Retired West Orange-Cove CISD Superintendent Andrew Hayes was appointed Monday to the West Orange-Cove board. WO-C trustees officially accepted board member Nancy Byers’ written resignation Monday, and Hayes was nominated and unanimously approved.

Board President Pete Amy said, “Andrew Hayes has been a fixture at WO-C for over 50 years, and I believe that he will do a great job as a trustee of the district.  It has been my honor to serve with Andrew in several different capacities while I have been on the board and look forward to serving with him as a fellow trustee.  He will bring a unique perspective to the board having served the district already from a teacher, coach, superintendent, and now a trustee.”

The district faces some tough days ahead amid a recent “Academically Unacceptable” rating from the Texas Education Agency.

WO-C Superintendent O. Taylor Collins released a media statement citing high scores in several subject areas – many much improved from when he became superintendent four years ago. According to Collins, tracking and drop-out rates are the main basis for the TEA finding.

“This rating has nothing to do with test scores. It has to do with the tracking and coding of students as they moved from school to school in the aftermath of these two devastating hurricanes,” Collins said, referring to Katrina and Rita.

He added, “It really is sad that our students’ and teachers’ achievements this year will be initially paled by a system that does not take into consideration up front the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita kids that were forced to leave the area. It feels to me like we are being penalized for the unfortunate consequences of a natural disaster.”

Hayes served as WO-C superintendent from 2001-05. His 46-year-career with the district also includes service as assistant superintendent, West Orange-Stark High School principal, WO-S East Campus principal, as well as assistant principal, coaching and teaching assignments at Stark and Wallace high schools.

Hayes’ wife Glynnie is also a retired WO-C CISD educator. Both of his daughters, Vicki and Sheri, are also district graduates.

 “I enjoyed all of the years I have been in the school district,” Hayes said. “My goal has always been to do the best thing possible for the students of West Orange-Cove. All of my decisions will be based on what is best for them.”

Hayes will serve as an appointed trustee until the May 2010 board election. At that time, voters will determine who will complete the one year remaining on the term.

Collins said, “I look forward to working with former Superintendent Hayes to advance the achievement and well-being of our students. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience in education and is a great addition to the board of trustees. 

“I wish also to thank Nancy Byers for her service to the children and youth of WOCCISD as a trustee.  She has been a wonderful member of the board. Her keen focus on students made her input very meaningful. I appreciate her support through the years.”