Galveston public school trustees on Wednesday approved putting a new administrative team at Central and Weis middle schools in hopes of steering the schools out of academic malaise.

With Wednesday’s unanimous vote, district officials have the OK to hire eight new positions.

Those positions will include a new principal, two assistant principals, three curriculum facilitators, a data and technology specialist and a marketing and communication specialist to steer the middle schools starting next school year.

“I’ve been on the board about a year and a half and I just have to say that I think this is the most important thing I will vote on and it is the one I am the happiest to vote on,” Trustee Anthony Brown said after making the motion.

Three of the district’s five middle schools were rated as “improvement required” in the most recent Texas Education Agency assessment. Repeated failure to meet state demands for improvement can have a range of consequences for public schools, including intervention by state education officials.

After trustees in February approved a plan to close one of those schools — Coastal Village Middle School — for next school year, Weis and Central middle schools were the only academically troubled schools remaining.

They are both housed at the Central building at 3014 Sealy Ave.

After the vote, Superintendent Kelli Moulton introduced Monique Lewis, who will lead the new administrative team as its principal. Lewis most recently was in charge of Fondren Middle School in Houston Independent School District.

Trustees and Moulton credited Lewis as being responsible for an educational turnaround at the Houston school.

“I’d like those of us who use the internet to get online and I’d like you to pull up TEA accountability ratings for Fondren Middle School from 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 and look at them in that order, Hay said.

“Those three consecutive years show what bringing in an exciting, vibrant, world-class trained Columbia-educated fireball can do.”

Lewis and her team will replace administrators at Central and Weis middle schools, including Central Principal Sherman Beafneaux and Weis Principal Cheryl Rutledge.

Moulton said that they had just been reassigned.

“Their contracts have not ended,” she said. “The will have other opportunities to serve the district.”

Documents presented to the board stated some of the original positions would be absorbed through attrition because of the new additions.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matthew.degrood@galvnews.com

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