New DHS Principal voices concerns about number of failing students

Gonzalez said he attributed part of failure rate to a stricter enforcement of grading policy at the high school level. For example, the policy requires that assignments be submitted promptly on the due date or the grade is reduced. Of 584 students, he stated an estimated 36% are failing at least one class.

By Anton Riecher
The Devine ISD school board voted Monday to approve the district’s annual financial audit report showing total expenditures of $22.1 million for the current year.

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Teachers rally to help Ricky get a new hip, local custodian touched by community’s kindness

Ricardo “Ricky” Campa is a Devine native, and graduated from DHS with the class of 1987.

By Kayleen Holder
Ricky Campa is a custodian at Devine Intermediate School, and friends are hosting a fundraiser to help Campa get a hip replacement. Juan Ricardo “Ricky” Campa is a Devine native and graduated from DHS with the class of 1987. Anyone who would like to help out can donate online or by mail.
“Every day, Ricky arrives at work to sweep and mop the floors, clean the toilets, wipe down tables and take out the trash for the students and staff. When the custodian staff is shorthanded, not only does he tend to his own responsibilities, but he also helps fill in for the ones who are missing,” Mrs. Farrah Schueling said, a teacher at Devine Middle School who met Ricky while he filled in for another custodian at the Intermediate last year.
“Despite the daunting workload, Ricky tends to it with a smile on his face and a positive attitude. Aside from his limp, you would never know that Ricky is in pain. For 3 ½ years, Ricky has been burdened with pain in his hip. Doctors have said that Ricky will need a full hip replacement surgery to relieve his pain,” Mrs. Schueling said.
“Ricky is a humble faith-filled man who would never ask for financial help from anyone. Please donate to show your love and support for Ricky,” she adds. “Your donation will help pay for his surgery and any expenses that occur while he recovers.”
In response to the fundraiser, Campa was very touched.
“I was so surprised when they told me about what Mrs. Schueling was doing. Nobody has ever done anything like that for me. I want to thank her and everyone involved. My right hip has been bone on bone for a long time, but I just keep on going. I have worked all my life, for years as a carpenter and now as a custodian. The thought of a fundraiser never crossed my mind,” Mr. Campa said.
“There are still a lot of caring people out there, and it’s a blessing from God that somebody would go out of their way to help me,” Mr. Campa said.
You can donate using the go fund me that can be found on Mrs. Farrah Schueling’s facebook page, or you can mail a donation to Mr. Juan Ricardo “Ricky” Campa at 207 Crouch in Devine, TX 78016.

Education Foundation awards new teachers gift card

Devine Education Foundation awarded all DISD new teachers a $50 gift card to Walmart to help them with expenses of setting up a classroom.
“Certainly, we want to all DISD staff to know how much we appreciate them, and what they do for the students of this community. Our mission is to support teachers and students,” Mrs. Brenda Gardner, DEF executive director, said.
She added that the expense of setting up a new classroom is huge. All teachers spend lots of their own money, and the foundation just wanted help in a small way.
Foundation members Heather Miller and Kristi Summerlin went to each campus Thursday, August 18 to provide snacks for staff members. They also had a drawing on each campus for a DEF t-shirt and hat.
“This is just something we could do to celebrate each campus staff, and to do something a little special for them,” Miller said.
Applications for teaching grants have been sent to all staff members. After review and selection, those will be awarded in late October or early November.
The foundation also has an Amazon Smile account. Amazon will pay DEF a percentage of each purchase made through DEF’s Amazon Smile page. That URL is
“If you are an Amazon shopper, and lots of people are, and will use this site as your entry to Amazon, the foundation will receive that percentage from the company. We will certainly put it to good use helping kids and teachers,” Gardner said.

