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Trustees formalize contract with new Superintendent of Schools

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees held its May Work Study on the evening of the 14th. A recap of the agenda is below.


  1. Roll Call.


  1. Special Presentations included the introduction of the seniors on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, recognition of OCTECHS student Cristian Rodriguez for winning a Mexican American School Boards Association scholarship, recognition of Permian High School students Colton Roemisch and Bryson White for 12 years of perfect attendance, and the announcement of this year’s Top 10 graduates from all five high schools. The names and pictures of the Top 10 students are posted on our Ector County ISD Facebook page.


  1. Verification of Compliance with Open Meetings Law.


  1. Trustees spent about 15 minutes in closed session discussing superintendent contracts.

 A. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve Dr. Scott Muri as the new superintendent of schools. Dr. Muri becomes the 16th ECISD superintendent of schools. His contract is for five years with a salary of $295,000; $1,000 per month car allowance; $3,000 one-time technology stipend this summer; $300 per month technology allowance; contributions to health insurance, life insurance, and long-term care insurance. His relocation agreement is for moving expenses reimbursed with receipts, and up to $3,500 housing allowing until a house is obtained or 12 months pass. Dr. Muri’s official start date is July 1, 2019.

 B. Trustees voted 7-0 to extend Jim Nelson’s contract as interim superintendent through the end of June, to help the district transition to Dr. Muri’s start.


  1. Action Items

A. Judge Dennis Jones administered the Oath of Office to newly elected school board members Tammy Hawkins. Mrs. Hawkins is the representative for Position 6, replacing outgoing Trustee Dr. Ray Beaty.

 B. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve the quarterly investment report.

 C. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve purchases over $50,000. There are three items on the list this month: recruiting services for teachers from India, international teacher recruitment & J-1 Visa Services, and external auditor services.

 D. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve out-of-state travel for students from Nimitz Middle School, OCTECHS, and Falcon Early College High School. During this trip, the students will attend and present at a Mission 13 Students Spaceflight Experiments Program Conference. The conference will be held at the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia July 1-2. An excursion around Washington, D.C. is included. The trip provides students the opportunity to present their research in front of a national audience.

 E. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve out-of-state travel for New Tech Odessa students to participate in Odyssey of the Mind competition in East Lansing, Michigan, from May 21-26. In Odyssey of the Mind, team members work together at length to solve a predefined long-term problem and present their solution to that problem.

 F. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve out-of-state travel for Permian HS orchestra students. The group is traveling to Orlando, Florida, in 2020 for a workshop and sightseeing.

 G. Trustees elected Nelson Minyard as ECISD’s delegate to the Texas Association of School Boards, and approved Doyle Woodall as the alternate delegate.

 H. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Intercultural Development Research Association to continue the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program at Odessa HS.


  1. Trustees spent about 15 minutes in closed session discussing hiring. The following hires will go into effect on July 1.

 A. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve Amanda Montelongo as the campus principal for Cavazos Elementary. Ms. Montelongo is currently the assistant principal at DeZavala Elementary in Midland. Prior to that, she worked as a science teacher at Odessa High School for four years, and also taught biology in Donna Independent School District.

 B. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve Amy Russell as the campus principals for Travis Elementary. Mrs. Russell is the instructional services director at Bonham Middle School. Her work experience includes the AP instructional services director at Ector MS, a campus curriculum facilitator, and a 4th grade teacher at Dowling Elementary.

 C. Trustees voted 7-0 to approve Mitch Gerig as the campus principal for Bonham Middle School. Mr. Gerig is currently the associate principal at Ector Middle, a position he has held since 2015. Before that, he worked as the senior principal at Permian High School. He was also an assistant principal at Bonham Junior High from 2007-2011. NOTE: Last month, the district hired Judi Tarleton for the Bonham job but Mrs. Tarleton has since accepted a position in another district.


  1. Report/Discussion Items

 A. Trustees heard the year-end report from the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC). The SHAC is designed to review, study, and make recommendations on any and all topics related to student health. The community committee expressed appreciation for our district’s award-winning Human Growth and Development (HGD) partnership, and asked that the district continue to promote the idea of elementary schools doing recess before lunch. Committee representatives said they would like to see an HGD program developed for high school Special Education students, bring trauma informed care training for all employees, and pilot a Mindfulness program at two schools.

 B. Trustees heard an update on the Middle School Action Network Coaching Program. This is a creation of the Education Partnership of the Permian Basin. Bonham Middle School piloted the program, identifying 75 at-risk 6th-graders, who spent one class period on eight different days with 25 community volunteers. The adults, from a variety of occupations, coached the kids through different lessons – things like greeting people, shaking hands, setting goals, and much more. Committee members say they saw the students grow in confidence through the semester. The Middle School Action Network plans to expand this coaching model to all ECISD middle schools next year.

 C. Trustees heard a report on plans to redesign middle schools. In order to turnaround underperforming schools and low attendance, several structural changes will be made to middle schools next year. Sixth- and 7th grades will implement 90-minute daily blocks of English Language Arts/Reading, and 6th grade will also have 90-minute blocks for math each day, and all 6th-graders will participate in AVID Bridges to Success through ELAR and social studies. AVID Excel will be implemented at all campuses to support English Learners. Seventh and 8th graders will use “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” as a character-building curriculum. Advanced Academics courses will be labeled “Honors” with rigorous and challenging lessons. Honors courses will require a contract signed by students and their parents agreeing to meet the advanced expectations.

 D. Trustees discussed a revision of school board policies CH(Local) Purchasing and Acquisition, FD(Local) Admissions; FM(Local) Student Activities, GKD(Local) Community Relations: Nonschool Use of School Facilities. This was first reading of these polices and no action was taken.

 E. Trustees discussed the addition of school board policies GKDA(Local) Nonschool Use of School Facilities: Distribution of Nonschool Literature. This was the first reading of this policy and no action was taken.

 F. Trustees discussed their Lone Star Governance Goal 1 and Goal Progress Measures.

 G. Trustees heard a report on Pre-kindergarten and employee daycare options for next year. District officials are considering changes to the employee daycare at Zavala Elementary. A cost increase from $300 to $400 per month would come with breakfast, lunch, snack and formula for infants, plus add the option for older siblings to be “drop-ins” on professional development days for $20. A new Pre-K unit at Blanton would be designated for employees, and a three-year old program added for employees at Carver and Lamar early education centers. Additionally, new Pre-K classes at Gale Pond Alamo, Milam, and Reagan elementary schools would create opportunities for more students (not just employees’ children) to attend pre-kindergarten.


The meeting adjourned at 9:57 p.m.