January is month to recognize school trustees across Texas
“The members of this board have maintained a focus on providing the students, parents and community with the best school district possible,” said Dr. Howell Wright, superintendent of schools. “Their vision is progressive and is reflected in their decisions and their high expectations for the staff, the students, and the overall function of the district.”
Wright said in Januar y, the board deserves this opportunity for our community to recognize them for their efforts and dedication.
“Even though they are elected officials, they do not receive any compensation for their duties and they spend many hours a year tending to board responsibilities,” Wright said. “Sometimes they must make decisions that are not always popular, but are right for the students and the stakeholders they represent in this district.”
Rockdale Independent School District’s board members are:
James Birkhead— President, board member for 15 years, RHS graduate, believes those behind the scenes are so important. “We are very fortunate to have such a talented, dedicated and caring staff that is truly committed to educational excellence for all students. The overwhelming support of our district by the community in providing the types of facilities and educational programs that will help prepare our students for life after graduation, also makes us unique.”
Barbara Grayson —Board member for 14 years; 1976 graduate; thinks the district just offers so many opportunities for students. “The new facilities are such an asset for Rockdale. Since we’ve opened up the middle college credit program, more students are getting an opportunity that they may not otherwise have. We are trying to get more students involved.”
Wayne Fisher— Board member for 4 years; 1984 graduate; feels the people that work there make the district special. “There are great employees up there that really care about our kids. There are good teachers and they always try to do what’s best for the kids.”
Lee Jenkins— Secretary, board member for 9 years; 1984 graduate; believes that what makes RISD unique is simply its students. “ I’ve been fortunate to have two kids go through RISD from kindergarten to graduation for one and another in the eighth grade. All those years being blessed to be surrounded by many great kids, has always given me the pride and the focus to be a better board member to each one of them. I’ve been fortunate to see all of our extra curricular programs from elementary honor choir to high school competitions on the field, or in the classroom, not only give their best to win but to represent this town, as respectful young men and women.”
Lisa Gerthe— Board member for 8 years; 1986 graduate; believes that the board of trustees being comprised of all Rockdale graduates is unique. “We are fortunate to have a community of citizens that is very involved and understands the importance of a proper education and in general is a very positive group of people. With our district’s new vision and goals, I believe we will continue to see progress for all of our students.”
Michelle Lehmkuhl —Vice president, board member for 3 years; 1996 graduate; thinks it is the people who get involved that make the school so special. “Through the dedication of the administrators, board and community who realized our students needed room to learn, we were able to provide new facilities.”
Mike Pruett— Board member for 4 years; 1981 graduate; believes the district is special because of the future opportunities it provides. “The addition of the Middle College program that allows students to earn college hours that will transfer to major colleges makes us special. The district pays for tuition, fees, books and transportation. It also gives the student an insight on what the classroom expectations are at the collegiate level.”
Area school district trustees
Thorndale—David Hall, president; Brian Fisher, vice president; Larry Fisher, secretary; Dean Betak, Ann Glenn, Dave Denny and Trey Gilchrist.
Milano—Kevin Love, president; John Paniagua, Vice President; Margaret Plentl, Secretary; Alden Crowe, Kim Lenz, Steve Walker and Lynnette Taylor.
Gause—Dave Cunningham, president; Bill Jones, vice president; Chris Cooper, secretary; Henry Bonorden, Mikel Reed, Melanie Rasco and James Todd.