District adopts budget, tax rate

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees continued with what has already been a busy month on Tuesday night, holding their regular monthly meeting after two special called meetings  Aug. 3 and Aug. 7.

Business this week settled on several key talking points, including adopting a budget and tax rate for the upcoming year after a brief hearing lead by Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Student Services Damon Davis, and receiving the latest state and local accountability from the district from Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Accountability Amanda Wallace.

Davis, who had assumed the duties of superintendent following Suzanne Blasingame’s resignation last month, explained to trustees that a tax rate of 1.144 (1.04 for maintenance and operations, and .104 for the interest and sinking fund) had been proposed.


Trustees appoint Hancock as interim superintendent

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees hit their stated goal last week, finding an interim superintendent to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Superintendent Suzanne Blasingame at the July 16 meeting.

Randy Hancock, formerly a superintendent with the Maypearl, Howe and, most recently, Royse City ISDs, was selected after a series of interviews with potential candidates conducted on Aug. 7.

The Wills Point ISD’s course of action was outlined for the public several days prior at a special called meeting on Aug. 3.


More than 400 helped at “Back to School Fair”

Courtesy photo

Back to School Fair volunteers help to sort and stack donated and purchased school supplies in the Wills Point High School library.

The Wills Point ISD, Wills Point Parent Teacher Organization and Wills Point Chamber of Commerce staged their 4th annual Back to School Fair on Aug. 8 at the high school campus, distributing supplies and providing services to help district families start the upcoming school year on the right foot.

Previous fairs have helped provide school supplies, haircuts, vaccinations, dental supplies and eye screenings to 293 students in 2013 and 339 students in 2014.

Additionally, groups and organizations such as the Van Zandt County Retired Teachers Association set up tables to provide free books for students.

District employees and volunteers also use the event to provide parents with the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork to receive free or reduced meals, get information about the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) program, the Lone Star Card and Medicaid.


Crisis Center golf tournament set for Sept. 18

The East Texas Crisis Center will present the fifth annual ETCC Golf Tournament at Van Zandt Country Club Sept. 18.

Funds raised by the tournament will go toward helping victims of domestic violence and sexual.

Entry fee for a team of four costs $400 and includes green fees, golf carts, a team photo, range balls, goody bags and lunch. 

Registration and check in is from 7 to 8 a.m.  Shotgun start is at 8 a.m. 

Lunch and an awards ceremony will follow the tournament.

There will be great prizes and awards for closest to the pin and longest drive along with door prizes and first, second and third place trophies for each player, tourney organizers said.


WP five-year reunion rapidly approaching; Event to honor 1965 State Championship team

Sept. 26 will mark a special day for graduates of Wills Point schools, with members of the local Alumni Association Board of Directors planning the latest five-year reunion for all graduates that have passed through the halls of the WPISD.

The 2015 event is expected to be bigger and better than previous versions of the event, with the added draw of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 State Champion Wills Point Tiger football team.

The Alumni Board – including President James Harris, Vice President Damon Davis and members Tom Hubbard, Sammie Gunter, Keeta Lybrand, Darlene Kelley, Jackie Ragland, Sundy Rodgers and Nancy Morris – recently announced the event, explaining how graduates can register and listing expected activities for the day of.

To register online for the event, visit the website


Trustees put plan in place for superintendent search

The Wills Point ISD Board of Trustees held a special called meeting on Aug. 3, establishing a course of action for the hiring of both an interim superintendent and a full-time superintendent to oversee the district going forward.

The move comes several weeks after the board’s regular monthly meeting on July 16 included the announcement and acceptance of current Superintendent Suzanne Blasingame’s resignation effective Aug. 31.

Prior to being named WPISD Superintendent in January 2012, Blasingame had served the district at virtually every level, beginning as an elementary school teacher, and including time as principal of Wills Point High School, the district’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant Superintendent at the WPISD Administration Office.


‘Back-to-School Fair’ set for Saturday

The Wills Point ISD, Wills Point PTO and Wills Point Chamber of Commerce have joined forces once again and will host the Fourth Annual “Back-to-School Fair” for district students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches. 

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 8, at the high school.

The fair helped to provide school supplies, haircuts, vaccinations, dental supplies and eye screenings to an estimated 293 students in 2013. That number grew to 339 students during last year’s event.

“We couldn't have done it without the support of our caring and generous community,” organizers of the event said.

On the day of the fair, some of the activities scheduled include vaccinations, vision screening, haircuts and distribution of dental supplies (samples of tooth paste and tooth brushes), hygiene products, books and school supplies.



Members of the Wills Point High School Tiger Band and Tiger Band directors were hard at work this week in the high school parking lot, taking the first steps of planning and staging performances that they will unveil in full later in the school year. Part of the choreography will be showcased during halftime of the first football game of the season against Forney Aug. 28. 


WPISD to host Fourth Annual “Back to School Fair”

The Wills Point Independent School district is excited to announce that we will be hosting the fourth annual “Back to School Fair” for our students who may qualify for free and reduced lunches.

This event will give our students an opportunity to participate in several activities that will be offered that day.  Some of the activities include vaccinations, vision screening, haircuts, dental supplies (samples of tooth paste and tooth brushes), hygiene products, books and school supplies.

Parents will have the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork to receive free or reduced meals.  Information will be available about the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) program, the Lone Star Card and Medicaid.  A representative from WIC (Women, Infant and Children) will be at the event.  Registration for primary students will also be available.


Seal coating taking place on area highways

Texas Department of Transportation crews are resuming the annual summer seal coat operations to help preserve roadways throughout the Tyler District.

Work kicks started this week State Hwy. 11 in Wood County.

Seal coat is the department’s preventive maintenance program that utilizes a two-step process to cover existing roadway surfaces with a layer of hot asphalt followed by rock. The process seals the roadway to keep water out thereby adding years of life and requiring less maintenance while providing a new driving surface for motorists, according to TxDOT officials.

TxDOT said motorists can expect some travel delays and lane closures as the work continues for the next five weeks across seven of the district’s eight counties. Traffic control will be provided by flaggers.

The expected completion date for the $8.5 million contract is the end of August.


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