Board makes several new hires

The meeting took place mostly behind closed doors, but it was no secret what the Alvord ISD board of trustees was doing Thursday afternoon.

They were hiring.

After two hours of private discussion, the board opened the doors and hired three teachers each for the elementary and middle school campuses, counselors for both schools, and a new head football coach and athletic director for Alvord High School.

It was the latter that drew the most attention. Pete Hart, defensive coordinator for the past three years, was named AD and head football coach after the tumultous demotion and departure of Curtis Enis earlier this year (see story on page 1A).

But also noteworthy was the hiring of counselors for the elementary and middle school campuses, and new teachers – in several instances replacing teachers who moved to different campuses.

New middle school counselor Kimberly Cantwell earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. She previously served as a counselor at Nocona Middle School.

Melinda “Mindy” Marcum, the new counselor for Alvord Elementary, earned her bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and an M.Ed. from Dallas Baptist University. She taught nine years in Paradise ISD and served for 10 years as intermediate counselor in Bridgeport ISD.

New Alvord Middle School faculty hired Thursday are:

  • Charlie Stavlo, to teach math and serve as a girls’ assistant coach at both the middle school and high school campuses. Stavlo, a graduate of Texas A&M, previously taught math and was an assistant coach at Franklin ISD alongside new girls basketball coach/coordinator John Shelton.
  • Cicily Word, special education. She is a graduate of Texas A&M has served as a special education teacher with Wise County Shared Services.
  • Kaitlin Sessions, English/language arts. A graduate of Texas A&M, she did her student teaching at Paradise Middle School and was a long-term substitute there. This is her first full-time teaching position.

New teachers at Alvord Elementary include:

  • Barbara “Dede” Shelton, to teach 4th grade writing. A 17-year classroom veteran, she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and business management from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., and received an M.A. from Texas A&M Commerce. She has taught in Bryan, Buffalo, and most recently, in Franklin, outside Bryan. She is the wife of new girls head basketball coach and coordinator John Shelton.
  • Danelle Sandate, to teach first grade. A graduate of the University of North Texas, she substituted long-term in Keller ISD and Jacksboro ISD, then taught full-time in Jacksboro.
  • Elana Mattix, to teach fourth grade. She graduated from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and has taught in Montague ISD.

Staff development for Alvord ISD starts Aug. 10 and the first day of school is Aug. 22.

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Hart sees success on horizon at Alvord; Veteran coach returns to head coaching spot with Bulldogs

Four years after leaving Chico, Pete Hart is a head football coach again.

The Alvord defensive coordinator was promoted to the top football spot and the athletic director Thursday night.

Hart, who is beginning his third year at Alvord, believes the program is ready to take off.

“We’re excited. We’ve got a lot of pieces to be successful,” Hart said Friday morning after being extended a two-year pact.

Hart spent eight seasons at Chico, going 12-68 as the head coach as the small school in a 2A district. Since leaving Chico, he went to Bridgeport for two seasons. He’s spent the past two years at Alvord as Curtis Enis’ defensive coordinator.

He now replaces Enis, who resigned last month to go to Burleson as the girls basketball coach.

Alvord was 3-7 last year as the smallest school in their Class 2A Division II district. Alvord will be in the new 5-2A Division I – the old Class A Division II – this year.

Alvord returns running back Joe Randall that ran for 1,251 yards and 16 touchdowns a year ago and eight starters on the defensive side of the ball.

“We had a lot of kids that played a lot of minutes on varsity as freshmen and sophomores last year,” Hart said. “They are now another year bigger and stronger. There’s a lot of talented kids. We have to put a plan in place to perform.”

Along with Hart, most of the Alvord staff will return for this year. Hart said that will pay big dividends.

“With the exception of Enis, the staff is the same,” he said. “They’ve been working and teaching these kids for two years. That will allow us to be successful.”

Hart said many of the players in the program came to him after Enis left and asked for him to apply for the job to keep the staff in place.

“It wasn’t just about keeping Coach Hart. They wanted to keep the staff,” Hart said.

