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Sanger ISD surprises staff with employee retention stipend

Teachers and staff in Sanger ISD were greeted with an unexpected surprise on Tuesday morning — an employee retention stipend. As a thank-you for their tireless work since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sanger ISD school board unanimously approved the stipends at January's board meeting on Jan. 11. The checks, which were funded using ESSER II allocations, ranged from $500-$1,000, depending on length of employment. Staff who had been with the district one year or less received $500. Employees who had been with Sanger ISD 2-5 years received $750, while staff employed six years or more received $1,000.

"This is a small token of appreciation for the hard work our staff has put forth during education's most challenging time," Sanger ISD Superintendent Dr. Tommy Hunter said. "COVID has been a battle both professionally and personally for us all, and we all have been impacted by COVID one way or another."

In all, Sanger ISD distributed nearly $375,000 in stipends to over 400 employees. Several members of the school board, including board President Ken Scribner, were on hand Tuesday morning to deliver checks to staff members at various campuses. "Teachers are our biggest asset," Scribner said. "In 12 years, I've fought hard for raises. Any time there is a chance to put any extra money in their pockets, whenever we have the funds, I'm 1,000% for it. "Thank you doesn't go far enough."

Board Vice President Sarah York, who also helped hand out the checks, said giving back to teachers and staff was an easy decision. "I believe that what we have in Sanger is special," York said. "We have teachers and staff that give their heart and soul to each and every student. They see them for who they are and the potential they possess. Each teacher and staff member has the unique opportunity to encourage and ignite that fire. We are incredibly blessed as a district and as a school board, and giving back was easy to say yes to without hesitation."

Clear Creek Intermediate third-grade teacher Brandie Kitchens smiles and celebrates after receiving her employee retention stipend on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

From left, Sanger ISD Superintendent Dr. Tommy Hunter, board member Mitch Hammonds, Vice President Sarah York, board member Lisa Cody and President Ken Scribner pose for a photo before delivering the employee retention stipends on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. In all, Sanger ISD distributed nearly $375,000 to over 400 employees.

Lori Galbreath, a second-grade teacher at Butterfield Elementary, hugs Sanger ISD school board Vice President Sarah York after receiving her employee retention stipend.


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