Outstanding individuals and district updates presented at school board meeting
A Sept. 18 Azle ISD Board of Trustees meeting recognized speakers presenting a wide range of issues
AZLE — Wrapping up their first six weeks, students from the newly-opened Hilltop Elementary led the Pledge of Allegiance to kick off the Sept. 18 meeting of the Azle ISD board of trustees. Principal Amy Rollmann thanked the district and her staff at Hilltop for having made the beginning of a new year at a new school go as smoothly as it could. Singling out Amy Yelle, assistant principal, and Alisa Johnson, student counselor, Rollmann said, “I couldn’t do it without them.”
Jessica McKinney, operations manager for the Tri-County Reporter, was presented a certificate naming her to the 2023 Media Honor Roll, a program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards and Azle ISD. The Media Honor Roll recognizes media representatives statewide for fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools, according to a release from the event. Media of all kinds have been recognized across the state for Media Honor Roll. The criteria for the selection includes getting to know the superintendent, board president, the district’s mission and goals, and reporting school news in a fair, accurate and balanced manner.
Assistant Superintendent Matt Adams was recognized for earning Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations status from the Association for School Business Officials International. “SFO certification demonstrates a commitment to high standards and ethical practice in school business management,” a document provided by the board reads. School business officials who earn this credential commit to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.
Hannah Beck, vice president of records for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s Region II also spoke at the meeting about past and upcoming projects and accomplishments. Beck described how FCCLA attended Sting Fling to pass out water and offer face-painting to attendees.
The organization seeks to volunteer at Hope’s Bazaar and the Community Caring Center later in the year. Beck also talked about organizing a suicide prevention campaign within Azle High School. FCCLA is a school-based career and technical education program focused on building skills and leadership in students participating in the organization.
Jerry Moore, a Texas Strategic Leadership coach presented a grant overview during the meeting. Texas Strategic Leadership is an organization that helps coach and plan with ISD leadership to achieve their goals and better student outcomes month-by-month and year-by-year. Azle is one of about 30 schools participating in this program and is leading Region 11.
Jordan Theim presented an update on the Texas Education Agency’s A-F school ranking system. TEA has decided to delay posting its most recent rankings and reassess under new methodology after results were found to be more anomalous than expected following a return to in-person teaching. Many districts are protesting the recent changes, anticipating they will further hurt their rankings. Nine out of Azle’s 12 schools were found to have dropped in their scores from the previous year. Twenty-eight percent of campuses are expected to see a drop in rankings based on the new methodology, according to a presentation at the school board meeting.
Lastly, Jessica Hanson, AISD’s coordinator of recruitment, retention, and compensation, presented information about a residency program in which Azle schools are collaborating with Tarleton and Stephen F. Austin Universities. Through this program, about seven university students are teaching alongside other Azle staff, substituting and running classes when required. The program is intended to introduce prospective teachers to the district and allow them to build the skills required for their future careers as educators.