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Willis ISD Trustees Recognize Student Accomplishments

Kim Truett of Turner Elementary was recognized as the Most Valuable Player for March. A detailed description of her efforts to change the world one classroom at a time can be found on the district website. 

Trustees were also presented with the Willis ISD Secondary and Elementary Students of the Month Akerah Gardin and Nicole Cortes.

Akerah Gardin of Lynn Lucas Middle School exemplifies all of the qualities one would expect from an excellent student both inside and outside the classroom. She is a member of the student council as well as the Aristokats dance team. 

Lucas eighth-grade ELA teacher, Michele Reed said that Akerah undertakes all tasks with 100 percent effort and exhibits a positive attitude. 

“She always comes to class on time and is prepared to learn,” said Reed.  “Her participation in class discussions is both insightful and meaningful to the topic at hand. She works well with her peers, interacting with them in a positive manner and diplomatically discussing differences without de-valuing any individual’s feelings.”

Nicole Cortes is described as a hard-worker who turns in assignments on time and has a real love of learning.  She often goes home and brings in information the next day to show that she extended the lesson in her own way.  Her greatest quality is her giving nature and service as a mentor to her peers and others.

“Nicole helps a younger student every morning with reading,” said Meador fifth-grade teacher Aileen Ripkowksi.  “She misses lunch with friends to help life skills students.  She is someone that people are drawn to because she makes everyone feel loved and welcomed.”

“We are so proud of these awesome representatives of Willis ISD,” stated Superintendent Tim Harkrider.  “Students of the Month don’t have to be on the A Honor Roll but should demonstrate a diligent effort to succeed.  Other criteria include exemplar character, excellent behavior, good citizenship and attendance.”

Other recognitions included the WHS boys’ and girls’ basketball and wrestling teams for their season accomplishments and the WHS band solo and ensemble state qualifiers.

In other business, trustees voted to:

  • Approve a change to the 2016-2017 Academic Year Calendar to move the February student holiday for staff development to coincide with President’s Day on Feb. 20, 2017.
  • Reclassify payment of supplemental duty from extra days to stipends for seven CTE teaching positions.
  • Adopt updates/revisions to a board policy involving wellness.
  • Approve a remote homebound instruction waiver and pre-K waiver
  • Approve prevailing wages for construction projects
  • Approve a technology purchase of infrastructure hardware in excess of $25,000.

The next regular meeting of the Willis ISD Board of Trustees will be Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at 6 p.m. in the Cargill Education Support Center at 204 W. Rogers in Willis.