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Grapeland ISD Board Recognizes Students, ELC

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Asbestos Abatement Discussed at Old GES

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Independent School District Board of Trustees met in a regularly scheduled meeting highlighted by the recognition of students, faculty/staff and the Early Learning Center.

Grapeland ISD Superintendent Don Jackson opened the meeting by recognizing the Grapeland Elementary Students of the Month.

The recognized students were: Melanie Bridges; Gabrielle Reynolds; and Jalen Woods. The superintendent said Melanie and Gabrielle were helping GES Principal Cassie Satterwhite with ideas for the playground, while Jalen was a “… leader in the classroom with his behavior and academics.”

Krystal Burleson was recognized as the elementary employee of the month “… for the effort and time she puts in to every week to create the weekly announcements. She gives up her conference (period) every Friday to record videos and is happy to do it.”

The next students to be recognized were from the secondary campuses. The high school students receiving recognition were: Arionna Davis; Cierra Espinoza; Makayla Smith; and McKenzie Smith.     

The junior high students were: Ricky Gilmore; Dali Jones; Aliyah Medrano; Wendy Perez; Davin Thomison; and Jax Vickers.

Following the student recognition, faculty members were also recognized. Tyler Terry was recognized as the GJHS teacher of the month while Kristen Jackson was recognized as the GHS teacher of the month. 

Also recognized during the board meeting was Christie Hill with the Grapeland Early Learning Center.

“A year ago today,” Jackson said, “We approved the childcare center. I saw that on last year’s agenda and I said, ‘Ms. Christie, we have to do something because what we talked about became a reality.’ I invited her to come and give us a presentation.”

Hill addressed the board and said it was hard to believe it had been a year from the formulation of the idea to it actually becoming a reality.

“(GISD Board VP) Melissa Cobb actually got us together with Mr. Jackson and we talked about childcare. We talked about the general purpose of childcare and how important it is for early childhood, up to the age of five as well as the impact we could have on these kids coming from the community and into our school. I asked him if this was something he wanted to do and if so, we were going to hit the road and run with it. So, that’s what we did,” Hill said.

The ELC director expressed her thanks to the board for their support and added, “What was a dream for y’all, became a reality on Aug. 5, 2019 when we opened the doors and those children started coming in.”

She also singled out Cobb and Satterwhite for their efforts in driving the project forward.

The final recognition of the evening was reserved for the principals as part of National Principal Month. Those who were recognized included: Cassie Satterwhite; Amanda Kincade; Cindy Huff; and Katie Doughty.

As the meeting continued, asbestos abatement at the old elementary school was addressed.

“Our goal was for the elementary building to be down by now, but we had asbestos in it and we had to have it tested. ERI Consulting did that for us. They gave us a quote – based on the amount of asbestos in the building – of $58,000 to get that out. I was expecting it to be much higher than that. We shouldn’t go down with that building until we get the insurance settlement for the roof (due to damage from last year’s hail storms). In the meantime, if we approve this, we can go ahead and do the abatement,” Jackson explained to the board.     

A motion was made, seconded and approved to proceed with the asbestos abatement.  

In other matters brought before the board:

  • Lawn contract and irrigation services were awarded to Mike’s Irrigation and Lawn Care.
  • The targeted improvement plan for the elementary school, the campus improvement plan for the 2019-2020 school year and the district improvement plan for the 2019-2020 school year were all approved.
  • The 2019-2020 textbook committee was approved.
  • A $600 mid-year retention stipend for degreed (Bachelor’s) professionals and a $300 mid-year stipend for non-degreed professionals was approved by the board. 
  • Trina Deyo was hired as a math interventionist.
  • Consent agenda items were approved.

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