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Charlotte school board holds bittersweet meeting, hears concerns about college

The Charlotte ISD Board of Directors with new superintendent, Jon Orozco. Pictured, left to right, are Gabriel Rowland, President Becky Ramos, Tommy Garcia, Superintendent Orozco, Secretary Melissa Romo, Christina Campos and Matt Wagner. Vice President Cindy Zuniga was not present at the January 26 meeting. REBECCA PESQUEDA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Charlotte ISD Board of Directors had a bittersweet meeting on January 26 as it marked former Superintendent Mario Sotelo’s final meeting. Sotelo officially retired at the end of the fall semester, but stayed on until January to help transition power to new superintendent, Jon Orozco. His last official day with the district was Jan. 26 where he was honored for eight years of service to CISD and 48 years in education administration.

“I started in a very good district which, at the time, was the best council I had ever worked for. And now I’m happy to say that [Charlotte ISD] is the best board I’ve worked for in all my years,” Sotelo said.

Superintendent Orozco said he understands the transition was bittersweet for the entire school district, but he’s excited to take over.

“For Mario, and all of you on the Board of Directors, I can say that today was truly bittersweet. You have someone new coming in and you lose someone who has become a big part of the community and has been such an asset over the past eight years,” Superintendent Orozco said. “I know I’m replacing a top class guy and I have big shoes to fill. I hope I will continue to keep the district running and finish the things Mr. Sotelo started to make sure our children have all the materials they need to be successful.

The Charlotte ISD Board of Directors with former Superintendent Mario Sotelo, left to right, Gabriel Rowland, Tommy Garcia, President Becky Ramos, Sotelo, Secretary Melissa Romo, Christina Campos and Matt Wagner.

The Charlotte ISD Board of Directors with former Superintendent Mario Sotelo, left to right, Gabriel Rowland, Tommy Garcia, President Becky Ramos, Sotelo, Secretary Melissa Romo, Christina Campos and Matt Wagner.

Superintendent Orozco also took a moment to thank the elementary and middle school principals – Laura Miko and Brianne Brock – for their help over the past three weeks. He also honored administrators for School Board Appreciation Month with gift bags from the administration office, handmade posters from elementary school students and baked goods from the arts class. middle and high school culinary skills.

“I can tell you that Charlotte is a very special place. We have excellent teachers who work with our children, as well as administrators. Our students are even bigger than that. I’m just overwhelmed by these kids who have such respectful manners. We really owe everything to the parents at home and to you from the school board, which very much reflects our district,” Superintendent Orozco said.

Concerns about college

Victoria Rodriguez, a college parent, approached the school board with some concerns about the campus. It was the second time she had spoken to them, having seen no change since the last meeting.

“I come before you again as a concerned parent. The college needs a new certified principal. We were supposed to hire a new manager after the councilwoman resigned, but she was rehired a month later, and still no manager,” Rodriguez said.

Brianne Brock is currently the Director of Middle and High Schools.

Rodriguez said there was an incident with middle school girls near the counselor’s office and no adults were watching the hallways.

“The incident could have seriously injured someone, and where were the adults?” she said.

She also explained how the enrichment class was meant to teach at a higher level, but all the students do during that time is play basketball.

“My boys are coming to college soon and I have to be their voice. I want this school to be safe and great when they get there,” Rodriguez said. “I came from this school and it was great, so let’s keep it great. “

She also asked if meetings could be made public as she never knows when they are and she always has to call the administration office to ask.

other business

Chief Financial Officer Nora Gaitan announced that the district received an A in its report on the Texas Financial Integrity Rating System. 2021 ratings are based on 2019 information.

“The first four questions of the report are essential. If you answer ‘no’ to any of them, you automatically fail and we answer ‘yes’ to all of them,” said Gaitan, who reviewed the report in detail. “This is the second year in a row that we have achieved the 100 rating.”

Superintendent Orozco and the school board commended Gaitan and his staff for the hard work they did to make this possible. The report is approved unanimously.

The 2020-2021 District Audit was to be presented by Garza/Gonzales & Associates. However, the audit was still not finalized as their staff was away due to COVID. The Atascosa County Tax Office, which currently handles district taxes, also recently reopened after being closed due to COVID.

Gaitan and Superintendent Orozco suggested sending a draft of the audit to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to meet the January 28 deadline. A final audit report will be presented to the Board in early February and will also be sent to TEA once approved. Going forward, the district will consider conducting its audits earlier to avoid delays. The board unanimously approved to send a draft audit to TEA and return to approve the final in February.

Other items unanimously approved by the board were:

– Moved hotel/night allowance for staff and students from $85/night to $125/night in regards to security, dining options, and facility access.

– Increased meal allowance for overnight staff and student travel to $8 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, and $14 for dinner due to inflation.

– Removed Mario Sotelo and added Jon Orozco to bank signature cards.

The Charlotte School Board holds meetings every second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Administrative Office located at 102 E. Hindes Ave. in Charlotte. You can visit their website at for meeting dates and agendas.