People, Places & Events


EISD okays intramural soccer, eyes varsity soccer
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Eustace School Board members agreed to consider establishing a soccer program at the high school, and agreed to add soccer and basketball as intermural sports at the Intermediate campus.
Trustees unanimously agreed to establish a soccer and basketball intermural sports program for fifth- and sixth-grade students at the board’s regular session July 18.
Board members heard the estimated costs to establish the programs would be $11,830 for soccer and $8,450 for basketball the first year. Coaches would have to be school district employees, trustees heard.
In the second and subsequent years, costs would decrease to $8,150 for soccer, while the costs for basketball would remain at $8,450 per year.
As proposed, the two sports programs would begin an hour after the school day ends.
Earlier, a number of parents asked the trustees to consider establishing a varsity soccer program at the high school.
Lisa Rhodes pointed out many Eustace Independent School District students already participate in Tri-County Soccer Association competition.
Soccer provides an excellent chance for girls to compete for college scholarships, Rhodes said, adding her daughter, Amber, received a scholarship to Navarro Junior College to play soccer, and was able to compete for a national championship.
Bruce Arambula reminded the trustees he had three sons in school, and said he would like to see a varsity soccer program established.
Kim Purselley, Dan Lowry and Donna Ward also said they would like to see a high school soccer program.
Superintendent Coy Holcombe complemented the Tri-County Soccer Association program, adding trustees have discussed creating a varsity soccer program in the past.
It may be too late to add a soccer program for the 2006-07 school year, due to UIL rules, Holcombe said, but added he would contact the UIL to see what could be done before bringing the item back to the trustees at a later meeting.
In other business, the trustees:
• reviewed a preliminary budget for the 2006-07 school year, totaling just under $10.5 million, and approved a proposed tax rate of $1.5291 per $100 valuation.
The proposed tax rate – $1.3257 for Maintenance & Operations and 20.34 cents for Interest & Sinking (debt payments) – would be a decrease of 14 cents from the current rate of $1.67 per $100, Holcombe pointed out.
• reviewed specifications of a list of computers and other equipment needed to implement the math Infinity Project for the coming year at the high school.
Trustees heard the program would be based on a wireless laptop computer network, as there is not a room for a separate computer lab and 10 workstations.
Trustees unanimously agreed to fund the $15,061 cost for the system.
• accepted bids for three lots held in trust, and rejected bids on two other lots.
• accepted a $100 bid (the only one submitted) from Elmer Martin for a step van formerly used by the maintenance department. The van will not pass inspection, and would not be worth the cost of repairs, trustees heard.
• accepted the Student Handbook and Student Code of Conduct for the coming school year.
In a related action, the board reviewed a high school band members’ handbook, and complemented band director Todd Felty’s efforts on preparing the first such handbook.
• renewed an agreement with Mabank ISD for a non-disciplinary alternative education program – known as the Alpha Program – for the coming school year.
The program was formerly administered by Trinity Valley Community College, and the district usually reserves 10 seats, trustees heard.
• accepted a proposal from Assurant Employee Benefits for the district to provide a $20,000 life insurance policy for all employees at a cost of $6,969.60.
• agreed to remain with Texas Monarch Management for student accident insurance at a cost of $27,027.
• accepted resignations from intermediate school ESL (English as a second language) teacher Lisa Ashton, high school business teacher Amy Hill and assistant high school band director Ryan Johnstone.
• hired high school teacher/coach Jeremy Bullard, middle school PE teacher/coach Clinton Farrell, high school special education teacher/coach Greg Henry, high school technology applications teacher Kathleen Krumm, high school special education teacher Cyndi Wanek, and intermediate school special education aide, pending completion of all paperwork and submission of required credentials.
• approved transfers of three students.
• approved salary proposals for the 2006-07 school year as presented.

Kemp HS freshman orientation Aug. 8
Special to The Monitor
KEMP–Kemp High School will be hosting an orientation for all incoming freshmen from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, in the high school cafetorium.
Students and parents are encouraged to participate in this fun and informative event to be prepared for the first day of high school.
The orientation will include academic planning, information about clubs and organizations, refreshments and a tour of the campus.

RootSeekers hear Taylor
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–This month’s RootSeekers guest speaker was Carol Taylor. She is an accomplished genealogist and is Director of Northeast Texas Genealogy Center in Greenville.
Her job includes archival work, oral histories, writing a weekly newspaper column about local and family history and spearheading a film project about local historical sites.
She is currently a graduate student at Texas A&M University at Commerce seeking a master’s in history.
Her special interest is in preservation of historic cemeteries, especially those that have been abandoned. Her topic was 19th century funeral practices.
She began by telling what kind of funeral George Washington had.
Back in those days, you had to have an invitation from the family to go to the funeral. Martha Washington made sure that everyone had an invitation, – she did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Washington had a band, Revolutionary War soldiers that he fought with, his fellow Masons, friends and relatives.
The local church bells rang out nine times for men, six for women. Depending on how rich you were, tokens were handed out to guests, such as cone shape sugar.
Food has always been an important part of funerals.
Flowers have always been important, along with burning candles, mostly to mask the odor of the body.
Abe Lincoln did not have it so good. His body was put on a train and made the rounds from Washington, New York, Chicago and many more towns before it made it to the burial place.
Seems his body was embalmed at each city where he was put on display.
Burial rites and mourning customs evolved as time went on.
Mothers and wives would cut a lock of their loved one’s hair. Women would wear black for at least one year.
Morticians or embalmers were not common in rural or back country areas until the late 1930s and 1940s.
Our earliest ancestors were not buried in coffins, but were placed in the grave wrapped in cloth, hides, shrouding or quilts.
The most common covers for women were quilts, and all too often it was a wedding quilt.
The next meeting of RootSeekers will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, at the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.
All are welcome to attend.

Tamarack night out against crime
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Tamarack Crime Watch will host National Night Out, featuring hot dogs and refreshments. Guest speaker will be Judge Dale Blaylock.
This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity.
National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizens involvement in our fight to build a safer nation.
Tamarack residents are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening with neighbors, police, code and fire departments at the Property Owners Association park.
Join your neighbors in “Giving Crime and Drugs a Going-away Party.”
Boy Scouts will do the flag presentation.
All Tamarack families are welcome.