About Gilmer ISD

Over the past several years our school district has achieved regional state and even national recognition for outstanding performance in academic and extracurricular activities. In 2012, Gilmer high school was selected by US News and World Report as one of the top 200 high schools academically in the great state of Texas. A distinction that puts GHS in the top 11% of high schools nationwide. GISD has been featured as a case study in two publications and an article in the Wall Street Journal for our effective implementation of the Smart Goals program. We’ve not only achieved the states rigorous academic expectations as a district but have also achieved recognized status on multiple campuses for many years row and in 2013 the district earned 6 academic distinctions. In recent years our community has provided our students with a state of the art elementary facility, a new gym at the Jr. High, a collegiate level band hall, a vocational building for FFA and a stadium renovation including a clean, modern field house and weight room. As a result of our investment, our enrollment at the elementary is up over 15% and has helped attract multiple good families to our community. Gilmer High School has produced a National Merit Qualifier for the past 4 years in a row. Our FFA program enrollment is the 12th largest in the state out of over 1200 chapters, they continually win competitions at the state and national level and have been selected as the TEXAS chapter of the year twice. Our band program is recognized among the very best and has won too many accolades to mention here including winning sweepstakes 10 of the last 11 years. Finally, our athletic program, both girls and boys, has put our small town on the map. Our football program for example has won more games than any other 3a team in the state of Texas since 2000, has accumulated 11 undefeated district championships and has made 4 trips to state winning the championship twice. To say our students, who are a direct reflection of our community as a whole, are achievers would be gross understatement. Our students, under the direction of some of the highest quality teachers and coaches in the state, are truly over achievers in every way. These are simply a few of the many recent accomplishments the students of our community have achieved. We have much to be proud of and thankful for.

About the Bond

The GISD Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to call an election on November 5, 2013 to consider 3 proposals for new facilities for GISD. The list of facility needs was compiled by a committee of 35 community leaders from all walks of life and was submitted to the board for consideration in July 2013. The board thoughtful and prayerfully considered the submitted list and after much deliberation condensed the list to the following propositions for tax payer consideration.

At Gilmer ISD our mission statements says this: It is our responsibility to prepare every student for the collegiate or career experience while recognizing and educating each child as a unique individual. Our goal is to nurture academic, social and cultural differences while developing reliant citizens who contribute to the community's success and strength.

In 1979 our community voted no on a bond election to build a new high school. The cost of the same size facility that we are proposing today would have cost the district just under 4 million dollars. Today it will cost 30 million. I'm sure the high interest rates of that time were a factor. During the same area, Gladewater ISD passed a similar bond in 1983 and built their high school and stadium for just under 5 million dollars. They have a beautiful and functional school that is now paid for and they will probably enjoy another 40 plus years in that facility. The board has decided to bring these propositions to a vote at this time for 4 reasons:

  • We recognize the legitimate need of these facilities to continue to provide our students with the best education possible. We want to give our kids every advantage from a collegiate, vocational and technological point of view.

  • We believe building a new high school will be instrumental in promoting the growth of our local economy. We believe we will attract many new taxpayers to our community as well as many who have transferred out because we offer a clean, modern, progressive facility backed up by an award winning academic program and a second to none extracurricular program.

  • Inflation rates. This same school in the early 80s would have cost under 4 million dollars and today it's 30 million. One thing for sure is those costs will continue to rise every year. If we wait another 10 or 20 years this same school could cost 50 million or more.

  • Interest rates. Interest rates are at historic lows. In the early 80s interest rates were 15-18% and might have been a determining factor in that bond election which would be understandable. Today that's not the case. Gilmer ISD recently refinanced current bond notes at an unbelievable 1.9% interest rate. With our credit rating and financial stability, we will be able to lock in good rates and be able to build a lot more school for our tax dollars.

Because of these 4 factors, we the board of trustees for GISD feel it is our duty and responsibility to submit these propositions as outlined by the community committee to you the tax payer. Furthermore, we feel that from a financial perspective it would be prudent to consider this matter now rather than passing it along to the next generation. On behalf of the board, our teachers and administrators and our students, I thank you for your time and consideration.