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FISD super, board president under fire
Floresville Independent School District Superintendent Jerry Lee Hunkapiller and Assistant Superintendent Sherri Bays listen to concerns raised by audience members during the June 17 board of trustees meeting.
Wilson County NewsJune 26, 2013 6,680 views 23 comments
FLORESVILLE -- To some residents who attended the June 17 meeting of the Floresville Independent School District (ISD) board of trustees, a June 3 TV news story maligning Superintendent Jerry Lee Hunkapiller and the district’s former bus-service vendor, Student Transportation Specialists (STS), is just one problem within the district.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, three citizens addressed the board about their concerns. The first, Chuck Sawers -- whose wife, Cindy, is a Floresville ISD employee -- hurled allegations of unethical behavior by Hunkapiller and the board. Sawers said he received an angry, profane telephone call from a board member. The caller advised Sawers that his wife should “quit running her mouth,” referring to questions she had about accusations raised in the news report that aired on KSAT-12.
Sawers also alleged the call might have been an act of intimidation, because he has publicly acknowledged that he is considering a run for the board in November.
Jim Kotowski alleged that an unfavorable pattern was developing as it related to the district’s personnel, as Floresville ISD has had a 65- percent turnover rate among its senior staff. He also said that board President Ryan Bippert was ejected from an away baseball game in April after allegedly heckling an umpire.
Kotowski said the push by Hunkapiller’s predecessor, Dr. David Vinson, to create a “community of character” is unraveling. He challenged the board to terminate Hunkapiller.
“Your actions tonight and what you decide to do is going to decide how this school district runs next year,” Kotowski said.
Resident Carl Lyssy questioned the recent hiring of a special education director, alleging that Floresville ISD selected the least qualified of three candidates, then reposted the position in June with added qualifications.
Consultation with its attorney over the news story was one of four items the board tackled during an almost three-hour-long closed session. When the board reconvened, it voted unanimously to “authorize the board president and legal counsel to proceed as discussed in closed session.”
Hunkapiller revealed on June 21, during a telephone interview with the Wilson County News, his intention to resign. See article, page 1A.
In other business, the board voted unanimously to authorize the issuance of maintenance tax notes, which will allow Floresville ISD to refinance leases on school buses and laptop computers. With regard to the school buses, Assistant Superintendent for Finance Mike McSwain said the district will be able to shave three years and $122,000 off the lease.
With the teachers’ laptop computers, he said the district will save $25,000 on a four-year lease. Floresville ISD will spend a total of $10,000 to issue the notes, which accounts for the money it will save, McSwain said.
The board also voted, due to nearing capacity in some of its buildings, to limit student transfers to existing students and the children of district employees who reside outside the district. Otherwise, the district will not be accepting out-of-district transfers for the 2013-14 school year.
In attendance: Board members Freddy Carrillo, Bill Meuth, John Raabe, Ryan Bippert, Rachel Peña, and Doug Shoemaker; Superintendent Jerry Lee Hunkapiller, Assistant Superintendent Sherri Bays, Assistant Superintendent for Finance Mike McSwain, Superintendent’s Secretary Kim Cathey, Floresville High School Principal Sandra Galinzoga, Floresville Middle School Principal Sara Mann, and attorney Paige Kyle of Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño.
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