School Board Meeting Last Night

Last night, the Eustace ISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing to discuss the 2014-2015 budget and tax rate and also held their regular monthly meeting. The public hearing started at 6:30 and was held in the HS library. The Board received information about the property values of the district and how that would impact the I & S tax rate for the upcoming year. The Board also reviewed information about estimated state aid to be received in 2014-2015. Since this was a hearing, no action was taken on the budget or the tax rate.

Following the conclusion of the public hearing, the Board held their regular monthly meeting. The meeting started at approximately 7:05 and was held in the HS library. The EISD Board took the following actions at the meeting:

  • Reorganized the Board Officers as follows: Gary Walsh – President; Ashley McKee – Vice President; Bobby Ashton – Secretary
  • Approved the minutes of previous meetings.
  • Approved the financial reports as presented.
  • Approved the 2014-2015 budget as presented.
  • Adopted a tax rate of $1.04 for maintenance and operations and $0.1915 for interest and sinking (debt payment) for a total tax rate of $1.2315 for the 2014-2015 school year. This represents a decrease in the overall tax rate of $0.0349 from the previous year.
  • Accepted the bid from Texas Schools Cooperative for property, liability, and vehicle insurance as presented.
  • Approved the District Improvement Plan for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Approved Attendance Committees as presented.
  • Approved the PDAS Appraisers as presented.
  • Approved the employment of Coressa Durnell, as teacher at the Primary campus; Brenda Gilbreath as instructional aide at the Middle School campus; and, Tessa Nevile as instructional aide at the High School campus.
  • Approved the substitute list as presented.
  • Approved the student transfers as presented.
  • Adjourned

Public Hearing and Board Meeting Tonight

Tonight, the EISD Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate for the 2014-2015 school year. The public hearing will start at 6:30 PM and be held in the High School library. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

At 7:00 PM (or immediately after the hearing concludes), the Board of trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting. The Board will hear the following reports:

  •  2013-2014 District Improvement Plan Evaluation
  • District Accountability Summary
  • Campus Accountability Summary
  • Notice of Sheriff’s Sale
  • Letter from TEA – Division of Financial Compliance
  • Van Zandt County Appraisal District 2015 Budget
  • School Health Advisory Committee Annual Report

The Board will consider action on the following items:

  • Reorganization of Board Officers
  • Approve minutes of previous meetings
  • Financial Reports for July
  • 2014-2015 Budget
  • 2014-2015 Tax Rate
  • Bids on Property, Vehicle, and Liability Insurance for 14-15
  • District Improvement Plan for 2014-2015
  • Attendance Committees
  • PDAS Appraisers
  • Local Policy Update 100 (First Reading)

The Board will convene in closed session to consider personnel and staffing and student transfers. Any action on a closed session item will be made in open session.


Volleyball Update

Congratulations to the 9th grade Purple Team on winning the Consolation Championship in the Eustace Tournament this past weekend. The Eustace team won 5 matches and lost 1.

All the volleyball teams will travel to Palmer on Tuesday to have a dual match.

Consolation Champs - 9th Grade Purple Team


Varsity VB at Van Tournament

This Week

Things will start to pick up this week in EISD. Tomorrow, we welcome all the staff members back for the official start of in-service for the 2014-2015 school year. Staff members will be involved in campus work and training activities from Tuesday – Friday. The first day for students will be Monday, August 25. This week will also feature a full schedule of events for our students and parents.

Tuesday – In-Service for all staff members; VB Dual Match at Palmer – 5:00; Public Hearing on Budget and Tax Rate – 6:30; Regular Monthly Board Meeting – 7:00 PM

Wednesday – In-Service for all staff members;

Thursday – In-service for all staff members; Fish Camp – 1:00 – 3:00; Meet the Teacher Night – 3:00 Primary New Students; 3:30 Primary Returning Students; 4:00 – Intermediate; 4:30 Middle School; Varsity VB Tournament in Eustace - Lady Bulldogs play at 3:00, 5:00, and 8:00; HS Football Scrimmage v. Quitman

Friday – In-service for all staff members; Eustace VB Tournament continues

Saturday – Eustace VB Tournament

Monday, August 25 – First Day of Classes


Lessons from Summer 2014

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Everyone is a life-long learner….whether they admit to it or not. Each day we have experiences which can be internalized as life lessons, saved as priceless memories, or pushed to the side as obstacles or distractions from our “real lives”. These experience–whether great or small–are added to our core beliefs, affect future decisions and experiences and makes us “who we really are”.  This summer I learned things both great and small, silly and (to me) profound:

1. Never wear a tight black dress to the Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse. It won’t really fit when you walk out the door! Choose something that has elastic…or at least room to expand!

2. The best time to take a picture of the Alamo is between sunrise and 7:00 a.m. Your only competition will be morning joggers (who ate too much at the Chama Gaucha Steakhouse the night before!).

3. Teachers that spend time in the summer preparing and planning are actually more psychologically and physically prepared for the beginning of the new school year!
Notice there’s no picture???

This summer I was blessed to present several workshops around the state and kept meeting great teachers from all grade levels, school sizes and backgrounds that had one thing in common: they planned and organized during the summer for the upcoming school year. This preparation wasn’t done for “comp days” or forced professional development. These teachers just have an internal drive, a personal “back-channel” that continually plans, creates and thinks about the classroom. This isn’t just about decorating or choosing a new theme either but involves those critical structures that affect functionality and instruction in the classroom. Yes, these teachers DO have personal lives. Teaching, however, is more than just a job to them. It is part of who they are. They just can’t help themselves! So, they are the ones first back to the classroom with a new theme or decor, but also with new lessons and ideas for instruction. Newness incites and excites! It energizes! These teachers are prepared and ready to return.

