Cleburne ISD school board graduated from old business to new with preliminary preparations for the 2017-2018 school year.
The board met Tuesday to review new hires, new position and policy changes and make some early budget decisions for the upcoming school year.
Among the principal faculty changes was a move by Smith Middle School Principal Bill Allen to the role of CISD curriculum coordinator for social studies, health and physical education.
“For 43 years, since the age of 5, I’ve gotten up and gone to school,” Allen told the board. “Now, I’ll be getting up and going to Central Office — to work with all our schools.”
Allen, who has been the campus leader at Smith since 2009, preceded by two years as assistant principal, said he is excited about the opportunity, and is ready for a new challenge.
Allen, who is finishing his 24th year in education, began his career in Cleburne as a sixth-grade teacher at Fulton Intermediate School in 1993. He has also served as a social studies teacher and coach at H.F. Stevens Middle School in Crowley and spent five years as a world geography teacher and head boys basketball coach at Anna High School.
In 2001, he accepted a position as a world geography teacher and basketball coach at Grapevine High School, later serving in the same positions at Keller High School. In 2006 he was selected for the position of eighth-grade assistant principal at Keller Middle School. Allen moved to Cleburne the following year to serve as the assistant principal at Smith.
Allen said he was ready to “dive deep” into the curriculum for the departments he will oversee.
“I’ve been at Smith for 10 years,” Allen said. “I’m ready for a new challenge and getting into curriculum is something I think I will enjoy. I’ll be doing something a little different and I think the opportunity to dive deep into curriculum will be intriguing.”
The new position will also give him additional time with his son, Grant, who will be beginning his junior year at Decatur High School.
“At the middle school level, there are a lot of evening activities and events, and as the campus principal it was important to me to be in attendance,” Allen said. “My son is a very involved student at his school, and with only two years left before he graduates, I want to be there for as many of his special events as I can. This new position will allow me to do that — it’s a good fit for me at this time, and he is very excited about it.”
Allen brings a wealth of experience to his position.
“Bill Allen brings so much to this district position with his certifications in social studies and physical education and with his experience as a social studies teacher, coach and a campus principal,” Dr. Andrea Hensley, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction said. “He will be a great addition to the Curriculum and Instruction Department. We had a committee involved in the interview process to fill this vacancy and his qualifications made him the perfect fit for this position and our curriculum team. “
Allen said history is one of his favorite subjects.
“Since the fifth grade, when I received the Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Medal, I have enjoyed history,” Allen said. “It was my major at [The University of Texas] and it was what I taught for 12 years before going into administration. “
Leaving the principal’s office is not easy for Allen, nor Smith, Assistant Principal Darrell Boedeker said. He and Allen have been administrative teammates for eight years.
“I’m happy for him,” Boedeker said. “I know at this time in his life, and in his son’s life — this time is precious. The kids and the Smith staff are going to miss him. He is so patient with students — with everyone. He will be missed by students and staff alike.”
Smith was honored in 2015 as a National PTA School of Excellence for achievements in building family-school partnerships. The two-year recognition was presented to only 124 schools nationwide. Smith PTA leaders, working with the campus staff and administration, have applied for the recognition for 2017-19.
“I’m going to miss my time at Smith,” Allen said. “I’m especially going to miss those students going into the seventh and eighth grades. It’s going to be hard not finishing out those middle school years with them. It was also hard to share the news of my move with my staff, but I’m excited that I will continue to work with the teachers at Smith, and those throughout the district, in my new capacity.”
The middle school principal’s position was posted by the school district on Wednesday, said Lisa Magers, CISD spokesperson.
In addition to Allen’s staff change, the board approved 15 new teacher candidates for the new year.
“We’re ahead of schedule and doing very very well on our hiring,” said Kyle Boles, executive director of human resources.
The district just has 18 vacancies left to fill.
The board also approved to budget $171,362 for Hill College tuition for dual credit classes and approved renewing a contract for $50,000 with Superior Pediatric Care Inc. to provide physical therapy services to meet requirements requested through the ARD process or Early Childhood Development Intervention referrals.
The board also agreed to review the first draft of changes to the district’s wellness policy, which includes nutrition standards. The board will consider a second reading on the changes at the next regular board meeting in June.
Director Lisa Magers
contributed to this article.