The 28-year coaching veteran has spent his entire career at Wise County schools. In his stops, he’s been able to develop strong relationships with players.

“I’ve had others tell me that I’m a players’ coach,” Hart said. “I relate to them well and have a soft spot for every kid.

“I never lie to them. I’m very honest with them about what I ask for them to do. If a kid trusts a coach, they will run through a brick wall for them.”

While Hart values the lifelong friendships he’s developed over the years with his players, he’s quick to point out that they must be successful at the end of the day.

“It is about winning,” Hart said.

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Aubrey DeLane Baird

Jamie and Jason Baird of Alvord announce the birth of a daughter, Aubrey DeLane, on July 9, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces and was 20 inches long.

She has one brother: Tyler Hicks, 9.

Grandparents are Edward and Linda Elsmere of Alvord and Jim and La-wanda Baird of Alvord.

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Bulldogs on the hunt for new coach, AD

The Alvord Bulldogs may have their new football coach and athletic director Thursday.

Alvord trustees have called a meeting for 5 p.m. to consider personnel items, specifically the athletic director and football coach job.

“I don’t know for sure we’ll be ready. We’d certainly like to be, but we still have some interviews to go,” Branum said Tuesday afternoon. “We do have some teachers to hire for sure.”

According to Branum, the district had 35 applicants for the head football job that came open last month when Curtis Enis left to take the girls basketball job in Burleson. Before he left Alvord, the school board took the role of athletic director from Enis, and Branum has been the acting AD.

“Obviously, this time of year is not the ideal time to be looking for an AD and coach,” Branum said. “But we feel we’ll end up with a good one.”

Of the 35 applicants, the district granted interviews to 12.

Branum said most have head coaching experience.

“The ones that don’t certainly have quite a bit of experience as a lead assistant – offensive or defensive coordinator,” Branum said.

One coach on the current staff applied and interviewed for the job.

The district is within the 45-day period where another district would not be required to release a person under contract to take the job.

“Usually if someone is getting a promotion, most of the time the other school district will waive it,” Branum said.

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Whitt, team run into Hall of Fame

Whitt, team run into Hall of Fame

Stacey Whitt was just weeks away from moving to Brenham to start classes at Blinn Junior College when he had a sudden change of plans.

“I was recruited by Blinn and the coach took the job at Texas A&I,” Whitt recalled. “I was two weeks away from starting my freshman year when he offered me a chance to run at a 4-year school instead of a JUCO.”

Running Into Fame

RUNNING INTO FAME – The 1986 Texas A&I men’s and women’s cross country teams will be inducted into the Texas A&M-Kingsville Hall of Fame in September. Stacy Whitt, an Alvord alum, was a member of the squad that won the Lone Star Conference title. Submitted photo

The benefits of that change of course continue for the Alvord graduate. This fall, Whitt will join the fellow members of the 1986 Texas A&I men’s and women’s cross country teams for induction into the Javelina Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held Sept. 5 on what is now the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus.

“It’s a big honor,” Whitt said. “We won a couple of league championships in 1984-86.

“We’re a big family. We are already making plans for the weekend to gather at one of the runner’s homes and we’ll stretch our times.”

Whitt won the 1983 Class A title in the 3200, running a record time of 9:41.9. The mark stood until 1987.

After graduating Alvord, he arrived in Kingsville to compete in cross country and track. He found himself running against some of the best athletes in the world.

“The NCAA had passed a rule for Division I schools that wouldn’t allow kids over a certain age come in,” Whitt said. “Because of that we had world-class runners running in our Division II. Our 1986 team at Texas A&I went up against the best teams with international runners.”

But that did not deter Whitt and his Texas A&I teammates. The group of talented runners upset national powerhouse Abilene Christian in 1984.

ACU recaptured the league crown in 1985.

The following year, Whitt and the Javelinas took down ACU by a point, 32-33, to capture the conference title.

“Although we didn’t have the international runners, we were able to take the bigger prize and the conference title,” Whitt said. “It took a team to accomplish that.”

