Board Brief for October 18, 2019 Meeting

October 18, 2019

The TSD Governing Board held their fourth meeting of 2019.

Members present at the meeting were Eric Hogue, President, Shawn Saladin, Vice President, Sha Cowan, Keith Sibley, and Heather Withrow.

TSD’s ASL students led the Governing Board in the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge. One of the students introduced the board members to the Deaf Union Flag, which flew under the U.S. flag during Deaf Awareness Week.

The Board recognized several individuals at the board meeting. Lisa Cochran, Mary Ellen Graham, Linda Miller, and Sonia Bridges were recognized for coordinating ASL Expressions event at the Austin Central Library. ASL teachers Denise Egbert, Mark Holcomb, and Ursa Rewolinski were recognized for their work behind Deaf Awareness Week. The Board also recognized TSD’s Student Life staff for working last minute following the Houston floods in September.

Outgoing TSD attorney Leonard Schwartz was recognized for his 10-year service with the school. Leonard took the opportunity to introduce the new attorney, Holly Wardell, to the Governing Board.

Ryan Hutchison, who recently resigned from the Board, was also recognized for his service.

During public comments, two parents provided their concerns regarding a change in the educational format for special needs students. They requested due diligence from the Governing Board and staff when it comes to these students’ safety.

Texas Facilities Commission provided a summary of the ongoing deferred maintenance at TSD.

The superintendent provided a high-level report of operations and events at TSD. She informed the Board of the current enrollment of 556 (223 of those are residential students). She discussed her previous and planned travels, as well as TSD’s homecoming, Peyton Manning’s message to the Rangers awarding $10,000 grant from Riddell, collaboration with Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) on robotics, the parent forum on the new applied programs, the annual report, the reopening of TSD libraries, and the TSD town hall meetings. The superintendent also discussed the new accreditation and strategic plan, and provided an update on new effective legislation, in particular, HB 548 pertaining to language acquisition, HB 2255 on infant screening, and SB 281 for terminology.

TSD’s director of instruction provided an update on the school’s multi-tiered structure of support (MTSS) framework, which relates to social-emotional learning, restorative discipline, and improving academic achievement.

TSD’s superintendent and director of instruction also provided an update on continuum of services and discussed the integration of special needs students into a “mainstream” setting at the school.

Items approved by the Board included:

  • Minutes for the previous meeting;
  • Gifts and donations to the school;
  • Operating Budget for fiscal year 2020;
  • Operations Report;
  • Professional contracts for 2019 – 2020;
  • Internal audit contract with Garza Gonzalez & Associates; and
  • Policies relating to personnel, community and governmental relations, and students.

If you have questions or request additional information, please feel free to email the PIO at


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