Katy ISD trustees appointed Nathan Fuchs as executive director of the Maintenance and Operations Department and Richard Merriman as principal for Raines Academy Monday night. Trustees reviewed the …
Katy ISD trustees appointed Nathan Fuchs as executive director of the Maintenance and Operations Department and Richard Merriman as principal for Raines Academy Monday night. Trustees reviewed the results of a survey to gauge interest in a permanent virtual high school and approved a one-time bonus for staff.
Part-time employees will receive a $500 check while part-timers will receive $250. The bonus comes as trustees recognized the challenges that faculty and staff throughout the district have faced during the 2020-21 school year.
“From our operations staff to food services employees, to our teachers, principals and support staff, the board and I want to personally thank employees for everything they have done this year to help our students continue learning and stay motivated, amidst the circumstances and challenges presented,” said Katy ISD Board President Ashley Vann.
To be eligible for the one-time lump sum payment, employment with Katy ISD must have begun by January 4, 2021. In addition, substitutes who have worked at least 70 days during this pandemic year will receive a one-time lump-sum payment of $250.00.
“A global pandemic, coupled with the recent winter freeze, has made this an extremely challenging school year for Katy ISD families and our staff members. I am in awe of everyone who has gone above and beyond during these trying times,” Vann said.
Fuchs will be replacing long-time maintenance director Mark Tiedt who is retiring, said KISD Manager of Media Relations Maria DiPetta.
Fuchs has been with the district since 2003 and was promoted to construction project manager the following year. In 2016, he was promoted to director of maintenance and special projects. Fuchs is a U.S. Army veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial supervision from the University of Houston.
Richard Merriman will be taking over Raines Academy. Merriman will take charge of the academy for the 2021-22 school year but has been with KISD since 2007. He has previously worked in teaching, coaching and administration at Mayde Creek and Cardiff junior high schools and Katy High School. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from Saginaw State University in history and public administration and a master’s degree in educational administration from Lamar University.
Raines Academy is the former Raines High School and former Simon Youth Academy – now the Katy Flex Program – which are housed at the old Raines High School site which has a new building being added to accommodate growth in those programs.
Trustees also heard the results of a survey sent to parents intended to gauge the public’s interest in a potential permanent virtual high school.
The survey was sent to nearly 37,500 parents, of which 1,238 parents said they would be interested in their children attending a stand-alone virtual high school for the 2021-22 school year. The total number of current KISD students who would be eligible to attend the virtual high school is slightly more than 26,000.
Respondents to the survey indicated they were concerned about health risks due to COVID-19 or felt their child learned better online or believed virtual learning was less stressful for their children.
The Board is continuing to review and consider this item, alongside any future guidance the state may issue on virtual schools, DiPetta said via a press release.
“If the board decides to move forward with exploring this option, which seems to be a consensus tonight, as a district we will also need to wait for guidance from the Texas Education Agency on how they also would approve the district to move forward,” said KISD Superintendent Ken Gregorski.
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