More tax dollars headed to college

Weatherford College Wise County will receive more local tax dollars in 2014-15.

Wise County commissioners proposed Tuesday to keep the branch campus maintenance tax at the current rate of 4.618 cents per $100 valuation, which will generate approximately $170,600 more than last year.

The move came at the request of campus officials, Dean Duane Durrett and Associate Dean Matt Joiner, who had both addressed commissioners over the last two weeks.

“Today I’d like to recommend on behalf of [college president] Dr. (Kevin) Eaton and the board of trustees leaving the tax rate at its current rate,” Joiner told commissioners in a budget workshop Tuesday morning.

The increase in funds will help cover a proposed $6.2 million budget that’s up slightly from last year.

Joiner said it’s a 5.32 percent increase, primarily due to a 20-plus percent increase in benefits and a 3.75 percent raise for all full-time employees. He said part-time instructors will also see a 4.2 percent increase in pay.

Another increase to the budget was a new position – workforce and economic development coordinator, who plans continuing education programs such as Spanish, photography and computer classes.

“Otherwise budgets by and large were very flat or decreased,” he said.

Joiner also noted the change in the calculation of the indirect costs, which comes in at $849,176. That resulted in a $43,656 savings for the county.

Indirect costs are based on actual institutional support and administrative costs provided by Weatherford College to the Wise County campus. The number includes 39 categories such as human resources, communications and public relations, admissions, financial aid and the learning resource center.

County Judge Glenn Hughes thanked Joiner and Durrett during the workshop this week for their conscientious efforts.

“I feel like your interests are with Wise County and with the college,” he said. “I’ve been surprised and pleased with the way you’ve tried to work with Wise County on this. I really appreciate the way that y’all have done.”

The Weatherford College board is expected to adopt the budget Thursday, Aug. 28.

Commissioners will hold public hearings on the branch campus maintenance tax rate 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur.

They are expected to adopt a tax rate for the college at a special meeting 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 8.

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Weatherford College Wise County Dean asks county to accept proposed budget

Duane Durrett, Dean of Weatherford College Wise County (WCWC) asked commissioners Monday to accept the college’s proposed $6.2 million budget, a slight increase over last year.

Perhaps most notable about this year’s budget is the change in the calculation of the indirect costs, which comes in at $849,176. The change in calculation has resulted in a $43,656 savings for the county.

Indirect costs are based on actual institutional support and administrative costs provided by Weatherford College to the Wise County campus. The number includes 39 categories such as human resources, communications and public relations, admissions, financial aid and the learning resource center, just to name a few.

Indirect costs were previously figured according to a formula based on the number of student contact hours and the budget of the main campus. This year, it was computed by multiplying WCWC’s budgeted expenditures from last year by 15.82 percent, which represents the actual institutional support/administrative costs reported to the state during the previous fiscal year.

“They did reduce campus security, technology and learning resource center expenses,” said county Auditor Ann McCuiston. “They’ve been working with us trying to get better numbers. Our suggestion is to go ahead with this, and we’ll have discussions and see what we can do in this next year.”

This is also the first year the college’s indirect costs have been itemized, giving county officials more accurate information as to how these funds are used.

Durrett asked commissioners to consider approving the current rate for the branch campus maintenance tax – 4.6 cents. The effective rate, 4.4 cents, would raise the same amount of tax dollars as last year, applied to this year’s property values.

Commissioners took no action on Durrett’s requests and did not discuss the budget. Those talks will occur in workshops planned for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, and Wednesday, Aug. 20, at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office training room, 200 Rook Ramsey Dr., in Decatur.

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More money, fewer meetings; Weatherford College board keeps tax rate flat, cuts meeting dates in half

The Weatherford College board of trustees Monday approved a proposal to keep its property tax rate at 11.464 cents in Parker County.

With an increase in property values, that rate will bring in about $400,000 more in tax revenue than it did last year.

The rate includes 10.741 cents for maintenance and operation expenses and 0.723 cents for debt services.

Because of the increase in revenue, two public hearings will be required. Those will be held Aug. 19 and Aug. 22, and the board is expected to take a final vote on the budget and tax rate at a noon meeting Thursday, Aug. 28.

The new $54.7 million budget goes into effect Sept. 1.

“At 11.464 cents, our tax rate is a full nickel below the state average for community college districts,” said Dr. Kevin Eaton, WC President. “We have one of the lowest tax rates in the state of Texas as it is.”

Trustees Frank Martin, Don Allen, Dr. Luke Haynes and Mac Smith voted for the proposed rate. Joel Watson voted against it, and Dr. Trev Dixon and Betty Jo Graber were absent.

The public can view a detailed proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year online at

In other business, the board voted to cut back from 12 to six regular meetings a year in the new fiscal year. They will meet in even-numbered months with the option of called meetings when needed. Regular meetings will be Oct. 9, Dec. 11, Feb. 12, April 9, June 11 and Aug. 13.

