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Big Sandy ISD swears in trustees and reorganizes board

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                               JASON CHLAPEK I PCE Standing from left, Big Sandy ISD trustees Quentin Matthews, Mark Duff and Kabe Murphy take their oaths into four-year terms from Kelly Hardy during last Monday’s meeting.

By Jason Chlapek

DALLARDSVILLE – Four trustees took oaths for four-year terms during Big Sandy ISD’s monthly meeting last Monday.

Mark Duff and Quentin Matthews were re-elected, while Darrell Murphy and Kabe Murphy were elected to new four-year terms. Duff, Matthews and Darrell Murphy all ran unopposed in the Nov. 3 election, while Kabe Murphy defeated William Handy for his seat.

The officers on the school board were chosen as well. Darrell Murphy will serve as board president, while Sheila Neal will be the board vice-president, and Matthews is the secretary.

During the meeting, Big Sandy ISD Superintendent Eric Carpenter gave a financial report during his report. He also talked about Title I funds that the district receives.

“Covid has been our biggest expense to the tune of $200-250,000,” Carpenter said. “Getting ready for class, cleaning buses, cleaning supplies, etc. It’s just part of it. The amount of Title I funds a school receives is based on the number of kids you have on free or reduced lunch. That’s about 50% of our students.”

Last month, Big Sandy ISD decided to go back to onsite learning for all students with the exception of those students who have preexisting medical conditions or have immediate family members with preexisting medical conditions. Carpenter believes onsite learning is more beneficial.

“One of the biggest reasons why we went back to onsite learning was we had a high percentage of distance learners who were failing,” he said. “It’s easier for students to get the one-to-one help they need when they’re in school. If they’re not checking in, you can’t help them at all.”

Carpenter also commended Senator Robert Nichols for everything he’s done for his district and other rural districts in East Texas. He’s not only a fan of Nichols, but also House Bill 3.

“With House Bill 3, Sen. Nichols helped rural schools get the funding they needed,” Carpenter said.

Big Sandy ISD meets again at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14.

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Interview with Covid survivors (VIDEO)

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covid interviewCALEB FORTENBERRY | PCPC Livingston Volunteer Fire Chief, Corky Cochran and Livingston Junior High Coach, John Taylor speak on their experience of surviving Covid-19 in the exclusive East Texas News interview.

 

 

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Noah’s Helpers builds extension to local food bank, receives donation

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                               JASON CHLAPEK I PCE Joyce Knierim (right) of McWilliams & Son presents a check to Noah’s Helpers to purchase tools that were stolen from the volunteer group’s trailer last month. Members of Noah’s Helpers are (from left) Larry Jander, Bill Brewster, GB Wise, Willard Moody and Craig Knowler.

By Jason Chlapek

LIVINGSTON – Since its inception in 2004, Noah’s Helpers has been taking care of building projects throughout the community.

The volunteer group, which is part of First United Methodist Church in Livingston, has spent the last week building an extension to the Mannafest food bank. The project is expected to be complete next week.

“Mannafest has added a 30x40 addition and we’re framing it out so we can build walls and they can expand their operation,” Noah’s Helpers director Willard Moody said. “We’re also taking out walls and making a big waiting room area for their clients to come and get food and a new restroom.”

Last month, a burglary on the FUMC property resulted in Noah’s Helpers’ trailer being burglarized and several tools were stolen. But, a local business came to the aid of Noah’s Helpers in the form of a donation.

“We responded to a Facebook post about their incident,” Joyce Knierim of McWilliams & Son said. “McWilliams & Son donates to almost every nonprofit organization that goes on in Polk County. One of our biggest contributions from McWilliams & Son is we give back to our community. Our community gives to us, we give back to them.”

When Noah’s Helpers started, the group built wheelchair ramps, porches, stairs and handrails. It also took care of minor home problems.

“We do this kind of work for nonprofit organizations,” Moody said. “We don’t do projects of this magnitude too often. We probably build 3-4 wheelchair ramps a month.”

Moody said Noah’s Helpers has 11 active members. He also said that Mannafest is a food bank that was started by several churches here and it has its own board now.

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Ellis back on board

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20201116 180424BRIAN BESCH I PCE Livingston ISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins swears in Bea Ellis during the November meeting of the LISD Board of Trustees.

By Brian Besch

LIVINGSTON - The Livingston ISD school board reshuffled some of its positions after accepting a “new” member Monday at Creekside Elementary.

The November LISD Board meeting opened with the swearing-in of Bea Ellis. Ellis spent 26 years on the board, also serving as its president, and returns after just two years away.

After, Ben Ogletree was named president for two more years, Scott Paske will serve as vice-president and Krissa Bass will be the board secretary.

Livingston ISD Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson presented the annual Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report during the public hearing portion of the meeting. 

The state's school financial accountability rating system ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and that they improve those practices.

The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. The FIRST report consists of 15 different indicators. The district scored the maximum allowed points of 100.  

Board president Ben Ogletree noted during the review of the principal reports that the district is holding an attendance rate in the mid-90 percentile, which he attributed to the janitorial staff and the diligence of the teaching staff with efforts in fogging, cleaning, and handwashing.

An action item approved by the board was the reconsideration of the board student outcome goals.

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Corrigan-Camden ISD swears in new board members

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C CISD Pic 1 CASEY SIZEMORE Newly elected school board members took the oath of office during the Corrigan-Camden ISD board meeting Monday. Pictured above are board members Thomas Robert; left, Lawrence Jolly Jr.; center, and Peter Burks; right.

By Casey Sizemore

CORRIGAN – Newly elected school board members took the oath of office during the Corrigan-Camden ISD regular scheduled board meeting Monday.

The new board members include Lawrence Jolly Jr. for Position 3, Thomas Robert for Position 2 and Peter Burks for Position 1. The outgoing incumbents include former vice president Lync Cavanaugh for Position 1, former President Sean Burks and a vacated seat.

Sean Burks and Cavanaugh were presented with “tokens of appreciation” for 13 and seven years, respectively, of service made by the C-CISD Ag. Science and Mechanics classes.

“I’m the outgoing president and I would like to thank everyone out here in this crowd for everything y’all have done for this school,” Sean Burks said. “Each one of y’all have been a pivotal point in how we’ve led the school in the direction we have went. That being said, I want to challenge each of you young men, as y’all assume y’all’s duties here as part of the school board, to lead with your hearts. Do what’s best for the kids. No personal agendas are really needed. You have a team of eight: we have operated with a team of seven — we’ve had a board member that has decided not to be here for quite some time… Just keep every kid in mind.”

The board also voted Michael Woodard as vice president, Anthony Carroll as board president and Angela Conaroe as secretary.

In other business, the board accepted a donation of more than $25,000 from Roy O’ Martin for the installment of new playground equipment for Pre-k and Kindergarten students. Hughes Trucking is donating the mulch required to finish the project, according to Roy O Martin representative Sherry Hughes, who gave a brief presentation to the board.

The board accepted a $15,000 NOGA grant to be applied toward after school programs and approved Harrell and Woodard for authority to sign bank checks.

Superintendent Richard Cooper’s district reports indicate there are currently 780 students enrolled in the district with an average attendance rate of 96.92%.

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