Student celebrations highlight school board meeting

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By SHELLY WILKISON

The largest part of the school board’s meeting Monday was spent celebrating the achievements of students.

It was a standing-room-only crowd as purple-clad football players and their coaches filled the room. Superintendent Steven Snell and Board members congratulated the team on their winning season that ended just before Christmas with a trip to the State Championship game.

Although the Panthers fell short of bringing home the championship trophy, the students’ performance on and off the field was a source of great community pride.

“It was amazing to watch your team compete every week,” said Snell.

“People keep telling me ‘great year, great year’. I tell them it was a good year,” said Head Coach Jeff Walker. “There’s only one way to have a great year and that’s to win it all and these guys will tell you the same thing. We did a lot of good things and I’m extremely proud of them.

“We’re all kind of angry because we didn’t finish it, not only for us but for the community. But we’re going to get over it. We went back to work today to get ready for next year. We’re fast and furious getting ready for next year,” Walker said, adding his appreciation to coaches, training staff and student athletic trainers.

The Board also celebrated the accomplishments of three high school students who qualified for UIL State Congress. Allison Itz, Haley Frank and Emily Layton represented Liberty Hill High School at State, and Itz placed 5th in Class 4A.

January is School Board Recognition Month in Texas, and students from Rancho Sienna Elementary School made a presentation Monday, presenting board members with gifts of appreciation. Items were also placed on the dais from students from the other campuses.

Among the items the Board took action on Monday was approval of a Joint Election Agreement with the City of Liberty Hill and adopting an order calling for the school board election on May 4.

Place 6 and Place 7 will be on the ballot for three-year terms. Place 6 is currently held by Vickie Peterson and Place 7 is held by Scott Lindquist. The filing deadline is Feb. 15.

The Board also adopted a resolution creating the Liberty Hill ISD Police Department, as well as a resolution identifying the 2018-2019 Hazardous Traffic Conditions for Transportation.

Following a 45-minute executive session, Trustees approved the employment of Liana Brown to fill the first grade teaching position at Rancho Sienna Elementary that was vacated by Amber Dixon, whose resignation was also approved Monday.

Hired to fill newly-created positions at Rancho Sienna were Natasha Chapman for Special Education, Tiffany Fife for first grade and Megan Schneider for Special Education.

Those present Monday noticed a change in the order of the meeting as Snell ran his second board meeting as Superintendent since starting to work in December. Celebrations and recognitions are at the top of the agenda followed by audience participation or public comments, followed by the action items and closed session.

While there were no public comments Monday, in the past this portion of the meeting has been the final item on the school board agendas.

The Board meets on the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. The next meeting is Feb. 18.

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