The newly reorganized Humble ISD Board of Trustees began the regular school board meeting Aug. 9 with recognition of an outstanding group of International Baccalaureate Diploma recipients. Director of Advanced Academics Dr. Charles Ned presented the IB diplomas to nine members of the class of 2016 from the district.
Carla Mills Winfont, of Crosby ISD, then surprised board member Angela Conrad with the Master Trustee Certificate. Conrad later expressed her appreciation for the certification and spoke about the relationships built among other Trustees, and the positive learning experience.
During the individual comment and recognition portion of the meeting, there were many warm remarks directed toward Executive Assistant Peggy Young.
Announcing Young’s retirement, Trustee Robert Sitton said, “We always talk about the team of eight, but we probably should have been saying team of nine, because you’ve been very instrumental in helping us do what we do. And in the end, it helps the kids grow.”
Keith Lapeze also expressed his feelings at Young’s departure.
“Peggy, we are going to miss you, terribly, terribly. And being president this year, I’m a little disappointed that you’re not going to be around,” said Lapeze.
Amid laughter, tears and hugs, the trustees then presented Young with a crystal bowl.
As they moved on to regular business, Terrell Palmer, managing director with First Southwest, was asked to give an update on the refinancing of bonds from the May 2008 bond election of over $244 million.
“A portion of this sale that we have executed last Tuesday [Aug. 2] was for the final installment of this election. And I’m happy to report that I have seen zero pressure with maintaining that promise that we provided to the public, for keeping our tax rate, or INS tax rate, at 35 cents...It also provides you with an incredible amount of capacity in the future. I think that we’re going to be able to pay off our debt quickly, and have a lot of capacity for additional issuance,” said Palmer.
Calling the sale a “declaration of victory,” Palmer continued, “I look back at our old models in 2008, and with the lower interest rates, with the savings that we were able to achieve with the different refundings, I believe we were able to save over 100 million dollars in interest on our bonds over that period. And so, it really is a success story, a victory, so to speak, with that tax rate model and what your promises were to the public.”
Items on the Board Action Agenda were then brought to vote, and consent was received for all proposed items, including the District of Innovation plan and the Optional Flexible School Day Program. In explanation of the OFSDP, Carol Atwood came forward and gave an overview of the students needing a flexible school schedule. These would include the PACE program, a dropout prevention program, and early college attendance programs, such as the Quest Early College High School program.
School board meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Humble ISD Administration Building, 20200 Eastway Village Drive. They are open to the public. Agendas and live stream recordings can be found humbleisd.net.