The A&I squad followed that up with a regional title, scoring 51 points to ACU’s 74.

The Javelinas and Whitt closed the season by finishing 12th at the NCAA Division II meet.

“We ran in California aand in the altitude, we were toast,” Whitt recalled.

Individually, Whitt was an All-Lone Star Conference performer on the track and in cross country during his time at Texas A&I. He turned in a personal-best 10K of 32:14, 5K of 15:06 and 1500 of 3:56.

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Man, 20, charged in pharmacy robbery

A Decatur man is in the Wise County Jail after attempting to rob S&J Pharmacy in Alvord this week.

Tyler Chapman

Tyler Chapman, 20, was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated robbery and possession of marijuana, less than 2 ounces.

Sheriff David Walker said that Chapman allegedly entered the pharmacy wearing a hoodie at 3 p.m. Tuesday and instructed pharmacy staff to give him money.

When the pharmacist questioned him, Chapman raised his shirt, revealing a handgun in his pants.

The pharmacist instructed the staff to get out of the building, and they left through a back entrance. Walker said the suspect apparently left through the front door at that same time.

A witness saw him leave the property and grew suspicious because he was wearing a hoodie in the summer heat. The witness watched him get in a pickup and go to a house in Alvord, where he was later arrested.

As of Wednesday afternoon, investigators were still trying to determine if Chapman actually took anything from the pharmacy.

Bond for the aggravated robbery charge was set at $50,000 and bond for the possession of charge was $2,500.

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Frances Charlotte Copeland

Frances Charlotte Copeland

Frances Charlotte Copeland, 67, of Alvord died Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in Fort Worth.

Funeral was June 30 at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Bill Cleveland officiating.

Frances was born June 13, 1947, in Oceanside, Calif., to Francis and Ella (Smith) Wagher. She was a homemaker who enjoyed spending time with her family, particularly watching her grandkids play sports.

Frances is survived by sons John Deweese of Round Rock, Karl and Pam Deweese of Wilmington, N.C., Jerry Copeland of Corpus Christi and Frank and Raegan Copeland of Fort Worth; daughter Charlotte and Billy Fitzgerald of Decatur; brothers Joel and Lisann Wagher of Temple, George and Beverly Herr of Granbury and Ed and Linda Wagher of California; grandchildren Dane, Kylee, Kathy, Kody, Wyatt, Brandon, Kristiana, Jordan, Taylor, Kim, Brandy, Mandy and Justin; and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by son James Copeland; husbands Jerrell Lee Copeland and Robert Hicks; mother Ella Herr of Fort Worth; father Francis Wagher; brother Bill Beaver of California; and sister Dolly Coker of North Carolina.

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Enis takes job in Burleson

Curtis Enis is leaving the football sidelines in Alvord and will return to coaching on the hardwood.

Curtis Enis

Enis resigned from Alvord ISD Wednesday and will be the girls basketball coach at Burleson High School. His wife, Rhonda, also will leave her post as girls track coach in Alvord to become an assistant at Burleson in basketball and track. She is expected to tender her resignation after signing a contract with Burleson.

“We’re moving to Burleson and will become part of the community there and help the kids,” Enis said.

“I wish the kids in Alvord well. I enjoyed the kids, the faculty and administration. They were all good to me. The girls program will continue to be good and the boys are fixing to be real good. I’ll be 60 miles away but I’ll be rooting for them.”

Enis, who was in his second tenure at the school, leaves after a turbulent spring in which the Alvord ISD trustees failed on a 3-3 vote to extend his contract. Later, the board stripped the athletic director role from him with a unanimous vote.

Enis coached at Alvord from 1989 to 2008, then returned to the school in February 2011 as the athletic director and head football coach. Under Enis, the Bulldogs went 10-20 in three seasons.

The team was 3-7 last year in 2A Division II. But after moving down to the new Class 2A in the latest round of realignment, the Bulldogs are picked to win District 5-2A Division I by Texas Football.

“They are going to have a great football season,” Enis said. “The kids have been working hard and will reap the rewards of their hard work this year.