The board also:

  • Listened to an update on the remodel of the old Allied Health Building and the Business Building. Both projects are nearing completion.
  • Approved bids for food services products and supplies for 2014-15; and
  • Authorized an interlocal cooperative contract with Education Service Center Region 20 for participation in the PACE Cooperative Purchasing Program.

In his president’s report, Eaton:

  • Gave an enrollment update noting that total enrollment for the two 2014 summer sessions was 2,878 students – down slightly from 2013. Early indications for this fall indicate similar numbers after the record-setting fall of 2013, which totaled 5,717 students at all of WC’s sites.
  • Recognized volunteers and participants for the Peach Pedal Bike Ride in July, which added about $40,000 to WC’s scholarship funds.
  • Recognized Kay Young, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, and the Workforce and Continuing Education staff for receiving another Texas Workforce Commission Jobs and Education for Texas (JET) Grant. The $336,090 grant will be used to purchase equipment for the WC welding program. With this grant, the department is closing in on $900,000 in JET Grant funding over the past four years.
  • Presented the annual report on GED testing.

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Weatherford College board to meet Monday

The Weatherford College board of trustees will propose a tax rate of just under 11.5 cents in Parker County to support next year’s operations when they meet at noon Monday, Aug. 11, on the Weatherford campus.

For the current fiscal year, Wise County taxpayers paid a 4.6-cent branch campus maintenance tax, raising more than $3.5 million of the budget for the Wise County campus, which totaled just under $6 million.

WC trustees will also consider proposals on food service and supplies, an interlocal agreement with Education Service Center Region 20 for participation in a cooperative purchasing program, and hear reports on construction, enrollment, finances and investments. In addition, they are expected to set dates for meetings Aug. 19, 22 and 28 for required public hearings and adoption of the 2014-15 budget and tax rate.

The board’s meetings are open to the public.

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Wise lands more than 50 on Weatherford College dean’s list

A host of Wise County students were among the 400-plus named to the Weatherford College Dean’s List for spring 2014.

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must take 12 or more semester hours, have no grade lower than a C and meet the minimum grade-point average. The GPA system is based on a one-to-four rating.

Wise County students earning the honor, listed by their hometowns, were:

Alvord: Trevor Hardee; Christina Overton and Maribel Vargas.

Boyd: Derek Martin; Abram Moreno and Sarah Smith.

Bridgeport: Torie Carter; Sharlyn Fagan; Alexis Garrett; Joshua Hartsell; Gabriel Huerta; Taylor Hulsey; Tina Jennings; Annbra Johnson; Alexandra Martinets; Danielle Mindieta; Martha Sanders and Garrett Wagner.

Chico: Hannah Avants; Kimberly Bible; Elizabeth Brown; Damian Delgado; Callie Fuller; Ramiro Loza; Dee McHenry; Luke Plummer; James Redwine; Molli Umphress and Tiffany Vislosky.

Decatur: Rosaura Aldape; Victoria Aldape; Amanda Byrum; Sarrah Ennis; Zachary Flaherty; Selena Galindo; Wilson Garrett; Lacy Hankins; Brittany Hargrave; Jeffrey Keller; Martha Maldonado; Rebekah McGregor; Nathan Mitchell; Mercedes Moreno; Victoria Myers; Brandon Pelton; Sonia Resma; Venancio Rodriguez; Yanet Rodriguez; Karol Saenz and Kelsey Smith.

Paradise: Kristina Kemp and William Ngetich.

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College prep offered through talent search

Weatherford College is offering free college preparation through the Educational Talent Search Grant to the following schools: Bridgeport Middle School, Decatur Middle School, Jacksboro High School, Jacksboro Middle School, Tison Middle School, Mineral Wells High School, Mineral Wells Junior High, Santo High School, Santo Middle School, Hall Middle School, Springtown High School, Springtown Middle School, Weatherford High School and the Weatherford High School Ninth Grade Center.

There are only 100 spots open this year. Submit your application by July 30 to participate. You can find the application online: (Family income is used for federal reporting, not as a determining factor for program acceptance.) Email completed applications to or mail to: Educational Talent Search, 225 College Park Dr., Weatherford, TX 76086. Call 817-598-6497 for information.

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Weatherford College board names library after Eatons

Among the Weatherford College facilities that received new names Thursday was the library/academic research center at the Wise County Campus.

It is now the Roy and Jeannine Eaton Library and Research Center.

The couple are longtime Decatur residents who have generously supported numerous community causes. Roy Eaton, publisher of the Wise County Messenger, was a key force in getting voter approval for the tax to build the Wise County campus, located on U.S. 380 between Decatur and Bridgeport.

Since 2003, the Eatons have contributed more than $50,000 to support scholarships for WC Wise County students.

At Thursday’s board of trustees meeting in Weatherford, several other facilities also got new names.

