The El Campo ISD school board discussed the next steps in finding a new head football coach and assistant elementary school principal, among other topics, at their Dec. 15 meeting.

At the meeting, ECISD Superintendent Bob Callaghan detailed the projected timeline for hiring a new athletics director and Hutchins Elementary assistant principal. Callaghan hopes to give recommendations to the board for both positions at the next school board meeting on Jan. 26.

Whoever is hired as the athletics director will be replacing Coach Wayne Condra, who announced his retirement earlier this month. The assistant principal will replace Kyle Poenitzsch, who was named principal of El Campo Middle School in November.

Applications for the director position will be collected until Jan. 14, with the interview process lasting Jan. 19 through 22. Select applicants will be interviewed by a six-member committee – made up of Callaghan, El Campo High School Principal Demetric Wells, ECISD Board President James Russell, ECISD parent Crystal Matlock, former coach Bob Gillis and lawyer Ronnie Collins.

The assistant principal process will be similar, with applications being collected until the end of December, a committee being created around Jan. 4 and interviews beginning on Jan. 19.

Hutchins Principal Elizabeth Tupa “will have final say, and she will interview applicants,” Callaghan said.

Trustees discussed a change order with Polasek Construction for renovating a Special Education classroom at Northside Elementary. No action was taken on the change order, as it was listed on the agenda as a discussion item.

Trustees “asked me to move forward with looking at projects,” Callaghan said. “We reinstalled the facilities committee. So it will also look at other projects.”

The classroom is old and in need of updates to make it more accessible for SPED students, administrators say. Trustees broached the idea of renovating the classroom during November’s meeting.

Before the December board meeting, Callaghan consulted with Northside administrators, faculty and ECISD SPED coordinators on a preliminary design for the classroom. He took the suggestions back to the project architect and plans to meet with the group again to discuss another design draft before presenting it to trustees at their January meeting, Callaghan said.

El Campo FFA students competed at the state level competition and were recognized at the meeting. The FFA senior skills team – Bridget Dorotik, Hailey Peters and Anna Rod – was awarded the State Champion title, competing against 295 teams.

The Junior skills team – Kinsley Cerny, Emily Glaze and Sarah Spitzmiller – earned the Reserve Champion title out of 189 teams. Kennedy Klatt also was named a Reserve Champion Individual.

“We did have the state champions (this year) and they were state champions last year as the junior state champions,” Callaghan said. “Now this year our sophomores are state champions again. So they’re back-to-back state champions.”

The Senior quiz team – Klatt, Peters, Madison Rose and Hannah Sutton – earned fourth place at state out of 637 teams. The Ag issues team – Sydney Blair, Kolin Cerny, Emorie Dornak, Carter Hlavinka and Brianna Jensen – placed eighth at state out of 142 teams.

Hutchins Elementary music teacher Toya Matthews was also recognized at the meeting for her involvement with this year’s ECISD Veterans’ Day celebration. Matthews created Veterans’ Day DVDs, which are still available, in honor of local veterans.

“It was a huge hit,” Callaghan said.

To receive a copy of Matthew’s DVD, contact her after the ECISD semester begins on Jan. 4 at

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