“It’s been impressive how hard they have worked the past two years. We were young offensively and defensively last year and made mistakes. They were lack-of-experience mistakes.”

He was the Bulldogs’ head coach in 1997, leading the team to an 11-2 record and trip to the third round of the playoffs.

He hired his brother, Greg, as head coach in 1998 and Alvord captured a district title.

Enis came back to Alvord after a two-year stint as the girls basketball coach at Saint Jo. He said his goal at Alvord was to develop a strong work ethic.

“When I came back and looked at the boys program, we had to establish a work ethic,” Enis said. “We had established that with the girls when I was here the first time, a strong work ethic and a commitment to the athlete as a whole. We knew it’d take time.

“What also held us back were the numbers. We had 200 kids, and we were playing schools with 260 and 280. We were the small fish in the big pond. We tried not to use that as an excuse.”

Enis said after this year’s realignment, which placed Alvord in a league with Valley View, Chico, Blue Ridge, Bells and Trenton, the kids in the program began working even harder.

“You saw that they were gaining confidence. I didn’t think they could work any harder, but it just amped up the kids’ work ethic,” Enis said. “They are going to be really good. I’m not going to be there to be a part of it. I hope the rest of the staff stays there.”

Curtis Enis said he hopes current assistant and former Chico coach Pete Hart lands the athletic director and football coach job. A group of players led by incoming senior Joe Randall addressed the school board at its Thursday night meeting to ask that the board “hire from within.”

“He’s a good coach, hard worker and very thorough,” Enis said. “He’s deserving of the head coaching position.”

AISD posted the opening Wednesday for a head football coach and athletic director. No date was set for the hiring.

Going back to coaching basketball full time, Enis takes a 433-215 career record. He is 19-13 in playoff games and led teams to seven district titles. He took the Alvord Lady Bulldogs to the state tournament in 1995, falling to Sudan.

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Early fireworks, late action in board meeting

The Alvord school board made some major decisions Thursday night – but the fireworks that erupted at the start of the meeting hung like a cloud of smoke over a string of unanimous votes.

Board member Kevin Wood lit the fuse, accusing board president Vic Czerniak of “egregious violation and betrayal” claiming he overstepped his authority by ordering Superintendent Bill Branum to post an opening for the athletic director’s position on the Internet.

Former head football coach Curtis Enis, whose resignation was accepted this week was relieved of his duties as athletic director in May, while still under contract as a teacher and coach. Wood read a clipping from the May 3 Messenger in which Branum stated he believed it was the board’s intent that he handle those duties himself.

“Nobody on this board had a meeting to authorize the posting of an AD job,” Wood said. “You did it behind our backs.

“You violated the integrity of this board, you usurped your authority as board president, you undermined our authority as elected officials, you compromised the instructional leadership of this district, you embarrassed elected officials by the way you behaved behind our backs, and you violated the public trust,” he said. “If you had any character, you’d resign as board president.”

Czerniak, other board members and the audience of about a dozen – including several football players and their parents – sat in stunned silence as the accusations unfolded.

At one point Czerniak turned to Branum. “Did I order you to?” he asked.

“You asked me to,” Branum said.

Wood said, “I’ve sat through this once, and I’m not going to sit quietly by again and people go behind our backs.”

Finally Czerniak was able to respond as Wood turned around in his chair and faced away from the board table.

Czerniak denied making a statement, although it was unclear what statement he was referring to. The Messenger clipping Wood read did not reference Czerniak, who had not yet been elected to head the board.

He did say that on Tuesday he had gone to Branum’s office and discussed posting the AD job so that when Enis’ resignation did come in, the district might already be receiving applications.

“To kill two birds with one stone, what we needed to do, if we’re going to try and make our program successful, was to go ahead with posting an athletic director with heavy football skills – so that when we do get an opening or a letter of resignation, we could move the athletic director into the head football coach position,” he said.

“As it was, yesterday we received a letter of resignation,” he continued. “But we’ve already lost almost a month trying to find out because we didn’t have a head football coach out there working with the boys on the program. We didn’t know what our situation was.”