The old Allied Health Building will soon bear the name of 1st Lt. Jack L. Knight, believed to be the only WC graduate to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Knight, who graduated from WC in 1938, was honored posthumously for actions with the U.S. Army’s 124th Cavalry Regiment in Burma.

The board also approved naming several rooms on the Weatherford campus after long-time supporters of the college.

In other business, the board:

  • heard an update on renovation work in the Business Building and in the old Allied Health Building. The projects have an Aug. 15 completion date.
  • approved sealed bids for medical equipment and supplies for the 2014-15 year totaling $39,424 to six vendors.
  • approved a tax abatement policy and reaffirmed their previous vote to provide a 50 percent tax abatement for five years to KEG1, a warehouse company currently building a facility on BB Fielder Road near Bethel Road.
  • listened to a report on the 2014-15 budget which is still in the refining stage.

In his report, WC President Dr. Kevin Eaton noted an increase in Summer I enrollment and contact hours, as compared to 2013, and recognized several employees and students for outstanding achievements.

The board will not meet in July. Their next meeting is 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11.

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College pins first class of nurses

Twenty-eight beaming nurses-to-be walked across a makeshift stage Thursday in the dining area at Weatherford College Wise County to receive their pins.

Some were greeted by spouses and children, others by mothers and fathers. Some were even pinned by their instructors.

PINNED WITH LOVE – Whitney Lamance receives her nursing pin from her sons and husband at Weatherford College Wise County Thursday. Later in the ceremony, Lamance was recognized as salutatorian of the first graduating class of the associate degree nursing program at WCWC. Messenger photo by Erika Pedroza

They comprise the inaugural class of the associate degree nursing program at WCWC.

“It’s pretty neat,” graduate Shantell Walker said. “We’ve definitely gotten some special treatment. It’s been fun.”

A pinning ceremony is the traditional “welcoming into the profession” nurses receive, explained Carrin Adams, assistant director of the associate degree nursing program.

Each student is presented with a nursing pin and the class recites the Nightingale Pledge – the statement of ethics for the nursing profession. Graduates Kim McDaniel and Naomi Stallard led their class in the pledge at Thursday’s event.

Many of the students in the first class are parents, a role which has dictated the pursuit of their goals.

Walker said she was an LVN for 14 years and always wanted to become an RN. But she waited until her children grew up.

Classmate Tiffany Wooten said she has young children, but the college’s location enabled her to pursue her goal of becoming a registered nurse.

Both Walker and Wooten joined through the college’s LVN to RN bridge program. Others, like Kirsten Coleman, said they just needed a career change.

Following the pinning ceremony, all that stood in the way of the realization of those dreams was the conferring of diplomas at graduation – which is 2 p.m. today (Saturday) at the Weatherford College main campus.

There’s also “a pesky test” – the NCLEX, the National Council Licensure Examination – which all nurses must pass to receive their license.

During Thursday’s ceremony, staff recognized Jayme Staley as the class’s valedictorian and Whitney Lamance and Natalie Giddens as co-salutatorians.

Kim Taylor, president of the Student Nurses Association at WCWC, presented Durrett and Matt Joiner, associate dean of WCWC, a park bench on behalf of the class. The bench will be situated at the east end of the college, near the classrooms nursing students use.

“It’s a great day in the history of Weatherford College Wise County,” said Duane Durrett, dean of WCWC. “We are so proud of each and every one of you.”

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Lifelong learners browse computer concepts

For most people these days, using a computer is second nature. But for some senior citizens, booting up and finding the browser are entirely new concepts.

Never Too Old to Learn

NEVER TOO OLD TO LEARN – Wise County residents are getting the basics on computers in a class at Weatherford College Wise County. Submitted photo

To assist these novice tech users, Weatherford College Wise County offers a continuing education class called “The World of Computers.” It’s an introduction to the most basic computer skills including Windows, word processing, and how to browse the Internet, and send and receive email.

“This course provides a basic introduction to people who have little to no knowledge of computers,” instructor Mike McCoy said. “One of the students who could barely turn on the computer and could barely type was able to successfully send and receive an email during a recent class. He has come a long way.”

Each Tuesday and Thursday about 20 students, most retirement age, gather to expand their computer knowledge. Some come alone; others arrive with a spouse as they learn the technology together.

“He’s taking it to encourage me to take it,” Betty Roberts said of her husband, Ernie. “He’s really familiar, but I am not. I’m always asking him to look something up, and he thinks I’ll be able to do it myself now. I had to learn how to turn it on, the very basics.”

Even the experienced Ernie has learned a few tricks along the way.

“I’ve been using these for awhile, but I didn’t know about the arrows (on the keyboard being able to scroll a web page) and being able to enlarge and reduce the font size (on a web page) and other little things,” he said.

