VIDEO: DeKalb BOE approves building lease, employee items, and a HAM radio station for Plainview!
June 10, 2017
Southern Torch (3918 articles)

VIDEO: DeKalb BOE approves building lease, employee items, and a HAM radio station for Plainview!

PHOTO: The DeKalb Board of Education in their June meeting, held yesterday (Friday, June 9). (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Video at the Bottom) The DeKalb County Board of Education held their June meeting and workshop yesterday (Friday, June 9). The board approved several new hires, summer workers, a lease for the virtual learning center, and a HAM radio station for Plainview!

To begin the work session, Jerod Sharp addressed the board on the need for a Boys’ State orientation through the board of education, to ensure that students know what to expect, and what they program has to offer.

“Recently, I served on the Boys’ State staff, and one of the things I noticed while I was there, a lot of the staff members were talking about orientations, and orientating the delegates, young men and women that are attending Boys and Girls state, they would orient them. They’d inform them on things they can run for, things they can do, and the prestige of Boys State,” explained Sharp.

“I’d love for DeKalb County to have the truest form of representation from DeKalb County, and the reason I don’t think they’ve had the truest form of representation, because some of these boys and girls don’t know what they are getting themselves into,” explained Sharp.

“All in all, I’d like to get DeKalb County more involved in Boys’ State,” Sharp said, in part.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett responded: “I’d be glad to set up an appointment in my office and talk a little more about the process. What I think would be a good idea, is to deal more with our counselors and talk with them about the selection process and inform these students about the opportunities they have at Boys state or Girls State, and letting them, the counselors and administrators be more involved in some of that, the nominating, and once get a core group that may be interested in it, letting Jerod present some of his experiences.”

“I think you serving as perhaps a liaison here locally in DeKalb County would probably be very beneficial for our students,” concluded Barnett.

Next, the board discussed empowering the superintendent to purchase a property in Geraldine, adjoining the football field, to build a practice field. A citizen had donated the money for the board to move forward on the purchase. The board would vote to empower the superintendent to move forward with the purchase during the regular meeting.

The superintendent also informed the board that the school system would be contributing to each school to help Junior and Senior Beta clubs go to the National Convention in Orlando, Florida. He also discussed upgrading many of their systems through Google services, to give the school district a more uniform system.

Barnett also discussed a leadership retreat that board employees, teachers, and principals would taking part in over the next few days.

To start the regular meeting, after approving the prior minutes and agenda, the board introduced the new DEA/ESPO representatives. DeKalb Educators Association President Devin Bowlin introduced Theresa Smith, who will serve as the Vice President of the DEA. Mary Jo Chandler, will be serving as the President of ESPO for the new school year.

After approving an FY 2017 Budget Amendment, the board handled employee items (Listed Below).

To begin the Superintendent’s Recommendations, Barnett announced the donation of a Ham radio station for Plainview School from the Mentone Communications Educational Association, Inc. An 80 foot tower and other equipment will be installed at the school to provide students with training on the radio and will have the added benefit of providing communications during storms or other emergencies. The board approved the new program and placing a chain link fence around the tower.

The board also honored Rosemary Adams (Librarian at Crossville Middle) and Abbey Thomas (Ider High School), who were recent winners of the ALSDE ScreenCast Challenge.

The board also updated their policies to be in compliance with Alabama state code. The updates included Voluntary Religious Expression, Dual Enrollment, and Grades averaged to the fifth decimal point for Rankings and Honor. These policies are required by law.

Barnett then recommended that the board enter into a 12 month lease for a commercial property in Rainsville to house the school system’s, “Virtual Learning Center.”

“We’ve talked a little bit about this, and we want to take this opportunity, to advertise what we are doing. Most people in DeKalb County aren’t even aware that we have a virtual schools program. This will be an opportunity to advertise and promote it,” said Barnett.

He also explained that after the 12 month lease the board will evaluate the program’s success, and decide whether or not to renew the lease.

“I like the idea of a 12 month lease instead of a longer term,” said Board Member Matt Sharp. “Because we want it to be successful and for it to pay for itself. Hopefully it will. If it doesn’t we’ll just have to reevaluate it on an annual basis.”

The superintendent then recommended the board empower him to make pending placements, as some coaching positions will have responsibilities this summer, such as team camps. The board approved the measure. (Watch our website for updates on the placements in the coming weeks)

“Do we have any renovations going on at the schools this summer?” Asked Matt Sharp.

Barnett related that work was ongoing at Sylvania High School (fixing leaks in the field house) and with the network upgrades. He also noted that air conditioning was being installed at a couple of schools, and that repair work was currently going on at Ider High School.

The next meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education will be held on July 11 at 5 pm (Work Session beginning at 4 pm.)

Employee Actions (All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted):

  • Non-Renewals/Terminations
    • Kyle Cochran, Special Education Teacher, Valley Head, Non-Renewal
  • Retirement/Resignations
    • David Uptain – Principal (12 month), Crossville High, Retirement
    • Stacy Pope – Elementary Teacher, Geraldine, Retirement
    • Doug Haynes – Secondary English/PE Teacher, Resignation
  • Leave of Absence
    • Stacey Dover – Elementary Secretary, Plainview
    • Andrea Hastings – School Nurse, Moon Lake
    • Ray Evans – Maintenance Worker, Facilities
  • Transfers 
    • Angela Johnston – CNP Worker to CNP Assistant Manager at Geraldine
    • Sarah Goodwin – Pre-K Teacher to Elementary Counselor at Plainview
    • Selena Smith – Elementary Counselor to Pre-K Teacher at Plainview
    • Judith Releford – CNP Worker at Ider to CNP Worker at Sylvania
  • Placements (Certified)
    • Stephanie Faulkner – Secondary Language Arts Teacher, Geraldine
    • Casey Gaddis – Secondary Mathematics Teacher, Collinsville
    • Sara Argiro – Itinerant Fine Arts Teacher, District-Wide
    • Jodie Jacobs – Instructional Supervisor (School Improvement Specialist), Central Office
    • Vanessa Marroquin – Secondary Mathematics Teacher, Crossville High
    • Steven Goff – Elementary Teacher, Henagar Jr. High
  • Placements (Support) 
    • Rodney Haymon – Bus Driver, Valley Head
    • Brandi Chapman – Store Worker (6 hr), Crossville Middle 4 hr/Crossville Elementary 2 Hour
    • Lee Anna Porter Faulkner – Itinerant School Nurse, Plainview
    • David Bailey – Elementary Custodian, Moon Lake
  • Contracts 
    • Kim Maness – Summer Contract, Local (Richards Abstained)
    • Rebecca Griffin – Psychometric Testing, Idea B
    • Occupational Therapy – Evaluations and OT Services, Idea B
    • Twin Acres Physical Therapy – Physical Therapy, Idea B
    • Margaret Brown – Clerical, Local
  • Principal Contracts
    • Mary Lance – Moon Lake Elementary School (Sharp Voted Nay)
    • Tony Richards – Plainview High School (Sharp Voted Nay)

Watch the Full Video:

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