Red Oak ISD's board welcomed two re-elected members after canvassing May's results.

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

On Monday evening, the Red Oak Independent School District's school board held its monthly meeting, swearing in its newly re-elected board members.

The board began the meeting with a prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Board President John Anderson recognized the May 1 election and read the statement below in the meeting:

Michelle Porter(left) and Melanie Peterson were sworn in to the ROISD School Board on Monday evening at the ROISD board meeting.

“I, John Anderson, presiding officer of the Red Oak Independent School District Board of Trustees, of Red Oak, Texas, met with the Board of Trustees sitting as the canvassing board to canvass the General Election of May 1, 2021, on May 10, 2021 at Red Oak, Texas. The board convened at 7 p.m. I certify that the figures on the summary sheet correspond with the numbers provided by the Ellis County Elections Administrator. Witness my hand this 10th day of May, 2021.”

The Red Oak Board had two elections for positions in the Board of Trustees during the General Election held on May 1.

For Place 6, Michelle Porter ran against Ernie Amaton, Porter won with 1,669 votes, and Amaton received 431 votes. 

"I’m extremely honored and humbled to have been re-elected as the place 6 Red Oak ISD trustee. I’m eager to get to work alongside the other board members and superintendent to ensure our students' success and build strong relationships within the community so that our district exceeds expectations," Porter said.

Porter joined the Red Oak ISD School Board in November 2020, fulfilling an unexpired one-year term. She will serve a three-year term in Place 6 as the elected official. She is the first Black person elected to serve on the Red Oak ISD School Board.

For Place 7, Melanie Peterson ran against Gregory Kimble, Peterson winning with 1,325 votes. Kimble received 755 votes. 

Peterson has served three years on the school board, first elected in 2015 again in 2018 and 2021. She served two years as board secretary and is beginning her third year as board vice president.

“I truly appreciate all who took time out of their busy schedules to come out to vote, and I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to continue to serve Red Oak ISD as a board member. My personal goals as a trustee include helping to keep our district a place where all students are proud to be, upholding traditional values while soaring to new heights and making sure the best interests of our students and staff are at the forefront of every discussion and decision. Go Hawks!” Peterson shared. 

After Porter and Peterson were sworn in, Anderson congratulated the two on their re-election. 

"Ms. Porter, it was a long seven months between elections, I'm sure," Anderson joked. "I would like to thank Mr. Amaton and Mr. Kimble for their participation in the election. If you've never gone through it, it's time consuming. It's a little bit stressful ... I think it was a good, fair election. I think they ran good races. We have another election coming up in a year. You're welcome to come back and try again."

Dr. Bill Johnson also gave a report of expenditures related to COVID-19 for the district. 

"So far through last week, last March, we have spent $1.5 million on COVID, but not all of that is directly related to equipment, masks, things like that. One of the things we tried to do is go virtual, so we needed more devices to go 1 to 1. We spent $909,000 on devices, either replacements or new devices. About $380,000 on salaries. We only spent $12,000 on salaries that is not reimbursable, for folks that were cleaning during last spring. The $367,000 was reimbursed through the ESER grant. We decided since the state was taking money away from us the last school year, that we would use it to fund teachers during that time."

The district also roughly spent around $31,000 on curriculum supplies and licenses to aid with virtual learning, he said. About $242,000 was utilized on cleaning supplies and the PPE materials needed.

Johnson stated that although the district spent almost $1.5 million, they have been reimbursed 69.9 percent through federal programs.

Superintendent Brenda Sanford highlighted and recognized individuals and events that have made a difference in the district. 

Johnson came back up to the stand to present the consideration of engagement audit letter. "Every year the district is required to do a financial audit," Johnson said.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the financial auditors for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The board also unanimously approved the proposed employee compensation plan for the 2021-22 fiscal year, authorizing district administration to continue to review all employee groups to insure the compensation is properly distributed  within all groups.

According to a news release, "The approval will increase the teacher salary schedule by $1,500 per step, and the new starting salary for Red Oak ISD teachers will be $52,500. All other employees will receive a 3% increase based on the midpoint of their pay grade range.Current teachers will move to the next step and receive both the $1,500 increase and the step increase. Teachers above the Salary Schedule (over 30 years experience) will receive a $600 longevity increase."

In addition, the board approved the utility easement of the city of Red Oak, passing 6-0.