Italy School Board accepts Bassett’s voluntary separation agreement

The Italy School Board of Trustees accepted a voluntary separation agreement from Barry Bassett, superintendent, at their monthly meeting Monday night. Bassett’s last day with the district will be December 20.

Paul Cockerham, board president, read a joint statement, “On behalf of the entire district, the board of trustees expresses its sincere appreciation to Mr. Bassett for his efforts while serving as superintendent of this great school district and its wonderful students, parents and administrators, and for the many achievements and accomplishments of the entire district during Mr. Bassett’s tenure as superintendent.”

Cockerham said, “Mr. Bassett thanks the present and past board of trustees for providing him with the opportunity to serve in the Italy Independent School District. A school district is measured by the commitment of the board, staff and community to its children and their achievement. This district is indeed so committed. Mr. Bassett would like to express his heartfelt appreciation to the staff and community for their support of the district’s programs and services during his term as superintendent.”

Continuing, he said, “Success requires hard work, dedication, leadership and vision. The board and Mr. Bassett wish to acknowledge and recognize the teachers, principals, administrators, staff, students, parents and patrons who have all contributed to the district’s success.”

Mark Stiles, made the motion to accept Bassett’s resignation with a second from Cheryl Owen. The motion passed unanimously.

The trustees also held a public hearing regarding the superintendent’s contractual agreement.

Although no one signed up to speak at the hearing, Cockerham and Owen noted that this is a state requirement by holding the district accountable for not paying the superintendent above the contractual agreement.

The trustees also approved a contract agreement with TASB for the executive search. Owen made the motion with a second from Sal Ramirez. The motion passed unanimously.

The group considered a program audit by the Gibson Consulting Group that Owen learned about at a recent meeting.

Bassett said the district was contacted by a representative of the firm and said the contract would cost about $20,000 plus expenses. The group decided to postpone this contract indefinitely. Ramirez made the motion with a second from Ida Overton. The motion passed unanimously.

The trustees also approved the consent agenda – minutes from the September meeting, enrollment, utility report, transportation report, check payments, investment and cash position, financial statement and tax collections.

Current enrollment, as of October 17, is 513 students – 275 students at Stafford and 238 students at the junior high/high school. Refined average daily attendance is 98.01%.

Prior to adjournment, Owen reminded everyone about the George Scott fundraising dinner Friday evening before the football game. Money earned from this dinner goes toward the annual George Scott Scholarship. Cost is $10 per person.

Cockerham, on behalf of the board, thanked Bassett for his service to the district and wished him the best. The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

Larry Eubank, trustee, was not in attendance at the meeting.