“I took a course in 1952 for a UNIVAC. We used a punch card. We had our own business and ran a big mainframe.”

In those days, computers took up entire rooms. Now a cell phone is more advanced than the technology used to put men on the moon – and the learning curve for new users can throw them for a loop if they don’t get help along the way.

“I used to use the mainframe, too,” Betty said. “What I notice now is that when I try to use the computer, it knows more than I do, or it thinks it does.”

But she is gaining confidence in herself and believes she’ll be off Googling on her own shortly.

Bobbie Smith, 86, is another student encouraged to take the course by her spouse.

“My husband didn’t prompt me – he prodded me,” she laughed. “We’re quite elderly, and we are still living in the 20th century. We need to get into the 21st, but it’s way over my head.”

Smith wants to learn the basics so she can look up information and send emails on her own, but she doesn’t want it to become her entire life as it has for so many in the younger generations.

“I have too many other things to do,” she said. “I have my friends, and I love to play bridge.”

For more information on continuing education programs offered at Weatherford College, call 817-598-8870.

Crystal Brown is coordinator of public relations for Weatherford College.

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Weatherford College trustees get preliminary budget

A preliminary 2014-15 budget presented to the Weatherford College board of trustees Thursday projects $54.3 million in total revenues for the fiscal year that begins Sept. 1.

“This is our first stab at it, bringing all the requests together and all of our estimates,” said Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial and administrative affairs. “We know right now there are things we need to polish.”

At the request of WC President Dr. Kevin Eaton, each department combed through their budgets looking for places to cut back, with a goal of cutting 5 percent.

The preliminary budget also includes a 3.75 percent across-the-board raise for all full-time employees and a 4.167 percent increase for adjunct, overload and contract instruction salaries.

“I think we have been conservative in our request for equipment, supplies and travel,” Cantrell said explaining which areas were reduced in order to fund the pay increase. “We will be making adjustments through the summer. This is to show you the goals we are trying to reach this year.”

The budget proposal is posted to the website under Financial Transparency found in the “About” tab. The board will continue budget discussions at their June meeting.

In other business:

  • Jared Jones of Steele and Freeman updated the board on the pending completion of the Don Allen Health Science Building on the main campus in Weatherford. The college will begin moving furniture into the building next week. Remodeling of the current Allied Health building and part of the Business Building first floor begins May 19.
  • Eaton reported Summer I enrollment numbers are only one student down from this time last year, but contact hours are up .5 percent. State funding for the college is based on contact hours.

He also recognized:

  • WC Financial Aid Director Donnie Purvis for receiving the Outstanding Service Award from the South Central POISE Users group.
  • Johnny Emmons and the WC men’s rodeo team for qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., and Emmons for being named as Southwest Region Coach of the Year and his induction into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in April.
  • Itiana Taylor and Bre Brooks for being named NJCAA Basketball All-Americans for the second consecutive year. Brooks was named first-team All-America, and Taylor was named honorable mention.
  • The WC Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa for being named one of the top 100 chapters out of nearly 1,300 in the society. They also received the Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award and the Distinguished Theme Award Honors in Action at last month’s International Convention.

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8 earn Character Counts scholarships

Eight Wise County high school seniors shared $20,000 in college scholarships Thursday during the first Character Counts Scholarship program at Weatherford College Wise County.

Cast of Characters Counts

CAST OF CHARACTER COUNTS – Eight Wise County high school seniors were honored Thursday night during a banquet at the Wise County Weatherford College campus. Brian Stephens (center) presented $2,500 Character Counts scholarships to (from left) Misten Kittrell of Chico, Kayla Boaz of Boyd, Isaac Davis of Slidell, Derrick Stanford of Bridgeport, Lauren Hart of Alvord, Rachel Smith of Northwest, Billy Carr of Decatur and Katy Skoberg of Paradise. Submitted photo

The event, sponsored by Stephens Bastian and Cartwright Insurance of Decatur, drew several hundred to the college campus to honor the students who had been nominated by teachers and administrators for their character, honesty and leadership.

Chico Mayor J. D. Clark, himself an educator, was the keynote speaker.

“If we are to truly make this a better place, we must put good character into action,” Clark told the crowd.

“When we devalue character, we devalue what America should mean to the rest of the world,” Clark said. “As a society, we must show that character counts and in Wise County, something special is happening here tonight. We need to tell everyone what we value in Wise County.”

Students were introduced and presented $2,500 scholarship checks by Brian Stephens, who originated the idea for the character-based scholarships. Stephens said next year WC Challenger Charities, sponsors of the J.W. Hart Professional Bull Riding Event, would become a partner in the event to help raise funds for the scholarships.

Andrew Rottner of WC Challenger Charities said his group was delighted to be a part of the character scholarship program. Since its inception, WC Challenger Charities has given more than a half-million dollars to local charities including the Wise County United Way and other groups – including helping build homes for wounded veterans.

