Burton High School’s Principal has announced her retirement.

Principal Karen Steenken made the announcement at Monday night’s board meeting, saying she gave her letter of retirement to the school on October 2nd.

Her retirement date was initially set for January 1st, but at the meeting she submitted an addendum moving the effective date to January 31st.

Steenken will retire with 30 years of school experience, including 15 years at Burton ISD.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the Burton School Board met for several hours behind closed doors, to discuss a lengthy list of executive session items.

During the open forum preceding general session, one person came forward to express his concerns on how the school has handled some of the grievances and complaints brought before the board.

He stated he was “disappointed” in the behavior of the school board, and in some staff members personally.  School District Attorney Makenzie Walters assured him the board was doing what it could to handle the complaints responsibly.

After executive session, the board granted remedies requested by Jason and Lauren Hodde, for the grievance process.  The district will respect the privacy of students, and apologizes for any results of actions that failed to keep that confidentiality.  The vote passed 6-1, with Tracey Cox recusing herself from the vote.

Motion was also made and granted for outcomes and remedies requested in the grievance from John Parffrey and Susan Simpson.

In other items, Superintendent Dr. Edna Kennedy said bus safety would be addressed at future board meetings.  This will include consideration of cameras and a communication system for driver, along with other guidelines and procedures.

Dr. Kennedy said all buses of a 2018 model or newer will have three-point harness seatbelts.  She included that each bus will be equipped with reflectors, flares, first aid and bodily fluid clean-up kits.

The board also discussed special education and its Special Services Cooperative, which provides funds for requested services and programs.  Dr. Kennedy said all special education students’ needs are being addressed through called meetings, with the appropriate staff taking part.

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Kennedy stated that the high school had not received any applicants for its open counselor position.  She did say coach James Little would be willing to move into a “Director of Student Services” position.

Kennedy said Little approached her about the position, which would consist of some counseling duties.  If the board decided to move forward with this, Kennedy said he would keep his coaching job, but would likely give up his teaching duties.

Before the meeting began, the board held a public hearing on the school district’s “FIRST” financial accountability rating.  The board received explanations on how FIRST scores are calculated, and how Burton received its rating of an 86, or a “B”.

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