Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

December 27, 2013

More Jacksonville College staff members let go

JACKSONVILLE — Two additional members of the Jacksonville College staff were confirmed Thursday to have been terminated from their positions at the school.

Ken Rawson, who served as the college's dean of students, and IT team member Danny Morris were relieved of their duties in mid-December, said Dr. Mike Smith, Jacksonville College president.

Without going into specific detail behind the terminations, Smith reiterated that the school was able to make adjustments and changes in department staff to meet the needs of students class schedules.

“We're doing what's best for our school, and making adjustments – we never did away with any of the positions of the departments, and we never did away with any classes, but kept the same services and just made change in the personnel,” he said.

Three faculty members and several staff members also were let go earlier this month, including a couple who taught math and religion, as well as music instructor Tom Vandergriff, who said the announcement caught him by surprise.

“I loved teaching at Jacksonville College, and had a great time working with the kids,” said Vandergriff, who was hired two-and-a-half years ago to the music department and to oversee the school's choir and the Jacksonville College Singers. Although released from his employment with the college, he will continue teaching an online music appreciation class for an upcoming Winter Term program.

In a meeting shortly after his dismissal, Vandergriff asked Smith if the college would honor his contract.

“He said we don't have the money,” Vandergriff recalled.

Smith, however, reiterated that the school – which had an enrollment of 525 at the end of the fall term and employs approximately 100 workers, roughly 25 percent faculty – is not experiencing financial problems.

“We're always needing money,” he said Thursday, “but we're not in dire financial straits. We've paid all our bills, everyone was paid last Friday, we've got money in the bank, and we've got our next payroll (covered).”

He added, “there's never been a semester that we haven't had changes … we're constantly doing what's best for the school. It's just the nature (of business) when you have a school and you try to find the best qualified, the best fit for the the school.”

Jacksonville College's annual budget is approximately $4 million, according to Smith, with personnel comprising a large chunk.

“We're nowhere near closing the doors,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Father Mark 3.tif Godspeed, Father

    The news that Father Mark Kusmirek would leave Jacksonville to accept a new assignment Aug. 1 in Longview spread quickly around town this month.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Proposed JISD budget to get hearing date

    Jacksonville school board members will meet Monday evening for a combination budget workshop, regular board meeting and a summer board retreat, according to an JISD meeting agenda.

    July 26, 2014

  • County leaders to consider backhoe purchase

    Cherokee County Commissioners' Court will meet in regular session 10 a.m. Monday in the County Courtroom in the County Courthouse to consider approval of a backhoe purchase through a cooperative purchasing exchange for Precinct 2.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sheriff's officials bust Mixon steroid lab

    About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24., investigators and deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a residence on FM 3052 in the Mixon Community near Bullard.

    July 25, 2014

  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014