Devine ISD cancels School Board elections, adopts 2017-2018 calendar

At the regular monthly meeting of the DISD Board of Trustees, on March 27, 2017, the board voted to accept certification of unopposed candidates and adopt an order declaring the Trustee Election cancelled and the following unopposed candidates elected: Henry Moreno, Jr. of District 3 and Nancy Pepper of District 4. This order was made in accordance with the Sections 2.053(a) of the Texas Election code. Mr. Moreno and Mrs. Pepper will be sworn in at a future meeting.
Always of interest to students, parents, and teachers is the yearly adoption of the next school year calendar! Here is a preview of some upcoming dates for the 2017-18 school year:
First day of school -August 28, 2017; No school on Labor Day – Sept.4; Thanksgiving Break – Nov. 20-24; Last day of school before Christmas – early release on Dec. 22; Day students return to school in January – Jan. 8, 2018; Spring Break – March 12-16; Last day of school — early release on June 7, 2018; and Graduation – June 8, 2018.
The new calendar will also include the 2017-18 testing dates, other school holidays, and other important information. DISD has the current 2016-17 calendar on their website and will add the new calendar as needed.
(Please keep in mind that in the coming weeks there may be a need for minor changes.)
The meeting began at the Devine Student Activity Center (DSAC) with student recognitions and presentation of certificates for achievement. Band Director Jeff Miller presented the DMS Region Band Qualifiers and DHS UIL Solo & Ensemble winners, of which several are advancing to State competition. He stated that the contests were very competitive and that he was very proud of the achievements of his students! Coach Paul Gomez introduced the Arabian and Warhorse Powerlifting Regional & State Qualifiers and assistant coach, Devin Rotramel. Seven boys and six girls advanced to Regional with one girl and three boys advancing to State and placing well in both competitions. He also expressed his pride in their commitment and hard work on this team. Next, Coach PJ Wells introduced his Bi-District Qualifying Warhorse Basketball team. They had a 20-win season with a number of individual awards, including Academic honors. He spoke about how this team has made this one of the best seasons of his career and how much he enjoyed working with these young men. Finally, Coach Jim Sessions introduced another one of the best Arabian Basketball teams, and spoke highly of the hard work and efforts made by these young ladies to become District, Bi-District, Area, and Regional Quarter-Finals Champions and Regional Semi-finalists! This team was led by seven seniors and every player on the team was awarded Academic All-District. He said, “Even as good of basketball players as they are, they are even better students and citizens in our community!”
A couple of items on the agenda included Devine ex-students: Former DHS student & Principal, Bob Bendele, attended on behalf of the Dollars for Scholars program. He explained that the program was started by former Devine students to honor the school that did so much for them. They have provided over $20,000 since 2009 with yearly scholarships presented to graduating seniors at DHS. He accepted a check from DISD in the amount of $2,795.47 raised by students at all campuses during their “Education Go Get It Week”. (This is a great example of Students helping Students!) Superintendent Sostarich also announced that a new flagpole was installed at Warhorse Stadium and will be dedicated at a home football game in the Fall. Since the DHS Class of 1969 donated the current flagpole, Mr. Sostarich reached out to class president, John Martin, to discuss the idea of installing a new one. The next step included another DHS grad, Rocky White ’74, who was in charge of installment. (It is so nice to see the respect given by the administration and board for contributions of former students and to include them in current activities.)
Ciavarra Elementary Principal, Brenda Gardner, presented a wonderful video of students, teachers, and parents participating in the many special events and activities that took place at her campus this year. She also discussed two new special initiatives that she has started: “Literacy by the Month” and “Genius Hour”. They have been going very well and she has plans to continue both, with the next Genius Hour to be held on April 21st. Mrs. Gardner also thanked the Board and Administration for all the support they give them on a daily basis.
Other Board business included: Board members will be attending a Summer Leadership Institute in June; Budget workshops are scheduled on May 15th, June 5th & June 12th; Campus and Administrative reports were presented and approved; and there was a brief discussion that the attendance at some campuses was affected by the flu season more than other campuses. After the 8:13pm Closed Session, Nancy Pepper moved and seconded by Gina Champion to approve administrator contracts as recommended by the Superintendent. The motion carried unanimously, 7-0. The meeting adjourned at 9:23 p.m.
All DISD Trustees were in attendance: Wayde Anderson, Nancy Pepper, Wes Herring, Henry Moreno, Robert Morales, Gina Champion, and Carl Brown. Board President, Wayde Anderson, called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation.
The next DISD School Board meeting, on Monday, April 17, 2017, will start with student recognitions at the DSAC at 6:30pm, followed by the rest of the meeting at the Devine ISD Administration Office at 605 W. Hondo Ave, Devine, Texas. Website is

by Nancy Saathoff
Staff Writer