James Slone, longtime superintendent at Evant Independent School District, is the new principal of Ann Whitney Elementary School.

Hamilton ISD’s board of trustees Monday evening announced Slone’s appointment as well as the hiring of Cathy LeGrande to teach science and the resignation of Kayla Sparks, who has accepted an administrative position at Three-Way ISD.

In discussion of other personnel, Tarpley said the principals had submitted requests for the coming school year according to the projected number of students in each grade based on current numbers.

“If those projections hold true, kindergarten and fourth grade under current staffing levels would carry us over 22:1 staffing ratios,” Tarpley said.

AWE also requested two special needs teachers and an assistant principal.

From other campuses, Tarpley said, HJH requested a dyslexia therapist.

“We have multiple students moving into the district who have not been served and need those services,” Tarpley said. “We don’t have that individual on that campus.

“What we would like to do in lieu of the two special needs requests, is bring Misty Johnson out of the classroom to serve the special needs students and reallocate special ed teachers within the district to meet the needs for the second request.

“I’d also like to deny the assistant principal request at this time and let the new principal determine if one is needed.”

Tarpley said the ag department has requested an aide.

“It is a desire of some to have a teacher added to the program,” he said. “But when the teachers are gone, it doesn’t alleviate that load because the third teacher would have their own students to take care of.

“I’d request to add an aide to be in the program and know what’s going on in both classrooms at all times and act as a substitute and fill in to continue instruction when teachers are at events.”

A freshman volleyball coach also was requested, so Tarpley suggested Coach Ashley Powers serve as freshman volleyball coach and only coach in that season.

“I recommend two classroom teachers at AWE and create a full time therapist position and aide position for the ag program,” Tarpley said, and the board agreed.

The board recognized AWE’s student council, which has for a second time received the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation Student Council Excellence Award for leadership, stewardship and school spirit.

“The students sold red spirit dots to purchase their shirts, led the elementary during the pep rallies, held a penny drive for the dog pound, raised money for the Make a Wish Foundation, sold poppies for the veterans and left encouraging notes on the lockers of their classmates,” said advisor Nicki Lamb.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be their advisor,” she said. “They are remarkable. This is an outstanding group of leaders. In 15 to 20 years these names will be the leaders of Hamilton, the state and the country. If this is our future, it is secure.”

Lamb and StuCo president Joseph Polster presented certificates and congratulated junior StuCo members Ryder Barrett, Bret Bauman, Grant Bauman, Judson Coalson, Aubrey Ensor, Morgan Henkes, Colter Johnson, Kate Lengefeld, Presley Long, Addison Massingill, Destiny Ranaghan, Keegan Roberts, Kaya Tawater, Emma Thompson, Henlee Wagner and Kaitlyn Walton.

And fourth- and fifth-grader StuCo members Polster, Kelton Wright, Laney Lane, Karah Niemann, Fernanda Olalde, Campbell Lengefeld, Carlie Parrott, Josy McGregor, James Jones, Hayden Blackwell, Peyton Raibourn, Ace Lane, Carson Marquess, Cason Ingram, Kassidy Collett, Case Koether, Braylee Wilson, Ashlyn Cozby, Cade McKandless and Kylee Little.

The board also recognized outgoing member Vernon Gromatzky and swore in Jon Lengefeld, TP Medlock and Keith Gatewood.

The previous slate of officers was re-elected with Medlock as president, Lengefeld vice president and Brenda Andrews secretary.

Campus administrators reported busyness as the end of the year approaches, and Superintendent Clay Tarpley reported enrollment at 820 with 431 at AWE, 183 at the junior high and 206 at the high school.

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