Anticipating the arrival of a projected 2,800 students in Liberty Hill next week, the school district’s employees returned to work Tuesday for professional development and to prepare their classrooms for a new school year.
After an early-morning breakfast at Liberty Hill High School, the staff was greeted by Superintendent Rob Hart and campus administrators. Hart’s announcement that the Board of Trustees had adopted a budget the night before that includes a pay raise for all employees was met with hearty applause, as was news that every campus in the district had met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) of No Child Left Behind. Liberty Hill ISD was one of only two districts in Central Texas to earn passing status.
“The Board recognized what you sacrificed last year (salary freeze), and this year, we’re picking up (on the salary scale) where we left off,” Hart said.
During the opening convocation in 2011, Hart told the employees the good news at that time that the district was not laying off personnel. All across Texas, school districts were having to close schools and lay off teachers due to cuts in state funding. At that time, Hart’s announcement that there would be no raise, but teachers were not losing their jobs was positive news.
Continued growth in enrollment is the reason the news was positive again this week, although Hart added that he was uncertain how an additional 230 or more new students next week would look. In the middle of a major building program, he said 2012-2013 would be the “pardon our mess kind of year.” He asked the staff for patience and warned that they would be inconvenienced as construction continues throughout the year at the high school and the Junior High.
Hart reminded employees of the successes of the previous school year in academics and athletics, and challenged the group to continue on the path of excellence.
Principals introduced new employees on their respective campuses and also shared motivational messages for the start of a new school year.
But, the highlight of the morning came when campus administrators dressed as rock and country-western stars were interviewed by a pretend newscaster played by Intermediate School Principal Kathy Major. Singing their answers to the tunes of ZZ Top, Elvis, The Beatles, Sting, Patsy Cline and Justin Beaber, the skit had the audience roaring with laughter.
School begins in Liberty Hill on Tuesday, August 28.