Rusk ISD to consider adding ‘Dean of Instruction’

RUSK – Two leadership positions at Rusk ISD were approved during Monday's school board meeting, along with the resignation of a newly elected trustee.

According to Superintendent Grey Burton, the board unanimously approved the addition of a director of auxiliary services, appointing high school principal Scott Schwartz to fill that role.

“There are several district-wide areas we need to focus on across several departments, and this position will allow the district to address those areas,” he said, adding that Schwartz's new role begins July 1.

Ronny Snow, recently principal of Malakoff Elementary School and the Malakoff ISD director of district security, succeeds Schwartz as the new Rusk High School principal, also beginning July 1.

“We are extremely excited to be adding someone of Ronnie’s quality to our Admin team,” Burton said. “He is an outstanding principal whose vision aligns perfectly with ours. The results he has achieved at his campuses in the past are remarkable and we look forward to seeing the impact of his leadership at our high school campus and district-wide.”

In addition to being an educator since 1991, Snow is a reserve deputy with the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, holds a Master Peace Officer certificate and is part of the county's mounted patrol unit.

In the meantime, the board begins the process of appointing a replacement for trustee James Sanchez, who resigned due to personal reasons before the start of Monday's meeting, Burton said.

Sanchez was elected to the seat on May 4, beating incumbent Jeff Johnson.

In other action, RISD trustees:

• Approved the district food service department student and staff charge policy, which Burton said addresses student an staff charge accounts. “We changed the policy to reflect our practice which allows for a dollar amount instead of the number of charges. It allows outlined procedures we will use when charge accounts are past due, the steps we will take to bring the accounts current and it assures that students will be allowed to eat even if the account is above the threshold allowed.”

• Approved the installation of security fencing at the local high school and junior high campuses. Trustees adjusted an original bid “to accurately reflect the work needed,” with a $216,005 bid awarded to T & K Fence. When completed, the fencing project will completely enclose both campuses and allow gates to be operated from remote locations, Burton said.

• Approved the district's extracurricular handbook, which the superintendent described as “a new document that addresses ALL extracurricular programs in the district,” aligning all programs to ensure consistency with procedures related to related to extracurricular participation. “This is one of many handbooks we are revising or developing to promote consistency with district policies and practice,” he noted.

• Approved a revised local board policy regarding employee leave and absences. The change will allow employees to accumulate or carry over local leave days from on year to the next.

Following an executive session, and along with the vote to hire a new high school principal, the board hired 10 new faculty members and accepted the resignation of five faculty members and the retirement of two others on faculty.