Students honored included:


Lauren is involved in numerous extracurricular activities including athletics, student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. A teacher said she is a leader of the school. “I notice on a daily basis how Lauren cares for her fellow classmates – which in today’s society, isn’t very common.”


Kayla is active in the Boyd band and served as percussion captain this year. She’s also involved in yearbook, National Honor Society (NHS) and is a class officer. She plans to attend Oklahoma Baptist University and pursue a career as a Christian counselor.


Derrick, a leader on the basketball court, FCA, student council and other areas, ranks 44th out of his 132-member class and is always willing to help out wherever there’s a need.


Misten has been involved in NHS, yearbook, Student council, 1-act play, athletics and cheerleading while also doing volunteer work in the community. She plans to attend Oklahoma Baptist University and major in pre-med, with the goal of becoming a surgeon.


Billy is on the Eagle football team, is a PAL and works as a student aide for Special Programs. He also spends a lot of time volunteering with Sonflower Camp, Special Needs Baseball and the Wise County Olympathon. He plans to become a special education teacher.


Rachel has been involved with NHS, FFA, Visual Asrts Scholastic Event and the Big Event – Northwest’s day of giving back to the community. She is also a third-degree black belt and teaches Tae Kwon Do to students from age 5 to adulthood.


Katy has touched many lives during her three years at Paradise High School, excelling in one-act play and qualifying for state in UIL writing events. She will travel to Pretoria, South Africa for a one-year college and missions program before returning to pursue a degree in occupational therapy.


Isaac is an All-State basketball player and a member of the one-act play cast, even filling in for the director. He’s also been successful in UIL writing. He plans to pursue a college degree and possibly coach.

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WC board approves in-district tuition for all dual credit courses

Area high school students will now have access to dual credit courses at Weatherford College at in-district rates regardless of their address following a vote by the Weatherford College board of trustees Thursday afternoon.

A review of dual credit tuition was conducted in response to school districts’ concerns about students not being able to participate in the program due to the cost of out-of-district tuition. Now, students will pay a flat rate of $80 per credit hour regardless of where they reside.

Students who are on the free/reduced lunch program will continue to pay $25 per credit hour, and technical dual credit courses remain free.

A reduction in revenue of $96,525 is expected at first, but administrators believe the new rates will ultimately draw additional students into the program who have declined to register for dual credit courses in the past because of the cost.

“It will be good business, in the long run, to adopt in-district tuition for all dual credit in the high schools,” Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial and administrative affairs, explained to the board.

In other business, the board:

  • listened to a construction report on the Don Allen Health Science Building. The facility will be completed by the end of the month and handed over to the college May 9.
  • approved a change order to the Don Allen Health Science Building Construction Contract for $1.38 million, which includes the renovation of the existing Allied Health Building. Renovation work on the building will take place over the summer and be open for classes in the fall.
  • recognized basketball player Itiana Taylor for being a finalist for the 2014 WBCA Community College Player of the Year.
  • learned that math professor Rickey Harman is retiring after 11 years at WC, and nursing instructor Carin Adams has submitted her resignation to accept an administrative position at JPS.
  • approved the purchase of $52,627 worth of science equipment and supplies from six vendors.

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Weatherford College board approves tuition changes

The Weatherford College board of trustees Thursday approved the implementation of “differential tuition” for the college’s allied health programs, starting in the 2014-15 academic year.

College administrators have been studying the possibility of charging more per credit hour for courses that are more costly to operate. Andra Cantrell, vice president of financial and administrative affairs, came back with a suggestion of charging an extra $20 per credit hour for allied health programs such as sonography, respiratory therapy, radiology technology and nursing.

Those programs are a primary focus of the college’s Wise County campus.

Cantrell told trustees she found four other Texas community colleges that currently charge differential tuition – and noted many more discussing the possibility.

Allied health programs were selected as a starting point because the programs require smaller class sizes, expensive equipment and a higher cost for qualified faculty.

The estimated increase in revenue is $174,340 for the upcoming academic year. That won’t cover the actual cost of the programs, but officials say it will help close the gap.

“We don’t want to scare off students,” WC President Dr. Kevin Eaton said. “Even with an increase we are still a third of the cost of a university. You may have five or 10 less applicants, but we will have no problem filling our programs.”

Cantrell noted that most of the programs have two or three times as many applicants as they have openings.

Overall tuition at WC will also increase next year by the following amounts:

  • $4 per semester credit hour or 5 percent for in-district students;
  • $6 per semester credit hour or 5 percent for out-of-district students;
  • $6 per semester credit hour or 6 percent for out-of-district WC Wise County campus students;
  • $6 per semester credit hour or 6 percent increase for out-of-district Granbury campus students;
  • $3 per semester credit hour or 2 percent for out-of-state students.


Board members also got a construction update on the Don Allen Health Science Building on the main campus in Weatherford. The facility is ahead of schedule and should open in early May.

