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La Vernia trustees approve new superintendent
GREGORY RIPPS/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com —
La Vernia Independent School District school board President Cody Miller (left) congratulates Dr. Jose Moreno, new district superintendent, after the La Vernia board of trustees witnessed their signatures on the contract May 5 during a board meeting.
Dr. Jose Moreno has officially joined the La Vernia Independent School District (ISD) as its superintendent.
Moreno was confirmed as the lone finalist for the job April 9.
After the May 5 board of trustees meeting started, Moreno joined Dr. Cody Miller, board president, to sign his employment contract after the board unanimously approved the hire.
Enthusiastic applause from the more than 100 adults and children filling the primary school cafeteria greeted their handshake as the signatures were completed.
Many were present for student recognitions and presentations, but many also stayed to see the new superintendent in action.
The trustees also thanked Linda Bettin, who had served as interim superintendent since last fall, after former Superintendent Tom Harvey resigned.
Also during the meeting, Dee Wegehaupt, a district teacher representing an “outside” sports team, the Hit Organization, advocated making district facilities open to non-district organizations in the La Vernia community.
She said children who attend La Vernia ISD schools often belong to athletic organizations outside school and noted that the tracks, gyms, and fields were available under past district administrations.
The matter arose later in the meeting, as the board members discussed the draft of a new policy regarding rental of district facilities. Trustees expressed concerns over the amount of the rental fees and restrictions within the current draft of the policy.
The current draft of the policy states that only the tracks, gyms, and fields would be available to outside groups. Miller said that the superintendent should have discretion to approve allowing rental of other areas, adding that to his motion to amend the draft of the policy. This was approved unanimously, but no action was taken on the policy itself.
Moreno said that he wanted to continue to look at the administrative procedures and charges for facility rental and would look at expanding ways to serve the greater community but emphasized he would always put the district students’ needs first.
The trustees revisited the matter of proposed changes to the start and end times for school days. Dr. Diane Fisher, the district’s assistant superintendent, provided an update for the 2014-15 school year.
Moreno supported an earlier start time for primary students.
“From research and from what we’ve seen, we actually benefit from having children there earlier,” he said.
Fisher also offered information on after-school programs for the primary and intermediate campuses, comparing four child-care facilities in the area. If La Vernia ISD wishes to establish such a program, she said the district needs to consider impact on other child-care providers, the requirement for additional and special staff, as well as special safety, child nutrition, and other guidelines that would apply.
Moreno said he would like to continue the research and “look at all options.”
The board took no action on this item.
In other matters, the trustees:
•Approved a new policy regarding head lice as recommended by the La Vernia Health Advisory Council.
•Approved continuing a shared service agreement with the Educational Service Center, Region 20, School for the Deaf. One district student currently attends.
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