So, I don’t have a picture of this–a way to capture this lesson, but measuring a teacher’s readiness has long been elusive. The MET Project spent zillions of dollars and still can’t really define what makes a great teacher great or even begin to imbue into others this secret power.

Still, just as I know not to wear a tight dress to a Brazilian Steakhouse, I  know that teachers who prepare and plan during the summer, teachers with this deep-seated personal drive, are far more prepared and energized to meet the new year.
Deep down, you believe it too!
After all, who would you want teaching your child??

Interested in Performing in the Fall Play?

Parents and students are invited to attend a meet and greet. Join us for information regarding this school year’s upcoming season and how you can become a part of the Eustace Middle School and Eustace High School Theater Arts after school program.

When: Monday – August 19, 2014

Where: Auditorium –  High School Campus – South end of the campus across from administration.

Time: 3:00 p.m.

Join Us! It is going to be a Great year!


Middle School Cheerleaders Win Awards

The Eustace Middle School cheerleaders recently attended their summer cheer camp. They earned several awards for their hard work and expertise. Below are comments from the Middle School cheerleader coach, Kim Purselley:

They earned:
Game Time Top Team Trophy
Spirit Award( this is voted on by all teams at camp) Technical Excellence in Stunts

The following girls were nominated for All American: Sierra Castillo, Abbie Cates, Sadie Cates, Madison Fisher, Destani Thomasson, and Yasmine Washington.

This group represented Eustace Middle School with pride, poise, and discipline. I am very proud of them!

2014-2015 Eustace Middle School Cheerleaders
Emily Bishop
Stephanie Carlson
Sierra Castillo
Abbie Cates
Sadie Cates
Colton Gordon
Madison Fisher
Bailey Holbert
Madison Lilley
Destani Thomasson
Yasmine Washington

Congratulations to all of our Middle School cheerleaders on a great camp!


2014-2015 Middle School Cheerleaders


Wanted: Disruptive Innovators

via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger recently received Chief Executive magazine’s “2014 CEO of the Year” award. The magazine outlined the tremendous hurdles Iger had encountered after becoming CEO of Disney in 2005 and described his three-pronged approach for dealing with these issues.

1. Invest most of the company’s capital in creating high-quality, branded content and experiences
2. Embrace technology and use it aggressively to enhance the quality of products, and this the consumer experience
3. Get closer to customers by becoming more efficient as a company

My favorite quotes from the article:
Technology had to become a significant middle name for the company.
…transformative change was not expected from an insider...”

In a related article in Bloomberg, Iger was commended on his stewardship of Disney by a member of the selection committee as being “...a disruptive innovator in taking the entertainment industry to another level using media and new technology.”

The lesson in all of this for me: to continue to be successful, even Disney had to change with the times!

I believe most people would agree with the three following statements:
  • Technology is changing our daily personal lives.
  • Technology is here to stay.
  • Technology is going to keep changing at an ever increasing rate.

Now ask teachers these questions:

  • Is technology changing the way you teach daily?
  • Is technology in your classroom to stay?
  • Are you going to keep updating the way you use technology in the classroom?

Suddenly, there is a fracturing of the faith, and a wall of resistance of various degrees becomes apparent:

  • That’s not the way we’ve always done it.
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • We have state accountability assessments.
  • No time. We are too busy!

Perhaps educators need “technology” to become our  ”middle name”
Perhaps education needs transformative change from the insiders
Perhaps educators all need to become “disruptive innovators”!
After all, even education has to change with the times.

I encourage you to read the complete article in Chief Executive Magazine: ”How Bob Iger Remade the House that Walt Built“.  It talks about vision, the value of failure and honesty and more. A great read!

Board Meeting Tonight

The Eustace ISD Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting tonight. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM and be held in the HS library. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

The Board will hear the following reports:

  • RevTrak
  • 12-13 Drop Out Data
  • Preliminary FIRST Rating
  • Attendance Comparison
  • 2014 Certified Taxable Values – Van Zandt County

Agenda Items include:

  • Approve minutes of previous meeting
  • Consider financial reports for June
  • Update on 2014-2015 budget
  • Consider proposal for duct work at Middle School, High School Auditorium, and High School Band Hall
  • Consider 2014-2015 collection contract with Henderson County Tax Office
  • Consider Proposed Tax Rate for 2014-2015
  • Consider Proposals – Student Accident Insurance
  • Review Local Policy (FFG) and FFG(Legal) – Child Abuse and Neglect Policy
  • Consider revisions to policy EIE(Local)
  • Consider Changes to policies DIA(Local) and FB(Local)
  • Consider Student Code of Conduct for 2014-2015
  • Review Student Handbook for 2014-2015
  • Review Community and Student Engagement Assessment for 2014
  • Review Employee Handbook for 2014-2015
  • Review Food Allergy Management Plan
  • Consider General Waivers as presented: Modified Schedule State Assessment Days; Timeline for Accelerated Instruction; Texas Assessment Management System Date Portal
  • Closed Meeting – During the closed meeting the Board will discuss personnel matters and student transfers. Any action on closed meeting items will be taken in open session.