They also heard the president’s report, which recognized numerous college employees for achievements, including:

  • The Vocational Nursing Program, for achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the 2013 NCLEX Exam – the licensure exam for VN students. Of the 22 programs which received a 100 percent pass rate nationally, WC had the most test takers at 51.
  • WC Wise County nursing students Kim Taylor, Jamie Battenfield, Lacy Garris, Sarah Ervin and Alex Talamantes, for representing WC at the Texas Student Nurses Convention Brain Bowl where they tied for first place.

The board also approved the reinstatement of the Emergency Medical Services Profession AAS Degree, along with the 2014-15 academic calendar and a transfer rate increase to help fund athletics, student activities and the Oak Leaf annual.

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51 from Wise on Weatherford College dean’s list

More than 450 students – including 51 from Wise County – were named to the Weatherford College Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester.

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must be enrolled for 12 or more semester hours, have no grade lower than a C and meet the minimum grade- point average. The GPA system is based on a one-to-four rating.

Earning the honor from Wise County were:

Alvord: Trevor Hardee; Shelbi Harmon and Alexandria Talamantes.

Aurora: Victor Ramirez and Bertie Sellers.

Boyd: Derek Martin and Carolina McDowell.

Bridgeport: Ana Caldera; Torie Carter; Sharlyn Fagan; Taylor Hulsey; Danielle Mindieta and Autumn Pickett.

Chico: Hannah Avants; Karla Deamicis; Damian Delgado; Callie Fuller; Luke Plummer; James Redwine; Vanessa Saxon; Molli Umphress; Tiffany Vislosky and Kaylee Wriston.

Decatur: Rosaura Aldape; Victoria Aldape; Monica Bernard; Carissa Byrd; Steven Cao; Araceli Cruz; Sarrah Ennis; Elda Garcia; Brittany Hargrave; Sara Harris; Kasidi Heiens; Victoria Myers; Christina Overton; Brandon Pelton; Venancio Rodriguez; Liliana Torres and Omar Torres.

Sunset: Austin Gaskins and Brittani Martin.

Newark: Savannah Brooks.

Paradise: Lacy Jackson; Sara Kelly; Amber Kirkland; Carol McCutchen and William Ngetich.

Rhome: Haley McGuire, Bethlyn Prentice and Lisa Shearer.

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‘Warm Bowls’ event to shine light on hunger

The Weatherford College Wise County Student Nurses Association and the WC Jazz Band will host Warm Bowls – a special event benefiting the Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) – Tuesday, March 4.

Members of the WCWC Student Nurses Association have made community service a tenet of their student practice beginning with collecting coats and cans for WARM. In continuation of this effort, the students are now planning Warm Bowls, a charity event based on empty bowls as a grass-roots effort to end hunger.

Warm Bowls will take place in the Weatherford College Wise County campus cafeteria. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by Dos Chiles of Bridgeport and the Decatur Civic Center. A jazz concert will follow from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The evening will also include an auction of pottery bowls handcrafted by jazz band members and student nurses in a community project facilitated by Sunshine Glaze of Southlake.

Tickets to Warm Bowls are $50 and can be purchased by contacting WCWC Student Nurses Association President Kim Taylor at 940-255-2228 or Stacy Wilkins in the WCWC business office at 940-626-3234. All proceeds go to WARM. Seating is limited.

Learn more about empty bowls at Event sponsors include Wise Electric Cooperative and Mann Refrigeration.

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Weatherford College Teacher Certification Program deadline nears

Weatherford College’s Teacher Certification Program is accepting applications for admission to the summer cohort.

Those who complete the summer courses will be eligible for hire to teach this fall. The deadline for admission is March 28.

Teacher candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA. They can choose from a variety of educator certificates depending on the college courses they have completed. The program offers certificates for teaching in the intermediate, middle and high school grades.

The following Texas teacher certificates are offered (listed with grade range):

  • English Language Arts and Reading 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading 8-12
  • Math 4-8
  • Math 8-12
  • Math/Science 4-8
  • Science 4-8
  • Science 8-12
  • Physical Sciences 8-12
  • Life Sciences 8-12
  • Physics/Math 8-12
  • Social Studies 4-8
  • Social Studies 8-12
  • Generalist grades 4-8 (Certificate to teach English Language Arts/Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies)
  • Health EC-12
  • PE EC-12
  • Speech 8-12
  • Special Education EC-12
  • English as a Second Language Supplemental

Also offered are Career and Technology Certificates in:

  • Agricultural Science and Technology 6-12
  • Business Education grades 6-12
  • Family and Consumer Science 6-12
  • Technology Education 6-12

Math and science teachers continue to be in demand in this area. In addition, at the middle school level, the Generalist 4-8 certificate is in demand.

Candidates earning certificates in almost all areas have been hired this year to teach in this region.