SA Memorial, Parent’s Night on tap Friday night at Warhorse Stadium

by Jerel Beaty
Friday night is a huge night at Warhorse Stadium as not only does Devine take on San Antonio Memorial to kick off the 2022 season, but the parent’s of players will also be recognized prior to the ballgame as a small token of appreciation for all they have done throughout the course of their son’s high school football career.
“I’m excited for our first game Friday and with it being parent’s night it makes it more special for our kids. Memorial will be a good test for us and we are excited for the challenge,” Head Coach Paul Gomez stated about getting the new season underway at 7:30pm right here in Devine.
In 2021, Devine smashed Memorial 44-23 after racing out to a 28-7 halftime lead. Warhorse running backs Gabriel Esquibel and Ethan Santos each had two rushing touchdowns in the first half of that game
Memorial was a senior-laden club last year as most of their individual statistical leaders were lost to graduation, including their top passer, rusher, and receiver. They finished at 4-6 overall including 3-5 in District 13-5A DI. A lot of unknowns await the Horses this season as Memorial’s roster has changed quite dramatically since last season.
After Devine, Memorial takes on Central Catholic, Pearsall, Antonian, and Floresville prior to district play.
Memorial has been a 5A program for quite some time, but dropped down to 4A this year where they face District 14-4A DI teams in Fredericksburg, Boerne, Somerset, Uvalde, and San Antonio Kennedy. Although now a lower classification, that district schedule prior to Kennedy is a treacherous one for the Minutemen.

Devine to host first home football game Friday, Natalia and Lytle on the road

Ethan Santos runs the ball up the middle and down the right side.

The Devine Warhorses will host their first football game at home this Friday, August 26, kickoff is 7:00 pm against SA Memorial in a non-district game. JV does not have a game on the schedule for this week.
Natalia Mustangs will travel to Jourdanton to take on the Indians; kickoff is 7:00 p.m. in a non-district game. The JV will host Jourdanton on Thursday at 5:30 at home in Natalia.
The Lytle Pirates will travel to Jefferson; kickoff is 7:30 p.m. in a non-district game. The JV will play at Jefferson on Thursday at 5:0 0 p.m.

HS principal discusses offering 6 career education courses in future, Devine ISD adopts tax rate

By Anton Riechcer

The Devine ISD school board voted unanimously Monday at adopt a 2022 tax rate of $1.0946 per $100 of property value to support a general fund budget of $20.3 million.

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Local schools meet the grade, earn “B”s in accountability ratings

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today released 2022 A–F accountability ratings for districts and campuses, the first to be issued since 2019. All three of our local school districts received a B, with Devine ISD scoring 81, Lytle ISD-86, and Natalia ISD-88.

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Devine ISD to host
Meet the Teacher Nights

All campuses in Devine Independent School District will host parents and students to a “Meet the Teacher” night at the following dates and times:
JJ Ciavarra Elementary – Thursday, August 18 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Devine Intermediate – Thursday, August 18 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Devine Middle School – Tuesday, August 16 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Devine High School – Tuesday, August 16 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Parents and students may go to teachers’ classrooms any time during the time periods listed above.

At the elementary and intermediate campus, parents may bring labeled school supplies to their child’s room. Parents will be able to put money in the child’s lunch account, join PTO, donate gently-used school clothing, and confirm bus numbers and routes.
Elementary and Intermediate students should receive a postcard in the mail next week stating their teacher(s) for the school year. At both campuses, parents may check in the office if they are unsure of their child’s room assignment and/or if registration information is not complete.
Middle and high school teachers will be in their classrooms to talk to parents about their classes and about the expectations of the class. Middle school students may pick up their class schedule in the cafeteria. If you have any holds such as immunizations or proof of residency, report to the office to turn in your documents and pick up your schedule. High school student schedules will be given out in the multi-purpose room.
Reminder: All immunizations (when applicable) and proof of residency requirements (3rd, 6th, and 9th graders) must be complete before students can pick up their schedule and attend school on the August 22nd. If your student recently received immunizations, please bring an updated record to the school office at your earliest convenience. Proof of Residency documents should be emailed to or dropped off at the campus office.
If you are needing help with the Parent Portal, the computer lab at Devine Middle School will be open each Tuesday in August, starting August 9 at 6:00 p.m.

