By CHERIL VERNON
Longtime East Texas assistant principal, former teacher and coach Kyle Lock of Elkhart was named the new principal of Westwood High School at the Westwood Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting Monday night.
The board voted unanimously to hire Lock after members met in closed session. Lock was the interview committee's recommended candidate for high school principal.
Lock will start today at the high school campus. He replaces Dr. Clint McClain, who left WISD in late August to take a superintendent's position at 2A Dilley Independent School District in South Texas.
Lock has been serving as assistant principal at Jacksonville High School since 2010. He also served as an assistant principal at Palestine Junior High School from 2008 to 2010. At Elkhart ISD from 1998 to 2008, Lock served in several capacities as a teacher and coach including athletic director, head football coach and head girls basketball coach. He also was a teacher and coach at PHS from 1983 to 1998, at PJHS from 1982 to 1983 and Rusk High School from 1981 to 1982.
Lock received his principal certification in 2008 and has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Also during the meeting, the WISD trustees approved the first reading of the open transfer policy in a 5-1 vote (board president Theresa Bambeck opposed). The policy would allow non-resident transfers to the school district if the student meets certain criteria in regards to grades, attendance and discipline.
In other school board action, the board:
• HELD public hearing following a presentation and discussion of the 2011-2012 Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating.
• APPROVED committing $4,300,00 for improvements and instructional initiatives for the 2013-14 school year.
“We now have a total fund balance in general funds of about $7.8 million. The state recommends two months operating expense as undesignated reserve — which for us is about $3 million,” WISD Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman said in a news release. “This leaves $4.8 million that we have designated for future emergencies or projects.”
Among the projects include: tennis courts/softball concessions; construction projects approved 2012-13; computer replacements; buses and school vehicles; and maintenance and transportation building.
• HEARD the financial audit results from auditor J.W. Lambright. WISD received an “excellent” financial audit with no audit exceptions or warnings.
• HEARD information on the nomination and awarding of the 2013 Proud Panther honoree.
• HEARD the Highly Qualified Teacher Report
• APPROVED the consent agenda which included minutes of the Sept. 9 school board meeting, September tax report, annual tax report, quarterly investment report, fund-raisers, FIRST Rating and the Textbook Adoption Committee.
• REVIEWED the employee absence and leave policies