Persons interested in pursuing Texas teacher certification are invited to call 817-598-6446 for more information.

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Area teachers honored by Weatherford College

Weatherford College honored 32 educators Jan. 24 with the presentation of the 2014 Jack Harvey Fellowship Awards of Exemplary Teaching.

The awards are presented in memory of Professor Emeritus Jack Harvey, who taught at WC for 23 years and was considered among his peers as a “master teacher.”

Each school district selected its own “exemplary teacher” and submitted nominations with high praise and accolades.

Those honored from Wise County include Janan Anderson, sixth-grade math teacher, Alvord Middle School; Norma Phillips, seventh- and eighth-grade English Language Arts teacher, Boyd Middle School; Cristina Garza, elementary bilingual and middle school Spanish teacher, Bridgeport ISD; David Smith, seventh and eighth grade science teacher, Chico ISD; Rhonda Whiteaker, PE teacher, Carson Elementary School, Decatur ISD; and Stephanie Hogan, ninth-grade English Language Arts teacher, Paradise High School.


Janan Anderson

“Ms. Anderson is exemplary because she is truly dedicated to helping her students perform at the highest level possible. She consistently combines subject knowledge with the ability to connect with her students. Students achieve success when they least expect it, and Ms. Anderson makes all students believe in themselves. Her energy and positive attitude are absolutely contagious. Ms. Anderson’s love of teaching is evident in the growth and enthusiasm of her students. She puts her students first and never fails to reach out to them when they are in need. Ms. Anderson’s pleasant personality, caring attitude and professional demeanor all serve to make her one of our students’ favorite teachers. She is a much-deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”


Norma Phillips

“Norma Philips is exemplary because of her dedication, positive attitude, willingness to tackle any challenge and her unwavering desire to help students. Her dedication to her students, her job and her craft is unquestioned. With 29 years of experience, she has yet to speak an ill word to or about a student. Her students always outperform all other students on the standardized test. She has never met a challenge she didn’t like, always responding by saying her signature line: ‘It would be fabulous.’”


Cristina Garza

“Ms. Garza is exemplary because of her tireless dedication to the education of the bilingual/ESL students at Bridgeport Intermediate School. She has a passion for literacy and devotes herself daily to helping struggling readers and writers overcome their personal obstacles to reach their potential. She fulfills multiple roles on our campus – teacher, mentor, translator, LPAC coordinator – but her greatest role is that of student success advocate. Ms. Garza’s greatest professional desire is to see her students succeed, not only in elementary school, but also throughout their educational careers and in life.”


David Smith

“David Smith is one of those rare and exceptional teachers. He is always on time and on task, using higher level thinking skills and technology to inspire and challenge his students. Professionalism describes his dress and demeanor each day. Attesting to the fact he is, indeed, an outstanding educator, Mr. Smith’s eighth-grade science students achieved a 95 percent Level II Satisfactory rating on the 2013 spring STAAR test. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Smith also serves on the Career Technology Education Committee, the Science Textbook Committee and the Campus Safety Team and is the sponsor for the academic UIL Science I and II teams. Mr. Smith is an excellent role model. He is, indeed, an exemplary teacher for Chico Middle School students.”


Rhonda Whiteaker

“Rhonda Whiteaker is a noteworthy educator for Decatur ISD and exemplifies the characteristics of the Jack Harvey Fellowship Award. She consistently models lifelong skills such as physical fitness, self-confidence, fair play and cooperation. She collaborates with core subject teachers and other physical education teachers to provide meaningful activities and learning experiences for Decatur ISD students. She has been a pivotal figure in the development of the Grasslands Grant, which promotes conservation with personal fitness. Mrs. Whiteaker’s devotion to the physical education program positively impacts the lives of every student at Carson Elementary School.”


Stephanie Hogan

“Stephanie Hogan is exemplary because she has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. Her ability to connect with students and her talent at teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are truly superior. Ms. Hogan can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. She accomplishes these tasks with great initiative and a positive attitude. She is a great role model for young students based on her hard work and dedication to the profession of teaching.”

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WC seeks nominees for alumni honors

Weatherford College is accepting nominations for two prestigious honors: the Alumnus of the Year Award and Distinguished Alumnus awards.

The awards will be presented at the Alumni Awards Luncheon April 25.

WC’s Alumnus of the Year Award was established in 1967 and the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994. A list of past winners is available online at

Two committees, made up of alumni leaders and appointed by College President Dr. Kevin Eaton, will gather to make the selections. Individuals will be selected for each award based on the following criteria:

  • a former student of Weatherford College in which WC was a significant part of his/her educational experience
  • recognized in his/her particular field for outstanding performance in that area
  • made contributions to society through volunteer, religious or charitable organizations
  • has demonstrated a sense of loyalty to WC, in years since attending the college, through any actions deemed appropriate by the selection committees

Anyone may nominate individuals for either award. Nominations are due to the Institutional Advancement Office by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.

