Waxahachie ISD joins 1,025 school districts throughout Texas in celebrating January as School Board Recognition Month.
Serving as a link between the community and classroom, school board members are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for public schools.
The Waxahachie ISD board is responsible for an annual budget of $92,438,918, just under 9,500 students, approximately 1,450 employees, and 15 campuses.
Board members serving Waxahachie ISD are: Board President Dusty Autrey, Vice President Clay Schoolfield, Secretary Judd McCutchen, and Trustees Kim Kriegel, John Rodgers, Melissa Starnater, and Debbie Timmermann.
The Board of Trustees devotes countless hours to ensuring Waxahachie ISD students and staff members are safe and successful. They do this through a number of initiatives, which most notably this year are:
One of the most important things the board does is hire the superintendent for the district. The current board selected and hired current Waxahachie ISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain in May 2019.
A historic pay raise for all employees made headlines in July 2019. First-year teachers are now paid $51,000 — a $4,710 increase from the previous year – and all teachers saw an increase in their pay scale. Paraprofessional support and auxiliary employees received a 5.5 percent increase, while administrators received a two percent pay increase.
Shovels broke ground on the Ron Appleton Agriscience Facility that will benefit hundreds of students. One million dollars was set aside for the agriculture and animal science facility by Trustees in 2015, with additional funds allocated by the board in 2018 to build the facility, which is expected to open in Spring 2020. This effort is one of many initiatives to improve safety conditions for students.
Trustees play a crucial role when preparing the district for a booming demographic. The 2019 population increase of 4.3 percent encourages a conscious mindset when properly allocating tax-payer money for additional facilities.
The opening of the district’s ninth elementary campus, Max H. Simpson Elementary, will be celebrated in August 2020. Meanwhile, Trustees are strategizing the expansion of the district to best serve students in the classroom.
A goal of the school board is to improve the accountability report card administered by the Texas Education Agency. A five-year plan was created with the assistance of Region 10 to enhance student success in the classroom. The district has already seen results since implemented.
The district earned an overall score of 82 in 2017-18. If sub-goals are met, WISD is expected to receive a 92 over that five-year period.
WISD is already on track with a score of 89 in 2018-19.
To serve as an elected school board member is service to the district and community. Trustees spend numerous hours each week working to further district goals, not including the time spent in scheduled meetings. To prepare for crucial meetings, Trustees do their due diligence to make informed decisions.
Dedicated time to the service doesn’t stop there either. School board members in Texas are required to participate in numerous types of continuing education and are obligated to complete 25 hours. School board members are guardians of the public trust and, through the policies they make, are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of local public education. They carry the ultimate vision of the district and work with the superintendent to accomplish tasks and hold others accountable for measurable, attainable goals.
Waxahachie ISD is extremely grateful for its Trustees’ commitment to the success of each student and staff member, and for the investment of time they make to ensure excellence in education for current and future students.