June 17, 2008

Technology Plan OK’D at NWISD

By Jay Ermis, The Huntsville Item, Texas

Jun. 17--New Waverly school district trustees approved a technology plan, an early release waiver and the hiring of three teachers during their June meeting Monday night.

In addition, Jackie Peters was given the oath of office at the meeting's outset to fill Position 7 on the seven-member board.

The position became vacant when her husband, David, died April 4 in a car accident in Grimes County. He was elected to a three-year term in May 2007

Peters joins trustees John Malak, John Holland, James Gregory, Joyce Goffney, Linda Parrish and Craig Smith.

"We are glad to have her aboard," said New Waverly Superintendent Clay Webb. "We know she will be an excellent addition to our school board. We are happy to have her here."

Trustees approved a three-year technology plan, including more education in the use of computers and related programs.

Marc Barber, director of the district's technology department, said the district currently has 450 computers -- almost double the number on hand when he first started working in New Waverly.

The district has an enrollment of more than 900 students, which averages out to one computer for every two students.

"We are using them more and more in the educational process and in the classrooms," Barber told the trustees.

Barber said one area includes educator preparation and development.

"Basically, we are emphasizing more technology training for teachers," he said. "We can provide a lot of tools for teachers, but we need to make sure they are aware and capable of using those tools in the classroom."

Webb said the district has made progress in its technology department, adding surplus computers when they become available.

"We have worked on it very deliberately over the last four years to put more technology and more instruction with technology in the classroom," Webb said. "The computer is a tool. They have to become proficient on it. That's the world everyone is moving into. It's part of life's infrastructure.

"We don't have a deficit of computers right now that I am aware of in terms of putting our educational programs into the process. We have a very thorough system. I think the challenge is keeping the technology currrent.

"Remaining current is an ongoing process in terms of technology and the software, too."

Trustees approved an early release waiver for Dec. 8 and Dec. 11 when the New Waverly ISD hosts the UIL district elementary academic contest and has curriculum development with a noon start for both.

Trustees also approved the hiring of Clint Wilson as agriculture mechanical teacher; Toni Sommers, junior high and high school art teacher; and Carolyn Caselli, junior high math and science teacher and junior high volleyball coach.

Wilson was an ag teacher in Livingston the past school year. He replaces Mike Lilley, who coached ag mechanic students to numerous awards with the detailed construction of trailer.

Webb said he looks for Wilson to keep New Waverly students competitive and award winners in the ag mechanic and livestock departments.

"We have done well in those areas in the past few years and we intend for that to continue," Webb said. "We think we have the right man to do it. We are lucky to have him interested in coming here."

Wilson has a degree in ag mechanics from Sam Houston State University.


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