Willis Independent School District

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Trustees Approve Bond Sale; Extend Harkrider’s Contract

Projects scheduled for completion before the beginning of school in August 2016 include expanded parent drop-off lanes at Meador, Brabham, Turner and Cannan; construction of a track and tennis courts at Brabham Middle School; and installation of field turf at Yates Stadium.

“These four projects will not require $70 million, but our financial advisors indicated that today’s low interest rates make this a good time to sell bonds for the amount that we will reasonably expect to spend on the bond projects over the next three years,” stated Superintendent Tim Harkrider.  “The remaining funds will be used to begin the expansion at Brabham, the new CTE Center and other additions at Willis High School.”

Trustees were presented with a check for $121,687 from Entergy President and CEO Sallie Rainer resulting from the district’s participation in an incentive program to save energy. Last summer, efficient LED lighting was installed throughout the district. Rainer reported that this project represented the equivalent of removing 430 cars from the environment in terms of carbon emissions. She estimated the lighting program would save the district about $200,000 in energy costs every year.

In other business, trustees agreed to purchase two maintenance vehicles and surveying services in connection with bond construction projects. The closed session agenda included conducting the annual Superintendent Evaluation. Trustees amended the superintendent’s contract to extend it through June 30, 2019. 

“Extending Mr. Harkrider’s contract for an additional year is a testament to the board’s confidence in his ability to help our district meet the state’s rigorous accountability guidelines and more importantly, help our students be successful after graduation and beyond,” stated Board President Christen Arnold. 

Earlier in the evening, district campuses presented trustees with numerous tokens of appreciation in honor of School Board Recognition Month. A video presentation highlighted why teachers from around the district believe school board members are “super heroes”.  

Click here to view the school board appreciation video.