Socorro School Board members voted unanimously to appoint a third party to handle an unknown complaint brought against Tara Jaramillo, School Board member and State Representative by Ron Hendrix, Superintendent, per legal counsel recommendation, during the executive session of Monday night’s meeting. Jaramillo was not present at the meeting.

The board also voted unanimously to delegate Dave Hicks, board president, the authority to handle procedural matters related to the next steps of the employee complaint/grievance process and the authority to make any requisite reports regarding the complaint.

Before the executive session, board member Michael Hargather said he was hoping that the entire board would be at the meeting to have the discussion and didn’t like the idea of going into executive session without everyone present.

“It’s the second time in a row that we’ve had matters to discuss in executive session and we have not had board member Tara Jaramillo here with us and I don’t know what to do about it.” Hargather said. “It’s frustrating, do we postpone this to find a time she is available? I don’t know.”

Hicks responded that he understood the frustration but wanted to go into executive session.
“In my opinion we do have a quorum, we go into executive session, we discuss what we need to discuss and when we come back out, we will vote on the procedure we will be taking based on this complaint,” Hicks said. “I don’t think we can stop and hold up business.”

In other business, the graduation rate went up to 85%, the superintendent and school board members expressed pride in the increase.

“We’ve talked about the ups and downs of the graduation rate; one or two students can make a huge difference, but they sure did do a great job last year with getting them on the path and keeping them there.” said Hendrix.

Midway Elementary School gave a presentation on the goals and programs they are implementing including family engagement activities after school and a new garden club. They also announced that they have changed their mascot to the little warriors.

The school board approved the extended medical leave for a long-time employee, the utility easement for apartments near the school, and all business matters on the agenda. They voted to table a blanket transfer until they had more information.