RUSK – Focused on ensuring student success, Rusk ISD school board members on Monday approved the creation of a college/career coordinator position to “help our students successfully navigate through high school and earn their degree,” said schools superintendent Grey Burton.
By adding the new position – which would be posted immediately in hopes of having the new coordinator in position before Christmas – other school counselors would be freed up to focus on other needs presented by students.
“Our high school counselor's primary focus is helping our students successfully navigate through high school and earn their degree. This position is intended to help our students after they graduate,” he explained.
The coordinator “will work with the students and their families to identify interest or career paths they would like to pursue,” assisting students as they “formulate a plan of achievement,” he said.
“There are incredible opportunities available for students today, but if they don’t know what they are or how to 'jump through the hoops' to take advantage of them most kids will miss out. We want to provide our students with the necessary knowledge and support to chase their dreams,” Burton said. “We believe by providing those two components the only barriers to making their dreams a reality is their determination and work ethic … our goal is to be certain our students know they CAN do whatever they want after graduation. The only question they need to ask is WILL I do it and they are the only person who can answer that question.”
In other action, trustees voted unanimously in naming G.W. Bradford principal Tammy Hancock as the districts new director of special programs, with the transition to be made in the next few weeks, Burton said, adding that Bradford assistant principal Crystal Nichols will succeed Hancock as principal of the primary school program.
A public hearing regarding the district's State and Financial Accountability Rating was held at the beginning of the meeting, but drew no comments.
Burton said RISD was recognized for its “A” or “Superior Achievement” rating, scoring “100 out of a possible 100 points.
“It means we are managing our funds extremely well. Our CFO, Stacie Young, and her staff do a tremendous job of managing district funds. The rating just reinforces the fact that our business office is one of the best in Texas,” he said.
According to a release issued Tuesday by the district, the financial accountability system was launched by the Texas Education Agency 17 years ago, using letter grades as ratings. An “A” rating designates “superior achievement,” while an “F” designates “substandard achievement.”
“Rusk ISD has achieved the highest rating for 16 prior years,” the release stated.
“We are very pleased with Rusk ISD’s School FIRST rating,” Burton said. “This rating shows that our district is making the most of our taxpayers’ dollars. This rating shows that Rusk’s schools are accountable not only for student learning, but also for achieving these results cost-effectively and efficiently.”
David Fulton was not present at Monday's meeting.