LHISD adding choir, technology teachers

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By SHELLY WILKISON

With just over two months remaining in the school year, Liberty Hill school district officials are making personnel changes at the campus and central administration levels.

Superintendent Rob Hart announced at Monday’s school board meeting that High School Principal Bobby Mabry was appointed to the new position of LHISD Human Resources Director.

Mabry, who has been Liberty Hill High School principal since 2008, began his new job Monday. Donna Cox, his secretary at the high school, will be his secretary in Human Resources, leaving another vacancy at the high school.

Chief Financial Officer Frank Watson said Mabry’s salary will not change with the new position.

The high school principal’s position is expected to be filled by May, Mabry said. In the meantime, he will continue to be available to Assistant Principals D’Onda Kristan and Jonathan Bever until a new principal is hired.

Longtime Curriculum Director Claudeane Braun has announced her retirement effective this summer. Although no one has been hired yet to replace her, the position will become an Assistant Superintendent position.

In February, the Board approved the retirement of Watson, who will leave the position in August. The CFO position will likely be filled by Jennifer Hanna, who is currently serving as Business Manager.

On Monday, the Board voted unanimously to create two new teaching positions. A choir teacher will be based at the high school, but will also share time at the Junior High. Hart said when the new high school opened in 2013, it included a choir room that is fully outfitted and ready to be used.

“We now have enough interest to support (hiring) a teacher for the high school and junior high. It will give us another elective at the junior high and will help us build that program,” Hart said.

He said in the first year, the district will incur some expenses such as a piano and an accompanist.

“But after that, it will be inexpensive to manage,” he said.

The Board also approved the creation of a teacher for technical education at the high school. He said the district is offering an engineering endorsement.

The Board approved a resolution canceling the LHISD Board of Trustees election May 7. In three open seats, there were no unopposed candidates. Those unopposed were incumbent Shawn Roberts and newcomers to the Board Jeff Madison and Scott Lindquist. The action did not impact the school bond election, which will be held May 7. Voters will consider bonds to pay for the construction of Rancho Sienna Elementary School, which will be located in the Rancho Sienna subdivision.

The Board also approved updates to local policies as recommended by Texas Association of School Boards in response to action taken by lawmakers in the 2015 legislative session.

Trustees also approved a financing agreement for the purpose of securing three school buses for the upcoming academic year.

In recent years, the district has updated their bus fleet each year through financing.

Hart updated the Board on activity relating to the bond election. He said some members of a school facility committee, which recommended the bond package, have organized a political action committee to promote the issue to voters. Hart is speaking to various organizations on the bond proposal, including the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce on April 28.

The Board held its regular meeting Monday at Bill Burden Elementary School where students in grades two through five (Liberty Hill Intermediate School) were recognized for their participation and achievement in UIL Academic District meet earlier this year. The elementary age students won the District championship.

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