Board Briefs
News from the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees

Summary of Meeting

To view the Board Meeting agenda:

During its regular monthly meeting, the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees honored dozens of high school athletes who qualified this year for state UIL competitions and it recognized the district’s Executive Director of Athletics Paige Hershey, who has won a Distinguished Service Award from the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association. In other special presentations, the Board:

  • Recognized Employees and Volunteers of the Month
  • Awarded first-year Share a Smile recognitions to nine campuses and four departments
  • Congratulated two middle school students and two teachers who have been named Jason Project Argonauts and National Lead Trainers
  • Honored students for their high achievement in the Houston Community College Early College Program

In addition, the first public hearing on the preliminary Fiscal Year 2014 Budget was conducted.

Special Presentations

Named as SBISD’s May Employees of the Month are two deserving district Special Education instructors – Sam Hill and Erin Stevenson-Bennett. Together, Sam and Erin work in the Apple Unit at Northbrook Middle School, where they work daily with autistic students. “Their students love them, and we all know that Sam and Erin are the greatest teachers and mentors these student will ever have,” Principal Valerie Johnson says. Read more here >>

May’s Volunteers of the Month are five women who are associated with the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The volunteers have taught third-grade girls about industrial chemistry, math, physics and other career options through fun, hands-on projects as part of a new STEM program at three elementary schools – Pine Shadows, Ridgecrest and Shadow Oaks. These volunteers are Debra Anglin, IDS Engineering Group president; Cynthia Clemente; Debra Aldrete of Vista Bank Texas; and the Chamber’s staff member Linda Avedon and President Suzan Deison. Read more here >>

SBISD Executive Director of Athletics Paige Hershey was recognized after earning the John Kelly Distinguished Service Award recently from the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association. A Rice University graduate, Ms. Hershey’s professional career has been spent in SBISD. A national service award winner, she was named district director of athletics in 2001. She has been executive director since 2010. Read more here >>

SBISD has a long history of excellence in athletics. This year, more than 70 high school athletes and team members advanced to UIL state-level competition in 19-5A Division play at Memorial High and 17-4A Division play at Stratford High schools. The students and their families were honored in a special Recognition of Student Athletes event. Read more here >>

Several schools and departments were recognized as first year, pilot program partners in the new Share a Smile campaign focused on improved customer service across SBISD. Earning Share a Smile recognition this year are two prekindergartens – Bear Boulevard and Lion Lane Schools for Early Learning; four elementary schools – Bunker Hill, Edgewood, Shadow Oaks and Thornwood; and three other campuses – Memorial and Northbrook middle schools and the Academy of Choice. Departments awarded first-year honors are Curriculum & Instruction, Community Relations, Finance and the Superintendent’s Office. Teams that meet program goals for three years earn a special Blue Carpet service award. Community Relations’ Becky Wuerth leads this new district initiative. Read more here >>

Last year, SBISD launched the Jason Project with a $250,000 supporting grant from Chevron Houston. This year, two middle school students were selected in a national competition to be 2013 Jason National Argonauts. Eighth-graders Chase Gonsoulin of Spring Woods Middle and Paloma June of Westchester Academy for International Studies will travel to the Caribbean this fall and study marine biology and other topics. Also recognized were two SBISD educators who were named recently as Jason National Lead Trainers. They are District Instructional Specialist Ro Luecken and Sheena Guevara, a sixth-grade science teacher at Northbrook Middle School. Read more here >>

Houston Community College (HCC) President Zachary Hodges, Ed.D., presented certificates of achievement to three Early College Program students who attained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The two-year program allows students to earn college-level credits while attending HCC Spring Branch. Honored were Spring Woods High graduating seniors Edwin Conde, Chinh Pham and Brittany Toy.

Preliminary Budget Hearing

SBISD Associate Superintendent of Finance Karen Wilson presented an overview of the Fiscal Year 2014 Preliminary Budget and the first of two public hearings was held. The preliminary budget assumes an increase in state revenues of $5.5 million or more, based on current model estimates, as well as the addition of 39 new teaching positions, a Dual Language Program, a Highly Gifted Academy, high school collegiate advisors and other items related to Board and district goals. A salary increase of 1 percent or more for all employees – based on estimated final budgets being adopted by the Texas Legislature – is included in the preliminary budget.

The preliminary budget is based on the current tax rate of $1.3945, which has remained the same since 2010. The current tax rate results from a General Fund tax rate of $1.09, plus Debt Service rate of $0.3045. By law, Debt Service funds cannot be used for the district’s general operations, including salaries or any salary increase. A second, public budget hearing will be held June 24 during the Board’s next monthly meeting. View the FY 2014 Preliminary Budget here >>

In other action...
  • Heard quarterly investment and energy reports
  • Approved design and development plans for the new Rummel Creek Elementary School
  • Adopted TASB Policy Update 96
  • Approved Consent Agenda action items and routine contract awards
This publication is distributed by the SBISD Communications Office. If you have questions or input, please contact Steve Brunsman, Spring Branch ISD Communications Director.