On Oct. 25, the Huffman ISD board of trustees met to honor local coach Michael McEachern, announce the date for the first Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, talk about substitute teacher pay and discuss district attendance numbers.
McEachern was honored for his 100th Falcon 37-20 win, which came with a victory over Navasota Friday, Sept. 17. Huffman Superintendent Dr. Benny Soileau added, “This is an honor to be able to recognize such great achievement in our district. We are proud and I know that you are proud of your team as well.”
Soileau announced the first Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting date. “The first CAC meeting will be held Nov. 1 from 6-8 p.m. This meeting is planned for a two-hour duration to include child care. We certainly look forward to hearing your ideas. This meeting is open to the public, any citizens, regardless of whether you have a student in the district or you are an interested member of the community looking to make a difference for our kids.”
The CAC meeting is intended to brainstorm and weigh-in on critical topics impacting the campuses, such as (but not limited to) facilities, personnel and programming. Everyone is invited to attend regardless of age, tenure in the district or experience.
The board members held a hot topic discussion regarding difficulty in retaining substitute teachers and classroom coverage. The district currently has 152 listed, active subs. District representatives continue to attend local job fairs to recruit the best and brightest candidates to educate the student population. Nearby and neighboring districts are paying a competitive or higher rate.
For instance, Humble is currently offering $120 a day. The daily rate for substitute teachers is often based on the duration of classroom time or number of days, and other factors such as whether they are Texas-certified.
“We are currently sitting at a 70% fill rate. This has been and continues to be an ongoing study based on the research and studies of TASB and software forecasting. Our students deserve the best education and our teachers should be rewarded for the continual hard work they put in,” added Dr. Soileau.
Another well-followed topic for pandemic times is districtwide attendance. Currently the district is sitting at 90.76% attendance. This number is low, but not completely unexpected for several reasons, not the least of which is COVID-19 and the associated fears. The campus with the lowest overall attendance percentage for Aug.18-Sept.24 is Hargrave High School. The board is currently monitoring these stats and looking for ways to bring up these numbers.
January 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Huffman FFA Livestock Show. An alumni dinner and dance is being organized to boost the celebration. The number of projects entered in the show is set to be a record number this year over past years. Last year, there were 135 total sale lots that participated in the Livestock Show Auction, and this year this event is set to include 218.
All citizens are cordially invited to attend and participate in this consistently amazing set of events.
The next regularly-scheduled Huffman ISD board of trustees meeting is Nov. 15, at 6:45 p.m. in the Huffman ISD Administration Building.