Foster named interim principal

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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A familiar face to the Chico school district will soon be back in a familiar role.

The Chico ISD board of trustees Monday hired LaJuan Foster to serve as interim principal at the middle school through the 2013-2014 school year. Foster previously served as interim principal of Chico Elementary during the fall semester of the 2011-2012 school year, after former principal Lisa Slaughter was named the district’s director of accountability and the campus intervention specialist at Chico High School.

Foster’s new position was created when the district moved former middle school principal Maury Martin to the federal programs director/district testing coordinator/No Child Left Behind compliance position.

Superintendent Mike Jones said Foster will remain at the middle school post for the entire school year.

“That will give us a year to select from a broader applicant pool and will allow us to get community input,” he said, adding that it would also not be ideal to change principals in the middle of a school year. He expects to have a recommendation for a long-term replacement next spring.

In other employment business, Andrew Shears was hired as band director, Troyce Renfro as high school girls basketball coach and math teacher at the high school and Becky Renfro as middle school math teacher.

The board did not take action on employing an architect to provide information on possible bond projects after a split 3-3 vote on the item. Voting in favor of the hire were Doug Bowyer, Paul Cantrell and Mark Tate. Voting against were G.A. Buckner, Bill Hand and Donald Joe Clark. James “Pancho” Redwine did not attend the meeting.

In other business, the board:

  • discussed the effect of the preliminary tax values on the upcoming school year’s budget. The district is looking at a $190,000 loss in total tax revenue and will seek ways to reduce costs. Jones said the best way to do that with the least impact on teachers and students is not filling jobs lost through attrition.
  • approved Steve Gilland to conduct an audit of the district.
  • moved the July school board meeting to Tuesday, July 30.
  • heard a report on electrical repairs at the high school which are expected to result in energy cost savings.
  • heard cost estimates for district-wide security upgrades which could be part of a bond package.
  • heard a report on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness results which showed that Chico students performed better than the state average in 23 of 28 tests taken.
  • approved an interlocal agreement with Education Service Center Region 11.

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