The Sonora ISD Board of Trustees met Wednesday, February 10th at 5:30 p.m for a regular meeting.

The district has received over seventy-five applications for the Athletic Director position.
Interim Superintendent Don Gibson and Interim Athletic Director Eddie Favila will work together to review the applications and return to the board with recommendations. They are hoping to return to the board with the qualified candidate by the next board meeting.

The meeting was called to order by Board President Shanna Petty-Castro with an invocation delivered by Mr. Gibson.

The board handled regular agenda items which were all reviewed and approved.

Next, they moved on to the Texas Academic Performance Report which was presented by Sonora Elementary Principal Michael Kissire.
Kissire highlighted that the district’s CCMR (College Career Military Readiness) score has improved from 69.4% to 73.1% which indicates that when students graduate from Sonora High School they are well prepared for the next steps in their lives. The board then agreed to extend the current COVID-19 sick leave policy until the end of this school year.

Mr. Gibson explained that a discrepancy was noted on the 2020 Comptroller’s Property Value Study. The discrepancy is in item J which pertains to Utilities. The local appraisal, from the Sutton County Appraisal District is $227,128,170. However, the Thomas Y Pickett Appraisal Company, made this valuation at $1,491,320,880. There are 42 counties in the state that are reporting the same problem with their 2020 comptroller’s property value study.
This is an important report for the school district and tax payers as this report aides in the tax rate determination.
The school district has engaged a law firm which will provide representation and aid in filing an appeal to the appraisal.
The appeal is important because left unsettled this could leave the district owing approximately $4.5 million dollars, of funds that have not been generated back to the state.

The law firm will represent the district first in what is called an invalid preliminary finding hearing. The dates of the hearings are unknown at this time.
In other agenda items, Stefanie Taylor, Special Education Director presented to the board members and public the program evaluations for bilingual education, special education and ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). Taylor explained that the special education department is responsible for numerous programs and provides various valuable resources to the students of Sonora ISD.
Taylor further explained that while the district is experiencing decreases in overall student population, the special education department is increasing in enrollment.

Mr. Gibson offered many accolades to the SISD staff members and expressed to the board members his appreciation of all of their hard work.
The board then entered an executive session.

Upon returning to open session, the board formally accepted the resignation of Kevin Sherill.
With no further business to discuss, the board adjourned. In attendance were Board President, Shanna Petty-Castro and board members Colby Bates, Cynthia Perez, John Jones, Peter Duran, Jerry Jiminez and Mason Martinez.

In other school board related news. School board member elections will be taking place on May 1, 2021 from 7:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex.

The school board members with expiring terms are: Shanna Castro-Petty, At-Large, Jerry Jiminez, At-Large and John Jones, At-Large. The At-Large terms are three year terms lasting from May 2021 until May 2024.

Peter Duran is the board member representing Precinct 4. This term is for May 2021 until May 2022. The deadline for filing as a candidate for the school board election was Friday, February 12, 2021. Incumbents Shanna Petty-Castro, John Jones and Jerry Jimenez, have filed to run. Roberta Whitney and Brenda Mungia have also filed to seek election for those three positions.

Peter Duran was the only filer for precinct 4.

The next regular meeting of the SISD Board of Trustees will be held on March 8th at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room located in the Vocational Building.