HUDSON — The Hudson school trustees heard several presentations during their Thursday meeting.

Staci Hodges, executive director of Junior Achievement, gave the first presentation on how Junior Achievement has been involved with HISD.

“Junior Achievement is a youth development organization,” Hodges said. “We are a nonprofit, volunteer driven, and we go into the classrooms and teach kids K-12 programming to prepare them for their futures.”

Last year, the organization was in 246 classrooms in all six Angelina County public schools. It impacted 4,800 students. Of the 246 classrooms, 87 were at Hudson. Hodges also recognized Hudson as the school partner of the year.

Hudson Middle School Principal Richard Crenshaw and Carla Ladner gave a presentation on progressive learning in the aviation program. Crenshaw said the program started during the beginning stages of the district’s journey to becoming a district of innovation.

It arose from a robotics program led by Ladner and expanded into drones, rockets, aviation, avionics and more.

“What you’re going to see tonight started out with Lego robots,” Crenshaw said. “It goes to show the lengths we have gone to, starting out with the basics and a very supportive district and community that believe in what we’re doing.”

Ladner and four students then led the presentation. Cullen Merrell spoke about her experiences at the National Flight Academy and the Naval Sea Cadets. Baylee Ward spoke about her experience at flight training at the Angelina County Airport, with Pilots for Patients and Lackland Air Force Base.

Brannon Thompson spoke about his experience at Glider Flight Academy, and Ellie Ross spoke about her experience at Whiting Naval Air Station, the Naval Museum, Oshkosh Airventure and Sanderson Farms. These experiences were made on their own time during the school year and the summer based on a love and passion they developed for aviation in the middle school program.

P.T. Walters, director of the career and technical education program, gave a report on the program and its recent changes. The primary change Walters spoke about was the state’s decision to fund CTE courses for seventh- and eighth-graders with weighted funding, which is projected to give the district $74,260.

He also touched on key points for each of the programs within CTE, including barbecue champions Eli Jenkins and Reece Maddox, first-time state robotics qualifiers, a new aquaponics lab in FFA and more.

The board also voted to approve a purchase of $101,000 of a Hyper-V Cluster Gen 2 Dell servers and a Unity 380 network storage device.

Technology director Josh Smith explained that this purchase is due by industry standards to replace five-year-old technology. He also said this technology is the mission critical or the core of the operation.

Chief Financial Officer Barrett Lankford also gave a report that HISD received a 100% on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, a financial report card based on 15 general financial indicators.

Grace Juarez’s email address is

grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.

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