While the big news from the Anna Independent School District board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 15 was the board’s approval to start the Anna ISD Police Department, the meeting started on an upbeat note with several recognitions.

First up was the recognition of outgoing board members Brent Hendricks and Duane Hayes. Hendricks lost his bid for another term on the board in the May 2016 election and Hayes opted not to run. Superintendent Pete Slaughter in thanking them for their years of service pointed out that each had served an incredible 15 years as board members.

Next Tribune staff writer Ken Gaidziunas was recognized for his reporting of district activities with the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Media Honor Roll award. School board President Shelli Conway in presenting the award said, “He has always made us look good.”

And then it was recognition time for the Teachers of the Month, Employees of the Month and Caught in the Act personnel as Assistant Superintendent Caleb Tindel and board member Larissa Thornburg handed out the awards.

Teachers of the Month were: Randall Kramen from the High School, Laura Hendrix from the middle school, Juan Quiroz from Bryant Elementary, LaRissa Kemp from Rattan Elementary, Amanda Judd from the Early Childhood Center and Jacob Williams from the Special Program.

The district’s long standing Caught in the Act tradition recognizes district personnel who are doing something “above and beyond the call of duty.” Honored were Kelli Turner from the high school, Sia Wangler from the middle school, Shannon Davis from Bryant Elementary, Nelda Stanley from Rattan Elementary and Viola Flanery from the Early Childhood Center.

Named Employee of the Month from support services was Dan Ackerman.

“Every employee in this room has done an excellent job,” said Slaughter. “I can’t express how blessed we are to have them in our classrooms every day. They are great people and we appreciate all of you.”

Board members also heard an update from Claycomb & Associates on current district construction projects. The Middle School addition and renovation continues to be on track and construction crews have started the rough grading of the Anna Elementary School #3 site.

Slaughter in his report to the board said that sometime during the week of Oct. 10 a public groundbreaking will be held for the new elementary school. He also said that names for the new school have been submitted by the community. Board members will receive that list which will need to be reviewed and narrowed down. The district’s current enrollment stands at 3,234 students.