CISD Employees Receive ESSER III Bonuses
By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – Before employees with Crockett Independent School District could begin their Thanksgiving break, they received an early Christmas present.
Bright and early on Friday morning, Nov. 19, CISD Superintendent John Emerich along with Board of Trustees members Ansel Bradshaw, Josh Crabtree and Gerald Colter began to distribute bonuses to the faculty and staff on the various campuses throughout the district.
“One of the things I would like to stress,” Emerich said before handing out the checks, “is the foresight of our board. They took a recommendation and approved this whole-heartedly during the summer time. This wasn’t an afterthought or chasing after what other people have been doing. They did this back in the summer.”
The superintendent continued, “They have recognized for a long time the stress and the amount of work our folks have been under the last year-and-a-half with COVID and other things. They wanted to reward the staff. I have not seen anyone doing as large (of a bonus) as we are. We’re giving $1,500 to our teachers, and to all the other staff, we are giving $750. We are proud of our staff and I am thankful for our board who wants to recognize the staff, not just by saying thank you, but with a check today.”
The funds for the employee bonuses come from what is known as the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) III grant.
“We are calling this a retention/recruitment stipend. The idea is to reward those people who stuck with us and those people we were able to bring on board are getting this money today,” Emerich said.
The total award to CISD was approximately $4 million with another $2 million scheduled to be allocated to the district at a later time.
“ESSER III money came from the last federal (COVID-19) relief act that was passed,” he said.
Board member Ansel Bradshaw commented, “I think anytime you can invest or re-invest in your staff and show them what they mean – not only to us as a board and the administration – but to the district and the students, it is an opportunity that we don’t want to let get by us.”
Following up on his colleague’s remarks, board member Gerald Colter said, “I would like to add, knowing the tensions and pressures of teaching and coming through COVID, there has been a lot of work put in to teach our kids. We felt it would be a good time to reward them for pressing through the adversity.”
“Just knowing how hard it is for them to even be able to get to teach the kids these days,” board member Josh Crabtree added, “with COVID, with testing and with everything else going on – our students are going to be here and we want to keep these teachers. We want them to stay in Crockett teaching our kids. They are that important to us and to our students.”
With the CHS drumline warming up in the wings of Crockett Elementary, Emerich expressed, “We appreciate our staff. It takes a lot of people to make this happen and we are thankful for everyone of them.”
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.