By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – It wasn’t that long ago the Crockett Independent School District was having to ration copy paper and lay off teachers / staff because of a shortfall in funding.  That was so 2012!

Four years later, thanks to the efforts started by former CISD Superintendent Dr. Doug Moore and continued by current CISD Superintendent Terry Myers, the district has righted the ship and appears to be sailing towards a bright financial horizon.

Another member of the administration team credited with turning the district’s financial standing around is CISD Business Manager Gail Hanson and during the regularly scheduled CISD Board of Trustees meeting held on Halloween night, she treated the board members to a bit of good news.

Prior to Hanson’s presentation, Superintendent Myers informed the board, “All month has been National Principals Month and we congratulated our principals today at a principals meeting. As the superintendent of schools, I would like to recognize them to you as board members and to the public and say they are doing a wonderful job. This is evidenced by the fact that we are not sitting around fielding phone calls all night long. Our children are being well taken care of on the campuses. I am very, very pleased to congratulate each and every one of you.”

The principals are: CHS Principal Deborah Revels; CJHS Principal Michael Woodard; CES Principal Robin Stowe; AEC/Pineywoods Principal Mecheal Abbs; and Early Childhood Center Director Dylis Bobbitt.

Board Vice President Trey Young also expressed his appreciation. “Thank you. I know that y’all are doing a good job because our phones are not ringing. We don’t have people coming in the door and complaining and it has been that way before, but not anymore. It’s been great. Thank you,” he said.

A second area addressed by the superintendent concerned the “one-to-one” initiative. The term “one-to-one” refers to a program to provide all students in a school, district, or state with their own laptop, netbook, tablet computer, or other mobile-computing device.

“This year we intend to take monies from various places in the district and try to lump all of our technology budgets together and spend something like about $90,000. This will be different than what we have done in the past, where we spent $10,000 here or $5,000 there,” he said.

Myers stressed the proper procedures would be followed and would be purchased from “… approved buy/bid lists from the State of Texas.”

Once Myers concluded his report to the board, he turned the meeting over to Hanson. “We are really excited about this. If you look at the second highlighted bullet (comment), it says the district’s financial position increased by $1,439,152. We would also like to point out another bullet point that says at the end of the fiscal year (2015-2016), the unassigned fund balance for the general fund was $4,066,941 or 38 percent of the total general fund expenditures,” she said.

As she continued, the business manager explained the district had added $1,259,077 to the fund balance over the previous year. Debbie Kirkham-Young, with the accounting firm of Hereford, Lynch, Sellars and Kirkham, was also present at the meeting and explained the district “… had three months of operating (funds) even if you never got a dime from anywhere else.”

Myers added, “We now have at least some buffer – some degree of comfort – that you guys didn’t have when you guys were down to $165,000 (in the general fund). The bottom line is, you guys have done a great job and Mrs. Hanson has overseen this. Keep in mind we have been able to do this while increasing salaries and becoming the highest paying district in the county.”

Kirkham-Young also complimented Hanson and remarked, “She is one of the top business managers in the state. You are very lucky to have someone who is well-organized, keeps bank account records up-to-date and timely and allows us to come in during the first part of September because she already has those bank accounts reconciled. I want to compliment her and her staff for a job well done.”

In other matters brought before the Board of Trustees:

  • The consent agenda (minutes, bills and investment reports) was approved.
  • The Board of Trustees approved bids on four trust properties.
  • Surplus property at CISD was approved for sale by the board.
  • Approval was given by the board to hire Curtis Witt as a certified educator.

 Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.