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BISD honors trustees; donates Polly Schoolhouse

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

January 2016 is School Board Recognition Month, and Bandera ISD joined other districts across the state in honoring the countless contributions of these locally elected advocates for public education. BISD's trustees include Bo Mansfield, Brittany Hicks, Heidi Battle, John Junker, Dr. Barbara Skipper, Laurie Neff and Laurie Palacios.
They were special guests at a dinner prepared by the high school culinary arts students. They were greeted with cards, banners and place mats carrying messages of gratitude for their service from students at Alkek and Hill Country Elementary schools and Bandera Middle School.
The dinner was served prior to the January regular board meeting held Monday, Jan. 11, where the trustees also received goody bags.
"Serving on a local school board is no easy task, particularly in today's climate of rapid change and financial uncertainties. Overall, they represent [the taxpaying public] and take their leadership roles seriously by attending lengthy meetings, broadening their knowledge at conferences and seminars; and talking about the schools with business leaders, parents, and neighbors," said Regina Howell, Bandera ISD Superintendent.
Neff serves as the president of the board, Mansfield serves as vice-president, Palacios is the secretary and Battle is the assistant secretary.
Junker has served on the board for two years. Neff has served on the Board in the roles of president, vice president and assistant secretary since 2002. Skipper has served as president, vice president and secretary, beginning her term in 2003. Mansfield has served on the board since 2012, Hicks since 2013, and Battle since 2013. She has also served as assistant secretary. Palacios has been on the board since 2010 and served as secretary and assistant secretary.
Talking about her board service, Neff said, "My most important responsibility is to the kids - always focusing on doing the best we can for them in every aspect with the resources we have available. It's a challenge and only happens because of the effort, dedication and heart of our teachers, administrators and staff."
Dr. Skipper added "My strongest belief is that in a democratic society our most important responsibility is ensuring the education of the next generation. School board members work together to do just that. I am privileged to work on an incredible board/superintendent team to accomplish this end."
"I feel one of my most important responsibilities as a school board member is to provide the resources to help our educators prepare their students for the future," said Battle. Board Secretary Laurie Palacios summed it up by saying her most important responsibility was to "provide a safe environment for our students where they can learn and grow."
Other business
In other business conducted during Monday's meeting, the board approved their Code of Ethics, unchanged from last year. The code is posted on the district website.
They also approved two resolutions dealing with the district's investment program, including a list of brokers and dealers.
The board authorized the donation of approximately one acre of land and improvements on Bear Creek Road to the Polly Texas Pioneer Association. The property, known as Polly Schoolhouse, will be taken over by the non-profit organization whose goal is to preserve the history of pioneer Policarpio Rodriguez. The association has already completed many improvements to Polly's Chapel off of Privilege Creek Road. Should the association ever wish to relinquish their care of the property, it will revert back to the Bandera ISD.
Over the years, the school district has donated other small rural school sites to their communities.