CISD trustees emerged after several hours in closed session Monday with news that Superintendent Tim Miller’s contract had been extended through June 30, 2016.
Miller, who has been with the district since 2009, became superintendent in December 2010 and faced a handful of uphill battles during his tenure.
“He’s had a tough year, but we believe there are the right people in the right places,” board President Brent Easdon said.
Referring to the summer shake-up in several campus’ administrative teams, Easdon said Miller did a good job juggling the six positions and placing administrators in needed roles.
At the time, Miller said, “Our plans, in working with current staff in making these reassignments, are to put individuals in positions where we believe they will be most effective, from a district-wide perspective.”
The district also felt repercussions from Trustee Jay Wilson’s comments in an online forum, which seemed to violate the exit agreement terms between CISD and Phil Young, then-athletic director and head football coach. Other internal battles included administrators being informed of work-day cuts and then-Cooke Elementary School Principal Kay Hamilton’s contract non-renewal after allegedly not following lockdown procedures when a student brought an airsoft gun to school.
Along with the contract extension, trustees also voted to give Miller a 1 percent pay increase, or about $1,430 a year. Under Miller’s contract, signed in June, he receives a base salary of $143,750.
“The teachers all received a pay increase this year and it was all discussed and agreed upon ... that [1 percent] would be an appropriate rate at this time,” Easdon said. “That way we don’t single anybody out.
“We want the community and teachers to know that Dr. Miller is our superintendent and this board backs him and supports him 100 percent. We feel that he has done a wonderful job in the past year. He has set the bar high, once again, and we have all the confidence that he will be reaching his goals.”
Goals include preparing for what’s expected to be an enrollment explosion with the addition of Texas 121 and revamping Cleburne High School’s image, Easdon and Miller said. Those who come to Cleburne looking at education will first examine the high school’s student performance and its appearance, they said.
“We put a lot of emphasis on the high school, making it attractive and better,” Easdon said.
Miller said the most pressing concern is preparing CISD’s existing facilities. That includes a security audit with new Director of Operations Barry Hipp, who was not with the district at the time of the last audit.
Plans call for several parent meetings scheduled to discuss security needs, Miller said. He has already met at several campuses about arming employees, a discussion brought up after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Miller said most favor securing school entrances and adding extra levels of security, but not arming employees.
“I have a great board that works well together and they aren’t hesitant to provide me with constructive criticism, not only in the evaluation, but also providing me feedback along the way,” Miller said after the meeting. “I think everybody has opportunities for improvement; sometimes you can see it in yourself and other times, people have to point it out to you. I value their role as individual trustees. When they came together and did the evaluation as a board, I value their input as to how they think this past year has gone as well as expectations that they have put upon me for what they want to accomplish for next year.”
In other business, trustees approved the hiring of Melissa Scherer, educational diagnostician for CISD, and Cierra Johnson, special education inclusion aide at Wheat Middle School. Miller approved the retirement of Janie Stone and the resignation of Natasha Whetstone.