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Overflow crowd enjoys Square Fair,

Homecoming activities Sept. 24-25

An overflow crowd of visitors and home folks jammed the streets of downtown Frankston Saturday, Sept. 25 for the the 45th Frankston Square Fair which followed the Homecoming football game between the Frankston High School Indians and the Big Sandy Wildcats at Jeff and Opal Austin Stadium Friday night, Sept. 24.

Prior to the football game, before a huge crowd on the home side of the stadium, senior Kaitlyn Matthews was crowned Homecoming Queen and senior Collin Deupree was crowned Homecoming King.

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FHS ROYALTY — The 2021 Frankston Homecoming King and Queen crowned were Collin Deupree and Kaitlyn Matthews.

— FISD Courtesy Photo

On Saturday, the Town Square City Park was covered with booths manned by organizations offering food, crafts and other products and services. Square Fair Coordinator Jessica Tatum said a large number of booths were added during the week prior to the event. She said she thought there could be as many as 45 booths in the park.

Several activities for children were available in the park.

Festivities began with the traditional parade and a section of downtown was cordoned off to accommodate the crowd and the parade route. Ms Tatum said about 30 floats ended up entering the parade, including the traditional school class floats and various other organizations, Frankston cheerleaders riding fire trucks and some antique cars. Leading the parade was the Frankston High School band. Parade Grand Marshal was Frankston Mayor Tommy Carr. Also in the parade were members of the FHS Homecoming Court, including Homecoming King and Queen Collin Deupree and Kaitlyn Matthews. Riding in vehicles were Tiny Mr. and Miss Square Fair Lincoln Harbuck and Blakelee Pittman and Little Mr. and Miss Square Fair Hilton LaFitte and Stella Boggs.

Roger McDonald acted as Master of Ceremonies for the parade, introducing each unit in the parade and giving a bit of information about the sponsors.

After the parade, the entertainment started with Butch Fulton singing, joined by Roger McDonald on the fiddle. Then singers Brandi Derr and Elizabeth Derr performed. Following them was Mike Kellogg performing on his saxophone. Then Andrew Shoemake played his guitar followed by Devany Betancourt and Tammy Bostick singing.

The Square Fair was not held in 2020 due to precautions adopted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was decided to go ahead with the largely outdoors Square Fair this year. Considering the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the area and state, sponsors urged those attending to take precautions recommended by health experts to prevent further spread of the virus.

The Square Fair is a community event, sponsored by the Square Fair Committee, established at the first Square Fair in 1975.

The historic event was started as part of the Frankston Bicentennial celebration, headed by the late J.C. Hicks. Part of the Bicentennial Committee was the Festival Division. It was composed of Chairperson Jerry Gideon, former FISD superintendent, and members Rilea Cook, the late Celexie Pierson, Sharon Atwood, former band director Pat Stringer, June McLane Brown, Alana Dickerson Moore, Tawana Blair, the late Dorthella Lewis, Kay Ellis Querry and Mary McLane Phillips. Mrs. Atwood was the first Square Fair Coordinator, a position she held for 15 years, during the infancy of the event.

( See  Picture gallery of the parade and other Square Fair HERE .  )

.• • • •

FISD reports two student

COVID cases on Sept. 24

Frankston Schools, on Friday, Sept. 24, reported two new COVID-19 student cases, according to Supt. Nicci Cook.

Both students, on campus on Friday, Sept. 17, were test-confirmed as positive with the COVID-19 virus. The new cases bring the totals to 61 students and 37 staff members for an overall total of 98 since the opening of school in August, according to Supt. Cook.

The school had reported on Thursday, Sept. 23 that one student was confirmed to be positive with the virus. That brought the total to 59 students and 37 staff members for an overall total of 96 since school opened in August.

FISD, on Monday, Sept. 20, had reported one student, on campus on Wednesday, Sept. 15, was test-confirmed as positive with the COVID-19 virus. Two other students, both on campus on Friday, Sept. 17, were confirmed to be positive for the virus. The new cases bring the totals to 58 students and 37 staff members for an overall total of 95 since the opening of school in August.

On Friday, Sept. 17, the FISD reported that a staff member, on campus on Thursday, Sept. 16, was test-confirmed as positive with the COVID-19 virus. The new staff case brings the totals to 55 students and 37 staff members for an overall total of 92 since the opening of school in August.. 

All previous confirmed cases plus the ones reported on Sept.  17, Sept. 20, Sept. 23 and the latest on Sept. 24  have been added to the school Dashboard HERE .

The cases are being handled according to FISD safety and health protocols, outlined on the school Dashboard web page and notifications sent to parents and staff, Supt. Cook said.

.• • • •

FISD trustees approve COVID leave,

agree to purchase of two new buses

The Frankston ISD trustees Monday night, Sept. 20 approved 4-0 a resolution to give all employees with a positive COVID-19 test, eight paid days of additional local leave effective throughout the 2021-2022 school year, according to a report by Supt. Nicci Cook.

The superintendent said the trustees also voted 4-0 to purchase two new buses. Both buses are to be purchased from Rush Truck Centers of Lufkin. One is a 71-passenger gasoline engine regular bus, to be purchased for $105,010.51 and the other is a 45-passenger gasoline engine special education bus at a cost of $110,636.76.

Among the items approved in the consent agenda were Anderson County Co-op Shared Service Arrangement and 2020-2021 budget amendments,

Three members of the seven-member board were not present at the meeting, Supt. Cook said.

In a report on school facilities projects, FISD Business Manager reported that only one bid had been received for the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) project and the bidding process was extended to achieve comparisons.

On the visitor bleacher project at Austin Stadium, the superintendent said it is hoped that the stands will be completed by the Friday night, Sept. 24 football game but the school maintenance department is doing some more repair work to have more seating for visitors, if needed.

Baseball Coach Wes King updated the board on his plans for baseball field maintenance this year.

In a report on the Teacher Incentive Allotment plan, Supt. Cook said that the TIA Committee met to determine which teachers are going to be included in the application. A survey was sent to all teachers to get their feedback and interest and some teachers do not want to participate, she said. The application will be due to be submitted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in April.

School principals and staff gave reports on their campuses or programs.

Middle School Principal Cindy Owens reported that the Eighth Grade Volleyball Maidens won second place and the Seventh Grade team won third at the Cayuga Tournament recently, among other activities. She also reported enrollment of 207 with 62 sixth graders, 71 seventh graders, and 74 eighth graders.

Elementary School Principal Melanie Blackwell announced Fifth Grade Indians of the Month Kash Suggs, Chasity Baker, Archer Derr and Kyleigh House, among other activities. She reported enrollment of 372.

High School Principal Edgar Rodriguez reported on Homecoming preparation and activities and other items on the calendar. He reported enrollment of 235 with 66 ninth graders, 58 10th graders, 66 11th graders and 45 12th graders.

As part of the Superintendent’s Report, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator Cheryll Milgrim reported on the Advisory Board Committee, Promotion plan for all CTE programs, Master Schedule CTE Audit: Region 7 and Professional Development for CTE teachers.

Supt. Cook reported that enrollment on all campuses totaled 814, up by 20 students since Aug. 16 when the total was 794. She reported district attendance for the first six weeks was 93.54 percent, compared to 96.35 percent a year before. She said elementary attendance was 93.47, middle school 94.28 and high school 93.88 percent. She said several days will qualify for a low attendance waiver.


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