A bouquet rests at the seat of former Marble Falls ISD board Trustee Rick Edwards, who died on May 7 after being re-elected to his position the same day. Board President Kevin Naumann begins the meeting. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
The Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees mourned the loss of member Rick Edwards when it held its regular meeting Monday, May 16, the first since Edwards died on May 7. They also approved a 4 percent pay raise for all MFISD employees.
Edwards had served on the MFISD board since 2009 and stood to serve another three years after winning his election unopposed on the same day he died.
“It’s hard to find words that describe the impact I think that this has had on this community and the loss that a number of us have felt personally,” Superintendent Chris Allen said at the meeting.
Allen explained the meaning of the flowers left at Edwards’ vacant seat on the dais: 13 purple roses for his 13 years of service, one red rose for the shared love of education, one black rose for loss, one white rose for the light in which he now resides, and one lily for the peace for which Edwards would have wished, Allen said.
A celebration of life for Edwards was held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Marble Falls High School auditorium.
The newly adopted compensation plan for MFISD employees will result in an overall expenditure of $1.5 million. The district’s total budget is around $37.7 million.
“I am very proud of the work that our leadership team has done to try and come in with this 4 percent general pay increase plus some market adjustments to help our auxiliary workers and, in addition to that, provide an additional $25 a month toward health benefits,” Allen said. “It positions us to attract great teachers to come work for MFISD and retain the great teachers that we already have. We know that when it comes to education, teachers are the program, and if we can get the best personnel to be in our classrooms, then our students are gonna be served at the highest level we can provide them.”
“What we’re hoping to do is attract and retain excellent teachers,” Assistant Superintendent Jeff Gasaway added. “If we’re able to offer competitive salaries, we won’t ever lose people to other districts. We’ll be able to keep the cream of the crop right here in Marble Falls ISD.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Trustees also recognized three high school students for their achievements in a Technology Student Association competition. The TSA is a national association of students engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Mason Cline, Bianca Rios, and Jasper Mezzo were the first students from MFISD to qualify at the state-level competition. Rios competed for national qualification in the dragster design category. Mezzo placed third in the rocket launch category. Cline competed in the Technology Bowl.
Marble Falls High School pole vaulter Django Segovia also was recognized at the meeting for his performance in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A track-and-field state meet.
“To be able to say that you are one of the nine best pole vaulters in the entire state of Texas is an incredible accomplishment,” coach Austin Silva said.
Segovia’s personal pole vault record of 15 feet ties the current MFISD record.