A trustee resigned and two new top-level administrative positions were filled during Thursday's meeting of the Tyler ISD board of trustees.
The Rev. Dr. Marty M. Dunbar, who has served two years on the school board representing District 6, "has found a job in another town and will head to Houston," school board President Andy Bergfeld announced.
Dunbar, executive pastor at Marvin United Methodist Church, has been an asset to the board and will be missed, Bergfeld said.
One year remains in Dunbar's term.
Anyone interested in Dunbar's seat may submit letters to the office of Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford.
The deadline for letters of interest is June 4 and applicants must reside in District 6. Crawford indicated the board might appoint someone during its next meeting on June 8.
In an unrelated action, the board appointed two chief administrative officers on the superintendent's recommendation as part of reorganization of the administration.
They are Rawly Sanchez and Ronald Jones.
Sanchez, former deputy chief of staff for Dallas ISD, has 15 years experience in educational leadership, having also served as a principal and assistant principal as well as a teacher.
Sanchez has a bachelor's degree from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, a master's degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce and has completed doctoral coursework through The University of Texas at Austin.
Jones has 22 years experience including serving as lead principal for Hillcrest High School feeder pattern in Dallas ISD.
Jones has a bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech University, a master's degree from UT Austin and has completed doctoral coursework including the superintendent exam through University of North Texas.
Trustees approved an almost $3 million contract amendment for renovation of the A.T. Stewart campus, an agreement for Tyler Junior College to participate in the early college high school program and moved toward establishing a K-9 unit to help fight drugs on campuses.
The former Stewart Middle School will be renovated to house the new early college high school program and the new Alvin V. Anderson RISE Academy, an acronym for Reach for Inspiration with Speed and Excellence
Of the $2,935,975 total, about $1 million will come from the preventive maintenance fund and $1.9 million from bond funds. The board also approved architect fees of $176,158 for a project total cost of $3,112,133.
The board allocated another $67,327 for asbestos removal at Stewart.
Trustees approved a memorandum of understanding with Tyler Junior College for operation of the district's new early college high school program. TJC will waive student tuition and fees for college courses for students in the early college program.
The program has been in the planning stage for months and will kick off in August.
The board approved a K-9 handler course agreement for a dog handler to complete a two-week course with Universal K-9 with a canine trained in narcotics detection.
The board approved a service agreement with Camp Tyler Foundation for services for the 2015-16 school year, including an outdoor program for Tyler ISD students.
The board entered a $50,335 contract for the college readiness program called Advancement Via Individual Determination at several campuses.
The board also authorized $401,425 for resurfacing running track and tennis courts at Robert E. Lee High School and the running track at John Tyler High School. The board set aside $106,960 to replace gym floors at Hogg, Hubbard and Dogan middle schools. Trustees also approved $52,039 for athletic equipment, workout gear and uniforms for the new Three Lakes Middle School.
The board approved the renovation and improvements plan of Smith County Appraisal District, which handles appraisals for Tyler ISD. The project's total cost is approximately $1.5 million and Tyler ISD's share will be $38,000 the first year.
The board discussed but took no action on possibly installing a synthetic playing surface at Mike Carter Field.
With the heavy rain this spring, there are issues with the existing grass, the superintendent said. The turf would provide a safe playing surface and extend the playing year, Crawford said.
The board also discussed a proposed policy to regulate intra-district transfers including UIL consideration. The proposal would require a student to be assigned to a school in the attendance area in which he or she resides. Under the proposed revision, a transfer request would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with administrative regulations.
During the portion of the meeting reserved for public comments, the board heard parents Richardo Gauna and his wife, Rosa Linda Gauna, object to closing the bilingual program at Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy.
They complained they were not told about the plan at first, and then were given different reasons. They said Hispanic students would be moved to other schools, which they claimed is segregation and discrimination. They said Caldwell is a high performing school and the plan makes no sense.