SSISD close to filling teaching rosters

Former coach, principal Chuck King takes new role

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

July 30, 2008 - Sulphur Springs Independent School District has just a few more slots to fill, most of them at the high school level, to complete its staff roster this year.

"The list is getting smaller," Superintendent Patsy Bolton said Wednesday morning. "We're a lot better off than were were."

The district had 31 slots to fill this year, but that was just for teachers and a principal's position -- professional posts that require degrees. That number did not include aides and other staff.

At least four aides, one part time position and two instructors are needed to finish out the staff.

Both the full time and part time Strings program instructor positions had to be filled, after the part-time instructor, Terri Vosse, retired last year and the full time instructor resigned due to relocation after her husband was offered a position at a university that required a move.

Monday night, school trustees approved James Flickinger as the full time Strings instructor. He will teach district-wide, including the high school and the middle school campuses to continue the education for students who have been enrolled in the program since elementary school. Flickinger has played violin in the local symphony orchestra and has worked with several different bands (his resume includes playing the fiddle for Ray Price). He has given private lessons and taught at private school, as well.

The part-time Strings position has yet to be filled, as do the middle school/high school choir and choir aide posts. The choir aide spot is a position added this year due to increases in the number of students enrolled in the choir program.

Two high school science posts were also filled Monday night with the hiring of Michael Gearheart and Dwight Lebsach. The high school still needs a chemistry instructor and ESL instructor, special education aide and technology aide.

Denell Wilson was also hired Monday to teach world geography. She replaces Carey Loben, who recently was hired as elementary counselor. Loben will travel on designated days among the elementary campuses.

Rachel Draper gave up her position as the middle school SAC, or in-school suspension program, to teach at the alternative program which is moving from the old Houston School campus to the Administration Building. Draper's background as a former parole officer qualifies her for the position, according to Bolton. Rita Busateri was also hired to act as an aide at the alternative program.

Draper is being replaced at Sulphur Springs Middle School by none other than Chuck King, the former coach and Sulphur Springs High School principal who retired in 2007.

"He should be good at establishing a rapport with the students in SAC," Bolton said. "Students in that program have been in trouble in school. This is a step before they are sent to the alternative program. Instead of heavy discipline, we feel Chuck will be able to encourage and motivate the students to do better."

Kip Wright will be a working as a special education aide at thethe middle school. Wright previously was employed as a behavioral intervention aide at the middle school. The district still has to fill a behavioral intervention aide at the high school.

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