MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
October 7, 2013
The Montgomery County Board of Education convened in its regular monthly meeting on Monday, October 7, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. Board members were present as follows:
Steven W. DeBerry, Chair
Tommy Blake, Vice Chair
Chairman DeBerry called the meeting to order and moved to adopt the agenda as shown. With a motion by Ann Long and a second from Jesse Hill, the agenda was adopted with unanimous approval from the board.
Chairman DeBerry opened with a devotional. The reading focused on making the best of everything. Max Cleland was a typical, all-American boy, who starred in sports and was voted his high school’s most outstanding senior. At the age of twenty-four, he volunteered for combat duty in Vietnam. One month before he was to return home, Cleland noticed that a grenade had been dropped accidentally. Thinking that the pin was still intact, he bent to pick it up. The blast threw him backwards. Cleland looked down in horror to find his right leg and hand missing and his left leg badly damaged. He tried to cry out, but shrapnel had ripped his throat. No one expected him to survive, but he recovered from a triple amputation, returned to civilian life and entered politics. Cleland works daily for Veteran causes. He was the youngest man ever to head the Veteran’s Administration and was later elected Georgia’s secretary of state. Cleland has been quoted as saying, “Life doesn’t revolve around an arm and leg”. Sometimes the happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best with what they have.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America was led by Mt. Gilead Elementary Students: Jimmy Henry, Tommy Watkins, Kolby Woodard, Brandon Chambers and Elijah LeGrande.
With no one signing up to address the board, the meeting proceeded with a Resolution
of Esteem for Phyllis Walser Poole. The resolution was presented to her family as follows:
WHEREAS, our Heavenly Father, in His infinite love and wisdom, saw fit to call home Phyllis Walser Poole on September 4, 2013 and
WHEREAS, her services as a teacher with Montgomery County Schools were a living testimonial of her integrity and skill, and
WHEREAS, her loss will be deeply felt, not only by those with whom she served, but also throughout her entire community and county.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Montgomery County Board of Education goes on record in expressing a sense of real loss and regret in her passing; that a copy of this resolution be conveyed to her family as an indication of our deep sympathy; and that a copy of the same be filed as a part of the permanent minutes of the Board of Education.
Superintendent Ellis presented Win Dozier and family with the 2013-14 NCSBA Business and Non-Profit Honor Roll. Dr. Ellis thanked Mr. Dozier for all his support through the years.
Albert Johnson, Vice President of the Mount Gilead Community Foundation, presented Dr. Ellis with a check in the amount of $23,400. The funds are to be used toward renovation and to replace the porches on the Leah Levin Memorial Auditorium.
Superintendent Ellis recognized Beth Lancaster, Principal at Mt. Gilead Elementary, as Montgomery County Schools Principal of the Year for 2013-14. Dr. Ellis applauded Mrs. Lancaster on the tremendous job she does as principal and states she will do well in the regional competition.
Beth Lancaster presented Friends in Focus with a Partnership Award. “Friends in Focus” is a group created by Mr. Earl Leake. The members want to give back to the community and do so by donating their time and talents to Mt. Gilead Elementary. Mrs. Lancaster said, “Mt. Gilead Elementary is blessed to have Friends in Focus. They are an integral part of our school”. Thank you for all you do for our students.
Next, Chairman DeBerry asked for a motion that the Consent Agenda be approved. Tommy Blake made the motion with Sandra Miller seconding. With no opposition, the Consent Agenda was accepted as shown.
