Devine schools get safety grant, extends contracts for 17 administrators

Dollars for Scholars president Bob Bendele, left, accepts a check for $2,994 from Devine ISD Superintendent Todd Grandjean as the district’s latest contribution to the foundation. Founded in 2009 by four 1950s era graduates of Devine High School, Dollars for Scholars invests the donations and uses the interest to fund scholarships for Devine High graduates seeking a post secondary education. More than $30,000 in scholarship have been awarded annually by the foundation since 2013. (Photo by Anton Riecher)

By Anton Riecher
Devine ISD has been awarded $200,000 in state grant funds to be used for safety initiatives, district superintendent Todd Grandjean told the Devine school board Monday.
He explained that assistant superintendent Daryl Wendel had submitted applications for two school safety grant programs “and we have actually been approved for one of the grants so far.”
The other application is still in progress, Grandjean said.
State officials approved the transfer of $105.5 million to support additional school safety and mental health initiatives through August 31, 2023. This additional funding will boost actions the State of Texas has already taken to make schools safer and support the mental health of children, teachers, and families following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
The money was transferred to state agencies and programs to enhance school safety and mental health services in Uvalde and throughout Texas.
Campus administrators continue to work and train their staff using the Safe and Supportive Schools system. SSSP is a coordinated multi-tiered support system that addresses school climate with regard to social, emotional, behavioral and mental health concerns.
Special programs director Abigail Beadle “is conducting grade level and departmental meetings at the secondary level the last few weeks to explore the impact of our curriculum instruction initiatives and our vision,” Grandjean said.
A “secondary education walk” is scheduled for Tuesday, he said.
“That’s where we take all the principals in the district and central administration and we walk them through elementary and intermediate,” Grandjean said. “We pop in and out of teachers’ classes so the other campuses get to see what is happening at the different grade levels.”
The board met in executive session, and a motion was made by Carl Brown moved and seconded by Henry Moreno to approve extending administrator contracts as recommended by the superintendent.  The motion passed, 7-0.
The following contracts were extended for the 2023-24 school year:
Jesse Hinojosa
Mandy Cross
Lysandra Reyes
LeeAnn Runnels
Jeffery Stivors
Evan Eads
Jodiann Dzierzanowski
Michael Gomez
Magdalena Strickland
Abigail Beadle
Kandi Darnell
Valerie Dykstra
Juan Gonzalez
Shannon Ramirez
Dawn Schneider
Daryl Wendel
James Sessions

Complete video coverage of the public hearing is available at the Devine News’ YouTube channel at