January is School Board Recognition Month

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

January is School Board Appreciation Month, and Orange Grove Trustees were honored with recognition from the students of OGISD and the superintendent for the work and effort they put forth as OGISD trustees.

Billy Hartman has served on school boards for OGISD in four different decades. Her served terms in the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

After the former board president Dorian David left the group last year, Hartman answered the call, and took a spot on the board.

Another little known fact supplied by Superintendent Earl Luce, is that every member currently serving on the school board graduated from Orange Grove High School, which he says gives the students of Orange Grove something to aspire to.

"This is a strong board, a good board, probably the best I've ever worked with," Luce said.

Several campus presentations were made, including three students from the primary school's UIL Reading program, who performed their award-winning readings, and 12 students from the intermediate who presented letters to the board.

As part of their action items Monday night, the board approved a joint election with the city, as part of the state changes made in House Bill 1, which included the change to joint elections.

Luce said elections were held together in the past at City Hall, but eventually the school moved out to the OGHS several years ago, and they were separate ever since.

With the approval of the joint election, the elections technically will still be separate, voting will take place together at the high school, which has enough room to accommodate the current voters.

"With the election in May, the legislature requires school districts to have joint elections with the city. We had kind of moved out, we used to have joint elections, but moved four or five years ago to the high school because there wasn't room to hold them both in city hall, so now the city will move theirs to the high school also," he said. "We'll still have to apply for Department of Justice approval of the change. They will be separate elections, but at the same building, at the same time."

The board also went into closed session to review Luce's contract. After several minutes, the meeting was called back into open session, and the board announced that they decided to extend his current contract for another year, which will mean his contract is now set through 2010.