The Sherman Independent School District’s board of trustees discussed the official voting results of the May 6 bond election and changes in board membership at the group’s monthly meeting Monday night.
Sherman ISD Superintendent David Hicks read the final tally of the election, in which voters were asked to foot $308 million bill for the overhaul of the district’s facilities. In a close vote, 2051 Sherman residents voted in favor of the bond and 2195 voted against it.
“It was a tremendous turnout,” Hicks said. “I’m tremendously proud of the people that engaged. We had about 4,000 out 22,00 registered voters in our district — that’s about 20 percent. That’s more than a lot of other elections.”
Assistant Superintendent Tyson Bennett presented the board with an update on the district’s long-range planning efforts in the wake of the bond’s failure to pass and said the Building Bearcats 2030 citizens advisory committee, as well as other new members of the public, would be tapped to craft the next iteration of the bond.
Board member and Grayson County Assistant District Attorney Britton Brooks threw in his two cents and encouraged Bennett, a liaison to the committee, to include those who opposed the bond on its first go round.
“I think one thing that I would like to see is some of the more vocal, ‘no’ voters,” Brooks said. “A lot of them came forward after we got this ball rolling. Several of them have come to me and said they want to be a part of the process. So, by all means, take them in with open arms. Let’s hear what they’ve got to say and see if we can’t improve what we’re building on from the first time.”
Board President Tim Millerick implored Bennett that the group should dismiss any proposition to try and resurrect the current high school in contrast to building a new high school, as he felt it simply was not a viable facility to educate students in.
“I just would go on public record that there is absolutely no way that I as a school board member would support anything that would suggest tinkering with the current high school, to fulfill our high school needs. There are six other votes on this board but I just think that is a ridiculous consideration, and I urge you to make every possible effort to understand the need is to get us into a high school that fits our future.”
The board also said goodbye Monday night to outgoing trustee Lynn Mitchusson, but not before thanking him for his service and presenting him with a rocking chair in which to enjoy his leisure time.
“About all I can say is that I’ve truly enjoyed my experience on the board,” Mitchusson said. “It’s been something totally different for me than anything else I’ve done in my life.
Mitchusson was elected as a trustee in 2011 and served as the group’s secretary, but his experience with Sherman ISD began long before his time on the board. He attended school in the district, and, as a Bearcat, he spent winters working as a custodian at SISD elementary schools and worked with district grounds and maintenance crews during the summers. He even dated the then-superintendent’s daughter as a high school junior. After graduating from Sherman High in 1969, Mitchusson landed a job at Piner Middle School, where he worked as the in-school suspension supervisor and served playground duty for 16 years.
Mitchusson decided to end his time with the board because he plans to build and move into home in Southmayd, but also because he believes in term limits and feels the district was well positioned
“I just think it’s an exciting time now,” Mitchusson said. “Sometimes things need to be stirred up, and I think things are headed in the right direction. I’m real excited about where this board can take this district.”
The outgoing board secretary also expressed confidence in the capabilities of Chanel Stiggers, his Place 6 replacement.
“I think she’ll do just fine. I don’t know her personally all that well, but from what level I’ve talked to her, she seems real involved, she’s young and she’s lived in this area for a long time.”
Stiggers ran unopposed in the May 6 election. She is the current manager of MG’s restaurant in Sherman — a position she has held for 25 years — and has one child currently enrolled in the district.
“It feels really good,” Stiggers said of her induction to the board. “I’m a little nervous, but overall, it feels good to be here.”
The newest trustee said her predecessor wished her well as she assumed the role.
“I’m just to looking forward to serving my community and building some Bearcats,” Stiggers said.
With the coming and going of members, the trustees reorganized its leadership and appointed Tim Millerick and Rob Wilson to the familiar roles of president and vice president, respectively. Juston Dobbs was named the board’s secretary.