Lone Finalist Chosen for Superintendent, Roofing approved for area schools

Staff Writer

The Board of Trustees of the SISD met in their regular session on Monday, April 17 at 5:30. Dr. George McFarland was chosen as their lone finalist for the superintendent position. McFarland, originally from Abilene was chosen from a pool of applicants.
Under law, the Board must wait twenty-one days before voting to hire McFarland. McFarland is replacing the current Superintendent Mr. Terry Pittman, who is retiring.
It has been a long process. In April, the Board hired Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Executive Search Services to direct the search. TASB consultants met with staff and community groups on January 24, 2017 to discuss desired characteristics for a new superintendent. The profile that developed from these meetings was the yardstick used by the Board and consultants in evaluating the applicants for the position.
The Board selected 6 applicants for initial interviews. 3 applicants were invited back for a round of second interviews. After the second series of interviews,, a committee of the Board visited Tahoka ISD and reported back to the Board. The Board is scheduled to vote to offer a contract to Dr. McFarland at the May Board meeting.
Dr. George McFarland was born and raised in Abilene, TX. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas, his Master’s degree from the University of Texas @ Arlington, and his doctoral degree from Lamar University. He and his wife Angela have 3 children: Blake (Police Officer, Lubbock), Brock (software developer, Lubbock) and Kayla (Junior cheerleader at Texas Tech University). McFarland is in his twenty-sixth year of public education.
Dr. Larry McEachern was recognized by the Board for his forty-one years of service in the community and a resolution was read in his honor. The Board offered him Mustang Bowl season tickets for life. Coach Ben McGehee bought in and introduced Kirk Byrd, who will help the coach with the strengthening and conditioning program of students from grades middle school through high school. Byrd will teach physical education and supervise sixth, seventh and eighth periods and be the coach’s chain of command resolving any issues of conflict that may arise. McGehee also wants to push the nutritional aspect for children. Food donations are always welcome, as are volunteers to make food. The Board stressed the need for treating the girls with equality to the boys and giving all areas of sport the attention they deserve. McGehee stressed that he will work with the best people he can find, have an unbiased approach and work with parents on any concerns they might have and make certain other sports aren’t slighted, but also stressed all of this would take time and asked for patience. The coach for girl’s basketball was interviewed and there will be another interview next week. The boy’s basketball coach will be interviewed today.
Students were also recognized from various curriculum.
The Board considered to approve roofing for Southeast and Middle School. Last April, a hail storm damaged some school roof parapets. The original roofer was not a roofer but a roof supply company, the insurance company/risk management company, TASB had argued. Initially, there had been a claim for $160,000, but using a third party to renegotiate, the claim was raised. After the deductible, there was $396,193 left to fix the roofs. The roof from Southeast and Middle School is originally from 1999 and the SIS building is from 1994. The motion was carried to approve the roof repairs.
The Depository Contract Extension was considered and approved between First Financial and the SISD as was the Interlock Agreement with the Nolan County Central Appraisal District concerning Tax Foreclosure Properties. This is the last extension. The Board stated that the bank has been very supportive and they have had a great relationship with the financial institution.
There were no new hires. Enrollment in the area’s middle schools are up.
Candidates for Teacher of the Year were recognized by the Board. They are: SHS-Ami Houston, SMS-Monica Rogers, SIS-Jenny Ordway, ER-Carolyn Mullican, SE-LaTosha Barnes and JP Cowen-Erica Garza.
There was a reminder of the May election and early voting which will take place on April 24 through May 2. Election Day is May 6. Following the election will be a swearing in of the trustees and election of the officers.
The Summer Leadership Institute career descriptors and session planning selection sheet will be available on April 21. Registration opens on April 24. Rooms are already reserved.
The Board recognized the Capturing Kids’ Hearts Program. Out of eight thousand campuses that have the Capturing Kids' Hearts Program, fifty-seven campuses were nominated to possibly be named as National Showcase Schools. Twenty-six of the fifty-seven campuses were names National Showcase Schools. Three of the twenty-six campuses are located in Sweetwater ISD. They are Southeast Elementary, East Ridge Elementary and Sweetwater High School.