1. Board Minutes from the September 9, 2013 meeting;
2. Personnel and Auxillary Reports as follows:
a. Upon the recommendation of the principal, approval of the following additions to the
substitute teacher list:
Noncertified Recommended By Record Check
1) Barbara Melodia Beth Lancaster Yes
2) Martha Greene Jack Cagle Yes
b. Superintendent reports the acceptance of the following resignations/retirements:
Resignation/Retirement School/Assignment Effective Date
1) Billy Ridgeway Green Ridge Elementary September 17, 2013
Resignation Part time Custodian
2) Heather Huneycutt West Montgomery High School October 17, 2013
Resignation Social Studies Teacher
c. Upon recommendation, approval of the following changes in job title/responsibilities:
Joseph (Bucky) Williams, Maintenance Department, General Foreman
Danny Parks, Maintenance Department, Mechanical Foreman
d. Upon recommendation, approval of the following interim probationary contracts for 2013-2014 as provided by General Statute 115C-325:
Contract/ School/ Record
Effective Date Assignment Check Replacing
1) Gary Thomas West Montgomery High Yes Elizabeth Ritch
10/4/2013 Agriculture Teacher
2) Toby Karnes Troy Elementary School Yes New Position
9/17/2013 1st Grade Teacher
3) Eric Trail West Montgomery High Yes Heather Huneycutt
10/17/2013 Social Studies
e. Upon recommendation of the superintendent, approval of recommendation for employment of the following non-certified personnel:
Employee/ School/ Record
Effective Date Assignment Check Replacing
1) Wanda Watkins Page Street Elementary Yes April Mabe
09/19/2013 Part time Child Nutrition
2) Christopher Lee County Office Yes Heather Marshall
f. Upon recommendation of the superintendent, approval of recommendation for employment
of the following bus driver/sub drivers for the 2013-2014 school year that are not dual employees: Christina Childress
3. Montgomery County Partnership for Children contract;
4. SpyGlass Snapshot Audit;
5. Change order #001 for Mt. Gilead Leah Levin Auditorium;
6. Synovia solutions GPS tracking system for buses.
Superintendent Ellis proposed the following graduation dates: WMHS – Friday, June 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm; MLA – Friday, June 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm; EMHS – Friday, June 14, 2014 at 9:00 am. Dr. Ellis recommended approval so they could be published for the convenience of the community in making plans for attendance. With unanimous approval from the board, Bryan Dozier made the motion to approve the dates with Shirley Threadgill seconding.
Beth Lancaster, Principal and Lucy Lloyd, Guidance Counselor at Mt. Gilead Elementary introduced students participating in the Gator Good Guys and Saturday Academy programs. Gator Good Guys was started for boys that could benefit and grow from learning certain skills. Jimmy Henry, Tommy Watkins, Kolby Woodard, Brandon Chambers and Elijah LeGrande were there to speak about the programs. The young men said they focus on learning 12 rules for success; including making eye contact, respecting others, saying “thank you”, not bragging, being organized and completing homework on time. Mrs. Lancaster says she sees great growth in them. The group gets rewarded by earning pizza parties and other special activites, such as going to a Charlotte Bobcats game. Saturday Academy is an academic tutoring group meeting once a week. The attendees are chosen by their teachers. The focus of this group is homework and respect. Teachers send a weekly report card to Mr. Earl Leake (Friends in Focus organizer) and Mr. Earl (mentor). Mr. Leake and Mr. Earl touch base with the boys weekly, letting them know what they need to work on. Mrs. Lancaster showed pictures from both programs and thanked all members of Friends in Focus who come in each week to work with the students and make a difference in their lives.
Superintendent Ellis spoke for Dr. Kevin Lancaster on the Teacher Tenure Law Update. The legislature passed a law phasing out teacher tenure by July 1, 2018. By July 1, 2014, school systems must offer 25% of the best teachers the opportunity to give up tenure and receive up to a four year contract which includes an annual pay raise of $500 during the four years. This would be a four year total of $5,000. This stipulation raises a lot of questions and it becomes problematic where the starting point is. Questions include: What criteria will we use to determine the “best” teachers? Will salary stay the same or will it be a bonus? Will testing and accountability have a bearing on it? The first discussion with NCAE members has taken place. The suggestion is to put together a committee of teachers and NCAE members and let them filter through the criteria making a recommendation to the superintendent. Some systems will choose teachers through a lottery system. There is no right decision, but the discussion is open. The final recommendation is to come.
