Dripping Springs ISD talks bonuses for employees

By Megan Wehring 

DRIPPING SPRINGS -— Dripping Springs ISD (DSISD) is considering giving all employees a bonus this year. 

As the district still faces staffing shortages, the trustees considered an employee incentive resolution on Oct. 25. Last December, the board approved a lump sum payment of $500 for staff through a surplus from the 2019-2020 budget. 

“I’m hearing from teachers across the district that this is a harder year for our teachers and administrators than last year,” said Joanna Day, board vice president. “I know that we really take seriously our obligation to have a healthy fund balance. It would be nice to do more than we did last year, even if it is a nominal amount like $25 extra just to acknowledge our staff that we know this is a harder year … I would like to see some numbers between $750 and $500.”

Nutrition services, custodial and transportation staff are critically low, board member Stefani Reinold said. The district is also concerned about the shortages in after-school childcare staff, which is causing a limit on how many students can participate. 

“I think one step in a recruitment plan that is really important is to retain and watch the morale of the staff who are here with us,” said Tiffany Duncan, executive director of human resource services. “The focus is retention and those dollar amounts go a long way.”

The proposed resolution was not up for a vote on Oct. 25 but the board is set to meet again on Nov. 15.

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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