Houston Schools

Houston school board members received information last week related to the district’s bonding capacity and tax rate.

During a 54-minute special meeting last Tuesday with L.J. Hart and Company, board members were told the district’s bonding capacity would be around $4.5 million in April 2017. It will increase to around $5 million in April 2018.

Dr. Allen Moss, superintendent of Houston Schools, said the meeting was only for informational purposes.

“The board is not considering putting anything out there,” he said.

Moss said the district was told within the next year it could pay off its current bonds early or drop the tax rate from the 80-cent level. L.J. Hart also provided options such as raising the tax rate to 95 cents.

“The board feels pretty strongly –– and has expressed that to the community –– that it will stay at 80 cents,” Moss said.

Also at the meeting, school board members:

•Accepted the resignation of HHS assistant football coach Ken Cooperman, who will coach his final game with the team in Friday’s district opener at Mountain View-Liberty. Cooperman will retain his position as high school science and health instructor.

“This is something he and I have talked about for awhile,” HHS head football coach Eric Sloan said. “He’s coached for 33 years, and I understand. He’s getting to the age where he wants to explore other things in life and spend more time with his family. I can’t fault him at all for that.”

Sloan and Cooperman coached together at both Cabool and Houston. He has served as Sloan’s defensive coordinator the past two years at HHS.

“Everything that he has done for me and my coaching career, I’m forever grateful,” Sloan said. “Selfishly, I hate to see him go. He’s good for Houston and good for these kids.”

•Employed Derrion Donson as high school freshman assistant basketball coach and Del Hicks as translator. Donson will receive a $1,500 stipend. Hicks, who will be assisting Russian-speaking students, will work 8-9 hours per work at $12 per hour.

•Increased the salaries of Kelsen Gilbert and Michael Weakly, both members of the technology department, by $1.20 per hour for the remainder of the school year.

•Granted early graduation requests from Austin Kennedy, Alaina Johnson and Whitney Sell –– contingent on meeting all local and state requirements.

•Approved the building of locker rooms for the HHS softball program. Head coach Brent Hall, who presented information about the project at the September meeting, and Jimmy Swindell were present to answer questions. Volunteer labor and money raised by the team will fund the project.

•Heard MAP, EOC and ACT assessment results from Pat Oakley.

•Received information from board member Stacie Ely, who recently attended the Missouri School Boards Association conference.

•Approved evaluations related to health services and school personnel as well as current bus routes.

•Were read a letter from patron Kelly Young, who expressed concerns about students standing and blocking the view of others at the HHS homecoming football game.

•Gave special recognition to several students: Kaitlyn Root, the high school student of the month; Hannah Dzurick, Casey Merckling and Sabrina Blair, nominees for middle school student of the month; and Madeline Holder, Kirstin Collins and Macy Mills, members of the elementary superstar mentor program.

PDF: Minutes from last week’s Houston school board meeting

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