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Taxpayers take trustees to task

Taxpayers take  trustees to task
NANNETTE KILBEY-SMITH Representatives of the La Vernia Independent School District Odyssey of the Mind teams are congratulated by the La Vernia Independent School District board April 16. Three district teams one each from the high school, junior high, and intermediate campus placed in state competition and will compete in the world finals in May.

District residents continue to request answers from the La Vernia Independent School District board and Superintendent Tom Harvey.

Parents and taxpayers filled the La Vernia Primary School cafeteria April 16, for the board’s regular meeting. Many parents were present for student recognitions, but a number were there, as they have been for several months, to raise concerns with the administration and trustees.

Six people addressed board members Richard Schier, John Bilicek, Janice Gimbel, Eric Friedrichs, James Barnett, and David Watson, board President Mike Jendrusch, and the superintendent during the public forum portion of the meeting.

Former district employee Michelle Raines again raised questions regarding alleged intimidation she experienced before resigning from her position at La Vernia Junior High School. Garrett Comeaux, with, addressed a proposed board policy amendment on the evening’s agenda. Several other issues also were raised, including a request for Bible history to be taught in La Vernia schools.

The trustees then addressed the evening’s agenda, withdrawing into executive session for nearly two hours. The trustees returned to open session and voted unanimously for Jendrusch to finalize a letter in support of the superintendent, Harvey confirmed after the meeting. This responds to recent questions regarding board activities and decisions. The final draft will be presented to the board at a future meeting.

Trustees also discussed how emails to board members are handled, but no action was taken on this agenda item.

Although it was discussed, no action was taken on another item, BED (Local) policy, regarding the processes during the open forum portion of board meetings.

A unanimous vote, however, approved establishing fees associated with public information requests.

In other action, the trustees:

¢Recognized five La Vernia High School seniors for their achievements, congratulated three district Odyssey of the Mind teams who will compete in world finals, and commended students who competed in the state Visual Arts Scholastic Event.

¢Approved amending the district policy regarding transfer students. Such students now can be included into negotiated shared services arrangements.

¢Adopted a resolution regarding high stakes testing, as have all the other school districts in Wilson County.

¢Approved renewal of contracts for the assistant superintendent, principals, directors, and teachers as presented, following another executive session of approximately 30 minutes.

The meeting adjourned at 10:26 p.m.

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