in this profession. We are excited for Matt as he takes on this new role with PGISD and a little sad because we will miss him greatly,” said Ronnie Thompson, LEISD Superintendent of Schools. “He is an extremely dedicated educator and has a heart devoted to serving students and the greater Texarkana community. Mr. Fry and I serve together on two boards, the Liberty-Eylau Fire Department and FCA. He serves on other community organizations as well.” view article arw

Dr. Bill Dean has announced that he will be leaving Texas Tech University, effective June 1, 2021. Dr. Dean's retirement from the university comes after he spent over half a century molding students as part of the College of Media & Communication (formerly Mass Communications).   view article arw