Olney School Board Briefs
Olney School Board Briefs
Olney School Board Briefs

Olney School Board Briefs

OISD reassigns OES, OHS principals The OISD will reshuffle its principals next year with Dr. Matt Caffey returning to head Olney High School and Halli Mankins, assistant principal of Olney Elementary School stepping into his job as head of Olney Elementary School.

Ed Berngen will remain at his post as principal of Olney Junior High School for a third year.

Mrs. Mankins received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree from University of Texas at Arlington. She taught fourth grade in Grapevine, Texas, for seven years before coming to Olney, she said. Prior to serving as assistant principal under Dr. Caffey, she acted as director of student support services.

“I’m just ready to jump in and help where needed to grow the elementary school,” she said. “I’m very invested myself because my son will start attending [OES] next year.”

OES lagged the other OISD campuses in student test scores following the COVID pandemic, and Mrs. Mankins said the school is on the right track to make up the difference.

“I think we are getting there. We have a lot of strong teachers in place now and we are excited to see the STAAR results that are coming next week,” she said. “I think even next year we are going to see even more growth from the changes we have made in some positions.”

Mr. Berngen said OJH will add new courses next year aimed at helping students learn life skills and start thinking about job skills as they enter high school. His focus next year is “to continue to educate the kiddos and give the teachers what they need to better educate the students.”

“We are looking at offering some courses – STEM classes, multimedia courses, an eighthgrade careers course – so they can make better decisions when they get to high school,” he said. The students can take a ‘Welcome to Life’ course that teaches life skills such as “everything from personal finance to changing a tire to home maintenance to cooking to proper etiquette at the dinner table,” he said.

Mr. Berngen said he is looking forward to the addition of several new OJH classrooms as part of the $8.3 million storm shelter project that the district will begin next year. “We are excited about the building and … we are ready to talk about that this summer so we can come up with some game plans and get ready for next year,” he said.

“I have to hand it to my teachers,” he said. “They work their tail-end off through the thick and through the thin. They have high expectations for our kiddos and they push them so it’s all due to them and to their hard work and also parent support.”

OISD board hires new teachers, coach The Olney school board approved contracts for two new teachers and a head baseball coach, who also will teach high school math, at its May 28 meeting. The new teachers are Marla Kellogg, who will teach HS English, and April Tobola, wife of new Athletic Director Christopher Tobola, who will teach second grade, OISD said. Kyle Consemiu is the new head baseball coach. He hails from Goose Creek Memorial High School in Baytown and has 9 years of experience coaching, OISD said.