Constructing an improved Pettus ISD

Mike Homann began work as the Pettus school board superintendent March 25. He is working now to improve the district’s financial situation and improve its rating with the rate.

PETTUS – The construction of Pettus schools is nearly complete. The work that remains, though, cannot be seen as it lies inside the district.

That is where Mike Homann comes in as the new superintendent of the district.

His first priorities are to stabilize the finances of the district and to improve its C rating with the state.

“We want to provide a viable curriculum to bring up that rating as a C district,” he said. “You have to take a look at your curriculum and see where your students are and adjust it to the low areas.”

Financially, the district is not in a bind, but, he said, “the last audits have found our fund balance dropping.

“We want to make this a place where employees want to come to school.

“Good schools make good communities.

“It is not that I am coming into a bad district. I am just coming in to make changes, to make things better.”

None of this will come about immediately, but he has the summer to plan as he came in at the end of March, and the school year is drawing to a close.

“All changes in the school take time,” Homann said.

He spent the last nine years in Medina Valley in Castroville, working his way to assistant superintendent of business and finance, with 12 years prior to that in Luling where he began work as a teacher.

“I have been very selective in my career,” he said. “I was looking to learn as much as I could before stepping into the superintendent’s duties.”

His eye, though, has always been on this position as he earned his undergraduate degree from Southwest Texas (now Texas State) and then his master’s from Lamar University.

And while this is a far smaller school, less than 500 compared to 4,700 in Medina Valley, the atmosphere and people were the attraction.

“There are some unique aspects of a small town,” he said. “I watched other superintendent positions come and go for over a year.

“I thought this one would be a good fit.”

Small town life means knowing one’s neighbors.

“Everyone knows everyone else,” he said. “It is different in a big town.”

He grew up in Luling, with a population now about 5,500, which is considerably larger than Pettus but with the same atmosphere.

“You knew you were safe,” he said. “You knew your neighbors. Your neighbors looked out for you.”

Homann steps into this district at a time when construction is nearly complete.

The elementary school is finished and only a few loose ends remain on the middle/high school. The track is being redone with artificial turf being placed on the football field. That should be completed about the end of May, if the weather holds.

Ceremonies are planned for the community once the work is complete with a detailed announcement coming at a later date.

For Homann, this summer will be a time to plan for the next year but also a chance to spend time with his wife, Melissa, and their two boys, Hayden, 18, and Peyton, 15.

Peyton will be going to school in Pettus starting in the fall while Hayden will head to Texas A&M in Corpus Christi for a degree in Construction Science.

So this summer, there will be as much hunting and fishing planned as his schedule allows.

“My youngest hasn’t gotten a turkey yet,” Homann said.

And don’t forget the fish; look for them on the lake or on the bays — when his schedule will allow.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at media@mySouTex.com.