'Adams' proposed as name for new middle school
Northwest ISD's naming committee has recommended that Middle School No. 6, which is currently under construction near Eaton High School in the western portion of the district, be named after Leo Adams.
Leo Adams was a mayor of Justin and also a founding member of Northwest ISD, serving on the district's school board from the outset. He served on the board at the same time as V.R. Eaton, and the Adams and Eaton families remain close to this day. The naming committee recommended "Adams" not only for the service of Leo Adams to the Northwest ISD community, but also because of this close family link and the proximity between the new middle school and Eaton High School.
As the mayor of Justin for more than 10 years, Mr. Adams was an integral part of Northwest ISD's foundation as a school district in 1948, when multiple smaller school districts - in Haslet, Justin, Rhome and Roanoke - joined together. He personally made multiple trips to meet legislators in Austin to aid in the joint establishment of the district.
Mr. Adams served multiple terms on the Northwest ISD Board of Trustees, including serving as board president. Without his involvement, it is unlikely the district would exist today, and he also helped steer its formative years after its creation.
In his professional life away from politics, Mr. Adams was the owner of Justin Lumber Company, where he built more than 300 buildings in the area, including homes, churches and banks.
On a personal level, the Adams and Eaton families were so close that one of Mr. Adams' daughters, Jeannine, married the son of V.R. Eaton, Roy, providing symbolism for the schools' close proximity.
Trustees will formally vote on whether to name the new school after Leo Adams at their next regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 12.
Pogue approved as Middle School No. 6 construction contractor
In other Middle School No. 6 news, trustees approved Pogue as the construction contractor for Middle School No. 6.
Site work has already begun at the location of Middle School No. 6, and the approval of Pogue means the district can sooner officially break ground on the site itself and begin full construction.
Pogue's bid of $46.678 million came in below the construction cost estimate of $49 million, which was a factor in the company's selection along with its wealth of experience constructing schools.
Pogue won the contract following a competitive sealed proposal process, meaning the selection committee was unaware of which company submitted each of the seven bids.
Kim Barker named executive director of human resources
Kim Barker, principal of Tidwell Middle School, has been named Northwest ISD's new executive director of human resources, a position she will begin at the start of the spring semester in January.
Mrs. Barker brings a wide range of educational experience to her new role, having amassed more than 18 years aiding students across both the elementary and secondary school levels. She brings the unique perspective of having served students at each school level - including teaching at the elementary level and serving as an administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
As the executive director of human resources, Mrs. Barker will oversee the recruitment and hiring of new teachers and staff members across the district as well as retaining existing teachers and staff.
Mrs. Barker began her educational career in 1998 as a teacher at Florence Elementary in Keller ISD. She quickly received accolades for her instruction, earning Keller ISD's districtwide Elementary Teacher of the Year Award in 2003. She later rose through the administrative ranks at Decatur ISD, serving as an assistant principal at Carson Elementary in 2007 before being named the school's principal the following year.
After a two-year stint as the principal of Chandler Elementary in Victoria ISD, Mrs. Barker joined Northwest ISD in 2012 as an associate principal at Northwest High School, where she earned regional Assistant Principal of the Year honors from the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. She has served as Tidwell Middle School's principal since 2013.
Update from long-range planning committee
The district's long-range planning committee provided trustees with an update on their meeting progress, also pointing out upcoming discussions for future meetings.
Committee members have met three times, with five more meetings scheduled - the next taking place Tuesday, Nov. 15. So far, members have discussed the district's growth and heard from fine arts, career and safety department leaders about needs for equipment and similar items with a growing student population. At their next meeting on Tuesday, members will continue hearing from departments on areas of need regarding growth - including athletics and technology as well as an assessment of current facilities.
The group's work will culminate with a recommendation to trustees at their regular Monday, Jan. 23, meeting, providing guidance for the district's plans for growth.
Facilities provides update on projects, future renovations
In other news regarding planning, trustees heard updates on current and in-progress construction projects. Both Middle School No. 6 and Schluter Elementary School's expansion remain on track, with the latter progressing significantly in terms of structural progress.
According to that presentation, the district saved nearly $3.5 million on its 2005 bond package, which will be used for site purchases for future facilities. Similarly, the economic downturn resulted in about $48.4 million in economic savings from the 2008 bond, which allowed more projects to be completed. About $26.6 million in savings has been set aside for Elementary School No. 18. From the 2012 bond package, more than $20.2 million has been saved, helping improve other district facilities.
Some of the facility improvements scheduled as a result of savings from the 2012 bond include resurfacing the tracks and fields at four middle schools - Chisholm Trail, Medlin, Pike and Tidwell - as well as Byron Nelson and Northwest high schools. Turf will also be added to the baseball and softball fields at those high schools, and Byron Nelson will gain an eighth lane to its track. Northwest ISD Stadium will similarly have renovations to its turf and other areas in need of renovation.
These renovations are the result of a facilities assessment, which found surfaces were in need of replacement at these schools. Beyond these changes, only minimal issues were found with existing schools, with facilities being well-maintained.
In other action, the board
- Recognized Todd Rogers (associate principal at Byron Nelson) and Jamie Farber (director of guidance and counseling) for receiving awards from the Texas School Counselor Association. Mr. Rogers won the statewide advocate of the year award for his role supporting school counselors, and Mrs. Farber won the supervisor of the year award for overseeing the district's counseling staff.
- Recognized new Adopt-A-School partners for providing support to specific Northwest ISD schools, including Lustig & Young Orthodontics, Mathnasium of Trophy Club and Palio's Pizza of Haslet.
- Recognized and presented a check to Chisholm Trail Middle School on behalf of Bell Helicopter for the school's STEM team placing in a recent challenge held by the company.
- Recognized business academy student Jakayla Dixon for founding her "Feel the Color" business, which assists those with visual impairments by providing tags in clothing items that say each item's color in braille.