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December 16th, 2008
Newest middle school takes Simon name

The Hays CISD Board of Trustees on Monday named the district’s fifth middle school after Delvin (Red) Simon, a longtime School Board member and 1942 graduate of Kyle High School. The new middle school, which is currently under construction on Highway 150, approximately seven miles east of Interstate 35 next to Hemphill Elementary School, is scheduled to open in August.

Simon served on the Kyle ISD School Board for 17 years, and was instrumental in the consolidation of Kyle, Buda and Wimberley school districts in 1966-67. He was the first president of the Hays CISD Board of Trustees and served in that capacity until 1972.

“I do know Delvin Simon,” said Ralph Pfluger, School Board member, who also served with Simon on the School Board in the 1960 and 1970s. “He was the president of the first consolidated school board. Those three communities (Kyle, Buda and Wimberley) were very diverse communities and at first it was a fragile existence. He established the success of that School Board that put us on the road to where we are today and I’m not so sure we would not have done that without Simon. He left a legacy here and naming the new middle school after him would be appropriate.”

While Mr. Simon was at the helm of the School Board, the land on which Hays High School currently sits was located and purchased. He was born and reared in Uhland and at one time owned many acres of ranchland around the school.

Prior to the 4-2 vote, School Board members discussed another name for the middle school, Fernando Amaya, a Hays County Sheriff’s Deputy and father of Hays CISD students, who died after a bicycle accident on FM 150 on the first day of school.

“While I am not against any of the names recommended tonight, I am in favor of naming the school after Mr. Amaya, who has contributed to this community,” said Joe Muñoz, Secretary of the School Board. “Leaders of this community have advocated for that. A lot of the students attending this school will be minority students and they need role models. Mr. Amaya will be a role model for these students.”

Pfluger suggested erecting a memorial for Mr. Amaya at Simon Middle School.

“There are people living in this district such as Mr. Amaya, who probably deserve recognition for the effect they have as role models,” he said. “Is there some sort of memorial we can do at the school to show our honor of these people?”

The School Board unanimously approved a $111,152 bid for a suite of software that will help teachers and principals analyze TAKS and benchmark data, register and track professional development courses, document and manage information related to teacher evaluations, and serve as an “electronic container” for lesson planning and curriculum management.

“This software module will be extremely helpful in TAKS and other data analysis,” said Dr. Kimbroly Pool, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Curriculum and assessment staff and principals are very excited about the potential of this software. It is something the principals have requested for quite some time.”

The School Board directed administration to move forward in the purchase of land for the district’s next elementary school.

“This is one of the next two elementary schools that were approved in our 2008 bond package,” said Dr. Kirk London, Superintendent of Hays CISD. “This site would help crowding at both Elm Grove Elementary School and Buda Elementary School.”

The school is slated to open for the 2010-2011 school year. The other elementary school in the bond package will be located in an area to alleviate crowding at Tom Green and Science Hall elementary schools.

Chip DuPont, President of the Hays CISD School Board, gave an update on the search for a new superintendent. The School Board reviewed 59 applications. Of those, 34 are sitting superintendents, 13 are either deputy or assistant superintendents. Thirty-six are from Texas and 23 are from out of state, representing 17 states.

The School Board declared three buses that are no longer used by the district as surplus and “disposed” of the buses through an interlocal agreement. Spurger ISD, a small district in East Texas that operates three buses, all of which are at least 30 years old, offered to purchase two of the buses after one of the district’s buses suffered engine failure.

“The amount offered is more than the district receives through auction and based on the depreciated value of the buses,” said Carter Scherff, Hays CISD Deputy Superintendent.

by Julie Jerome
Chief Information Officer – Hays CISD

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