Douglas School Board President Mario Ramos was honored by his fellow board members at the Dec. 4 regular meeting.
Outgoing school board president Mario Ramos was presented with a Bulldog statue from DUSD Superintendent Sheila Rogers at the Dec. 4 board meeting. Bruce Whetten/Douglas Dispatch
“I leave without remorse and knowing the newly elected board will continue to work towards accomplishing excellence in our schools,” he said. “To all the Douglas school district and community members that supported and believed in me I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to serve you.”
The board meeting itself ended up lasting well over four hours. It included four reports from various organizations as well as three separate executive sessions.
One of the executive sessions involved the discipline of a student while another was held to consider the release of Ray Borane Middle School teacher Darren Pliler from his contract. Once back in open session the board agreed to release Pliler from his contract without any liquidated damages.
The third executive session involved the evaluation of the superintendent. In open meeting all the board members praised Rogers for her work, dedication and commitment in bringing stability to the district.
“You’re a calming and strong influence in moving our district in the right direction,” board member Susan Kramer told Rogers in the open meeting. “Change doesn’t happen over night and I feel it is going in the right direction.”
In the reports segment to the board DUSD Business Manager Cesar Soto talked about the possible effects Proposition 204 not having could have on the board. Soto noted that Arizona is the second highest state in the nation when it comes to cuts in education and as the slow economic recovery continues things will only get more challenging. Still, Soto feels, the DUSD is in good shape as far as preparing for this. The so called 100th day, which is the day set by the state when students are counted, will be Jan. 17, 2013 at which time Soto said he will have a better idea of where the district will stand financially for the next fiscal year.
“We are having budget discussions on a continuing basis,” he told the board.
Faras Elementary Principal Jasper Lusby presented a 25-minute report to the board on what steps her school is doing to improve its AIMS scores.
“Faras may the underdog,” she said. “But in the end we will come out ahead.”
The principal told the board her teachers know what they need to do and they are in the process of doing it to help their students achieve the higher scores.
Lucy Rosario of Douglas High School spoke to the board about the Teen AA award/scholarship. Rosario said Douglas High School received The Hope Award at a recent convention and DHS junior Raul Montano was awarded a scholarship for a video he submitted.
Alex Boneo and Holly Berryhill also addressed the board on trying to get a Boys/Girls Club started in Douglas and how they’d like the district to be involved.
Because these were all reports no action was taken by the board.
In action items at the meeting the board approved the adoption of the textbook “Teaching” for the CTE Education Professions classes.
They also approved the HELIOS/Algebra Ready Program for fourth through sixth graders who wish to participate. The program is brought to teachers in those grades by the University of Arizona. It is also an opportunity to earn $500 for completing the eight module algebra program on line.
The board approved a revision to the Fiscal Year 2011/2012 District Annual Financial Report.
The approval of a legal counsel job description failed and could be reconsidered at a later date.
The board approved the hiring of elementary teachers Patricia Messner and Jennifer Lemery; sub-custodian Manny Barco; instructional aide Victor Molina; cafeteria worker Jesus Garcia and Leticia Quinonez and Blanca Vasquez as part-time cafeteria workers.
Approval for substitute custodian positions was also given.
Because of the Christmas Holiday this meeting will be the only meeting held this month.
School will be out for the holidays from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4, 2013 and the Central Administration and other district offices will be closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 1, 2013.
The next board meeting will be Jan. 8, 2013 at which time Kramer and Mike Ortega will be re-sworn in to their school board seats along with newcomer Natalio Sabal.