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Local businessman, civic leader and community activist Terry Shannon has been named special projects coordinator for the Red River Region Business Incubator.
A Paris native and well known member of the the community, Shannon is a perfect fit for such a high profile position, said R3bi Director Hank Betke.
“A volunteer of Terry’s caliber with his history of entrepreneurship further enhances our ability to grow our services, not only to our incubator clients but to the business community at large,” Betke said. “Terry is being tasked with synergizing the business sector by instituting training and leadership programs targeted to start-up and existing businesses.”
Shannon’s background includes serving in a number of civic organizations including the Paris and Lamar Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Lions Club and Rotary International exchange. He is also a past president of the Paris Board of Realtors and Paris Jaycees.
He recently returned to Paris after a 20-plus year stint in the yellow page publishing business in Louisiana and Arkansas. He said he is pleased to be home with his family and friends.
Shannon invited anyone wishing to exchange ideas, motivate or get motivated and inspired to check the R3bi website for upcoming brown bag lunches designed to motivate and stimulate the owners and employees.
Chisum Independent School District trustees tabled action on the contract for Superintendent Diane Stegall while the North Lamar ISD school board voted to extend Superintendent James Dawson‘s contract.
The CISD board spent about an hour in closed session with attorney Sara Leon from the Austin law firm of Powell & Leon, as well as discussing the superintendent’s evaluation and a contract for 2013-2016.
“I move we take no action, we table item 14 until a later date,” trustee Jimmy Caffee said after coming out of the closed session. Item 14 on the agenda was the open session consideration of Stegall’s contract.
Dashielle Floyd, who has stepped down as board president, seconded the motion. Floyd declined to comment on her resignation.
At North Lamar, the school board extended Dawson’s contract until the 2015-2016 school year.
CISD board’s acting president, Larry Rickman, said he was not sure if Stegall’s contract would come up again at February’s meeting.
“My plan is to continue working under my current contract to fulfill the vision of Chisum ISD to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world,” Stegall said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Merchants need to work together to promote the downtown area and encourage business downtown.
That was the message Leslie Wolfenden, a survey coordinator with the Texas Historical Commission, had for business owners as part of her presentation on effective visual merchandising Monday.
“You aren’t competing with each other,” she said. “You’re competing with the strip malls.”
The event, sponsored by the Paris Main Street Design Committee, was held in the community room at the Santa Fe Depot.
Merchants need to consider what the storefront says. Store owners have eight seconds to attract a potential customer, she said, which makes first impressions very important.
“Your job is to get the attention of the pedestrian on the street – or the car on the street,” Wolfenden said. “If they don’t walk in your store, they don’t buy anything.”
There should be no doubt about what a business sells when customers look at the storefront, she said. Cluttered storefronts, as well as reflective and tinted windows, tend to turn customers away.
It’s not just about the business owners, Wolfenden pointed out. Empty storefronts can leave a false impression that there’s nothing to see downtown. She recommended the community work together to place displays in empty windows.
The presentation also included discussion about signage, displays, lighting, grouping merchandise, props, backdrops, creating a sense of movement, creativity in displays and how to arrange store interiors.
Paris Independent School District trustees voted to accept a pool contract with Paris Junior College on Monday.
The price is $3,600 for the spring semester, Superintendent Paul Trull said. It’s the same amount per hour that PISD has previously paid, but the pool will be kept open for more hours to accommodate junior high school students.
“It’s going to cost us a little more than it did before, but it’s in the middle of the season. We will re-negotiate at the end of the year,” Trull said. “All we have to do is move some money around in athletics.”
PJC bought the old Aerofit building for about $400,000. The college plans to use it for volleyball practice and offer physical education courses, such as racquetball, handball, swimming, weight lifting and aerobics, as well as continuing education and community service classes. PJC has no plans to add a swim team, as other community colleges don’t have one.
“We thank them for doing that, because it allows us to continue our program,” Trull said.
In other action, the board approved a resolution to defer a state requirement that the end-of-course test count for 15 percent of a student’s final grade for this year.
The school board also commended junior high school students who participated in UIL competiton:
Paris Junior High School earned a total of seven gold medals, eight silver and eight bronze for a total of 23 medals, compared with 13 the year before.
And then there were five.
Paris Independent School District trustees have winnowed a field of about 40 superintendent candidates down to their final five, who are scheduled for interviews this week.
“It was pretty difficult,” board President George Fisher said. “We spent a lot of time getting there. I know I spent 20 hours looking over the material.”
Fisher doesn’t expect this week’s series of meetings to go any easier. They’re scheduled for sessions at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for “board interview and discussion of superintendent applicants,” according to the agendas. A third meeting is set for noon Friday for “discussion of superintendent applicants.”
Follow-up interviews are expected in early February, with a vote to name the finalist scheduled for Feb. 11.
The board narrowed its list at a closed meeting Jan. 9 that lasted more than three hours. Curtains were drawn and the glass doors blacked out, presumably for extra privacy, although Fisher said “they were like that when I got there,” and he did not know why the steps were taken.
Each board member had a list of his or her favorite six candidates, which were put on a board and discussed until an overall list of five emerged.
“Their qualifications look good,” Fisher said. “The way they interview will probably carry a lot of weight.”
The school board has hired consulting firm Executive Search Services, part of the Texas Association of School Boards, to help with the search process for a new superintendent. Paul Trull is set to retire this summer.
“I think the consultants are doing a great job,” Fisher said.
Before the interview meetings, the board has its regular session at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The agenda can be found here.