Wallis ‘Principal of the Year’
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Students and staff at Mabank High School were well aware their
principal was “the best.”
Now, all the school districts in Region 10 know, too.
MHS Principal Tommy Wallis has received the outstanding honor of being
named Region 10 High School Principal of the Year at the Texas
Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) conference recently
A reception in his honor is set for 3-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, in the MHS
Region 10 consists of more than 80 districts in nine counties, and is
the second largest educational district in Texas.
“I think it speaks very well of our school district,” Mabank Independent
School District trustee vice president Kenneth Odom said.
“Three years ago, we hired Dr. Russell Marshall as superintendent. He
put together a very successful team,” Odom explained.
“It is a great honor. It says a whole lot about our district. This award
has never been given to a Mabank ISD principal before,” he said.
There were more than 450 high school principals eligible for the award,
from districts including Dallas, Highland Park, McKinney, Plano,
Richardson and Rockwall.
“I am extremely proud this prestigious award has been bestowed on Mr.
Wallis,” Marshall said.
“It is great to know that people all over the Metroplex are recognizing
the great things going on at Mabank High School,” Marshall added.
Wallis was named Region 10 Assistant Principal of the Year in 2001.
Wallis became MHS principal in the fall of 2003.
He is currently working toward his doctorate in educational
administration, and will graduate from Stephen F. Austin University in
Under his direction, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)
scores are up in all content areas.
MHS is a “High Schools that Work (HSTW)” campus, a national recognition
under the No Child Left Behind Act.
Wallis serves as the TASSP Region 10 assistant coordinator in charge of
In July, Wallis will do a presentation on MHS’ advisory program for the
HSTW conference in Orlando, Fla.
The advisory program demonstrates the passion Wallis has for student and
Wallis is one of 20 high school principals in contention for the State
of Texas High School Principal of the Year.
MISD trustee Scott Tuley also expressed pride in Wallis and the stardom
he has brought to the district.
“I believe the prestigious award that Mr. Wallis received speaks highly
of his success over the past three years at MISD,” Tuley said.
“It shows that he is committed to each individual student and teacher,”
“He has brought honor and respect back to the high school for both
faculty and students, giving our community something of which to be
Summing up the pride expressed by the school board and staff, board
president Gary Sapp said.
“Mabank High School is fortunate to have someone of his caliber working
with our students.”
“This is a great honor for our district and on behalf of the board of
trustees, we commend Mr. Wallis on this prestigious award,” Sapp added.
City accepts $200K EDC bid
GBC Council approves indoor soccer arena project
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council accepted a $200,000 bid on a
five-acre tract of land eyed as the spot for a proposed indoor soccer
arena and sports complex.
Council members heard the city’s Economic Development Corporation
submitted the only bid for the tract, located on the city’s Municipal
Services Complex (the “40 acres”), next to the existing small pond and
across the street from the East Texas Medical Center-Cedar Creek Lake
S.O. Sportsplex has pledged to spend more than $820,000 to build the
complex, which would include a 7,000-square-foot fitness gym, a
party/convention rental room, a 150x50-foot indoor soccer field (with an
upstairs viewing area) inside a metal building covering at least 20,000
The $200,000 bid matches the appraised value of the property, as
established by state-certified appraiser Arthur D. Dobbs and reported in
a letter to the city dated May 24.
In addition to formally accepting the bid on the property, the council
held two readings – item 2 and item 7 of Tuesday evening’s regular
session agenda – and unanimously approved a resolution supporting the
EDC and S.O. Sportsplex agreement.
“I want to commend the EDC for another excellent project,” councilman
Marty Goss said. “This was brought to the table and they got it done.”
Councilwoman Kathy Cochran also personally thanked the S.O. Sportsplex
developers, Mark Spahlinger and Stephen Orsakon (who were present) “for
coming to Gun Barrel City.”
In other business, the council:
• approved version two of an ordinance amendment prohibiting look-alike
exteriors on residential homes built in a particular subdivision.
Under terms of the ordinance amendment, single-family dwellings in all
residential districts “shall be ordered so as to avoid duplicate
exterior design and appearance on adjoining lots.”
Council members sought such an amendment following the construction of a
group of look-alike homes in the Harbor Point subdivision, saying they
wanted to avoid any “tract housing” look in the city.
Version two of the amendment bars identical looks for any two homes “on
the same side of the street and within three lots,” which would be
easier to enforce than the 500-foot limit called for in version one,
council members heard.
• approved a re-plat of two lots in the Mantle Manors subdivision, which
was supported by the Planning & Zoning Commission, following a brief
Earth turned on KC Kemp
Citizens Convenience Station
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–It has taken almost two years, but Thursday, the Kaufman County
Citizens Convenience Station in Kemp is officially under construction.
A groundbreaking ceremony, attended by approximately 30 citizens and
local dignitaries, marked the official start.
But, large bulldozers, already turned dirt, and county employees in the
background attested to the fact the heavy work was already underway.
“Before we could get our grant, we had to have a piece of property,”
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller said.
After six months’ effort, he found the perfect site, located off
Plainview Road and U.S. Highway 175, Deller added.
“It has been a long, long journey and my work is just beginning,” he
County Judge Wayne Gent thanked Deller for his diligence in securing the
property, as did Environmental Co-op director Marilyn May, who pursued
the North Central Texas Council of Governments (COG) grant that will pay
for the project.
“This is a great step toward the future,” May said.
Gent introduced other speakers and guests including president of the
Environmental Co-op Dr. John Regerreis, COG members Cathleen Graham and
Sam Brush, president of Mabank Branch Chamber of Commerce Don
Richardson, Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace-elect Johnny Adams, County
Auditor Hal D. Jones, County Treasurer Johnny Countryman, Precinct 1
Commissioner Jerry Rowden, Precinct 3 Commissioner Kenneth Schoen, Kemp
City Administrator James Stroman, President of Kaufman County Master
Gardeners Ann Trail and many others.
The convenience station will allow residents of the eastern end of
Kaufman County a closer place to bring their household trash at a
The station will also accept tires, batteries, furniture and appliances
that do not contain Freon.
Recyclables such as plastic, glass, newspapers and office papers will be
accepted at no charge to the resident.
Deller said the station should be complete in approximately 90 days,
making way for an opening date sometime in late September.