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Board Meeting Report: Safety updates, district growth, and Cardinal Commendations

Cardinal Commendations


Sep 2018
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Disclaimer: Board Meeting Reports are shared as a public service and do not replace the board-approved minutes. This report serves as an overview of the school board meeting with highlights; it does not feature every topic that was covered. We encourage the community to attend school board meetings whenever possible. School board meeting dates are posted on the Board Meetings page.

The Melissa Schools Board of Trustees met Monday evening at the Home Office for a regularly scheduled monthly board meeting.

The meeting featured reports from the executive leadership team and the school principals, along with the first Cardinal Commendations of the school year. Fifth grade students Luke Bowman and Lleyton Costilla led the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge.

Featured in this report:

  • Chief Davidson reports on safety, security updates
  • Expansion continues at Melissa Schools
  • Principals reflect on gratitude, joy with new school year underway
  • Fifteen Cardinal Commendations awarded
  • Upcoming board meeting

Chief Davidson reports on safety, security updates

Kelly Davidson, Chief of Police at Melissa Schools, presented a detailed report on safety measures that the district has put in place over the last two years. Key updates have included the installation of new security cameras, fencing added around playgrounds, and doors added to classrooms at Harry McKillop Elementary.

An additional police officer was hired this year, Officer Jerome Edwards, bringing the officer total to four in the Melissa Schools Police Department.

All schools in the district have controlled entry through the front office. By the end of this week, each school will have completed their first set of safety drills for the school year.

“We’re trying to encourage our kids and keep them safe,” said Chief Davidson.

Chief Davidson also spoke about the district’s staff carry policy, which was adopted by the Board of Trustees nearly two years ago on Oct. 17, 2016. Each board-approved, licensed staff member who carries at Melissa Schools has completed extensive active shooter training and will participate in continued training.

Melissa Schools will host a community forum on safety this fall, led by Chief Kelly Davidson. Once finalized, more information about the forum will be published on the district website at and on social media.

Expansion continues at Melissa Schools

As of Sept. 18, the enrollment total at Melissa Schools surpassed 3,150 students.

Kenny Deel, Executive Director of Operations, updated the board on construction at Melissa Schools. A number of projects are in development.

At a previous specially-called board meeting, Perkins+Will was hired as the architect for Phase II of Melissa High School. Phase II is projected to include a second academic building, a UIL-certified auditorium, a choir room, a multipurpose building, and a possible expansion to the Student Union.

Following closed session, the board accepted a land donation in the Willow Wood neighborhood as a potential site for a future elementary school. The board also approved the administration’s recommendation to hire additional teaching staff.

Principals reflect on gratitude, joy with new school year underway

Michele Austin, principal at North Creek Elementary, introduced the school’s motto, vision, and mission, and shared events from the first few weeks of school. Superintendent Keith Murphy commended Mrs. Austin and her staff on the successful opening of a brand new campus.

“If it was easy, everyone would try to do it,” said Murphy. “You put your heart into that campus.”

Walter Perez, principal at Harry McKillop Elementary, spoke about “the level of happiness on campus” that he’s witnessed from students and staff.

Marcus Eckert, principal at Melissa Middle School, shared how the new middle school facility has led to elevated student self-accountability and a greater campus culture.

Kenneth Wooten, principal at Melissa High School, shared student achievements in athletics, band, and theatre.

Fifteen Cardinal Commendations awarded

Cardinal Commendations were awarded to students, staff, and community members by the school principals. The recipients for September are listed below.

List of Cardinal Commendations for Sept. 17, 2018

  • Harry McKillop Elementary Awards:
    • Kaitlin Hardin
    • Lily Morris
    • Jennifer Zschau
    • Stacey Piyakhun of Melissa United Methodist Church
  • North Creek Elementary Awards:
    • Ian Ollila
    • Abigail Schaeffer
    • Ashley Fortune
    • Stacy Branman
    • First Melissa Church
  • Melissa Middle School Awards:
    • Deante Daniels
    • Maisy Gustaveson
    • Aiden Mitchell Johnson
  • Melissa High School Awards:
    • The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints
    • Kenny Deel
    • Maintenance Department at Melissa Schools

Upcoming board meeting

The next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 15 at the Melissa Schools Home Office, located at 1904 Cooper Street. Board meetings begin promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Media Contact:
Maddie Coe, Community Relations

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