He noted that by law, Enis could have waited until July 11 to resign – 45 days prior to the start of classes.

“By the time we would post it, take applications and do interviews, school would already be starting before we had a football coach,” Czerniak said.

“Mr. Branum was never ordered. We came to a mutual agreement,” he said. “My understanding was that he would go ahead and post it, but he was never ordered by anybody to do that.”

Things calmed down for a moment as board member John Schedcik raised a question about the district’s broadband status. Then Wood spoke again.

“And one other thing,” he said, looking at Czerniak. “You may be able to put four votes together to run the former Godley head football coach in here on us – shove it down our throat – but there’ll be a reckoning when you do it.”

This time, Czerniak fired back.

“I don’t know what medication you’re taking, but you need to take another dose, Mr. Woods,” he said. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Wood said he was just warning Czerniak, but Czerniak cautioned him that the allegation was unfounded.

“I’m just telling you …” Wood began.

“You’re not telling me anything,” Czerniak cut him off. “I’m telling you right now, control your attitude. If you’re going to make an allegation, you’d better have something to substantiate it.”


After that divisive start, the board got down to business and voted unanimously on a string of instruction-related items.

A 40-minute presentation by Technology Director Charlie Mann led to the purchase of 400 Google Chromebook notebook computers for high school and middle school students.

The lease-purchase is a three-year commitment of more than $150,000. The computers are designed to hold minimal software and data, largely serving as portals to the “cloud” database through the Google Chrome browser.

Mann said the devices are designed specifically for education and are available at a much lower cost than the laptop devices many other school districts have purchased for their students.

The computers will cost $147,600 over three years – with payments of $47,974 a year for three years. A first-year-only cost of $20,591 would upgrade Alvord ISD’s wireless capabilities to handle the influx of devices.

After that, an annual payment in that range should be sufficient to keep the devices upgraded, years into the future.

“A Chromebook is an affordable device that’s made for the schools and used by the schools,” Mann said. “It’s not one of those devices that’s used for anything. It’s very specific.”

Mann said the devices are protected against inappropriate content and emails, photos and video. They are even theft-resistant – once the device is reported stolen, the next time someone powers it up it takes their photo and transmits it back to the base.

The board also approved up to $40,000 to build a greenhouse as requested a few months ago to help the agriculture, horticulture and floral arranging classes. It should be able to be ordered, shipped and assembled for that cost by the time school starts.


The board also:

  • entered into a contract with Black Creek Canine Services for drug-sniffing dogs to go through the campuses as needed;
  • approved the Texas Kids First insurance plan, at a cost of $12,148 for the year, to provide insurance that is offered to all 700 students;
  • heard a “very positive” safety/security audit report;
  • approved guidelines for interview committees to help principals in hiring;
  • amended the budget to pay for the greenhouse, the notebook computers, school buses, startup costs for the girls volleyball program and the art program; and
  • approved several personnel moves.

John Shelton, recently hired from Franklin to coach girls basketball, was named girls athletic coordinator.

Jessica Bull, a fourth- grade teacher who just completed her ninth year at Alvord Elementary, was named assistant principal at the school.

Krissi Oden was hired to teach secondary art.

Kathy Jo Nance was transferred from middle school to high school. She holds secondary certification in special ed and health and has taught in Alvord ISD for nine years.

Catherine Kelly was also moved from middle school to high school. She has taught and coached for seven years and for the last two has been Alvord Middle School girls basketball and track coach while assisting with Alvord High School boys cross country and girls track.

Lisa Watkins was transferred from elementary to middle school to teach English/language arts. An educator with 25 years experience, she has taught the last 13 years in Alvord ISD at several levels.

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Jaycee Lynn Meador

Jeremy and Jessica Meador of Alvord announce the birth of a daughter, Jaycee Lynn, on June 16, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

She has one sister: Jaidyn Nicole, 3.

Grandparents are Ricky and Debra Meador of Alvord, Phillip and Fiona Wood of Spring City, Utah, and Cheryl Headley of Paradise.