Nomination forms are available on the college’s website at Individuals may email nominations to or mail to the WC Institutional Advancement Office, 225 College Park Dr., Weatherford, TX 76086.

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Weatherford College opens online scholarship application

Weatherford College officials have opened the online application system for fall 2014 scholarships. The deadline to apply is March 21.

The WC Foundation, supported by private donations since 1978, oversees more than 110 permanent scholarship endowments. For the 2013-14 academic year, the Foundation has given more than $160,000 in scholarships to WC students.

“I would encourage any student planning to attend Weatherford College next year to go ahead and apply for scholarships now,” said Brent Baker, vice president of institutional advancement. “With our online application, it’s a relatively simple and pain-free process.”

Baker said with record enrollment over the past year, officials would like to see more students apply for scholarships.

“There’s a misconception that you need straight A’s or have dire financial need to be eligible, and that’s just not the case,” he said. “We have a wide variety of scholarships for all kinds of students. If you could use some help in attaining your education, you need to take the time to apply.”

Students can apply for all of the Foundation’s general scholarships by submitting one online application. To find the application, go to, and then click on “Admissions and Financial Aid.” The Scholarship Application link is listed under the list of Financial Aid links.

For information on the application process, call the financial aid office at 817-598-6295. For information on the WC Foundation, call 817-598-6275.

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Weatherford College Wise County building earns honor

It’s already been “broken in” by thousands of students, but the still-new Weatherford College Wise County campus recently earned another award for its form and function.

Classy Campus

CLASSY CAMPUS – The Wise County campus of Weatherford College earned a top honor recently. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The facility, located on U.S. 380 between Decatur and Bridgeport, earned its builder, Steele-Freeman of Fort Worth, first place in the 2013 TEXO Distinguished Building Awards. The honor is for projects in the $10 to $30 million range which were completed in 2012.

TEXO, the North Texas branch of the national Association of General Contractors, was to have held its annual awards banquet on Dec. 7, but the event was postponed due to the ice storm. The presentation came Dec. 14 in Dallas.

“This is quite a prestigious award,” said Karen Benson, business development director for Steele-Freeman. “It is for all commercial projects built in North Texas in 2012.”

TEXO is the largest commercial contractors association in Texas and one of the largest such groups in the country, serving a membership of more than 1,900 commercial contractors.

The Distinguished Building Awards program is designed to recognize projects that presented particular challenges due to design, location or materials, and those which involved unusual construction techniques. The final appearance and quality of the finished product, and timeliness of completion are also considered.

The new, main building is 110,000 square feet, with another 20,000 square feet in a second building on the campus that was gutted and renovated. Final construction cost came in at just under $20 million, funded by taxpayer-authorized bonds issued by the county.

Airy Interior

AIRY INTERIOR – In the final stages of construction, it was already easy to see WC Wise County would be an exciting place to learn. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Construction began on May 9, 2011 and was substantially complete by the following June. Classes began in August 2012.

The campus features administration, admissions and registration areas, staff offices, labs for the nursing, biology, chemistry and computer programs, and general classrooms. There is a cafeteria, a lecture hall, a library and coffee bar, game-room, bookstore and workout room. The renovated building provides room for the cosmetology and other career and technology programs.

The 25-acre site presented some challenges.

For one thing, it had no access to any city utilities until the very last month of construction. Water became a major issue when it came to the earthwork, drilling and purging of the geothermal wells. Steele & Freeman was able to utilize an existing water well, but had to drill another well and still bring water from outside sources during the project.

A separate contractor was responsible to bring water and sewer with a pump station to the site. The water was about 1.5 miles away and the sewer had to come from about 1 mile away in order to access the site.

The site also had a major slope from east to west, requiring the contractor to cut and fill 90,000 cubic yards of dirt to balance it. They also had to build a large detention pond to contain runoff from the site.

The main building’s foundation is a slab on a deck, which created a crawl space one can actually walk in. The hybrid design uses both structural steel and Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) walls. The exterior walls are 8- and 10-inch thick concrete, and the second floor and roof are structural steel, joist and deck.

Both the new building and the renovated building are heated and cooled by 347 geothermal wells – which carries a higher initial cost but lowers month-to-month utlity bills by a significant amount.

The building’s exterior fa ade is a combination of Leuders limestone, brick, cast stone and metal wall panels. The roof consists of standing-seam and single-ply white material, high in solar reflectivity. The design also called for the Leuders limestone to continue into the main lobby and encompass the elevator shaft.

The main lobby is a huge space with many areas for students to assemble in small groups for study sessions. Throughout the lobby, cafeteria and all the exterior soffits, a metal-panel ceiling is installed that highlights the exposed structural tubes and beams.

The state-of-the-art building gives the college room to expand in numbers and also address the needs of students by offering new classes with up-to-date technology.

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