MISD gives ‘Bulldog Mentality’ a new meaning
Marlin Independent School District has been known for a number of things over the years, but none of them as significant as having the Bulldog Mentality or a significant sense of school spirit. Marlinites have always been great at showing off that spirit on the field, but most recently that fighting spirit has begun to make its way into the classroom as well.
A change in administration brought a lot of new faces to the district for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Together, these great minds have remastered the way that Marlin ISD runs and in turn created a support system for both staff and students that wasn't there before.
Along with Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson, new faces include Executive of Student Services (formerly Director of Student Services) Stacy Parker and Chief Academic Officer (previously officer of school improvement) Lawrence Galloway.
A number of positions have been added to the new organizational chart, though most of them were added because they weren’t included on the previous one.
After recent announcements that MISD may lose a portion of their Title I funding, a federal funding program based on daily attendance and area financial needs, there were questions of where the funding for these positions would come from without that funding.
Many of the questioned positions, such as tutors, consultants, and support staff are paid by federal and state funding, as well as the district has the additional funding from the CARES Act that must legally be used.
“I want to say we’re on target for paying less money for staffing needs out of the general fund this year,” Henson divulged.
Additional janitorial staff was added to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the district. With the ‘COVID rebound’ underway and expected to continue, Henson says that he has no qualms about spending the money on making sure that both his staff and their students have the support they need.
“I’m never going to not support my teachers,” the official said. “As long as it’s in the budget, we’re going to make sure students AND staff have all the tools they need to succeed.”
MISD still has nearly $5M in reserves after a number of renovations, technology upgrades, and student programs, leaving citizens stumped. There are questions of where the money came from to be able to do those things when previous administrations had trouble getting projects moving.
“The money was already there,” Henson “ We just sat down and figured out the best ways to use it.”
Cost-saving measures were carefully thought out throughout the process, such as switching from using projectors to using tv screens. Not only do tv screens and stands cost less, but they acclimate students to the technological world, give the opportunity for easy socratic sessions, and step students closer to what they can expect at the university level. Other examples include having multifunctional positions that operate off a stipend instead of a salary.
Despite what looks to be setbacks, Marlin ISD continues to look forward. The administration is adamant that every decision they make is in the best interest of their students.