During the Feb. 28 Huffman ISD Board of Trustees meeting, the board presented the winners of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Contest winners. The Best of Show winners included Joshua Ssebulime, Jordan West and Rylee Edge. Gold Medal Award Winners included Mario Lopez, Zion Moore and Alex Jameson. Pictures were judged Jan. 6. The Best of Show and Gold Medal Award pictures will be displayed at Reliant Stadium in the Hayloft Gallery. The students will be part of the award ceremony March 5 and will receive tickets to the Rodeo for that day. In other business, the district is offering a one-time early resignation notice incentive for contract employees who are planning to resign or retire at the end of the school year. The first 30 employees who provide notification of resignation by March 11 will receive a one-time incentive of $1,000. The board agreed to the incentive to help the district plan for the 2011-2012 budget for staffing. “This incentive is not to encourage anyone to resign or retire, but rather to provide the district with early notification from those who were already planning to resign or retire at the end of the school year,” said Superintendent Jean Isaly. “Depending on the budget reductions, we may not replace the positions of some who retire or voluntarily leave our district. We will have a better idea on staffing after March 11.” Administrators are currently meeting with principals, the District Educational Improvement Council, and the Budget Advisory Committee to come up with other cost-saving ideas to present to the board of trustees. For the quarterly electricity usage report, the district said it had been billed $51,085 less than last year after changing energy providers from Reliant Energy to GDF Suez Energy. Because the cost per Kilowatt-hour is locked until Aug. 31, the district considered locking in a new electricity rate since electricity is expected to rise. “Now is the time to make that kind of agreement,” said Isaly. “It allows you to plan exactly what fuel costs will be.” To combat rising electrical costs, Director of Maintenance Charlie Miller said temperatures are kept at 68 to 72 degrees in winter and the district has reduced lighting in the high school parking lot, which had cost around $300 per hour. “We cut two-thirds of the lighting costs by using only one light bulb per light in the parking lot,” said Miller. Additionally, the district sealed the deal with Bussel and Sons to complete a water well project on the East Campus for $94,419 and the fee to PBK [architects] of $9,442 for a total of $103,861. The need for the new well came because of the increase in demand of the high school, middle school and new sports complex. Sand and rust had been getting into the school kitchen equipment, water fountains and restrooms, reported Miller, causing the valves and kitchen equipment to fail prematurely. The project includes digging a new 200-gallons-per-minute water well and linking it to the existing well system, and adding a new well house, a gravel access road and a chlorination and poly-phospate injection system. The district also announced it is gaining revenue as a result of an attendance push. The district calculates state aid using a 95 percent attendance rate, but has a 96.34 percent attendance rate. If the district finishes the year above 95 percent average, it will receive additional revenue, said CFO Tim Brittain. Photo: Board President Charles Bardwell and Superintendent Jean Isaly present awards to Rodeo Art winners Jordan West, Joshua Ssebulime, Mario Lopez, Zion Moore and Alex Jameson and Art teachers Donna Hardin, Bernadette Vital and Nani Heslep.

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