Travis Stilwell graduated from Tarleton State University, and has been the Superintendent of Tolar ISD since July of 2014. Prior to becoming superintendent, he spent 15 years as a campus level administrator including 12 years as a high school principal.
TOLAR — The new school year is upon us and we are off to a strong start. Our band is marching, athletic teams are playing, and classrooms are buzzing with the excitement of a new year.
As a district and a community, we are growing. More and more people are choosing to establish roots in our small town. At the beginning of the school year, we are up by roughly 50 students from last year. To large districts, this doesn’t sound like much. For us, this is substantial growth. I think the secret is out, Tolar is a great place to be!
In anticipation of future growth, we are planning and taking action to prepare. Three years ago, the district purchased 60 acres of land to allow a space for future expansion of our facilities as needed.
This land is located between Hill City Highway and Tolar Cemetery Road. It has road access on both sides and is a fantastic location for a campus in the future.
On the financial side of things, we refinanced our bonds this past year, which is saving the district $91,000 annually and roughly $2,000,000 over the course of 20 years. As a result, we were able to reduce the I&S tax rate by .03 cents for the current year. Thanks to legislative changes and local planning, we have been able to reduce our overall tax rate for five consecutive years.
Other facility additions and renovations that are taking place this year include the construction of a secondary high school gym, as well as replacing the high school roof. These projects help to maintain and expand our current facilities while preparing for the future.
Great things are happening in Tolar and all across Hood County. Our county is blessed with exceptional schools, top-notch educators and tremendous community support. I am excited to see all the tremendous accomplishments that lie ahead for the 2021-2022 school year.