Dollan Nickins prepares meals and puts smiles on the faces of hundreds of students at Eagle Springs Elementary School in Humble ISD. She and other staff members will receive raises in the next school year.

Custodial, cafeteria and bus staff in Humble ISD are getting raises thanks to actions taken by the Humble ISD School Board. The school board approved increasing the entry hourly wage from $9.89 to $10.50 per hour for custodial, cafeteria and bus assistants. The board also approved increasing the bus driver entry wage from $15.10 to $16 per hour.

The raises are part of an overall initiative in Humble ISD. It is the district’s goal to also provide raises for teachers and other staff with amounts to be determined this month. The Texas Legislature passed new school finance legislation on May 25 and district officials are analyzing how the 308-page House Bill 3 will affect the district’s budget.

“We appreciate State Rep. Dan Huberty, State Sen. Brandon Creighton and the Texas Legislature for their commitment to public education,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said.

Dr. Fagen said every employee makes a difference in the quality of a student’s school experience.

“We want to attract and retain the best for our students,” she said.

Qualified workers who are committed to providing great customer service are in high demand. Humble ISD must compete with private-sector employers such as restaurants, hotels and retail stores for these employees.

Custodians, cafeteria staff and bus assistants see and interact with a multitude of students every day. They are often the first district employee a child sees in the morning or the last before they go home.

“Because they have such an impact on our students, we are looking to employ people who have a heart for children and a strong desire to provide great customer service,” Gretchen Lyons, interim director of Child Nutrition Services, said. “Our child nutrition workers see these kids every day. They get to see them grow and change from year to year and they build relationships with them.”

Child nutrition services staff hours are generally from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“The schedule works really well for our students’ parents. They can take their child to school, serve the students and be done in time to take them home,” Lyons said. “The schedule works very well for retirees. too.”

Nolan Correa, associate superintendent for Operational Support Services, said staff members make an impact on the educational setting.

“From flower beds to rooftops, our custodial staff maintain a safe and clean environment where teachers can teach and students can learn,” Correa said.

The board also approved a significant pay increase for lead technicians in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), alarms, electricians and plumbers. The hourly wage is being increased from $22.07 to $28 per hour. This raises the entry annual pay from $46,082 to $58,464 for employees who are highly qualified.

“Right now we have openings for qualified, experienced HVAC technicians. We hope this increase in pay will bring in some high-quality applicants,” Kenny Kendrick, director of Facility Maintenance and Operations, said. “With this new wage rate, we are wanting to attract and retain highly skilled HVAC Technicians, as well as save roughly $150,000 or more in outsourcing HVAC-contracted services.”

Author: LukeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Why wasn't the GUEST TEACHERS/NURSES included in the pay raises. Are they not just as important as the other employees?

Emma J. Wheeler
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