Great-grandparents are Evelyn Meador of Decatur, Mary Ann Hodges of Alvord, Royce and Donna Hodges of Alvord, Bobbie Headley of Paradise and Barbara Wood of Mount Pleasant, Utah.

Great-great-grandfather is Ed Hardee of Decatur.

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Board to deal with ongoing issues

Alvord’s school board will revisit the proposed greenhouse project and guidelines for committees used to help screen job applicants when they meet in regular session Thursday.

The meeting, which is open to the public, is at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building, 100 Mosley Lane.

Principals, superintendent Bill Branum, and board members will offer reports at the opening of the meeting before the board looks at minutes, bills and the tax collection report – all items on the consent agenda.

The regular agenda includes consideration of a canine service plan and the Texas Kids First insurance plan, as well as Chromebooks and a safety/security audit.

The board will also consider budget amendments and personnel recommendations – which should come after a closed-door session.

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Five teams picked for playoffs

Football fans in Decatur, Alvord, Boyd, Chico and Northwest can make their plans for the postseason according to polls in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

The annual football guide hit stands this past week and picked five of the county’s seven teams to earn playoff spots. Only Paradise and Bridgeport were not predicted to make the playoffs.

No area teams were in preseason rankings for the six classifications. The University Interscholastic League renamed the classifications for this fall with 5A becoming the new 6A. The old six-man or Class A Division II is now Class A. The other classes all moved up with the old 3A now being 4A.

The Decatur Eagles under new head coach Mike Fuller were picked third in the new 4-4A Division I behind Graham and Gainesville. Wichita Falls Hirschi was tabbed fourth, Burkburnett fifth and Mineral Wells last.

Fuller, who arrived in the spring from Colleyville Heritage to take over a Decatur team that went 9-4 and made the 3A Division I region semifinals, downplayed the predictions.

“I don’t put much stock in it,” he said. “We’ll show up each Friday night and compete.”

In 3-4A Division II, Bridgeport was picked sixth behind Celina, Bonham, Aubrey, Anna and Krum. The Bulls are coming off a winless campaign in 2013.

Under their new head coach Bill Poe, the Northwest Texans are picked fourth in 5-6A. State champion Denton Guyer is the choice to win the league followed by Keller Fossil Ridge and Denton Ryan. Byron Nelson is picked sixth in the eight-team district.

The Boyd Yellowjackets were picked second in 4-3A Division I behind Breckenridge. Bowie was tabbed third, Brock fourth, Ponder fifth and Paradise sixth. Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett was picked as the league’s preseason offensive MVP.

“Looking at the district, anyone can beat anyone,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “It’ll be such a competitive district. Anything can happen.”

In the 5-2A Division I, Alvord was tabbed to grab the district title behind preseason offensive MVP Joe Randall, who ran for 1,251 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Chico was picked second led by preseason defensive MVP Hagan Davis.

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Beth Marlena Geron

Beth Marlena Geron, 57, of Alvord, died Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Decatur.

Memorial service is 10 a.m. Thursday, June 26 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Decatur. Rev. Louis Horton will officiate.

Beth was born Aug. 25, 1956 to Wally and Amy (Walker) Spaith in Cincinnati. She married Glen Melvin Geron April 23, 1983 in Decatur. Beth was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Glen Geron of Alvord; daughter Rolanda Patterson of Decatur; two grandsons, Daxx Patterson and Nathaniel Patterson; sister Jerriann Scott Brown of Ohio; brothers Rusty Scott of Massachusetts and Jerry T. Scott of Ohio; niece, nephew and a host of friends.

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Missing Alvord teen found

A missing teen was located safe in north Fort Worth late Thursday.

Christian Putnam, 16, ran away from home off County Road 1590 in Alvord between 3 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Family and friends spread word around the community, including posting missing person posters and sharing the story on social media.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said two of his investigators, two school resource officers and two other officers were involved in the search for Putnam. Family and friends even asked people to meet at the Putnam home Thursday evening to begin a door-to-door search for the missing teen. The Sheriff’s Office also sent out a missing person alert Thursday afternoon asking for the public’s help in locating the boy.

