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Board Briefs: Work Session (Jan. 27)

Board Recognition Month

January is School Board Recognition Month in Texas. This year's theme is "Hearts and Hands for Kids." To honor the AISD board of trustees, the Bowie High School Jazz Choir, directed by Cate Obert-Thorn, performed jazz selections; students from the Austin, Bowie and Travis culinary arts programs prepared cookies; and students from the Clifton School brought plants for each trustee. Trustees also received gift baskets donated by Whole Foods.

African American Heritage Month

Vice President Hinojosa announced that February is National African American Heritage Month. For the past 31 years, Austin ISD has held a districtwide African American Heritage Celebration to recognize the academic achievements of African American students and the contributions of staff, community members, and partnering organizations that support the district's mission. The entire Austin community is invited to attend this year's African American Heritage Celebration at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Palmer Events Center.

Public Hearing: Final State Accountability Ratings and Annual Texas Annual Performance Reports 

For the past 22 years, the Texas Education Agency has provided districts and campuses with annual Academic Excellence Indicator System reports. These annual reports pulled together a wide range of information on the performance of students at each campus and district in Texas. The reports also provided extensive information on staffing, finances, programs and demographics for each campus and district. For the first time since 1991, TEA has replaced the AEIS report with a new report, the Texas Academic Performance Reports, which is slightly modified but is very similar to the AEIS report.

Principal, Athletics Director Appointments

Leal Anderson as the district's new athletics director. Anderson is the men's basketball coach at Anderson High School and was the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' outstanding coach of the year for 2012–13. As athletics director, Anderson will oversee AISD's sports programs, the district's participation in Special Olympics and facilities throughout Austin, including Burger Stadium and House Park.

Margarita De La Rosa as principal of McBee Elementary School. Prior to joining AISD, De La Rosa served as an assistant principal and curriculum facilitator at De Zavala Middle School in the La Joya Independent School District. She also has been an elementary assistant principal and an elementary classroom teacher in both the primary and intermediate grades. She earned a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Shannon Sellstrom as principal of Covington Middle School. Sellstrom has 24 years of experience in public education, all of which have been dedicated to AISD. Most recently, she served as principal of Dawson Elementary School since 2001. She led the campus to multiyear Texas Exemplary status, earning three state achievement distinctions in 2013. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Resolution Honoring Dr. Marvin C. Griffin

The board approved a resolution to honor Dr. Marvin C. Griffin, a lifelong learner, community leader and first African American elected to serve as president of the board.

Griffin, who passed away Dec. 25 at the age of 90, was honored for his service to students and families and for working for the successful integration of AISD schools. Griffin was elected to the board of trustees in 1973, and served as vice president from 1977 to 1978 and president from 1978 to 1980. He was a community leader and elder statesman known for his inner calm, class and depth of wisdom.

In the resolution honoring Griffin, trustees described him as a "unifier of people, churches and political parties and an adviser and mentor to numerous national, state and local elected officials."