By Anton Riecher
The Devine School District Board of Trustees voted May 16 to authorize Superintendent Todd Grandjean to hire professional staff as needed during the summer.
A motion by Chris Davis, seconded by Ali Buvinghausen, came after a closed executive session to discuss personnel. Grandjean has earlier mentioned during his monthly report to the board that the interview process was underway for new principals at the elementary and intermediate schools.
Interviews with the candidates for principal were scheduled for May 18, Grandjean told the board.
“We are going to ask for hiring responsibilities tonight like we normally do in the summer,” he said. “We would have that start tomorrow and then finish up at our August board meeting.”
However, Grandjean said he had no plans to hire a new athletic director on his own authority.
“We are not going to hire the new AD on my own,” he said.
Several unanticipated job vacancies have been posited by the district in addition to early retirement resignations that were expected, Grandjean said.
“I’ll give a full report when we go into executive session,” he said.
In further action following the executive session, the trustees voted to change professional contracts entered into by the district to one-year terms as recommended by Grandjean. Again, Davis’ motion to approve the proposal was seconded by Buvinghausen.
Grandjean reported that the district is continuing to meet with the Devine Fire Department regarding the development of a fire and EMS training academy that would prepare students to obtain their certification as emergency responders from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
To earn a certificate, responders must undergo an approved basic fire suppression program, pass an exam and earn accompanying emergency medical qualifications.
“We talked about that a little bit in our budget workshop,” Grandjean said. “We have a draft master schedule ready at the high school. All the kiddos are ready to fit into the slots if we can get it moved forward.”
Devine HS student would concentrate on firefighting in their junior year and move on to studying to be emergency medical technicians (EMT) in their senior year. Plans call for the academy to start this fall with the new 2022-23 school year.
“Our current talks involve the complexities of funding as soon as we get some clear options,” Grandjean said.
Grandjean reported that a meeting of the board of trustee’s strategic planning committee is anticipated in the near future. The committee consists primarily of teachers and community members involved in accessing a comprehensive, long-range facilities plan for the district.
“We are putting our needs into a guide that we can use to continue to the next step,” Grandjean said.
Action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality remains pending on the district’s application for funding to cover replacement of four school buses. TCEQ earlier authorized $48,000 towards replacement of a 2006 school bus still in use, he said.
Nancy Saathoff with the Devine Ex-Student /Teacher Association reported to the school board on plans for the high school homecoming festivities Oct. 7 and 8. Beside the Friday night football game, the association plans to display its archive collection tracing the history of Devine ISD back to the 1890s.
The association also plans to honor the Devine High School graduating class of 1972 on its 50th anniversary, she said.
“Our annual homecoming information pages and membership forms will be mailed this week to hopefully build up our membership base,” Saathoff said.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the Dexta Student/Teachers Association, she said.
“We have a long tradition of serving and supporting our alumni as well as giving annual scholarships for graduated seniors at DHS,” Saathoff said. “All of our funds are raised from the $10 annual dues and $100 lifetime memberships as well as through memorial and honor donations from our generous alumni.”
See updates from latest meeting in article on new hires.
By Anton Riecher