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  • School Board to look at itself

    031121 trinity schools TONY FARKAS | TCNS Trinity ISD administration officials congratulate the Employees of the Month for February — Martha Farnsworth for professionals, Michelle Medlock for paraprofessionals and Craig Troutman for support.

    TCNS staff

    TRINITY — The Trinity ISD School Board will take a look in the mirror to help itself improve.

    At the regular meeting on March 1, which was moved from Feb. 22 because of winter weather, the board received evaluation forms to fill out over the coming weeks.

    Superintendent John Kaufman said that the board will fill out the forms to be turned in by March 23, which he will then compile and present at the next board meeting.

    The idea behind the evaluation is to use it as a training tool, Kaufman said.

    In other business, the board:

    • approved the filing for a waiver from the state for missed school days due to inclement weather;
    • approved a certification of unopposed candidates for the 2021 school board election, as well as an order cancelling the election;
    • approved moving the March School Board meeting to March 29; and
    • approved paying employees for the days the district was closed during the weather disaster.
  • Schools discuss robbery arrests

    020421 trinity isd 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS Trinity ISD Superintendent John Kaufman and other administration officials present December employee of the month plaques to Magaly Zamora, professional; Ibeth Caceres, paraprofessional; and Crista Caceres, support, at the monthly School Board meeting on Jan. 26.

    By Tony Farkas

    TRINITY — The Trinity ISD School Board heard a presentation regarding two students who were arrested in November for allegedly breaking into the high school and destroying school property.

    Isaac Debose, pastor of Lone Star Missionary Baptist Church, said that while the events of December were tragic, he believes the two teens are being falsely accused.

    The two teens were arrested Dec. 3 and face charges of criminal mischief greater than $30,000 but less that $150,000 and burglary of a building, both felony charges.

    “The accusation doesn’t bother me, as I understand that someone needs to pay,” Debose said. “What really bothers me is the way this process is being handled.”

    Debose said the system has been unfair to certain types of people, but said that because of the open investigation, he declined to offer specifics.

    020421 trinity isd 2TONY FARKAS |TCNS Trinity ISD Superintendent John Kaufman and other administration officials present a January employee of the month plaque to Karen Shelton, professional, and the School Board meeting on Jan. 26. Other January honorees (not pictured) are Bridget Ladnier, paraprofessional, and Cassie Thompson, support.

    He said that the students have been publicly humiliated by this ordeal.

    “At what point does this go beyond hearsay or sub-par investigative work,” he said. “We need answers and we need results. The officers need to do their due diligence, and if there is no evidence, they need to be released.

    “These children need to … salvage what’s left of their senior year,” Debose said. “This is so wrong on so many levels. The people will not stand for it. We, as a people, will talk to whoever we need to talk to and take whatever measures we need to take to seek justice.”

    In other business, the board:

    •extended full pay for staff who are out with COVID through the end of the school year. The program ended Dec. 31;

    •approved 300 pages worth of changes to the school policy manual, based on recommendations by the Texas Association of School Boards. Local changes include additional cybersecurity training, adding a grievance process for terminated at-will employees, and setting parameters for the administration of non-prescription drugs;

    •discussed the system’s academic performance perform, which is done annually. However, since there was no testing done last year, and no testing will be done this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers that were provided were from 2018;

    •approved a change to the school calendar regarding COVID-related days;

    •approved the adoption of a food service procurement manual; and

    •called May 1 as an election day. Board positions held by Elizabeth King and Judy Bishop are up for election this year.

  • Schools to have students help students

    050621 trinity isd copyCOURTESY PHOTO The Trinity ISD Board of Education recognized employees of the month at the regular board meeting on April 26. Pictured are (from left) Keavin Searcy, board president; Gillian Campbell, director; Matt Curtis, Support Employee of the Month; Marci Loesch, Professional of the Month; Melissa Allbright, Paraprofessional of the Month; and Kelli Robinson, principal of Lansberry Elementary.

    By Tony Farkas

    TRINITY — Trinity ISD is looking at a new program to allow athletes to become mentors to other students.

    Susan Green, counselor for Lansberry Elementary, said that the main objective of the mentor program is to support and improve the well-being of our students by providing a role model that can help support them academically, socially, and emotionally.

    “Relationship building is a major theme of the program,” she said. “Students need to be able to make connections with people they can trust and feel comfortable talking to.”

    The high school mentors gain experiences with listening and learning, working together for a common goal, flexibility, and leading by example. This year was a piloting program year to make sure the program will be sustainable and that it will benefit students and the community.

    “I am looking forward to seeing the program grow and having a great impact on our students,” she said.