Walker said Putnam was found in north Fort Worth near a friend’s house Thursday night and taken into custody by Fort Worth Police. He was taken to a juvenile detention facility due to repeated runaway activity, Walker said.

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Jaycee Lynn Meador

Jeremy and Jessica Meador of Alvord announce the birth of a daughter, Jaycee Lynn, on June 16, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

She has one sister: Jaidyn Nicole, 3.

Grandparents are Ricky and Debra Meador of Alvord, Phillip and Fiona Wood of Spring City, Utah, and Cheryl Headley of Paradise.

Great-grandparents are Evelyn Meador of Decatur, Mary Ann Hodge of Alvord and Barbara Wood of Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

Great-great-grandfather is Ed Hardee of Decatur.

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Board to review district goals

Meeting for the first time in several months without a big crowd or a hot-button issue, the Alvord school board Monday spent most of its time examining the fine points of superintendent evaluation forms.

A needed process, but not exactly a crowd-pleaser.

In the end, they opted to make the process more about the district – re-examining its goals and direction – than the superintendent.

The form the board currently uses for its annual review of Superintendent Bill Branum’s performance was developed by trustees several years ago, based on district goals, and focused heavily on student performance.

Copies of that form, as well as other appraisal forms recommended by the Commissioner of Education, were passed out for review. The board spent the better part of half an hour discussing the formats and relative merits of each.

“The Commissioner is supposed to update this again by December of 2014,” Branum said. “If you’ll notice, it references AYP (Average Yearly Progress) and some other things that aren’t in the mix anymore.”

The school district’s current form references the old school rating system of Examplary/Recognized/Acceptable, which also is not used anymore.

“I think you’ll see quite a few similarities and some differences, certainly,” Branum said.

Board member Larry Nivens questioned the need for changing the form. “If we make the switch, how does it make us a better school?” he asked.

Czerniak said it’s simply a matter of bringing the district up to date.

Board member Kevin Wood said it had been “five or six years” since the form was revised.

“The instrument we were using prior to this was really generic and arbitrary,” he said. “We pulled it off another school’s website.”

Board member Charlie Matthews said it’s just a matter of finding the best tool.

“All this is, is a tool. You’re going to be able to see if there’s an area that’s at fault, whether it’s the superintendent or whatever,” he said.

Board member John Schedcik suggested combining the best parts of both forms, taking the portions they like from the Commissioner of Education’s suggested form and working them into the district’s form.

“The idea is trying to get an instrument that truly reflects what the board’s goals are,” he said.

After much further discussion, Wood moved to table the item.

“What if, instead of thinking of this as an appraisal instrument, we step back and go back over our goals, and let’s figure out what our vision is, where we want to go?” he said.

He said with several new board members, it’s a good time to back off and look at the big picture.

“If we’re going to take on the responsibility as trustees that our students and our citizens expect from us, let’s look at where we want the district to head,” he said. “Let’s look at our goals because this is based on our goals. Let’s become a team of eight and figure out where we want to go as a group.”

Matthews agreed.

“Things have changed so much, I do think it’s time to reassess what we’ve got right here,” he said. “Let’s look at what the goals are and base our evaluation on the goals.”

He said the goals need to be clear. Branum said he would welcome that.

“The bottom line is, it’s not the instrument that’s critical – it’s more, me being able to know exactly what you guys are asking me to get done,” he said. “When I know that, it’ll get done. That’s why I think this is probably in need of repair.”

The item will be the subject of a workshop for the board’s July meeting – after members have done their homework and come up with their goals for the district.


Prior to that discussion, the board:

  • reappointed Wood as board secretary, after Schedcik asked to step down due to time constraints and his work schedule;
  • amended the budget to pay for the $189,543 in roofing work to be done at the high school;
  • after a lengthy closed session, hired John Shelton of Franklin to be the new girls’ basketball coach.

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Boyd, Alvord compete for state bids

Sixteen teams will vie for the two spots into the Texas 7-on-7 Championships Saturday as one of the final state qualifiers.

