[Editor's Note: This is absolutely my fault for not getting this up earlier. My apologies to the author and the community,]
By Lynn Janes
The Silver City Consolidated Schools held a work session on July 24, 2023. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance Michelle Diaz (by phone), Patrick Cohn, Mike McMillan, and Eddie Flores. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico flag took place.
The board approved the agenda.
The purpose of this work session had to do with the policy F-1400 FF naming facilities. Larry Behrens joined the meeting online to give the board a presentation. He requested that they name the Silver High School band room after the late band director David Kendrick.
Hawkins said he had looked into the policy and read the policy to the board and explained the process.
Behrens said all the students had always called him Mr. K. Kendrick had passed away the previous year. He had come to Silver High School in 1991 with 20 years experience. He retired in 2009 but continued to be involved as the all state band conductor until 2013. He received the New Mexico Music Teacher Emeritus of the year award from the New Mexico Music Teachers Association in 2012.
When he came to Silver High School in 1991, he took over 100 students and went to all the football games. He found time to challenge all his students despite having so many. He provided a refuge for his students. Behrens added he had been liked and respected by all his students. Behrens put out a petition just recently on Facebook for all the band alumni. He had gotten 86 responses already and they came from sixteen states, New Mexico and two in Europe. He provided the board with all the comments he had received in that petition for them to read. He added he felt he would have many more later.
Kendrick had also served as the choir director when they needed it. “He left an impressive legacy.” Behrens asked if the board had any questions.
Cohn thanked him for his presentation and asked what the district could do. Hawkins said they could have a ceremony and bring in the family and community. Flores wanted to know where Behrens had joined the meeting from, and he said Missouri. He asked him if he would come and present. Behrens said he would plan on it. Flores thanked him for bringing this to them. McMillan thanked him for bringing it to the board. Behrens thanked them for their consideration. Diaz thanked him for bringing it to the board. Montenegro remembered him fondly and told a story. She also thanked Behrens for bringing it to the board.
Work session adjourned
The Silver City Consolidated Schools held the regular board meeting July 24, 2023. President Ashley Montenegro called the meeting to order. Other board members in attendance Michelle Diaz (by phone), Patrick Cohn, Mike McMillan, and Eddie Flores. Superintendent William Hawkins also attended. The Pledge of Allegiance and salute to the New Mexico flag took place.
The board approved the minutes from the regular board meeting June 19, 2023, and finance meeting June 15, 2023.
The board approved the agenda for the meeting with one change. On the agenda it says July checks and it should say June.
Information and presentations
Hawkins presented the proposal for the 2024 graduation dates. Silver High School May 16, 2024, at 7:30 pm and Cliff Schools May 17, 2024, at 6:00 pm
Diane Carrico with SCEA (Silver City Education Association) did not attend to give a report.
Hawkins addressed several things for the board.
Hawkins gave the board a preview of the short ad they would be placing on Facebook in regards to the Strategic Plan. He then played an ad for Omniverse and Scythe lawn care using AI (artificial intelligence). He also showed them other areas AI has become common place and being seen more and more. “All of this is innovation and will change the way we do things.”
Hawkins went on to read the vison and mission statements of the strategic plan.
Vision – Silver Consolidate School District aims to provide student centered educational programs and community partnerships that inspire all students to perform at their maximum potential so they may become responsible citizens and accomplish their life aspirations.
Mission – Silver Consolidated School District prepares students to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens ready to meet challenges of the future. In partnership with families and our local community our goal is to create relevant learning opportunities for students both inside and outside the classroom that help them develop the knowledge, critical thinking skills and character necessary to succeed in our ever changing world.
Hawkins pointed out that the next six years would change exponentially. First, they wanted to create a culture of optimism and respect. He went back to a theme in the presentation of “we write our own success story.” By having conversations, they could further that success. He provided a document with the plan for 2022-2027. It had been broken down to put on posters and be easily read and for people to see to keep the district accountable.