    In other business, the board:

    •approved the district’s BETA teams travel as they advance to national competition in Orlando, Fla. The district will pay for transportation and meals;

    •approved updated operating procedures for the board;

    •approved hiring Axley & Rode for the district’s annual audit;

    •updated policies for facility rental for other functions;

    •approved the 2021-22 allotment and TEKS Certification for textbooks and appointed a textbook committee;

    •approved the lease/purchase of interactive flat panels for the remainder of the classrooms, and all teachers now have one available;

    •approved the Trinity County Appraisal District budget; and

    •approved renewals of teacher and counselor contracts.

  • Trinity High School graduates senior class

    060321 trinity grad 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Valedictorian Hunter Cassidy addresses the crowd and assembled students during the Trinity High School Graduation on Saturday at Sam Houston State University.

    72 cross the stage

    By Tony Farkas

    HUNTSVILLE — “I LOVE YOU, JIMMY” rang out, along with other exclamations of praise and congratulations, laughter and not a few tears, after the Trinity High School seniors’ processional.

    THS held its graduation ceremony Saturday at Sam Houston State University’s Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville.

    In all, 72 students tossed the mortarboards as they were declared graduates by Principal Brittaney Cassidy.

    Salutatorian Emilio Cleveland thanked those in attendance for being there for the students’ final steps in their high-school careers, and the first steps into bright futures.

    “The start of this year was different than any year we have experienced,” he said. “It was the first year back from the pandemic, and we had to adapt to the new life at school. Luckily, the faculty supported us the entire way, and on behalf of the class, I would like to thank you for that dedication.”

    Cleveland also thanked his coaches for their inspiration, with a coach quoting Zig Ziglar to him: “You can’t have million-dollar dreams with a minimum-wage mindset.”

    Hunter Cassidy, the valedictorian, said the year was not an easy one for students or faculty, but the dedication of the faculty help see it through.

    “It has taken us 12 years to get to this chapter in our lives, and as this one concludes, I am thankful for all the good times we’ve had together, and to all the memories we have made,” he said. “The friendships we have made will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

    Sitting here today is proof, Hunter said, that they are capable of rising to any challenge.

    “Time keeps moving forward no matter what we do,” he said. “Remember, when life gets hard, throws a few curveballs our way, keep your head up and look to the future, because before you know it, you will be there.”

    060321 trinity grad 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS Trinity High School seniors celebrate their graduation on Saturday by tossing their hats in the air.

  • Trinity takes off the mask (GALLERY)

    060321 trinity isd One Happy BoyCOURTESY PHOTOS | DEBBIE OGDEN Case Robinson was very happy to show off his trophy and ribbon, won in the Houston Rodeo art contest.

    By Tony Farkas

    TRINITY — The Trinity ISD Board of Trustees is taking off the mask — optionally.

    At its regular meeting on May 24, the board approved making mask use optional, effective immediately, said Superintendent John Kaufman.

    “This was on agenda before the governor’s mandate,” he said. “We felt that with the availability of vaccinations, it was time to relieve some of the requirements.”

    Staff, students and visitors now have the option to wear masks.

    In a separate matter, Kaufman said he was given permission to begin researching the district use of school uniforms.

    Kaufman stressed that this is the beginning of a process, and any implementation of a policy is a long way off.

    “I will start by formulating a parent survey of five or six questions, and later send that out throughout the district,” he said. “We’re a long way off at looking at that; it may not get past the parent survey.”

    The rationale that was given for a uniform dress code was to help boost student self-esteem, school pride, the ability to have everyone on a level playing field, and increased attendance.

    “The premise for uniforms is pride; they put everyone on a similar playing field where kids aren’t being made fun of for their dress, or harassed because of economic status,” Kaufman said.

    In other business, the board:

    • granted permission to Kaufman to hire and offer contracts throughout the summer months to new teachers; and
    • approved a contract with SFE Food Service.
    060321 trinity isd Employees of the Month

    COURTESY PHOTOS | DEBBIE OGDEN Melissa Garcia, Joni Madera and Jennifer Harlow were named Employees of the Month for May. Each one received a certificate and $100; on June 7, at the End of Year…

    060321 trinity isd Lansberry Art Winners
    COURTESY PHOTOS | DEBBIE OGDEN Lansberry Elementary Houston Rodeo Art Winners are (left) gold medalist Summer Daniels, Art Teacher Jenny Hurst and (right) Best of Show winner Case Robinson.
    060321 trinity isd TMS and THS Houston Rodeo Art Winners

    COURTESY PHOTOS | DEBBIE OGDEN Trinity Middle School and High School Houston Rodeo art winners are (from left) Alyssa Loesh, Best of Show, TMS; Ashlyn Roman, Best of Show, THS; and Julia Lozano, Gold…

    trinity isd board of trustees

    COURTESY PHOTOS | DEBBIE OGDEN The Oath of Office was given by Debra Ogden to Judy Bishop and Elizabeth King following their re-election to the Board of Trustees for the next three years. Both ladies…

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