Lee Joffre named Italy ISD Superintendent

Image: Superintendent Lee Joffre with wife Cassie and sons Rowan and Levi.

Superintendent Lee Joffre with wife Cassie and sons Rowan and Levi. (Karen Mathiowetz)

During the regular meeting of the Italy ISD Board of Trustees Tuesday night, the Trustees voted unanimously to hire Lee Joffre as the district’s new Superintendent. Mr. Joffre has been the Italy High School principal for 5 years. During that time the high school developed a Dual Credit program that allows over 20% of the high school students to get college credit while in high school. The high school has earned Distinctions from Texas Education Agency in Mathematics, Social Studies and Closing Performance Gaps. In addition the attendance and graduation rates at the high school have improved under Mr. Joffre’s leadership.

“Cassie and I have always wanted to raise our children in a community where we are considered extended family.” Joffre said. “We are blessed to have found that quality in Italy, Texas. Over the last five years the people of Italy have truly become a part of our family. Our children have benefited in many ways by our decision to make Italy home and choosing Italy ISD to educate them. I am blessed to have my personal and professional goals intersect.”

“Becoming the superintendent at the school district of our hometown is a dream come true. Our school is important to the community. Most of our students are 2nd or 3rd generation Gladiators. I know that the community expects the very best from the school district. I am excited to work with the people of the community to build on our success. I look forward to continuing my career and raising each of our children as a Gladiator."

Also by unanimous vote, the board hired Eric Janszen as Italy High School Principal and Christopher Rizzuto as the Assistant Principal. Janszen was the current Assistant Principal.

Architect Dale Rabe and General Contractor John Bennett updated the board regarding Phase I of the 2015 Bond Project. The board approved the guaranteed maximum price of $9,014,954 which is approximately one million dollars under the projected cost.

“We approved several items and rejected others that we felt were not necessary,” explained President, Larry Eubank. “We wanted to save as much money as we could on the project.”

The board passed a resolution to commit $1,000,000 of the district’s fund balance for the construction.

Pam Thomas, Stafford Elementary Principal, reported that the Meet the Teacher night is set for August 18, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Plans for the new campus layout will be distributed at that time. The computer lab, library and the three 5th grade classrooms will be relocated to portable buildings.

The four portable buildings purchased from Mansfield ISD will be delivered shortly. A collaborative effort between the administration of both districts saved Italy between $30,000 and $40,000. The district plans to make the transition as smooth as possible.

After the meeting adjourned, to congratulate the new administrators cake was served which gave them the opportunity to meet and visit with everyone.

After the meeting, Cassie Joffre expressed how important the Italy community is to her.

“As both a school employee and community resident in Italy, Texas, I have come to feel very much a part of the energy in our town,” said Cassie Joffre. “Our church envolvement as well as our employment at Italy ISD have given us many friends here; additionally, our two sons enjoy attending Stafford and playing sports with their friends. Italy is a wonderful community in which to live and work. We look forward to more years in Italy.”