Dr. Takeda LeGrand, Dr. Jeff James and Phillip Brown discussed the Healthy Living Curriculum Update. Dr. LeGrand and Dr. James presented a power point on “The Healthy Youth Act and Montgomery County Schools”. Included in the power point was a video titled “Too Young”. The video featured teen mothers and the stresses and issues they face. Several problems mentioned were: underweight babies, feeling “left out” of school functions, can’t hold a job because of being a single mother and poverty; just to name a few. The video maintains that good kids can make bad choices. This video, along with two others – “Mothers Too Soon” and “Fathers Too Soon” – are available to the teaching staff. Mr. Brown discussed House Bill 88. The Bill first stated that teaching abstinence in the classroom is the only certain means of not getting pregnant and having STD’s. The law has been revised to say abstinence isn’t enough; it teaches respect for marriage and FDA approved methods of contraception. Dr. James said the next step was to evaluate where we are in the implantation of the curriculum, by working on gaps throughout the county. A grant through Appalachian is in the works to pay for funding. Bryan Dozier asked about having an “opt out” form, instead of the “opt in” version in years past. Ann Long asked if other counties were doing this curriculum and if it was helping. Dr. James stated counties had found a significant decrease in teen pregnancy and it opened the lines of communication with the parents. The path we are on is working; it just needs to be stressed over a longer amount of time.
A FirstHealth Update was presented by Gina Smith. A power point covered the status of the school health centers and gave data on users and visits. A total of 2,527 vaccines were given to students and staff last year. FirstHealth will give flu shots to staff and administration this year; BCBS gave them in the past. Nurses will be going to each school to administer the vaccine. Data from Cervical Cancer Free NC shows the percentage of HPV vaccines completed in this county were 83.7%. The School Based Health Centers completed 621 sports physicals last year. FirstHealth is launching a new program for students called FYI or Fit Youth Initiative. FYI is a six week program meeting twice a week. Participants do forty-five minutes of physical activities, like yoga, Zumba or fitness testing. The health centers have a new piece of equipment called a Telehealth. The Telehealth enables prescriptions to be written by doctors by seeing patients over a “screen”. This helps patients with a faster treatment time. Ms. Smith commended the Board and the School Health Nurses for the fantastic job they are doing.
Superintendent Ellis presented a request for Centurion Wireless Security Educational Facilities to install a panic button alarm system in all Montgomery County Schools, including the Central Office. The state passed a grant to match dollar for dollar the amount put into a panic button alarm system. Cameras report the crime, but don’t prevent it. If there is an issue, the alarm system will guarantee an immediate response. It will be implemented immediately with signage upon approval from the Board. With a motion by Bryan Dozier and a second from Sandra Miller, the request received unanimous approval.
The following policies were presented by for study at the September 9, 2013 Board Meeting to be approved. These include: Policy Code 4302-R-1 Incident Report-Use of Seclusion or Restraint in Schools and Policy Code 4330 Theft, Trespass and Damage to Property. Ann Long made the motion to approve with Sandra Miller seconding. The policies passed with unanimous approval from the Board.
A first year update of the Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) was presented by Bill Mingin, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. Mr. Mingin discussed each slide in the power point and showed the Board before and after pictures of the work that had been completed.
In closing remarks, Dr. Ellis discussed attending the NCCBSBM and being part of the Superintendent’s roundtable. Topics included: Networking opportunities, charter schools and how the Federal shutdown would affect the Child Nutrition department. Montgomery County may have to dip into the fund balance. Time will tell, depending on how the shutdown plays out.
With a motion from Bryan Dozier, along with a second from Ann Long, the board unanimously approved going into closed session to discuss personnel.
After the closed session, Chairman DeBerry then asked for a motion to adjourn. With a motion from Bryan Dozier, along with a second from Shirley Threadgill, the meeting was duly adjourned.
The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, November 4, 2013.
Steven W. DeBerry, Chairman
Dale Ellis, Ed. D., Secretary