Board Briefs
News from the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees

Summary of Meeting

Board Briefs Nov.24, 2014

Board of Trustees Regular Meeting Agenda

Board Agenda:


On Nov. 24, the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees honored several employees and a campus volunteer for their commitment to excellence and to the district’s student focused T-2-4 goals. In other action, Chevron recognized SBISD leaders and staff for support of the JASON project and its related science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program.

SBISD received an incentive check award valued at more than $255,000 through the Centerpoint Energy Load Management Program, and a public hearing was conducted on 2014-2015 Campus Improvement Plans as required by state law.

In separate Special Meeting action, Trustees voted unanimously to select the Houston legal firm of Thompson & Horton to assist with the search for a new SBISD superintendent. 

Special Presentations

Honored as district November Employee of the Month was Jana Gwinn, a 30-year teacher and counselor who helped organize and host Spring Forest Middle School’s Veterans Day Celebration and Breakfast for military veterans and their families. Since beginning after the nation’s 9/11 tragedy, this 14-year annual event has more than doubled in size to attract up to 100 or more veterans each time it is presented.

As school counselor, Jana works above and beyond her regular hours to coordinate veterans, staff and 800 students into one of the biggest events of its kind in west Houston. “This event brings our campus, community and parents together, and it is an opportunity for all our students to highlight to others how they are growing as young students,” Principal Kaye Williams states. View Video >>

November’s Volunteer of the Month is Kathy Rose, an amazing woman who started up the nonprofit group CollegeCommunityCareer, or CCC for short, and who volunteers her time to provide a weekly college-success mentoring program to many students at Spring Woods and Northbrook high schools. This community leader gives her heart, talent and expertise to help support the district’s T-2-4 efforts to double the number of its graduates who pursue military training, technical certification, or a two- or four-year college degree – at no cost to SBISD!

In addition to CCC weekly programming, Kathy offers FAFSA and TASFA workshops and events. She is a key planning committee member for the annual Funding Your Future FAFSA night held in January. At Parent U events, she speaks to standing-room-only audiences in her workshop titled “What to do NOW to be Ready for College.”
View Video >>

Honored as November 2014 SBISD T-2-4 Spotlight Educators are four women who have all been District Instructional Specialists at one time or another. Donna Handlin, Martha Meyer, Alana Morris and Ro Luecken were recognized for their incredible program work and student support of Operation Graduation, a six-week program for identified seniors who begin their final year on track, but find themselves struggling to graduate on time with their peers. Operation Graduation seminar-style classes allows many seniors to graduate with their classmates.

Two Operation Graduation student grads, Jarett Hernandez and Anne Ho, spoke about what the program meant to them. Jarett is now a district teacher assistant; Anne is a University of Texas freshman. “I can proudly tell you that being in Operation Graduation for one month changed my whole mentality and what I wanted to do with my life. Thank you . . . to all being honored here tonight. You helped me so much! Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Jarett told Trustees. Read More >>

In a separate Board recognition, Chevron’s Joni Baird and other corporate representatives surprised and honored Superintendent Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., for his early leadership in bringing the science-related JASON Project into SBISD schools. Several students and teachers have worked with well-known sea scientists on research trips into the Black Sea and Caribbean. The student trips, and supporting curriculum, are Chevron funded. Local Chevron officials also honored SBISD’s Ro Luecken, who launched and guided the science-related JASON Project in the district.

Chevron’s significant financial and program support for the JASON Project has helped SBISD use real science and exploration to inspire and motivate students to study and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program supports secondary teaching and learning, too.
Separately, SBISD received a significant incentive check for efficiency and for energy savings through CenterPoint Energy’s 2014 Commercial Load Management Program. A symbolic incentive award check of $255,822.15 was presented by Centerpoint’s Kevin Sarvis, an energy efficiency program manager. In all, 45 schools took part in this energy program this year.

In other meeting action, SBISD Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Patti Pace introduced a variety of actions taken by schools rated as Improvement Required (IR) under the Texas Accountability Intervention System due to low STAAR ratings in a variety of student accountability indexes.

Principals from Hollibrook and Spring Branch elementary schools and Landrum and Northbrook middle schools spoke about specific and targeted intervention system plans ranging from student data collection and analysis to campus implementation and monitoring of targeted improvement plans. Spring Branch Elementary is a Year Two IR Campus; all others are Year One Campuses. A public hearing was then held, and Trustees later voted unanimously to approve all four school improvement plans.

Special Meeting: Superintendent Search Update

Trustees voted 7-0 during their Special Meeting to select the law firm of Thompson & Horton to assist with the Board’s search for a new superintendent. SBISD’s current Superintendent, Duncan Klussmann, Ed.D., announced recently that he will retire in August 2015. Trustees met earlier on Nov. 20 to discuss presentations by four search firms. Lead attorney David Thompson and former Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Moses will lead SBISD’s search, supported by the Horton firm.
Read More at Superintendent Search website >>

In other action, the SBISD Board of Trustees...

  • Approved the 2013-2014 Audit
  • Adopted Local Policy EIB Academic Achievement, Homework
  • Approved Consent Agenda items, including approval of the schematic design/design development for the Memorial High School Field House Addition Project
This publication is distributed by the SBISD Communications Office. If you have questions or input, please contact Steve Brunsman, Spring Branch ISD Communications Director.