Gonzalez named interim superintendent

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

The resignation of Freer ISD superintendent Edgar Camacho was accepted from the school board in a unanimous vote last Monday during the regular monthly meeting.

After meeting in closed executive session, the board also approved to appoint Alberto Gonzalez as interim superintendent.

The resignation of Amy Etheridge was also accepted.

Business manager Eva Lane reported Freer ISD received a rating of Superior by Schools Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST).

Randy Hohlaus of Kell Munoz followed with a progress report during open forum regarding the district's upcoming renovations.

"The abatement surveys have been completed of buildings on campus and we are continuing and are about 65 percent complete on drawings of the entire project," he said. "The immediate thing that is going to be happening very soon as part of their reconstruction services, Fulton is taking a 50 percent set; they're running their numbers and estimates with subcontractors and are expecting a report the first part of January for evaluation."

Hohlaus said they were expecting bid packages on the high school to be issued in March.

The next part of the package would be the foundation, he explained, following in February with a structural steel package.

"We'll collect bids, evaluate the bids and make recommendations and allow Fulton to award the subcontractors, approve the numbers and we'll begin construction this summer, taking advantage of school being out," Hohlaus said.

He said after the holidays, a series of verification meetings with the board would be held.

Hohlaus said demolition of the high school should be finished by the end of January.

As the high school is the main focus, repair work would also be ongoing at the elementary.

He assured the board when questioned that the project was running on schedule.

Curriculum Director Maribel Perez then reviewed recommendations for Campus Improvement Plans (CIP) for Freer Junior High and Freer High School.

"Focus areas are addressed and I am working with department heads," she said while addressing questions from the board. "We meet often regarding benchmarking and curriculum is right on track but remember the status was inherited."

Perez explained Tier 1 and Tier 2 of Reading Technology Initiative (RTI).

About 90 percent of students needing usual tutoring are Tier 1. Tier 2 students are the lower 15 percent, she said.

Once the lower percent are identified, tutoring three times a week for 30 minutes is provided for them.

"That's the rule," she said.

President Edna Cantu followed with the school board training report, saying each are in compliance.

As of Nov. 1, 2006 through 2007, Cantu reported that she, Mary Lou Garza and Chris Lichtenberger had accumulated 28.75 hours, Saul Hinojosa had 36.5 hours, Calvin Evans had 35 hours, Larry Robertson had 30 hours and Roy Salazar had a total of 20.25 hours.

Concluding the meeting, the following donations were accepted - $88 from Larry Garcia to pay for the One Act Play district competition T-shirts; $100 from Marivel and Bubba Serna, $100 from Larry Garcia, $100 from Gloria and J.D Gonzalez, $100 from Dr. Mulder, $100 from Rachel and Nuno Flores and $100 from Buckaroo Inn to go towards the girl's high school basketball program and $800 from Del Cielo Home Care System to go towards the sound system for the high school cheerleaders.

A donation of $75,000 to pay for swimming pool upgrades was accepted from a benefactor requesting to be anonymous.

Payments will be made in three installments with the final payment made when work is completed.