Board of Education bids official farewell

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

The Portales Municipal Schools director of special student services plans to retire July 1.

At Monday’s Board of Education meeting in the district administration building, Superintendent Randy Fowler announced Terry Warnica’s retirement.

“The thing about Terry is she’s always the same — levelheaded and keeps her department going strong,” Fowler said. “I think she’s an advocate for the students.”

Fowler also said Warnica is professional, meticulous and accurate, and she will be missed.

“She’s been very good for this district,” he continued.

After the meeting, Warnica said she plans to remodel her house, travel with her parents, play with her grandchildren and volunteer after her retirement. She has been taking classes in cabinet making and home repair and maintenance at Clovis Community College.

“I’ve been working with students with disabilities and giftedness for 32 years,” Warnica said. “It’s time to let someone else take over.”

Of her 32 years in the field, Warnica has spent the last 25 in Portales after working in Clovis for seven years. She spent 15 years as a special education teacher, five years as a diagnostician and 12 years as the director of special student services.

“I believe I’ve made a difference in the lives of some students with disabilities and their families, which has made me blessed,” Warnica said. “Portales schools treat all students equally.”

In her current position, Warnica oversees therapists and nurses, as well as making sure employees follow federal regulations and provide students with “Free Appropriate Public Education.” She also guides administrators in obeying laws and documenting information, and gathers data for State Performance Plan Indicators, as required by federal law.

“We’re proud of her,” said board member Mary Lou Rowley.

In other business, the board:

• heard a report on the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control program. Director Theresa Teti said Portales High School, Portales Junior High School and Elida, Floyd and Dora schools are participating. The program is now fully funded, and Teti hopes to expand it to Lindsey Elementary School next year.

• accepted a $1,500 donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation for Portales High School choir, baseball and football power lifting.

• renewed a joint use agreement with the City of Portales for use of baseball, softball and tennis facilities.

• heard Fowler say that he hopes to begin work on the roof and heating and cooling system at Valencia Elementary School as soon as the school year ends.

• heard that the Portales High School cheerleaders won first place in their division of the state cheerleading competition, and the Portales Junior High School cheerleaders took second in their division.

• heard that Portales High School student Christian Townsend qualified for the national speech and debate tournament for the second year in a row. Principal Melvin Nusser said he didn’t know of any student qualifying two years in a row before.