Superintendent announces selection of general counsel

Lake Travis Independent School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brad Lancaster is pleased to announce the selection of Amber K. King as the district’s new legal counsel, effective October 12.  Ms. King replaces Susan Bohn who was named superintendent of the Lockhart school district in August.

A native of Spearman, TX north of Amarillo, Ms. King earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Broadcasting from Oklahoma State University and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University. While in law school, Ms. King served as an Articles Editor for the Texas Tech Law Review and was awarded the Law Review’s Tradition of Excellence Award.

Ms. King began her law career in 2007 as a briefing attorney for the Honorable John S. Anderson on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. Ms. King later joined the firm of Brown & Kornegay, LLP where she attained experience in civil litigation, practicing in both state and federal court. While at Brown & Kornegay, Ms. King also assisted as outside litigation counsel for the Port of Houston Authority.

In 2012, Ms. King joined Thompson & Horton, and since then, she has focused a significant portion of her practice on special education law, advocacy, training, and due process hearings. Ms. King regularly advises clients regarding the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. She also has experience assisting clients with discrimination complaints filed with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights. In addition to special education, Ms. King’s interest and experience include public school law, general civil litigation; governmental immunity issues; employment and discrimination law; personnel issues; and grievances.

“This is a critical position for us,” Dr. Lancaster said. “Ms. King brings with her a wealth of experience, specifically in the area of public school law, which will allow our teachers and staff to focus on the business of educating our students.  Ms.King will be a great fit for our district and the Lake Travis community.”

Ms. King and her husband Dustin King, who is also an attorney, have two children, Brooklyn and Harper. 

For more information, contact the Lake Travis ISD Office of Communications at (512) 533-6046.

Board approves agreement to improve use of electrical energy

The LTISD school board recently approved an agreement with energy efficiency company Simplure to monitor and improve the district’s use of electricity.

Earlier this spring, LTISD officials—in partnership with Simplure—conducted a comprehensive electrical data gathering analysis of the district’s utility usage, billing rates and billing characteristics.  As a result, the Salt Lake City-based company recommended a power quality project for LTISD that is expected to decrease off hour loads, increase high harmonics, and increase equipment life.  

The project consists of the installation of online meters complete with real-time data and alerts.  It will also include a power quality correction system and service with guaranteed monthly savings of approximately $11,237.

“The cost of the program is approximately $10,159 per month for the first 60 months and then decrease to $3,400 per month thereafter,” said Johnny Hill, LTISD Assistant Superintendent for Business and Financial Services.  “Over a 10-year period, the district could expect to see a net savings of approximately $534,900.”

 

Lake Travis Middle School project receives Star of Distinction for Sustainability

The new Lake Travis Middle School project, one of four major projects contained in the Lake Travis Independent School District’s 2012 Bond program, has been selected to receive a Star of Distinction for Sustainability in the planning and design of Texas public education facilities. The award program is a collaborative project of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the Texas Society of Architects, and the Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

According to TASA/TASB, projects receiving a Star of Distinction for Sustainability support sustainable attributes and how those have been articulated into learning opportunities for students. The new Lake Travis Middle School project will be featured as part of the Exhibit of School Architecture at the TASA/TASB Annual Convention to be held October 2-4, 2015 at the Austin Convention Center. The exhibit and awards competition showcase new and renovated Texas schools and celebrate excellence in planning and design of the learning environment.

The new Lake Travis Middle School was designed by Fields & Associates Architects. The $53 million facility encompasses more than 225,000 square feet and has the capacity to house 1,200 students.

 

LTHS Wind Ensemble, LTMS Symphonic Band to perform at Music for All National Festival

 

The Lake Travis High School Wind Ensemble and the Lake Travis Middle School Symphonic Band have been invited to perform at the 2016 Music for All National Festival presented by Yamaha, the nation’s most prestigious festival for school instrumental music ensemble.

Under the direction of Richard Hicks, the band program at Lake Travis High School has a long-standing tradition of excellence.  The Wind Ensemble and Cavalier Marching Band consistently receive Division 1 ratings and routinely earn Sweepstakes awards (Division I ratings in marching, concert, and sight-reading for an academic year) at Texas UIL-sanctioned contests.  The Cavalier Marching Band advanced to the UIL State Marching Contest in 2011 (4A) and 2012 (5A), placing 5th and 15th respectively.  These groups have also won numerous best-in-class awards at concert and marching festivals in Texas and throughout the United States.  Similarly, the Lake Travis Middle School Band program, under the direction of Kevin Jedele and Alyssa Trittin, has achieved consistent UIL success, earning sweepstakes awards on a regular basis.  LTMS bands routinely earn best in class honors at festival competitions and have been named grand champion on multiple occasions.

The Lake Travis High School Wind Ensemble and the Lake Travis Middle School Symphonic Band are among 49 high school and middle school concert band and percussion ensembles from across the nation selected to perform at the festival by a panel of esteemed music educators.  The 25th annual festival will take place in Indianapolis March 10-12.

Festival and ticket information is available at www.musicforall.org.

 

LED project spotlights Bee Cave Elementary

The new school year means a bright beginning for students across Lake Travis ISD, and none more so than for students at Bee Cave Elementary School.

Days before the first day of school, Waco, TX-based Pruf Energy Solutions completed the retrofitting of the entire BCE campus with an LED lighting system. The LTISD school board approved the use of $229,998 from the district’s 2012 bond program to fund the project.

“LED lights enhance the learning environment and provide the district with an estimated energy savings of more than $27,000 annually,” said Johnny Hill, LTISD Assistant Superintendent for Business and Financial Services.

According to Pruf, Lake Travis ISD is the first K-12 district to implement the technology.

HBMS, LTHS students participate in 2015 Lone Star Leadership Academy camp

LTHS 9th grader Alyssa Curry

LTHS 9th grader Alyssa Curry

Hudson Bend Middle School 7th grader Julius Heitkoetter and Lake Travis High School 9th grader Alyssa Curry were two of the more than 900 students across Texas who participated in Education in Action’s summer 2015 Lone Star Leadership Academy camp.  

According to Education Action, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people to be informed and active leaders in their communities, the students were selected for the camp based on demonstrated academic success and leadership ability, an educator recommendation, and involvement in school/community activities. 

HBMS 7th grader Julius Heitkoetter

During the camp, students visited historically, politically, scientifically, and environmentally significant sites including NASA, a boat tour of Galveston Bay with a marine biologist, the San Jacinto Battleground Monument, and Moody Gardens.

Constitution Day 2015

Serene Hills Elementary students celebrate Constitution Day with the Daughters of the American Revolution-Lohmann’s Ford Chapter.

Former Cavalette now Dallas Cowboys cheerleader

Simone Culwell, a graduate of the Lake Travis High School Class of 2011, is a member of one of the most recognized professional sports organizations in the world: the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

A native Austinite and former University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior Dancer, Simone competed with hundreds of girls to earn one of 36 spots on the prestigious team earlier this summer at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The audition process included a round of freestyle dance, choreography learning, an interview, and a personal dance solo.