Waiver accepted by TEA for new superintendent

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

AGUA DULCE - School board members approved a Texas Education Agency certification waiver request for new superintendent Donna Hilliard because of her lack of superintendent certification.

As per the waiver, the agreement will cover the 2007-2008 school year, with an option to reapply for a waiver next summer, current ADISD superintendent Paul Czerwinski said at the meeting.

Board President Michael Carper said he was glad the district received a call about the necessary waiver.

"I'm glad they called us, this would really have messed us up," Carper said.

Local resident Steven Donald Sr., took the oath of office Monday night, for his position as the newest ADISD School Board member.

Board members decided to retain the same board officers for another year, with Carper leading the group as board president.

Under action items on the agenda, board members also considered possible action on a closed campus.

Carper said he was asked to put this item on the agenda. The board considered moving up the closed campus rule last summer because of concerns about children crossing Highway 44 during lunch.

Board member Tony Aguilar pointed out students don't really cross Highway 44, but instead just go to Lalo's during lunch.

Board members asked if any teachers voiced concerns about the closed campus idea, and Czerwinski said he had received no requests from teachers or staff on the issue.

"I can't really see us going to a full closed campus yet. We would have to go to split lunches to handle all the students," Czerwinski said.

Board member Sandra Riley said she would eventually like to see the ability to go off campus for lunch as a privilege for juniors and seniors.

Board member Cathy Howard said the primary concern when it comes to a closed campus is the safety of the students.

Carper brought up the possibility of a public meeting scheduled in June on this issue. Howard said she felt the board should look at the safety of the kids and not the profit of the business owners on this issue.

Board members brought up the fact that some of the older students actually go all the way to Alice for lunch.

"And some of them actually make it back in time," Howard said, referring to the unsafe speed those students travel just to make it back in time.

Carper said the district should look into the effects of having freshmen stay at school during lunch at the next meeting and see what strain that would have on the cafeteria.