As one of the top school boards in the state, and recently recognized as such, Mansfield ISD has a close relationship with the city's citizens.
Likewise, proven once again at the recent July 25 board meeting, the citizens love their school district - and two will now play a part in the future of the district.
Portia Williams and Ronnie Garcia had their names drawn to become part of the MISD Facility Naming Committee. They will join two school board trustees and three staff members on the committee to help select the names of five MISD educational facilities.
The schools to be named are the Early Literacy Center, the STEM Academy at Brooks Wester Middle School, Elementary School No. 24, Intermediate School No. 7, and Middle School No. 7.
"I believe that community input is another part of why MISD is so successful, which brings in more families who need new schools," Mansfield School Board President Raul Gonzalez said.
"Naming schools and facilities is especially important since we often name after living individuals. Having input from the community regarding those persons is wonderful."
Gonzalez said it is humbling that nearly 50 citizens volunteered to be a part of the committee. However, only two could be chosen, and hence the reason for the drawing.
"I am humbled that 48 persons offered to be of service in this capacity and know that they are likely serving their students schools in other ways as well," he said.
To be considered for the committee, citizens must be a resident of Mansfield ISD for more than five years, involved in the school district and community, and be able to attend all meetings. Meetings are Aug. 1, 8 and 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the MiSD Center for the Performing Arts.
"Part of what makes Mansfield ISD a great place to live, learn and teach is its community participation. Our community is filled with active advocates for education, and we value their feedback,” said Donald Williams, associate superintendent of communications and marketing.
In other news from the board meeting, members and those in attendance received a breakdown on the STAAR/End of Course exams for grades 3-8. MISD students exceeded state averages in every category.
MISD also outperformed almost every area school in virtually every grade. In fact, they did outperform all 15 other area schools in grades 3 and 4.
"The real games are won and lost with individual students," presenter Dr. Sean Scott said.
Dr. Clyde Steelman, Jr., executive director of Education Service Center Region 11, made a double presentation. He honored MISD Superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas as the 2017 Region 11 Superintendent of the Year, while the MISD Board was also recognized as the Region 11 School Board of the Year.
Region 11 consists of 77 school districts and 52 charter schools in the North Central Texas area.
"It's an extremely rare occasion when we have the opportunity to come out and recognize the Superintendent and the Board of the Year," Steelman said.
Vaszauskas is now in the running for Texas Superintendent of the Year and the MISD Board is a candidate for the 2017 Outstanding School Board in the state.
The board introduced four administrators to new posts in the district. Sherry Fragale is the new assistant principal at Louise Cabaniss Elementary School, Kia Johnson-McAdams is the new assistant principal at Erma Nash Elementary, Theresa Pollok is now the English Language Arts instructional coordinator/Department of Instruction for grades 7-12, and Trenell Scott is assistant principal at Glenn Harmon Elementary.
The board also recognized several individuals with 20 or more years experience in education who are leaving the district for a variety of reasons:
▪ Janine Johnson, special education resource science teacher, Lake Ridge High School, 20 years, three with MISD, resigning to return to school
▪ Larry Laudig, pre-kindergarten teacher, Imogene Gideon Elementary School, 23 years with MISD, resigning, personal.
▪ Arnold Marrow, social studies teacher, The Phoenix Academy, 28 years, 23 with MISD, retiring.
▪ Mary Miller, third-grade teacher, J. L. Boren Elementary School, 24 years, 16 with MISD, resigning, relocating.
▪ Mary Nix, counselor, Annette Perry Elementary School, 25 years, eight with MISD, resigning to work closer to home.
▪ Angela Rash, social studies teacher, Summit High School, 23 years four with MISD, resigning, personal.
▪ Sandra Walters, second-grade teacher, Kenneth Davis Elementary School, 20 years, 10 with MISD, resigning, personal.
Lake Ridge senior golfer Caitlyn Lindell was commended by the board for having finished second in the Class 5A State Golf Tournament in May. It was her second trip to state and she has committed to play at Texas State University after high school.
Recent Mansfield High graduate Shelby Priddy was also scheduled to be commended, but was unable to attend. She won the 2017 Dallas Summer Musicals High School Music Theatre Best Actress Award, receiving a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to New York to compete in the Jimmy Awards. She also performed at the Minskoff Theatre.
The board also approved a request to the Texas Education Association for temporary early dismissal from Ben Barber Innovation Academy while construction is ongoing, a project expected to last about 13 months.
It was also announced that the dedication for the rebuilt Charlotte Anderson Elementary School will take place after the start of the school. The 30-year-old school was the last of five elementary schools to be demolished after voters approved a $198.5 million bond in 2011 that included construction of five new campuses.
The next MISD Board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 22.