School board recognizes two high school students’ accomplishments
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec. 13, 2005 -- Sulphur Springs High School students Andrew Watley and Jeffrey Kramer were recognized by the school board for their accomplishments at Monday's noon school board meeting.

Kramer has been named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and Watley a National Merit Scholarship Program 2006 commended student.

Sulphur Springs Independent School District trustees also approved the annual financial and compliance report prsented by Mike Taylor of Rutherford, Taylor and Company, P.C., for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2005.

According to Superintendent Patsy Bolton, auditors each year spend a week in the spring and a week in the fall at the school district going over finances with district officials. The conclusion of this year's report indicated "excellent" findings.

The process by which the school purchases buses will be different in the future, when the district will utilize the BuyBoard Program instead of sealed bids to buy buses. ByBoard is a coopertive administered by Texas Association of School Boards under which districts within the cooperative can order buses at the rate listed on BuyBoard.com, which is estimated to save the district about $3,000 to $4,000 per bus, according to Transportation Director Randell Blakemore.

Bolton noted as an example that one company's bid for a bus was $63,813, but the cost offered through the cooperative is only $59,157.

Forward Edge Inc. was also approved Monday to continue administering random drug testing and pre-employment drug screening to all school district bus drivers. The new contract became effective immediately and will continue through Aug. 31, 2006. Three other companies submitted bids: 24/7 Drug Testing; A Family Chiropractic Center; and Drug, Alcohol and DNA Testing. Although not the least expensive, Forward Edge's bid was also not the most costly bid submitted. The board accepted Blakemore's recommendation for Forward Edge based on prior service with the district and the number of drugs tested as mandated by Texas Department of Transportation.

Two companies, Merico Abatement Contractors Inc. of Tyler and HP EnviroVision of Irving, submitted bids for asbestos abatement which will begin at Sulphur Springs High School during the upcoming two-week Christmas holiday. Merico Contractors' bid of $27,005 was selected over HP EnviroVision's $28,960 bid.

School trustees  approved Memphis, Tenn., as the location for the high school band trip and South Padre for the high school drill team trip.

During an executive session, the board accepted Laura Gilbreath's resignation effective at the end of the semester and approved Jennifer Collar to replace the high school English teacher.

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