Devine ISD hears about honor students, role of board, drug policy consequences

Devine ISD heard concerns from taxpayers about honor student policy changes made mid-stream, lack of drug policy consequences and enforcement, and the role and importance of a strong board that leads instead of being led. A special meeting was called for this Friday, May 24 at 2:30 p.m.
Honor Graduate policy uproar
A special meeting is in the horizon after senior parent Jennifer Busby voiced concerns during citizen communications on behalf of several parents present as to the most recent changes to the honor graduate policies that may possibly affect some seniors who may not get to graduate with honors and wear the tradition gold honor cord they thought they had worked hard to obtain over the past 4 years.
The special board meeting was called for this Friday, May 24 at 2:30 p.m. in the Administration Bldg., 605 W Hondo Ave. to discuss and take possible action regarding the revision to Board policy EIC (Local) involving how honor graduates will be determined. It will be presented by Supt. Scott Sostarich.
In regards to the upcoming decisions, Jennifer Busby commented, “We found out recently that the honor student policy was changed and some may now not get to have that honor despite having thought they had met the requirements. We went through all the proper channels and were told things like ‘We don’t need two rows of honor graduates’. Shouldn’t any school be proud to have two full rows of honor graduates? We also heard comments like ‘dumbing down of education’.
“My daughter and her classmates have worked hard for their grades beginning with their freshman year to be honor students. They have good grades and have taken many college dual credit classes. Some have 20 plus hours of college credit and doing the right thing for their future. Then the policy is changed last May I hear, yet we were not notified about the rule change. Shouldn’t it have affected the next upcoming class not those already in high school?”
“Our children can’t find out their class ranking because it is not officially finished. She did get her GPA, so I am not sure if she will get to be an honor grad or not yet. By the rules she entered high school with her freshman year, she would be. It used to be a grade of 92 plus, and now at graduation time we are told it takes a 95 plus or a percent of class members!”.
“We are not ‘trophy moms or trophy parents’ as accused”.
“She has worked for that gold cord. Let her wear it as she earned it!”
Board President Nancy Pepper responded, “We are very aware of this and will be calling a special meeting as soon as possible.”
Elected for a Purpose
Bryan Vay asked to address the board about the purpose of a school board. “I am not a citizen of Devine, but I am a taxpayer in the State of Texas and my taxes go to help all schools across the state as they are distributed.”
President Pepper welcomed him to speak.
“You directly and indirectly affect the education of youth. I appreciate your selfless service of your time and dedication. I am concerned about the youth. They have been torn apart by current events,” said Vay.
“It is imperative that strong leadership elected for the purpose to LEAD all to an effective education do so. Lead not be led.”
“ You have been entrusted with children, the most precious and valuable asset, our youth. If you fail them you fail the community and the nation you reside.
“To ensure the success of every child I believe three things are important as a board member, which is the ability to listen, self educate, and lead by example. Listen to the community and students, educate yourself on laws, rules and procedures; and lead by action not words!”
By Kathleen Calame
Devine News Publisher