Meetings watch: Board of Education

Board of Education

At its meeting Monday in the Portales Municipal Schools Administration Building, the Portales Board of Education:

• adopted a resolution refinancing outstanding general obligation bonds at a lower interest rate. Al Clemmons of George K. Baum and Co., the district’s investment firm, said the interest rates for the 2001 bond issue would drop from about 4 percent to about 1 percent, saving tax payers $95,000.

• heard the Portales High School Student Council donated $420 to the Red Cross.

• heard seventh-grader Caitlyn Higgins received the Jennifer Baker Award, sponsored by the National Federation for the Blind, for overcoming obstacles in learning to read Braille. Her teacher, Jo Gaines, nominated her for the award and said she is reading above grade level.

• heard teacher Jack Willis say that at the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement state competition, Portales High School students Russell Van Dam and William Van Dam won the web design contest, Brandon Carter and the Van Dams took second in the robotics competition, and Alejandro Aguilar and Matthew Streseman placed third in the Wind Energy Challenge.

• presented Willis with the 2010 New Mexico School Boards Association Student Achievement Award.

• heard Band Director Jennifer Johnson said the Portales High School band took third in the New Mexico Activities Association band competition. The band also participated in the Southeast New Mexico Educators Association District Contest and received a rating of “1” in every category.

• heard Director of Instruction Priscilla Hernandez’s instruction department report. She said surveys of district employees and parents indicated the schools were doing well in having a safe and orderly environment, promoting partnership with parents, budgeting, aligning with state standards, and using data, curriculum and instructional tools. She said the district could improve in enhancing student enrichment opportunities, finding models of good student work and celebrating achievement and providing incentives.

• awarded a proposal for PHS roof repairs and replacement to Construction Services of Amarillo.

• toured the remodeled special education, federal programs and technology offices.