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Cosmetology students certified

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CosmetologyFive Livingston High School senior cosmetology students completed their certification requirements, including (L-R) Paige Peterson, Kylee Clack, their teacher Cynthia Holloman, Savannah Fleming, Areli Davalos, and Kaitlin Dover.

From Enterprise Staff

March's meeting of the Livingston ISD Board of Trustees March opened with recognition of cosmetology senior students. Paige Peterson, Savannah Fleming, Kaitlin Dover, Kylee Clack, and Areli Davalos rexently completed their cosmetology certification.

“These are senior students who drove to Lufkin during their junior year to get their hours in," Dr. Brent Hawkins said.

Thank you to the board for funding and bringing the cosmetology back to Livingston. Thank you also for hiring Mrs. (Cynthia) Holloman. She has been a crucial piece in the success of the program. I can’t imagine a more perfect person for our students to learn under.  She has both a cosmetology and barber teaching license. I’m very proud of these students and their accomplishments. The program will continue to grow. It has opened the doors to a new opportunity for our students.”

Livingston Board President Bea Ellis added, “We have a lot of pride in their hard work. This is not an easy thing to do. We’re very proud of them.”

Livingston High School Career and Technical Education Coordinator Blake Thornton presented the College, Career, and Military Readiness (CCMR) data. The CCMR is part of the Texas A-F Accountability rating for public schools.

“The LHS academic advisors and I have worked together on a spreadsheet that presents three years of data," Thornton said. "The data includes TSIA and SAT test scores of senior students and the Industrial Based Certification testing as well. It tracks the testing cost for reimbursement purposes from TEA. The data focuses on the 244 members of the senior class of 2024. We added more testing this school year in the areas of criminal justice and animal science. The students are divided into four categories: college-ready only (42 students); work-ready only (98 students); both college and work-ready (39 students); and lack a test score (48 students).

"There are 72%, or 168 students, who are currently College, Career, or Military Ready. This upcoming Friday we are having a welding certification, where more students will take their tests on campus. I’m anticipating another 12-15 students who will be certified complete on Friday. Last year, the CCMR readiness score was reported at 53% at the end of the school year."

The food science department adopted a new test this school year for both food handlers and food managers. Forty-five introductory students have passed their Food Handler certification, and 32 juniors and seniors have passed their Always Food Safe Food Protection Manager certification.

We attribute the success of the certification increase from 58% to 72% to matching students with a CTE program offering a certification,” Thornton said.

“In January, we had around 68 students who had not tested in a path," he continued. "We worked with these students and narrowed the list down to five students. The high school counseling department worked together, aligning the goals of the Texas Education Agency, the LISD Board of Trustees, and the CTE requirements.”

LHS Academic Advisor Debbie Flanagan and CTE Coordinator Blake Thornton visited with senior students to let them know the board's goal for every LHS student to graduate with a diploma and a certified skill set, including an industrial-based certification. Once the goal was explained to the students, all were agreeable to working toward the certification. The junior class schedules have been reviewed to align with the program of study to include testing for an industrial-based certification.

The consent agenda was unanimously approved, which includes a 4% retention bonus to all returning employees based on their salary midpoint; the LISD 2024-2025 Salary instrument and compensation plan that allows for a 3% salary increase for employees; the sale and recycling of surplus items; and the quarterly investment report.

“With the passage of the 2024-2025 LISD Salary and Compensation Plan, we have put our money where our priorities are," Hawkins said. "Public education will see the toughest financial times ever because of the lack of state funding. We appreciate the board supporting our faculty and staff by passing the employee retention bonus, which is a 4% stipend to all returning LISD employees. A 3% raise from the midpoint was passed for all employees with two exceptions.

Bus driver pay will increase by greater than 3% of the midpoint. Moving the starting pay from $17.22 per hour to $20.00 per hour, effective Aug. 1. The minimum teacher salary will rise from $57,000 to $60,000, which is a 3% salary increase, plus an additional $1,000 with beginning July 1. As a district, we will continue to work diligently to keep the very best teachers in front of our kids. It feels very good to go from a starting teacher’s salary of $38,000 in 2013 to offering a starting teacher's salary of $60,000 for the 2024-2025 school year. This salary package is a $2.4 million increase for the retention and recruitment of our faculty and staff and is felt throughout all portions of the employee salary scale.”











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