GISD chooses three for second-round interviews


The Gonzales Independent School District Board of Trustees will give a second-round interview to three candidates for superintendent after holding six initial interviews last week.
School board members also met Monday, May 2, with members of the Texas Association of School Boards’ superintendent search team to discuss the timeline for meeting with their picks.

The second round of interviews will begin with the first candidate at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 9; the second candidate will be interviewed 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and the third candidate will be interviewed at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12.

All interviews will take place in closed session. An alternate has been chosen in case one of the candidates changes his or her mind.

The board also held their regular meeting Monday, May 2, and voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the proposed 2022-23 budget and tax rate at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22. This will take place two weeks after the regular August board meeting and one week after a budget workshop on Aug. 15.

Texas’ Truth-in-Taxation guidelines require that taxpayers be given an opportunity to express their opinions on proposed tax rate at a public hearing before the budget or tax rate can be adopted. The district is expected to publish notice in the Aug. 11 edition of the Inquirer.

The board also voted unanimously to appoint Gonzales County Tax Assessor-Collector Crystal Cedillo to calculate and prepare the 2022 no-new-revenue and voter-approval tax rates for Gonzales ISD. 

Gonzales ISD will spend $139,820.56 to purchase upgrades for the district’s uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), which will allow the district’s network and equipment to remain operational in the event of a power outage like what happened on Monday, May 2, when the city of Gonzales’ power went out for more than three hours, knocking servers at the high school and Gonzales Elementary offline.

“In the event of an incident like the one that happened this morning, all our switches and servers will stay online and that will give us up to two hours of power to those servers and those switches,” said Chema Chavez, GISD technology director. “You would have internet access and your phone lines would work properly throughout the loss of power.”

The district had originally budgeted $187,000 and the upgrades will be paid for through Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER-II) funds the district received from the Texas Education Agency.

Another $83,125 in ESSER-II funds will be used to upgrade the district’s Wi-Fi system, Chavez said.

Interim superintendent Dr. Kim Strozier reported the district has reduced overall enrollment from 2,631 in April 2021 to 2,601 in April 2022, but the attendance rate for April 2022 is 91.3 percent, compared to 91.17 percent for April 2021.

“We're back up a little bit in our attendance, our average attendance,” Strozier said. “We do feel that the incentives that campus principals and all of their faculty and staff are running are certainly helping our students’ attendance. And additionally, students don't want to miss their exams and this is prime time to prepare for exams.”