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
  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • HOPE event Pic 433.tif Folks attend weekend fundraiser for H.O.P.E.

    It was an evening fit for royalty, as supporters of the Helping Others Pursue Enrichment (H.O.P.E.) program gathered Saturday at The Castle on the Lake outside Jacksonville for “A Renaissance Evening.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church Member looks.tif Church of Wells members attend protest

    About 30 members of the Church of Wells arrived at a protest Saturday. The event was planned after an incident at Wells Homecoming Day on April 5 where the church loudly "street preached" causing a disruption. Three of the church members were injured by two men at the parade. On Saturday, the event was peaceful, despite a few loud voices.

    See the complete story and photos in the next edition of the Daily Progress on Tuesday, April 15.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ScholarshipAwards.tif 5 receive scholarships from Chamber’s Agri-Business Committee

    The Agri-Business Committee of the Jacksonville Chamber recently awarded five $1,000 scholarships at the Annual Cherokee County Junior Livestock Show on March 29.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deadline to file taxes nears

    As an April 15 deadline for individuals to file their 2013 federal tax return approaches, pressure is mounting for tax preparers.

    April 11, 2014

  • Protest, march planned in Wells

    The town of Wells is planning a march to the R&R Mercantile on U.S. Hwy. 69 from the former Dairy Queen to protest the Church of Wells.
    The event is planned for 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Court date set for JP hearing

    A court date has been reset to April 28 for a hearing of a petition by a local primary candidate in an upcoming Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace race.

    April 11, 2014

  • Luncheon to include update on Lake Columbia

    Updates on the proposed Lake Columbia will be the topic at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  
    Kelly Holcomb, general manager for Angelina Neches River Authority, will provide updated information on the proposed Lake Columbia between Jackson-ville and New Summerfield.

    April 11, 2014

Election 2012
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide