PHOTO: School board members (from left) Nancy Garrett, Brad Fiscus, Angela Durham and Eric Welch listen in during the work session Thursday night. / Photo by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
The recent lack of late-summer rain hasn’t been good for the grass or the September flowers, but it has been a welcome absence for Williamson County Schools and its various construction projects underway.
During the Operations report at Thursday night’s work session for the WCS Board of Education, Mark Samuels, the district’s new assistant superintendent for Operations, told board members and others the dry spell has kept construction on several projects on schedule toward completion.
“We haven’t had a whole lot of rain the last couple of months or so, so things are working really well at almost all of our sites,” said Samuels, who just recently took over in his new position.
Samuels gave an update on the following projects:
- The auditorium at Grassland Middle School is just a few days away from completion.
- The Page Middle auditorium and phase one of the classroom addition will be finished in October.
- Creekside Elementary School on Gosey Road is still looking for completion in December.
- Independence High School’s addition with the cafeteria and the three-story classroom building is targeted for a January 2020 completion.
- The central-east middle school on Henpeck Lane is still slated for completion in August 2020.
Samuels also gave a report on bus transportation, saying things got started on the right foot the first day of school, but numerous call-outs in the ensuing weeks have led to double shifts and backups. Samuels also took the opportunity to praise the transportation office.
“If you’ve never sat down in the transportation office during a morning arrival or an afternoon dismissal, you would be amazed at how well they manager the chaos, it seems, at times,” he said. “That’s my impression two weeks into the job. It’s a sight worth seeing.”
Meanwhile, Vickie Hall from Human Resources gave an update on teacher hiring.
The district hired 410 new teachers for this school year, with over half of those being brand new teachers (115) or those with one to five years’ experience (121).
Forty-eight new hires have 16 or more years of experience, while 44 fall in the 11-15 years range and 82 in the six to 10 years of experience.
The school board will hold its monthly meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Williamson County Administrative Complex.