Board to interview District 7 applicants Monday

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees selected eight applicants to interview for the District 7 board spot at their meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Scott Muri said the applicants will be interviewed in closed session Monday night and the announcement of who is selected will be made at the regular board meeting Tuesday.

Muri said those interviews will be conducted in closed session.

Trustees also elected new officers who will take their spots at the next board meeting June 21.

The new president will be Steve Brown; vice president will be Carol Gregg; and the secretary will be Chris Stanley.

During the workshop, Chief Financial Officer Deborah Ottmers presented a budget update. Next week, she will present a budget for adoption and a 6 pm public hearing. The tax rate also will be discussed, but won’t be adopted until September.

It’s anticipated that the overall tax rate will stay the same at $1.17792 per $100 valuation.

The board recap said a school board in Texas is legally required to approve three separate budgets: the general fund budget which is projected to be $338,720,000; the debt service budget projected at $27,547,576; and the school nutrition budget at $18,115,065.

All are balanced budgets. The highlights of the General Fund budget come from the 2022-23 Compensation Plan which Trustees approved last month:

>> Starting teacher salary raised to $58,750. In 2017-18, ECISD’s starting teacher salary was $44,500.

>> Everyone on the teacher pay scale will get a minimum increase of $2,000.

>> 4% general pay increase at midpoint for hourly employees (campus-based and central office).

>>3% (or midpoint) pay increase for all professional employees (campus-based and central office).

>> Raise minimum wage to $15/hour (this is up from $10/hour two years ago).

>> The pay increases come at a cost of approximately $9.3 million to the district’s budget, the recap said.

During the discussion it was noted, the two largest expenditures, by function, are instruction, which is 60% of the general fund budget and maintenance and operations, which is 10% of the general fund budget.

Superintendent Scott Muri said home values ​​have increased, but homestead exemptions have gone up.

The state recommends that districts have at least 90 days worth of reserve funds, or fund balance, and ECISD plans to have 109, she said.

On school nutrition, Ottmers said every student is still expected to get free meals, but they’re hoping to sell a Gatorade, extra meal or entrance.

Trustees moved to closed session to discuss personnel issues and the appointment of a new board member for Position 7. After returning to open session, the board voted 6-0 to interview all eight applicants at a special board meeting June 20.

The board will vote on the appointee during the regular meeting June 21. Applicants are Randy Adams, James Drexler, Toni Hardesty, Dennis Jones, Travis Overton, John Rabenaldt, David Sovil, and Robert Thayer.

The board also heard that Elisha Sessions is the new principal at Gale Pond Alamo Elementary. Sessions has been the assistant principal at Alamo the last three years, and taught for five years at Austin Montessori adding to her experience in Choice Schools.

>> Adonica Galindo is the new principal at Gonzales Elementary. Galindo has four years of experience as the assistant principal at Ross Elementary, seven years as a kindergarten teacher, two years as a campus curriculum facilitator and one as an instructional coach.

>> Dorothy Ortiz is the new principal at Milam Elementary. Ortiz just completed her first year as the assistant principal at Burnet Elementary. She also has experience as a middle school assistant principal; and one year as a high school assistant principal to go along with 15 years as a classroom teacher, the recap said.

>> Raquel Rodriguez is the new principal at Ross Elementary. Rodriguez is currently the assistant principal at Noel Elementary, and has 10 years of experience as a special education teacher; three years as an instructional coach; and two years as a campus curriculum facilitator.

>> Two appointments were announced: Anthony Garcia will move to Odessa High School as principal from Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School, and Jessica Redman will move to Wilson & Young from Buice Elementary, the recap said.

>> Mauricio Marquez was named an Executive Director of Leadership responsible for coaching and mentoring campus leaders.

He has been the principal at Odessa High School for the past five years, before that serving as the principal at Crockett Junior High for seven years; Blackshear Elementary for three years; two years as an assistant principal at Burleson Elementary; and four years as a teacher at Ector Junior High. He was the Region 18 Outstanding Principal in 2021.

>> Chelsea Reyes was named executive director of guidance and counselling. She was the director of guidance and counseling for the past two years and served students as a school counselor for seven years.

“That’s an amazing slate of administrators that will do incredible work for our system,” Muri said.

In other business, trustees received an update on 2021-22 MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) results.

MAP, taken by students three times each year, measures how much students grow from test to test during the year. Proficiency follows growth. MAP Growth is one of ECISD’s Strategic Plan Indicators of Success: in 2021 50% of students hit projected growth measures; in 2022, 53% of students hit projected growth measures.

With MAP, the 50th percentile represents a year of growth; numbers higher than that indicate more than a year of growth. In K-8 reading, students with or exceeded growth projections in 3-7, 10 and 11 and closed gaps significantly in kinder, 1 and 2. In K-8 math, students hit or exceeded growth projections in all grades.

Science, given for the first time, hit or exceeded growth projections in 3-5, 7 and 8. Trustees also looked at a breakdown of specific student groups. The presentation can be seen at https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1406?meeting=529981.

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