ESD 2 hears Devine VFD fire chief discuss goal of becoming a full “combo” department with some paid staff around the clock

By Anton Reicher
The Devine Volunteer Fire Department has approved paying some emergency personnel beginning with the fire chief and assistant fire chief positions, Chief Greg Atkinson reported to the Medina County Emergency Services District No. 2 board on July 19.
“We’ve gotten to a point with the Fire Academy, the EMT work and all the things we are doing that we have to have some consistency with the people in the building,” Atkinson said.
The chief also reported to the board that the association that Medina County Emergency Services District No. 6 in Hondo has requested a proposal for Devine VFD to contract to provide fire and first responder services in their area.
ESD No. 6 currently contracts with the Hondo and Yancey volunteer fire departments.
“They have some questions on the level of services they are getting right now,” Atkinson said. “I have been approached asking if it was okay for our association to submit a proposal.”
Regarding the new paid positions, Atkinson said the initial focus will rest mainly on administrative work and maintenance.
“The goal is to eventually become a full ‘combo’ department and have some paid staff on here around the clock,” Atkinson said. “But right now we hope we can supplement two to four people here from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. which is our hardest time to get volunteers.”
Atkinson said the addition of paid personnel “raises the level of protection we can offer to the community and the professionalism that goes with that.”
Asked if Devine ISD will lose its status to apply for grant funding as a volunteer department, Atkinson said that because the salaries are funded through the volunteer association rather than the taxing district the department would maintain its volunteer status.
“The rules are written to the advantage of rural communities such as this,” he said.
If services are extended to ESD No. 6, that emergency services district would contract with the Devine VFD in the same way as the local ESD No. 2 presently does. Atkinson compared it to the way Allegiance Mobile Health provides ambulance service to multiple ESDs in the county.
“Our goal would be to build up a system very much like we have in place here,” Atkinson said.
The advantage to the Devine VFD would be a bigger pool of personnel to draw from and distribute as needed, he said.
“There are times right now where if we have a lot of people leave for the weekend, say Memorial Day weekend, we are left saying ‘Hey, we need mutual aid assistance from other departments because we only have one or two people available,’” Atkinson said.
In his presentation to the ESD No. 2 board, Atkinson reported that in the previous 49 days the Devine VFD had responded to 17 fires, seven medical runs, four accidents, two public service events and two utility problems. Although fire activity remains high, the total of emergency runs is down from the previous year.
“This is probably the first time in my 20 years in the fire business that I’ve had more fire calls than rescue calls,” Atkinson said. “That’s pretty much unheard of for a volunteer department.”
For the year to date, the Devine VFD has logged 770 man-hours of in-house training and another 692 man-hours of off-site training, costing $3,452, Atkinson reported. At present, the department has eight firefighters ranked as Fire Fighter 1 under National Fire Protection Association standards, and five ranked as Fire Fighter 2.
The department also has five certified fire instructors, four EMS instructors and seven wildland firefighting instructors.
“In a department of our size to have that many fire and EMS instructors and certified firefighters is a blessing,” Atkinson said. “It also shows the work ethic of the people here.”
In Texas, it is still possible with some volunteer departments to simply show up and get to ride the fire truck, he said.
“Here, if you come in you have to have certain training accomplished to meet the state minimum requirements to hold a fire certificate,” Atkinson said.
He also brought the board up to date with regard to the Fire Academy project designed to train high school juniors and seniors to work in fire rescue and emergency medicine.
“We are working on a schedule to fix the training with a school day,” Atkinson said. “We’re working on when we can conduct the necessary skills tests.”
San Antonio College is allowing the Fire Academy to use their live-burn training facility for that testing.
“Everyone has been extremely supportive of this,” Atkinson said. “It’s exciting to watch it come together.”

Treasurer’s Report
The ESD No. 2 treasurer’s report states that the district has $326,879 in its operating fund at American Momentum Bank and another $99,889 in a money market account at Security State Bank. Adding $63,704 in an interest and sinking account at Security State Bank and the district shows $490,473 in total cash. The Fire House loan is at $777,187. The ESD paid $9,812 in expenses for the month of June, including the Fire House note payment $7,828 and other regular expenses such as utilities.
Total property tax revenue, interest and other income was projected to be $426,200 for the 21-22 fiscal year.
The next ESD No. 2 board meeting is tentatively set for August 9.