Friends, family and community members shared well wishes and exchanged goodbyes with two Humble ISD board members – Brent Engelage and Heath Rushing.
Engelage, who decided not to run for re-election, and Rushing, who resigned due to relocation for work, were honored during the May board meeting.
“I’ve worked alongside Heath for many years and have seen his dedication to the school board, Memorial Hermann and this community,” City of Humble Council Member Norman Funderburk said during the meeting.
Fellow board members shared stories of when they first met both Engelage and Rushing.
“I have watched Engelage’s girls grow up during our time serving on the board together and he is a great supporter of this community; he has always ensured our focus is on the children,” Humble ISD Board Member Keith Lapeze said. “We will also miss having Rushing serve on this board. Humble ISD is losing great assets with Rushing and his family.”
These sentiments were also on the heels of the recent board elections where incumbents Charles Cunningham, Angela Conrad and Robert Sitton were re-elected and Martina Dixon was elected to Engelage’s seat. Challengers Bob Rehak and Lohit Datta-Barua both addressed the board.
Datta-Barua thanked the community for their support during the elections and urged the re-elected board members and other community members to come together for the common goal — ensuring Humble ISD is successful.
Rehak brought attention to increases in the budget which were later addressed by the district’s Chief Financial Officer Mike Seale.
“Overall the budget increases are approximately two percent for instruction and increases to technology, infrastructure and security,” Rehak said during the meeting. “My questions are why there are such huge increases in portions of the budget and what are the priorities that were set that benefit from these increases in the budget.”
According to Seale, the increases in the budget will go toward the district’s facilities improvement of facilities, technology and security.
The monies earmarked for facilities will help repair roofs and maintenance repairs at some of the schools this summer, improvements to technology and increases in safety such as purchasing new police department vehicles and installing more safety vestibules.
“We are moving money from savings to our budget for one-time expenditures such as these items,” Seale said. “We are not using this money for teacher salaries, utility bills or hiring police officers; these are one-time expenses we needed to approve now so we have the money to work on these projects during the summer. We will continue to draw on our savings until we pass a bond referendum which will give us these funds we need for projects like these. It is appropriate for us to make these budget amendments to complete the projects to ensure our students are not short-changed. Our priorities are in line with the district’s needs.”
Additionally, the Humble ISD Transportation Department was recognized with a check from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and was recently honored as one of Best 100 Fleets in the Americas. They were ranked 59 this year.
Humble ISD board members also announced that Dr. Tommy Price, the current assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, was named the lone finalist for the superintendent position in Boerne ISD.
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