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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024

OLDER SPORTSMEN HAVE MORE FUN

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Pre-K, kindergarten students honored

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LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins (back row, L-R), Pine Ridge Principal Sarah Hans, LISD Chief Academic Officer Lisa Cagle honor kindergarten students (front row, L-R) Ryen Stutts, Jace Loftin, Danni Bass, and Norah Burkhardt, who received certificates for outstanding academic performance in literacy. COURTESY PHOTOLISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins (back row, L-R), Pine Ridge Principal Sarah Hans, LISD Chief Academic Officer Lisa Cagle honor kindergarten students (front row, L-R) Ryen Stutts, Jace Loftin, Danni Bass, and Norah Burkhardt, who received certificates for outstanding academic performance in literacy. COURTESY PHOTO

By Brian Besch
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February’s meeting of the Livingston ISD Board of Trustees recognized young readers and discussed staffing Monday from the high school library.

The meeting opened with student recognition, as Pine Ridge Primary Principal Sarah Hans presented two pre-kindergarten students and four kindergarten students as top achievers for their literary reading skills. Pre-K students Arlo Vallejo and Max Santana and kindergarten students Ryen Stutts, Jace Loftin, Danni Bass, and Norah Burkhardt received certificates for outstanding academic performance in literacy.

LISD Chief Academic Officer Lisa Cagle presented student literacy data.

“It is truly a family event, learning to read. It is a job, just like everything else,” Cagle said. “Learning to read and reading readiness is a passion when you teach four- and five-year-olds. Sarah was so excited to be able to present these awards tonight, to be able to advocate for her campus to show how much hard work has been done, and to share it with staff. It should be celebrated every day. 

“We talk about S.T.A.A.R. data and end-of-course data all the time. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten also have assessment requirements by the Texas Education Agency. There have been some changes. Today, it is digitized, which is fantastic. Pre-kindergarten receives the circle assessment, and kindergarten receives the Texas Kindergarten Entry Exam. Both tests screen for abilities and reflect what the kids are good at. Every student comes in with a different background. Some students are reading already, and some are learning their sounds. Screening results are sent to TEA multiple times a year for both pre-K and kinder. 

“We started a new curriculum on the Pine Ridge campus. Normally, there is a learning curve, because teachers have to get used to it, and the teachers asked for this new curriculum. It was a lot for them to learn the curriculum and get it in place. This shows how passionate they are. They have done a very good job. It was adopted by TEA in 2020. They’ve done a very good job. It puts fun back in the classroom, teaches the whole child, and gets them ready for the rest of school. The teachers were able to work through any issues that they had in the implementation phase. They were assisted by elementary curriculum coaches and Region 6 coaches, and their campus administration. They were very successful in implementing both new curriculums and meeting their deadlines by providing data. I couldn’t be more pleased. The data reflects the fluency.

Hans shared the data, saying she was proud of the teachers and hard work put into students’ lives.

“It’s paid off,” she said. “We have seen growth in our students.”

Pre-kindergarten beginning of the year achievements were at a 33% success rate. The middle of the year, an improvement was reported at 64%. A score of 86% is required to align with House Bill 3 is 86% and identify as “on-track” by the end of the school year. Hans said the school is currently on track to meet the end-of-year goal. 

“First-grade principals, you should be excited, because we have a great group coming to you that is successful with reading,” Hans said. “Thank you for allowing me to brag about our teachers and students and the growth we’ve experienced this year.”

The board approved the consent agenda items that included the 2024-2025 cheer constitution, district staffing plan and pool hires for 2024-2025, and hiring authority for the superintendent through Aug. 31.


LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins shared information regarding the district staffing plan.

“Sixty percent of the school districts in the state of Texas are running deficit budgets this year. Districts are laying people off and not including any pay raises as they move forward. The goal of the board is to try to continue what we have done in the past. In order to do that, we can’t continue to have budget increases. We have to increase the personnel budget, and there have been no new monies since 2019. In order to do that, we have to hold the line with our budgets and ensure that we can claw back enough money in other areas to continue to put a staffing plan in place that has an active recruitment and retention plan. We have been successful in pool hires. We have been able to hire positions before they even come open.”

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