During its May 23 meeting, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees agenda included: 

Spotlight on Learning: Akin Elementary

Students from Akin Elementary highlighted entrepreneur students learning from their counterparts at Vista Ridge High School.

Both part of Unchartered Learning, these programs – freshINCedu at elementary and INCubatoredu at high school – help inspire students to discover their entrepreneurial passions, strengthen their capabilities, and create their own futures. In the freshINCedu program, students work in teams to develop a product, pitch their idea, and launch their business. And unique to Akin, these students did so under the guidance of high-schoolers at Vista Ridge.

Way to go, Aviators!

Board Recognitions

Special thanks to Vandegrift High School students Lincoln and Ava for helping celebrate stand-out individuals and accomplishments around #1LISD.

The Board recognized the following:

  • UIL Girls Golf State Medalists
  • UIL Track & Field State Medalists
  • UIL Theatrical Design State Medalists
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Achievement: Robotics
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Achievement: Journalism & Broadcast
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Achievement: Speech & Debate
  • UIL Academics Medalists
  • Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) Frank Kemerer Award – Michael Hjort, Rouse High School
  • Speech Language Pathologists Appreciation Week, May 13–17

Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council Helps Tackle Issues Facing LISD Students

SSAC Probletunities

🎬 7.A.1. Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) Student Empowerment Report

The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) presented key issues and recommendations resulting from the group’s work this year. Originally formed in 2020–21, SSAC offers students an opportunity to share their voice and give input to help shape the future of Leander ISD. 

SSAC’s membership includes junior and senior representatives from all six comprehensive high schools and Early College High School. These student leaders broke into smaller teams to tackle the problems that they identified related to the student experience in LISD: 

  • Sustainability
  • Life Skill Awareness
  • Flex Time
  • Access to Resources
  • Bathrooms
  • Student-led Empowerment

“Thank you, students, for this high-level report that you gave us tonight and providing insight on what you’ve been spending your time as part of SSAC,” Board Secretary Christine Mauer said. “It’s critical for the ideas and voice of our students to factor into the decisions made by Trustees and leaders of our district.”

Board Members Discuss Policies Governing Trustees’ Access to District Facilities and Employees

Board Meeting

🎬 7.B.1. Authority of Trustee Paul Gauthier – Access to District Facilities & Employees

At Thursday’s meeting, members of the Board addressed Trustee Paul Gauthier’s recent conduct – specifically related Board Operating Procedures outlined in Board Relationships, Section III: “Board Member Visits to District Facilities.”

As a result, Trustees approved the following motion “in light of Trustee Gauthier’s continued willful disregard of the Leander ISD Board Operating Procedures”

  • Board Policy BE(LOCAL) be amended to include language from the Board Operating Procedures about trustee visits to district facilities; 
  • and Paul Gauthier be removed from all district and Board committees; 
  • and the Board hereby authorize the superintendent or other appropriate administrators to file criminal trespass complaints against Trustee Gauthier if he continues to attempt to gain unauthorized entry of school facilities; 
  • and the Board direct the superintendent to notify all district administrators and supervisors that Paul Gauthier is not permitted to attend staff meetings or otherwise enter classrooms or buildings unless he has made prior arrangements through the Office of the Superintendent; 
  • and that Board Officers work with the District’s communication team to deliver messaging to the staff about the appropriate role of school board trustees.

Board Operating Procedures state that the role of a Trustee is to evaluate the superintendent. It’s the superintendent’s role – and not Trustees – to evaluate the day-to-day operations of the district.

From Section III, Item C of the Board Operating Procedures’ Board Member Visits to District Facilities:
Board Members who wish to visit District facilities to view a program or activity in their official capacity shall notify the Superintendent. and the Superintendent’s Office will coordinate the visit with the principal or appropriate personnel. At no time will Board Members visit district offices, campuses or other school programs in an attempt to evaluate personnel.

Bond Oversight Committee Recommendations Approved for Projects Related to Technology, Transportation

Bond Oversight Committee

🎬 7.C.1. Consider Approval of Bond Oversight Committee’s Recommendations

The Board approved recommendations of the Bond Oversight Committee (BOC) to reallocate project savings from Technology and Transportation projects toward other projects in those same categories. The BOC met earlier in May and voted in favor of bringing these recommendations to the Board.

“We’re so thankful for the community volunteers serving on this committee who give of their time to support this important work and ensure the appropriate use of bond funds,” said Board President Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, Ph.D. 

Additional information on the Bond Oversight Committee’s process & membership


The BOC recommended reallocating bond project savings to go toward installation of improved network data cable and a digital paging and bell software system at the four campuses undergoing modernizations as part of the 2023 Bond – Cedar Park HS, Vista Ridge HS, Running Brushy MS, and Bagdad Elementary. 

Construction on these modernizations will start this summer. Installing cabling and this new software while a facility is under construction ends up being more cost effective and less disruptive to the campus.

This cost of these technology improvements – $4.8 million – will be offset by anticipated savings from a different Technology project included in previous bonds: interactive panels. The scope of work has changed on this project – funded through 2021 and 2023 bonds for an original budget of $28.4 million – and it is anticipated to generate $8.4 million of savings.

The Board approved the use of bond project savings to go toward these technology improvements.


The BOC recommended reallocating bond project savings to go toward the purchase of the three service vehicles to be used by the Transportation department – one for the North Transportation facility, one for Central Transportation and another for the vehicle maintenance supervisor. The cost for these three vehicles totals $144,000.

This cost will mostly be offset by savings coming directly from a different Transportation project included in the 2023 Bond: a new bus camera system. This project – originally budgeted for $1.2 million – was completed April 1 with a savings of $129,557. The new camera system – installed in 187 route and activity buses – enables a 360-degree view, back and side views, along with improved sound quality and overall clarity.

The Board approved the use of bond project savings to go toward the purchase of these three service vehicles.

Previous Updates

Bond 2023: Project Funds Released For Science Materials and 18+ Building Project

Bond 2023

🎬 5.F. Consider Approval of Guaranteed Maximum Price #1 for the Science Materials and 18+ Building Project

The May 2023 bond included funds for new buildings for the Science Materials Center and the Special Education 18+ Transition Services program, with VLK Architects approved to design them and Joeris Construction to build them.

As part of the consent agenda item, Trustees approved the first Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contract for these new buildings, allowing for the release of Bond funds already allocated for this project as part of the May 2023 bond.

This GMP will go toward equipment, services or materials that must be secured well in advance and early project startup needs. Construction is projected to start later this year.

  • GMP #1: $554,781

As a resource to the #1LISD community to learn more about these projects and track their progress, the district has created a Bond & Construction Projects page. Specific project pages include an overall scope of the project, the status of the project, a timeline, information about contractors and vendors, and more.

Previous Updates

TASB Advocacy Resolutions Approved

Advocacy Resolutions

🎬 5.E. Consider Approval of Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) 2024-2026 Advocacy Agenda Resolutions and/or Amendments

The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) annually calls upon school boards to submit

Advocacy Resolutions that will help form TASB’s response to issues before the Legislature and other governmental entities during the Legislative Session.

During the consent agenda, the Board approved the resolutions introduced during the May 9 meeting.

These resolutions are separate from the Board’s Legislative Priorities, which are still in the committee phase.

Previous Updates

May 9, 2024: Review of TASB Advocacy Resolutions