Weatherford Democrat

October 25, 2012

Millsap ISD may get student fishing club

Libby Cluett

MILLSAP — Millsap ISD students might soon be fishing — for fish — if an after-school club gets the green light.

Accompanied by Millsap High School student Landon Blanks, Principal Kayce Haenisch presented to the MISD school board Monday on the topic. She relayed how Blanks came to her to start a competitive fishing club. After doing some homework and discussing the possibilities with the head of an established team at Kaufman High School, Haenisch explained how this might become a reality.

She contacted the Student Angler Federation, part of the Bass Federation, and found there needed to be a minimum of six students in the club to become a member of this organization.

After discussing insurance, fees, tournaments in Texas, boat and equipment requirements and an educational component, trustees sounded positive about the idea.

MISD Superintendent David Belding said the club could be part of the Millsap Afterschool Program at the high school and, as a result, could involve and rely upon parents as sponsors instead of teachers, similar to 4H and other such organizations.

Millsap parent Brad Dunn attended Monday’s meeting offering his support for the club, including being involved and using his boat. He said he thought there were enough adults with boats to accommodate six students — two students and one adult per boat.

“Let’s take the kids fishing,” he told the board.

Dunn said this type of club is more common in East Texas school districts, but said the popularity is growing westward.

Haenisch said Eastland has joined the SAF and said, “There may be a future tournament at PK Lake.”

Board member Alan Richardson, also an avid fisherman, said he and Dunn would help interested students look into the details of getting a fishing club started.

Also at Monday’s meeting, trustees recognized several individuals and a business.

The board awarded First Financial Bank of Weatherford with a commendation for contributing more than $13,000 toward a new high school gymnasium scoreboard. Older light bulbs in the 12-year-old scoreboard were becoming more costly and time consuming to replace and the supply of these bulbs was dwindling.

The new scoreboard has updated technology Belding said, using LED lights, which are brighter.

Belding said First Financial Bank of Weatherford made the new scoreboard possible and now, when people look at the score, they “can actually read the numbers” and “make out the 8s, 9s and 6s.”

The scoreboard was working for last Friday’s volleyball game, he added.

Trustees also recognized Summer Edwards with a certificate of excellence “for exemplary planning and service as director of Millsap ISD 2012 homecoming week activities.”

The final recognition at Monday’s board meeting went to principals. Belding explained that Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed October as “Principal’s Month” in Texas.

“As school leaders, principals are entrusted with our most valuable resource – our young people. These students are our promise for the future and it is absolutely critical that they receive a rigorous and well-rounded education,” Perry stated in his proclamation.

He cited principals as “educational leaders, disciplinarians, community builders, spokesmen, budget analysts and guardians of policy mandates and initiatives” and they “set the academic tone for their schools.”

Trustees honored Millsap Elementary Principal Wayne Hubik and Assistant Principal Cathy Bradshaw,  Millsap Middle School Principal Jeff Clark, Haenisch and Thomas Fulenwider, who serves as assistant principal for both the high school and middle school.

In other business, the MISD school board:

• Heard the superintendent’s report, in which Belding said enrollment is currently 795 – an increase of 15 students.

There are 374 students at the elementary, 184 at the middle school, which has grades six through eight, and 237 at the high school.

He explained that attendance for the first six weeks was at 97.27 percent. This gives Millsap an average daily attendance of 748 students.

The Millsap Afterschool Program has about 300 students enrolled, with 210 that “are regularly attending on a daily basis,” Belding said.

“We’re expanding programs at the high school and added driver’s education,” he added of the classroom portion of the course. In addition, new MAP offerings include cooking at the middle school, taught by the new science teacher, and 4H at the elementary.

Belding informed trustees of the activities of the high school song committee, which is working on a new tune.  

• Held a public hearing and approved the district’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST, report for 2011. The district received “superior,” the highest rating, after two years of being rated “Above Standard Achievement.” Aside from the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, MISD has scored “superior” since the program began in 2001 with the 77th Legislature.

“It’s good to be up there where we belong,” noted MISD Business Manager Lori Hobbs.

• Approved Texas Association of School Boards Update 95 local policies.

• Approved MISD district-wide goals and objectives for 2012-13. Goals included: focusing on students success; recruiting, developing and retaining high quality and motivated staff; providing a safe and nurturing learning experience for all students; ensuring financial integrity to support educational academic and co-curricular programs; and partnering with parents and the community to ensure student success.

Reach Libby Cluett at