Safety News & Awards

Winner of 2015-2016 eLearning grand prize presented to Gentry Elementary by Safety Officer, James Gadsden.

Irena Daniels (Office Assistant), Teri Richard (Secretary), Dr. Jennifer Hammett (Principal), Yoena Duran (Office Assistant) and Katie Polk (Nurse).

The Risk Management Department presents safety awards annually to recognize departments and individual employees for their achievements in working and driving safely. 

The Safe Driver award is given to an individual that has gone 10 years or more without any at fault accidents. The Department Safe Driving award recognizes those departments that have experienced a reduction in at fault accidents or going a certain number of years without any at fault accidents.

On March 30, 2016, Risk Management Safety Officer, James Gadsden, presented the following Safe Driver Awards.

Winner of 2015-2016 eLearning

Andrew Floyd - 26 Years

Winner of 2015-2016 eLearning

Charles "Chuck" Darnell - 15 years

Winner of 2015-2016 eLearning

Elroy Olivas - 11 years

Safe Driver awards were also presented to:

James Adams - 15 years

Daniel Contreras - 20 years

Larry Dickerson - 26 years

Timothy Lamb - 10 years

Rodney Moriarity - 22 years

Michael Williams - 10 years

Mr. Gadsden present the following Safe Worker Awards:

Safe Worker Awards

Accepting for Debra Burleson - her daughter and MHS Food Service

Safe Worker Awards

Ana Rivera, Floyd Elementary

Mr. Gadsden presented the following departmental Safety Awards

departmental Safety Awards

Carpentry - Lonnie Womack

departmental Safety Awards

Kitchen Equipment - James Moye

departmental Safety Awards

Special Services - Mikael Aguilar, Byron Komah, Amado Bazan, Bobby Brazil, and Chuck Darnell

departmental Safety Awards

Technical Services - Clay Cottles

Risk Management Department presented the 2014-2015 Safety Awards to the following departments:

Campus Services 6 years without any lost time injuries

Construction Services 1 year without any lost time injuries

Print Shop 7 years without any lost time injuries

Special Services 14 years without any lost time injuries

Technical Services 2 years without any lost time injuries

Risk Management Department presented the 2014-2015 Safety Awards to the following Facilities Management departments:

Electricians 1 year without any lost time injuries

General Turf 1 year without any lost time injuries

Kitchen Equipment 5 years without any lost time injuries

Locksmiths 11 years without any lost time injuries

Painters 6 years without any lost time injuries

Plumbing 1 year without any lost time injuries

Refrigeration 23 years without any lost time injuries

Mesquite ISD Receives 2015 TASB Loss Prevention Grant

Mesquite ISD was awarded a loss prevention grant of $1,700 from the Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund.

Since 1998, a total of 2,230 Loss Prevention Grants, valued at over $5.62 million, have been awarded to pool members in the Workers' Compensation and Property and Liability programs.  The purpose of TASB's grant program is to provide members with opportunities to reduce losses and raise awareness of safety issues. In past years, grant monies have been used to mitigate potential loss exposures through the purchase of personal protective equipment, mechanical lifting devices, fall protection equipment, funding defensive driving training and driver improvement courses, addressing fire protection and electrical safety initiatives, and obtaining facilities security equipment. 

Previously, Mesquite ISD received Loss Prevention Grants from TASB in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Loss Prevention Grants

Pictured (L-R): Michael Rock,TASB representative; Dr. David Vroonland, MISD Superintendent; Jennifer Jones,TASB representative; Christina Ford MISD Risk Management/Operations Manager; and James Gadsden III, Safety Officer.

2014 TASB Loss Prevention Grant

Mesquite ISD was awarded a $3,000 loss prevention grant from TASB. The grant money will be used to equip each of our maintenance vehicles with a first aid kit that will allow for immediate treatment of minor injuries.   This will mark the 5th consecutive year Mesquite ISD has been awarded this grant.

2014 TASB Loss Prevention Grant

Pictured (L-R): Michael Rock,TASB representative; Dr. Linda Henrie, MISD Superintendent; Christina Ford MISD Risk Management/Operations Manager; Jennifer Jones,TASB representative.

James E. Huckaby Appointed to Texas Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Board of Directors, January 2013

James E. HuckabyAustin, Texas - Eleanor Kitzman, Texas Insurance Commissioner, recently appointed Huckaby to serve as a public member representative to the Texas Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Board of Directors. His term will expire on September 30, 2017, or when a successor is appointed. 

The Texas Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association (“Association”) is a non-profit legal entity created by the Texas legislature in 1973 to protect Texas resident policyholders in the event of the insolvency and liquidation of a member insurance company. To provide this protection, the Association either continues the insurance policy coverage while paying the claims and other policy benefits or funding the transfer of the policies to another insurance company.

When a court finds an insurance company to be insolvent and orders it liquidated, a receiver takes over the insurer under the court’s supervision, and liquidates the assets and liabilities, except the task of administering  the insurance policies is the responsibility of the Association.  The Association then becomes one of the claimants against the estate of the insolvent insurance company to the extent of the payments and benefits it has provided to policyholders. As the assets of the insolvent company are liquidated, the Association may recover a portion of its costs to protect the policyholders.  The Association’s Board of Directors determines the amount needed to service that company’s policies and sends an assessment, or bill, to the other member insurance companies (the approximately 1,100 insurance companies licensed in Texas to sell the types of policies protected by the Association).

The Association operates as provided for in the Texas Insurance Code Chapter 463 (2012).  The nine members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Commissioner of Insurance. Five of the directors are required to be officers or employees of member insurance companies licensed in Texas, and three of these five must be from a company that is one of the top fifty premium writers in Texas. The remaining four must be “public” directors that are independent of the insurance industry. For additional information, visit

James E. HuckabyThe Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) has selected Mesquite ISD Administrative Officer of Operations/Risk Management, James E. Huckaby, ARM-P, as the 2011 Public Risk Manager of the Year. Huckaby was selected not only for his ability to effectively handle difficult situations through the development and implementation of short and long term solutions, but also because he possesses the mindset, experience, and the innovative strategies of a strong, proven leader. The Public Risk Manager of the Year Award competition searches for the grand master of risk management; one who handles losses, foresees risks, and prevents dangerous endgames. This award showcases risk management achievements to the entire public sector community and is the most prestigious award bestowed upon a PRIMA member.  Huckaby received the award at PRIMA’s 32nd Annual Conference held June 5-8, 2011 in Portland, Oregon.
James Gadsden III named Safety Officer

James Gadsden III

Responsible for Mesquite ISD's safety program since 2015 (which includes the development of loss prevention/loss control programs and ensuring compliance with state and federal safety laws), Safety Officer James Gadsden III duties include performing annual safety inspections at each district facility, job site safety inspections, safety concern investigations, accident/ injury investigations, ergonomic 

assessments, and overseeing the district's crossing guard program. He is also responsible for coordinating safety training for all employees, including general monthly safety topics, hazard communication (HAZCOM), equipment safety training, and defensive driving. Additionally, Gadsden manages the district's safety award recognition program. The awards (sponsored by the National Safety Council-Texas Chapter) are presented each spring at various venues; for the past several years, Mesquite ISD has received the highest number of safety awards among all other competing school districts.