Boyd and Alvord will be the only two Wise County teams in the tournament that starts at 9 a.m. They are both in Pool A with Bells and Mineral Wells.

The top team from each pool advances to the semifinals. The semifinal winners earn state berths.

Games will be played at Yellowjacket Stadium and the old football field.

The state tournament is July 10-12 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.

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Shelton to lead Bulldogs

After piling up more than 500 wins, multiple state tournament appearances and a state crown, John Shelton is coming to Alvord.

Shelton was hired Monday night by the district to take over as the Alvord girls basketball coach.

Shelton takes over for Rob Schmucker, who resigned in May to go to Panhandle.

“The groundwork is all done. It’s a good opportunity,” Shelton said. “I watched some of the kids in practice and was impressed with how hard the kids worked.

“I could tell there’s a desire to win. I was impressed with their commitment to win. I want to come up there and build on what’s been done.”

Shelton is also encouraged about the growing girls program at the Class 2A school, which is adding volleyball.

“I wanted to be a coordinator. I was at Buffalo when they started softball,” he said. “I like the opportunity to start volleyball and work with all the programs.”

Shelton comes to Alvord from Franklin where he has spent three seasons, compiling an 81-22 record. His team went 30-6, falling to Brock in the 2A semifinals.

It was Shelton’s third trip to Austin. He led Buffalo to a state crown in 2002 and the state semifinals in 2003.

He also coached at 5A Bryan, 4A Bryan Rudder and Grapeland and Princeton.

As he moves back to North Texas, the McKinney graduate hopes to bring his fast-pace system.

According to MaxPreps, his Franklin squad led the nation in 3-point attempts.

“We want to push the ball up and down the floor,” Shelton said. “We’ll play 10 to 12 kids and play an exciting brand of basketball. I’ve been running the same system for 20 years.

“I’ve watched the kids. We have good cross country and track kids that can run.”

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Cynthia Ann Hill

Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Hill

Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Hill, 73, a homemaker, died Thursday, June 12, 2014, in Alvord.

Funeral was June 17 at The Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills with Dr. Larry Calvin officiating. Pallbearers were Michael Thomas, Matt Luedtke, Kolton Hanisko, Kaalan Hanisko, Reagan Thomas and Ned Hanisko.

Cindy was born Nov. 14, 1940, in Hale Center to Charlie and Joan Hail Stringer. She married Kendall Wayne Hill Sept. 2, 1971, in Madill, Okla.

Cindy enjoyed taking care of her family. She was a member of The Hills Church of Christ and was a woman of great faith who loved reading her devotionals. She enjoyed traveling, playing bridge and spending time with her family, especially her precious grandchildren.

Cindy and Kendall shared 38 years of marriage prior to his passing in 2010. He was the true love of her life, and her family rejoices knowing that they are together again in heaven.

She was also preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her daughters, Lucinda Renee Hanisko of Paradise, Tiffany Hill Luedtke of Dallas and Lindsy Hill Thomas of Alvord; brother Don Stringer of San Angelo; sisters Gail Adams of Holly Lake Ranch and Linda Dabney of San Angelo; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many friends.

Memorials may be made to Mary’s Gift, an organization that provides mammograms for the underserved in Wise County. Donations can be made to Wise Regional Health Foundation/Mary’s Gift, 2000 S. FM 51, Decatur, TX 76234.

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Alvord School Board to elect new secretary

The Alvord ISD board of trustees will consider naming a new board secretary at a special called meeting Monday.

When the new board organized at their May 22 meeting, John Schedcik was named secretary, with Jimmy Looney serving as vice-president and Vic Czerniak president. Current secretary Kevin Wood was named assistant secretary.

After taking whatever action the board decides to take on that item, they will deal with two items that were also on the May 22 agenda: updating the appraisal forms for the superintendent, and amending the budget for roof work at the high school.

The roof repair is on the older portion of the high school building.

The board will also consider personnel recommendations.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the AISD Administration building, 100 Mosley Lane. It is open to the public.

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