The September board meeting was a celebration of the Deaf Awareness program and the high school STEM program, as well as the selection of a Construction Manager at Risk for the bond project. Mrs. Sunny Slaydon, Deaf Education Teacher at Lufkin Middle School, presented information about the Lufkin Regional Day School Program for the deaf and Deaf Awareness Week on September 24th through the 28th. She also relayed to the board that Convocation Speaker Michael Bonner secured a Fender speaker for her classroom for Mrs. Slaydon’s students to feel and hear their lessons. A video was presented thanking Donor’s Choose and Mr. Bonner for their donation.
The high school STEM 1 students were honored at the board meeting and given a laptop computer to use for the STEM program. Mrs. Suzy Jungmann, STEM Coordinator for the district, spoke and showed a video of activities the STEM students were involved in over the past year. She also honored eight students who participated the most in the STEM Academy Outreach program totaling 2,087 collective hours last school year. Those students included:
STEM 1: Chris Acker – 36.5 hours, Tiffany Merino – 35 hours
STEM 2: Andrew Adams – 75 hours, Diana Zepeta – 58.5 hours
STEM 3: Alishbah Khan – 50 hours, Maria Mejia – 45 hours
STEM 4: Adrian Garcia – 36.5 hours, Michael Calhoun – 27.5 hours
The board selected a Construction Manager at Risk for the bond projects. For the middle school and high school multi-purpose facility, the board unanimously chose Berry and Clay out of Rusk to be the CMAR. Langston Construction will facilitate the building of the basetball/softball complex at the high school. Board member Allyson Langston was not involved in the decision-making for the CMAR and was not present at the board meeting.
Mrs. Torres, Superintendent, said, “Berry & Clay have 41 years of experience and 59 projects with Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong. A great selling point for them was that over the past three year, they’ve put 15 million back into the local Lufkin community.” She went on to say, “They have a service attitude working at all times with the architect to cut costs.”
She said, “Langston Construction has a wealth of experience in this area. They are a local firm, which is a good reason to choose them.”
Scott Skelton, board president, said, “We went on a field trip to see different contractors and different designs. The committee did a rubric and came to the recommendation that we presented to the board at the work session on Tuesday, minus Mrs. Langston.”
Hall Henderson, board member, made mention that the subcommittee unanimously recommended the choices for CMAR to the board.
In other news, the board voted to approve a change from the State Board of Education graduation requirements to the dual language program allowing dual language students in the 5th grade to receive high school credit. The student must be in the program five years, excel on the STAAR test and a language proficiency exam to receive the credit. By the time the student reaches high school, he or she may have obtained three credit hours in Spanish.