At the April board meeting, the Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees approved an employee incentive for new hires. The board was presented with a two-part incentive package:

Part 1:

All new staff hired will be eligible for the same retention incentive pay already approved by the board – $3,000 for professional staff and $1,500 for paraprofessional and auxiliary staff. These new staff members will receive the plan payments in August, December, and May. The amount would be $1,000 or $500 payments according to the level.

Part 2:

For classroom teachers, we will offer a $3,500 signing bonus for the following areas: Bilingual, SPED, All Core areas at any level (PK-12)

“Our focus right now is on finding teachers for our vacancies. The board is going to aggressively evaluate our pay scale to reward our staff,” said Lynn Torres, Superintendent of Schools.

“These payments will be on top of any raise that the board may approve. We won’t know until we approve the budget,” Torres said.

Board members discussed the proposals and the benefits this package would be for new hires.

“I’m in favor. I know it’s difficult for anyone hiring. It’s hard to find employees right now especially in the school system,” Hall Henderson, Board President.

“We will evaluate our incentive and retention pay again as a district, creatively and aggressively,” he said.

After the board unanimously approved the proposal Henderson went on to praise the decision.

“There’s no better way to spend our money than on our staff,” said Henderson.

Other items discussed at the board meeting included an annual report by Education Foundation Executive Director Morgan Watson.

“The Lufkin Education board appreciates the support and partnership over the past eight years,” said Watson.

The annual report outlined the Education Foundation’s accomplishments.

“This year we added a social services grant and partnered with Tonja Akridge. We gave $2,500 to help her and the students she works with,” said Watson.

The foundation awarded 21 grants in the amount of $48,000. In 2014 the foundation awarded 13 for $31,000 – how we’ve grown since then!” she said.2021 at a glance

She went on to say that 2021 was a year of 48’s.

“We had 48 first-year teacher grants, raised $48,000 for innovative teaching grants, and raised $48,000 in the annual High 5 fundraiser,” said Watson.