The Humble ISD board meeting July 23 was one of both celebration and contemplation. The celebration was for great teachers, outstanding students and great technical support by the district’s Transportation Department.

District Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen in her opening remarks said, “Humble is fortunate to have some of the very best teachers in the world. Tonight’s Inspiring Moments Video takes us into the classrooms for two superstars: Francesca Rathke, who teaches first grade at Whispering Pines Elementary, and Joe Paneitz, who teaches robotics and automation at the CATE (Career and Technology Education) Center. Rathke is the Humble ISD Elementary School Teacher of the Year and Paneitz is the Secondary and Senior School Teacher of the year.

“I am proud to proud to say also, that Joe has advanced as a finalist in the Region Four Teacher of the Year Contest,” said Fagen. She explained he is one out of a field of 85 outstanding teachers in other districts in the region. The winner will be announced Aug. 7.

Janet Williams, assistant athletic director of track, recognized two district track champions, Tianna Randle and Jacob Allen.

“Randle, a senior at Summer Creek High School, holds the school record in the 100 meter, 400-meter relay, and 800-meter relay. She qualified for State her junior and senior year. As a senior, she was the state champion in the 100 meter with a time of 11.51 seconds. Her time of 11.31 at Regionals was the fastest time in the state of Texas for girls. She finished second in the 400-meter relay with a time of 45.24, which is the eighth fastest time ever in the state of Texas. That time is also the 18th fastest time ever in high school for girls. Last month Randall was the 100-meter champion at the Adidas Boost games. This event has hosted several Olympic track and field athletes in the past, including the 400-meter world record holder and Rio gold medalist in 2017. She will be attending UNLV next fall and has plans of being a future Olympian,” said Williams.

“Jacob is a disabled student who must use a wheelchair, but that has not stopped him. He is a member of the Kingwood Park High School Track Team and is held to the same standards and follows the same rules, regulations and guidelines as all UIL (University Interscholastic League) High School Track Athletes in the State of Texas. The only difference is due to his physical disability. Jacob competes in a wheelchair,” said Williams and highlighted his other accomplishments.

Allen earned a position on the All-American Para Track and Field Team in 2018 and 2019. He is a member of the Team USA Junior World Team, 2019, and will be going to Switzerland in August. He is also the Junior National 100-meter, shot put and weight lifting gold medalist.

Orchestral students from Atascocita High School were also called up for special recognition. Bailey Conroy, Aili Kangasniemi and Kirsten Karamihan were recently selected as outstanding performers at the University Interscholastic League’s Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest held at the University of Texas campus at Austin from June 1-3. Approximately 100,000 students participate in regional UIL music contests, and roughly 25,000 musicians are selected to perform at the Texas State Solo-Ensemble Contest. The top 2% of soloists competing receive the outstanding performer medal.

The district also honored its Transportation Department as one of only four public school systems recognized as one of the “Best 100 Transportation Fleets in the Americas” list. This is the fifth consecutive year the Humble ISD Transportation Department has made the list. Overall, among all school systems, Humble ISD ranked 33rd out of over 38,000 government fleets across North and South America.

In other business, the board approved 19 agenda items of a routine and ongoing nature as the 2019/2020 school year begins. Included was approval of the 2019/20 Code of Student Conduct for the coming year. Texas law requires that the school board reviews and approves the Student Code of Conduct on an annual basis. It is included with the student handbook which is made available to all students and parents as they enroll online for the coming school year. It is also available to the public on the Humble ISD webpage under “Information.”

As the meeting came to a close Board President Nancy Morrison asked if there were any topics for future business consideration.

Robert Scarfo said, “We talk about our mission statement, our purpose in partnership with families and the community to develop each child intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially, so that all students are lifelong learners. With that framework in mind, I’d like to propose that starting with the next month that we as a board devote one hour to discuss an education topic.”

Scarfo explained the designated topic would be published in advance as are the board meeting agendas. He explained he thought it would provide more opportunity for ensuring the district is on track with its mission.

Morrison pointed out there was already a function called “Breakfast with the Board” that seemed to satisfy what Scarfo was suggesting and the next one is scheduled in September. Scarfo explained he did not think it was well suited, given the objectives of what he had in mind due to its early morning timing.

Another board member noted the idea was not on the published agenda for the current meeting and it needed to be if the idea was to be officially discussed and acted upon. As a result, the board will likely consider it as an agenda item for contemplation at a future meeting.

School board meetings are normally held at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Humble ISD Administration Building, 20200 Eastway Village Drive, and are open to the public. Agendas are posted on the district website, humbleisd.net.

Bruce Olson
Author: Bruce OlsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.

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