by Leann Monk
The Warren School Board opened their meeting Tuesday, May 22 by recognizing the success of the spring athletic, academic and band programs at Warren High School. Before a packed board room, each coach, teacher and director recognized the success the students had this season by going above average and achieving play-off or state levels. Also recognized for their outstanding achievements over the past four years of high school were the 2012 Valedictorian GiGi Barker and Salutatorian Meagan McCluskey. Barker told the board she would be attending Lamar University to pursue a degree in graphic design. McCluskey informed the crowd she would be attending the University of Texas in Dallas to pursue a career in physical therapy. Board President, Lance Johnson told the Board, "We are proud of these kids. The students have had a very successful spring. Let's see if we can come back in the fall with a successful volleyball and football season."
Johnson reported to the School Board the results of his recent conference with the teacher's district wide. "I believe I received some very good ideas from the teachers," he said. "I wanted to listen to what they had to say. I wanted to open the lines of communication between us," he went on to tell the Board. "We do need more communication between the teachers and administration," said Board President Ray Reid. "One idea I really liked," said Johnson, "was to start a pen pal program between the fourth and fifth grades here at Warren and at Fred. So they get to know each other before we put them together in the sixth grade." Johnson also listed technology and career courses as the main concern of the teachers in the conference.
In an update of things happening around the WISD campus, Johnson informed the Board that the summer working hours would be Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. "We are doing this again this year in efforts to save money. On Friday when we are not here, we turn the lights off and the A/C units up" he said. Johnson read a list of repairs and renovations that will need to take place around the campus soon. They include renovating the Warren Elementary bathrooms due to strong sewage and urine smells. Johnson says the smells are due to plumbing issues that need to be corrected. Also on his list was to refurbish the Warrior Football Stadium.
The Board then considered the resolution concerning high stakes standardized testing of Texas public school students. "Basically there is a movement across the state to alter the current standardized testing or teaching the test," said Johnson. "For so long we have be 'Teaching the Test' to get that exemplary rating for our school from the state. Let's produce an exemplary graduate; one that is college or career ready. For so long we've tried to push a square peg in a round hole," he went on to say. "We want Warren ISD to view what is important to our students, not the state. We are not telling the state what are not going to do; but what we are telling them is what we prefer to do," Johnson said. "It's been a long time coming," said Board Secretary Will Young.
Before they adjourned, the Board voted to hire five new teachers for the district. Johnson told the Board they are still looking for a librarian and counselor.
Having no new business or budget amendments, the Board voted to adjourn. The next Warren School Board meeting will be June 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the WISD Administration Building.