Van Alstyne High School has had much to celebrate over the past month, including a state cross country champion and its band making it all the way into the UIL State Marching Band Contest finals. So it was on Monday night that the VAISD Board of Trustees honored the band and cross country runners Evan and Molly McQuirk with certificates at the beginning of its monthly meeting.
The Panther Band Marching Band made it to the state contest for the first time in school history and even survived the initial cut to make it into the final round. The VAHS Band ended its marching season as the No. 9-ranked Class 2A band in the state.
Siblings Evan and Molly McQuirk made the school’s cross country season one to remember as they both made it into the state meet. Molly finished 12th while Evan, a senior, captured the state title with the ninth-fastest 2A time on record. They were also joined by freshman Hannah Taylor at the state meet, though she was not at Monday night’s meeting.
After photos were taken — and the packed room suddenly got a bit roomier — the board got down to business.
Superintendent Dr. John Spies briefly discussed the 2012-13 audit with the board.
“It’s a clean audit, and we ended the year in the black,” said Spies.
Spies also discussed the School First Annual Financial Management Report. The district received a rating of 65 out of 70, marking it with a Superior Achievement rating. Spies explained to the board that five points were knocked off the district’s score for debt per student, something which he said is “unavoidable for a growing district.” The board unanimously approved receipt of the report.
In Spies’ Superintendent’s Report, he stated that enrollment was up by 14 students last month. Regarding utility consumption, he reported that electric costs are down by 16 percent and gas costs are down by 50 percent over the past two years. However, water costs rose dramatically due to the city’s new water rates. He stated the district has subsequently locked down its irrigation meters.
An interesting discussion stemmed from the water rate issue. The drilling of a well on the property located behind the high school, land which is outside the city limits, has been discussed by Spies and the head of the maintenance department. The well could possibly be put in use by the high school and the middle school, but the high cost of running irrigation pipes would be a deciding factor in the project. Spies stressed that the project was just in the talking phase and no plans have been set to proceed.
The district will update its website on Friday. The new website will be at the same address (www.vanasltyneisd.org) but will be significantly different to allow for better interface between teachers and students.
The board discussed budget amendments, including the purchase of two new vehicles valued at $62,049.64. The board unanimously approved the purchase of the vehicles to be done immediately.
Trustees nominated Charlie Williams for the Grayson County Appraisal District Board and Gary Rodenbaugh for the Collin County Appraisal District Board.
A carpet purchase in the amount of $25,134.40 was approved by the board.