For a moment Thursday night, it was if a tornado lifted everyone at the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees meeting out of their seats and landed them in Oz.
But it wasn’t long before Dorothy clicked her heels and all were returned home safely.
After receiving a recognition from WISD for their recent performance of The Wizard of Oz, students from the Weatherford High School Theatre Arts program were asked by Board President Paul Paschall to re-enact the final scene from the play. Happily, Dorothy (Paulie Cocke), Scarecrow (Tony Thorn), Tin Man (Jacob Myers), Cowardly Lion (Bryant Huggins) and Glinda the Good Witch (Emma Beaird) brought the filled boardroom to its feet and moved many to tears, including Theatre Arts teacher Angela Arthurs.
“I had to keep reminding myself I was at Weatherford High School,” board secretary Ashley Conlon said of watching the original performance. “It was just fantastic. Bravo!”
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Other board members echoed the sentiment with Dave Cowley commending teachers and parents for their “exceptional” work.
When the room settled, it was back to the business at hand and trustees heard from James Hotopp, City of Weatherford Director of Water Utilities, about the need for existing wastewater lines on the property of the Ninth Grade Center to be replaced. The City is proposing to replace 8,400 linear feet of wastewater lines and create a new easement to the Black Warrior Creek Sanitary Sewer that runs through approximately 3,000 feet of the NGC.
Hotopp explained that there were three areas of concern, which included several manholes underneath the baseball field, proximity to the Bridge Academy and Continuing Education Building and impacts to the tennis courts and large pecan trees. He said the placement of those lines makes it difficult to maintain and the new lines would alleviate that issue.
“The proposed easement will not impact significant structures or landscape and the City will abandon portions of the current sewer lines,” he said.
Cost for the project to the City is estimated at $1.4 million and most of the work would take place over the summer. Hotopp said any dealings with contractors would be handled by the City and that should anything need to be repaired to its original state, all costs would be absorbed by the City.
An agreement for the easement was unanimously approved by the board.
Board members also approved an order to call for a Trustee Election for Places 6 and 7 for the May 10 General Election and entered into an agreement with the Parker County Elections Administration. Cost for the election is approximately $4,200 and should it not be needed, the contract can be voided at little or no cost to the district.
Deadline for anyone interested in running for the WISD school board is Feb. 28. Packets can be picked up at the District Services Building located at 1100 Longhorn Drive in Weatherford.
Curtis Elementary Principal Rachel Rife gave a campus report and several students showed board members technology they are using in the classrooms for reading, blogging, coding and producing. Several campuses have been highlighting various programs over the past few months and trustee Dr. Joshua Tarbay asked if the District was assessing how the programs were working.
Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks answered by saying that many of the programs being highlighted are being implemented across the district already and that most, if not all, are no cost to the district and the ones that aren’t are paid by grants or have minimal cost.
The board also gave Hanks authorization to act on its behalf should a donation for a new digital scoreboard at the baseball field come through before the board meets again.
The Weatherford Baseball Booster Club contacted the district about wanting to donate $31,000 for the purchase of the new scoreboard. Though the district has not received any funds, the board needs to approve the acceptance of the monies in accordance with board policy.
Hanks explained that the current scoreboard is getting difficult to maintain because of its age and the lack of availability of replacement parts. He added that the donation includes money for installation.