The Texas Education Commissioner Friday appointed two new members to the Beaumont Independent School District Board of Managers.
12News reached out to the At-large elected trustees, Mandie Peel and Denise Wallace-Spooner, who one their seats back in May.
Peel sent us this statement saying: "While I was hopeful the roll on process would have begun in August, I am confident Mrs. Bransford and Mr Templeton will serve our community with great integrity. I look forward to working with them when the roll on process begins hopefully in the near future."
Wallace-Spooner also sharing: “I don’t feel out of the loop. There is constant communication from the superintendent and I am ready to be seated. I do know Angela Bransford personally and in spite of what’s taken place, she will be great.”
A sworn-in date for the two has not yet been set.
The TEA issued the following news release announcing the appointments:
AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath today announced the appointment of Angela Corbin Bransford and Mitch Templeton to the seven-member Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) board of managers.
“Over the past three years, the members of the Beaumont ISD board of managers have maintained a strong commitment to improving outcomes for all students throughout the district,” said Commissioner Morath. “I am confident that Angela Corbin Bransford and Mitch Templeton share that commitment and will work to strengthen the public schools in their community.”
Bransford has lived in Beaumont for 20 years with her husband and three children and has served with various organizations to promote educational and leadership opportunities for local youth. A graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson and Georgetown University Law Center, she is the former Equal Employment Opportunity Officer at The American University in Washington, D.C. and Columbus State University in Georgia.
Templeton is a local attorney who has lived and practiced law in Beaumont and the surrounding area for more than two decades. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and earned his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He is a member of the Jefferson County Bar Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and Eastern District of Texas Bar Association. Bransford and his wife raised two sons who were educated in Beaumont public schools and graduated from West Brook High School.
Bransford and Templeton will be sworn into office at the next board of managers meeting on Thursday, Aug. 17. The two will join current members Joe Domino (board president), A.B. Bernard, Vernice Monroe and Robert Turner.
On July 25, 2017, Turner submitted a letter notifying the Commissioner of his plans to step down from the board of managers effective Aug. 31, 2017. Commissioner Morath plans to announce two additional appointments to the board of managers by the end of the year. The two appointments will maintain the Beaumont ISD board of managers as a seven-member board.
The Texas Education Code requires the Commissioner to provide members of an elected board of trustees (whose authority has been suspended by an appointed board of managers) with training in effective leadership strategies before a transition from an appointed board to an elected board can begin. In the coming months, TEA staff will schedule a Lone Star Governance training session (http://tea.texas.gov/LSG/) for members of the elected Beaumont ISD board of trustees. Lone Star Governance training will provide members of the elected board of trustees with a solid foundation for success in the district. The training will also focus on continuing and strengthening the successful practices and work witnessed during the tenure of the board of managers. Once the training is successfully completed, the transition to the elected board can begin. The Commissioner must formally initiate this process.
Thanks to the work of the current board of managers, Beaumont ISD earned a B (or Above Standard Achievement) in the most recent preliminary financial accountability ratings released by TEA. The 2016-2017 ratings are based on annual financial reports provided to TEA by districts and charters from the 2016 fiscal year. It marked the first time in years that the district had earned a successful rating under the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), which is designed to encourage public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.
The Beaumont ISD has had an appointed board of managers since 2014 when then-Commissioner of Education Michael Williams named and installed a board of managers. The Commissioner’s decision to appoint a board followed TEA investigations into various BISD special education, finance and governance issues.