While striving to motivate students with innovative teaching methods, Haterius was clear that students will not be dictating the course of study. Teachers and administrators are still in charge, she said, but will strive to embrace the manner in which today’s students process information.
Other focal points include providing adequate facilities at all city schools, remaining fiscally responsible, and continuing the conversation about school safety.
“We’ve got to provide a safe environment for our children,” she said.
In order to better prepare graduating students for the workforce, Haterius said the school district is forming a strong relationship with area industries.
Local manufacturers, she explained, send employees to the school to help train students in areas such as welding.
Additionally, students are learning basic job skills, including how to interact with adults during interviews and in other situations.
Haterius noted the MWISD budget, as with others across the state, has shrunk in recent years. However, she expressed the need to provide for students living in poverty.
She said programs such as full-day pre-kindergarten classes offer the foundation for learning students will need throughout their lives.
Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer
First elected in 2004, Sheriff Ira Mercer presented his impressions of the county’s biggest crime-related problems and a game plan for law enforcement officers attempting to stem the tide.
He described the use and manufacture of illegal narcotics as the primary concern facing this and many other communities.
“We’re not alone in North Central Texas in having that problem,” he said.
A combination of methamphetamine entering Texas from Mexico and the county’s proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex present an opportunity for more drugs to enter the area.
He also explained that three major thoroughfares – Interstate 20, U.S. Highway 281 and U.S. Highway 180 – in Palo Pinto County have each been identified as major drug courier routes.