Fair winners

Several Commerce ISD students who won big at the Hunt County Fair were recognized at Monday’s meeting of the CISD Board of Trustees. Pictured are, from left; Top row: Hannah Pemberton, Holten Pemberton, Jennifer Stephenson, Miguel Zavala; Bottom row: Eli Black, Madeline Kilgore, Maci Wilson, Ivey Koch and Braden Koch.

The Commerce ISD Board of Trustees received the annual report from the School Health Advisory Council and approved a pair of contracts at its May meeting on Monday.

Trustee Dr. Mark Reid was not in attendance Monday.

Kathy Myers, the chair of the advisory council, also known as SHAC, gave the annual report. Myers stated to the board that the council had lots of participation the previous school year and implemented several programs in the district. Highlights included more extensive CPR training and certification, more robust sex education and the “Aim for Success” anti-bullying program, both funded by the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation, and the creation of 147 “Individual Health Plans.”

Myers says that IHPs are designed to “create better continuity of care across campuses.”

Forecasted projects for next year are to expand campus first-responder training and the “Walk Across Texas” program funded by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office.

The board also approved two contract renewals. The first was the renewal of the district’s contract for custodial services with ABM Texas General Services. It was announced at the meeting that the renewed contract comes at a 2.1-percent cost increase. CISD Director of Finance John Walker says that the total amount is $542,292.62.

The Board also approved a contract to continue using Guaranty Bank and Trust as the district’s depository. All public school districts in Texas must sign a contract for a depository, and are allowed to renew that contract three times for two-year periods before being required to solicit bids for new contracts. CISD first contracted with Guaranty in 2017, and this is the first two-year renewal.

Trustees approved the meeting dates and times for the 2019-20 school year. The Board will meet on the third Monday of the month for every month except January and March 2020, when the meetings will be held the third Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Public session is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. for each meeting.

An area businessman, Joseph Armstrong with Team North Texas spoke before the board during the citizen’s comment portion. 

Armstrong stated that his firm was in talks with the F.A.C.E. Forward project, a fundraising project by Leadership Hunt County to raise funds for improvements at the CISD Family and Community Engagement, or FACE, Center. Armstrong said that they had performed cost estimates and other work for the project, but were then suddenly notified that the school district has chosen another firm, North Texas Fab, to complete the project. 

Armstrong alleged that North Texas Fab was not serving as the contractor on the project, but only as an insurance holder for a smaller subcontractor who could not obtain the proper insurance and did not have the proper permits, Armstrong said.

He tasked the board to look into this further.

“This is at worst a lack of integrity and professionalism on the part of the district,” Armstrong said. “I think this is a worthwhile project. I just hate to see it tainted like this.”

Several student groups were honored at the meeting. Many students could not attend, as they were on the Commerce High School senior trip, but were still recognized for their accomplishments.

The Commerce High School One-Act Play cast and crew as well as the the Commerce Middle School Band were recognized, as well as the CHS tennis and track and field qualifiers.

Valedictorian Sarah Anthraper and Salutatorian Summer Hanson were also recognized.

A large group of winners from the Hunt County Fair received honors on Monday. The fair winners are:

  • Jennifer Stephenson—Grand Campion Market Steer, Grand Champion Charolais Composite Heifer, Reserve Overall with Chianina Heifer 
  • Holten Pemberton—Grand Champion Brangus Heifer and 1st Ag Mechanics Sale Lot with Scissor Lift Hay Spear
  • Hannah Pemberton—Reserve Champion Brangus Heifer, 3rd place pen of rabbits out of 119 pens
  • Ben Fox 2nd Ag Mechanics Sale Lot with Red Cedar River Table

Sale of Champions: 

  • Eli Black, Market Broilers
  • Maci Wilson, Market Goat 
  • Miguel Zavala, Market Goat 
  • Madeline Kilgore, Market Swine 
  • Caitlyn Rogers, Market Swine 
  • Sydney Martinez, Market Swine 
  • Kayla Gossett, Market Swine 
  • Jackson Gossett, Market Swine
  • Keenan Norris, Market Steer 
  • Ivey Koch, Market Fryers
  • Braden Koch, Market Fryers

The next meeting of the CISD Board of Trustees is scheduled for June 17, with public session beginning at 7 p.m.