The direction of the plan will be to promote and encourage innovation. They must look at the measures of assessment. The curriculum needs to shift from practice and memorization to application, active thinking, and deep understanding.
Hawkins went over all the ways this would be accomplished.
They went over all the schedules of each school and the Wednesday early dismissal.
He addressed attendance and what they will be doing to improve it. They had developed some posters that would be put up and posted. The ad would be headed “Our success is built on you.”
Hawkins presented to the board the annual membership with Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments. It costs the district $452 a year. They have had a great relationship and have previously gotten a lot out of the membership. They help with coordination, planning, advice, and assistance on implementing plans. Hawkins praised Priscilla Lucero, executive director, for the continual help she provides.
Louis Alvarez, associate superintendent, said they only had 4 positions to fill, and some are new positions. The district currently is at 99.1 percent of positions filled. He added that Albuquerque has 700 positions open.
Cindy Barris, associate superintendent, didn’t have a report currently.
Michele McCain, finance director, didn’t have a report currently.
Board of Education
Montenegro said the finance subcommittee had met and talked a lot about special funds and training. More money had been spent in June due to closing out of the year.
Flores said threat assessment met the previous week. They currently have been in the process of purchasing equipment for the armed security guards. They will also be meeting with each one to make sure they want to stay. They have been meeting with all the school administrators to see what safety equipment they might need.
Montenegro said the summer had gone fast. She thanked everyone for going to the board training and it had been nice to get to know them better. They had learned a lot of new things at the training. The audit would be coming up and they would need to nominate two people in the community to serve on the committee. One needed to have a finance background and one needed to have a child in the district.
Diaz thanked Behrens for presenting Kendricks’s name. She thanked Hawkins for all he has done and all the improvements. She then thanked the community for all they do for the district.
McMillan said the summer had gone by fast. He thanked the administration for all they had been doing to get ready for the school year to start.
Cohn said he echoed all that the other council members had said. He wanted to give a shout out to the Silver High School for being in the parade for the 4th of July. “I am glad we were represented.” She thanked Lisa Lucero, administrative assistant, for all she has done to help the board. “You are our school board mom.” She had made all the travel plans for them to go to the board training.
Flores thanked Lisa Lucero also for all she had done to help with the travel plans. He asked Hawkins about the road construction on 32nd Street. It will not be done when school starts. Hawkins said the last conversation he had they would be creating pathways to get to the parking lots. They all discussed the roadwork and possible problems and solutions. Flores said it will cause late and tardy issues. Hawkins said they would be trying to use alternative routes and will be publishing that before school starts. Flores told him they might need extra help while the construction was happening.
Montenegro said they had received one by email and she read it to the board. Tristan Britton has concerns about the construction on 32nd Street. "They only have a few weeks before school starts, and little had been done. He encouraged the board to push to get the project done." [Editor's Note: Tristan Britton is a she, not a he.]
Montenegro expressed that maybe having additional parking would be a good idea. They all discussed it. Hawkins said they would be sending out communication on the issue before school started.
The board approved all requests made by McCain. She had checks totaling $7,708,838.67. The reason for the higher amount had to do with end of year closing out as Montenegro had explained. The approval also included several donations.
Silver City Moose Lodge #1718 – Silver High School - $2,500
Edward Jones, Neil McDonald – SHS National History Day - $500
Silver City Dental – SHS National History Day - $1,000
Victor Oaxaca, transportation director did not have a report for the board.
The board approved the upcoming 2024 graduation dates for Silver High School May 16, 2024, at 7:30 pm and Cliff Schools May 17, 2024, at 6:00 pm.
The board approved the membership with Southwest Council of Governments.
Public comments none currently.
The next regular board meeting and work session will take place August 21, 2023
Finance committee will meet August 17, 2023
The board went into executive session for the formative evaluation of the superintendent per policy C-0600 CBI
The board came back into open session after about ten minutes and said no decisions had been made.