Trustees for the Tuloso-Midway Independent School District have awarded a contract extension to the superintendent.
All seven school board members gave Cornelio Gonzalez, who has been the district's leader since 2005, a "very favorable" evaluation at Monday's special meeting, which was held after an event celebrating School Board Recognition Month at Tuloso-Midway Middle School.
Gonzalez addressed the school board at the beginning of the meeting during a presentation that detailed projects and programs that have taken place during his tenure.
"This community expects Tuloso-Midway to be an exemplary school district," Gonzalez said. "I feel like the district is on the right track, but we still have a long way to go."
Implementation of a couple of key programs will be important to achieving the goal of earning an "Exemplary" rating from the Texas Education Agency. Last year, TMISD earned no higher than an "Acceptable" rating at all of its campuses.
Incentives were credited for improving teacher attendance by as much as 20 percent, which led to a reduction in costs for substitutes, Gonzalez said. In addition, a partnership with Access Ford Chevrolet for the attendance and automotive programs has shown great success and growth over the past two years.
The car giveaway started by Access last year has since been expanded to include the Calallen and Robstown school districts.
Gonzalez also touched on a concern he has had about the district's enrollment, mainly the lack of growth over the past three years.
He said the number of transfer students at TMISD had increased from about 400 in 2004 to about 600 this year. This is a good sign for growth, Gonzalez said, but total enrollment is actually on the decline.
School officials said Monday that enrollment this year was 3,305, including transfer students. In 2004, that number was 3,355.
Gonzalez said the school district would need to evolve and said a good starting point is the renovations currently taking place at the high school and middle school. He even said it was vital to turn the high school football team around, a team which finished without a win this season.
"Having a program that is not successful is not acceptable," Gonzalez said. "That is not what our kids and their parents deserve."
With the one-year extension given by the school board Monday, Gonzalez's contract, in which he is paid $122,595 annually, will run until June 2012. Calls to board president Paul Mostella and trustee Felix Landin Jr. were not returned as of press time.