BOE hears report from high school’s Bartleby Project

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden                                    Elizabethton High School teacher Dustin Hensley provides an update from the student-led Bartleby Project.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Elizabethton High School teacher Dustin Hensley provides an update from the student-led Bartleby Project.

The Elizabethton Board of Education is looking at bringing in another part for their operation next month.
After seeing the recent strides made by students, the idea of having a student liaison serve on the BOE was brought up during Tuesday’s meeting.
The idea of having a student on the board was talked about in more detail by Elizabethton High School teacher Dustin Hensley during his update to the board on the school’s recent achievement with the “Bartleby Project” – which was awarded $200,000 by XQ America during the Super School competition.
“We are really excited about the student school board member,” Hensley said. “We spoke with a representative with XQ and he said their president thought the idea was the coolest thing they’ve heard during all of this is the student school board member. They thought it was the biggest thing out of all of this, even the $10 million projects.”
Having a student serve with elected officials will only help bridge the gap between the board and students, BOE Chair Rita Booher said.
“I know that when we were in Mountain City a few weeks ago, we were talking about having a student serve on the board with us,” Booher added. “We love the idea. We would hope it would make the board seem more approachable to our students and show that we care about what they say.”
The idea of having a student on the board will also show what the BOE goes through when approaching plans and seeing some limitations officials may go through when delving into an item, according to the chair.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Booher added. The City Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour added the item would be looked at during November’s meeting.
Hensley went into detail about what’s ahead for the sociology students that created the Bartley Project. The students and faculty that assisted with the project will hold a special banquet at TCAT – Elizabethton in Stoney Creek on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. to meet with the community and discuss how the students can get involved.
“We want to go into the audience and ask what can we do to partner with you?,” Hensley said.
The teacher went on about how the school is hoping to implement two classes for the 2017-18 school year – the Bartleby Community Improvement class and Bartleby Entrepreneurial Project class. Hensley added that each class would include around 15 students that would be selected following an application process and vetting from boards.
The banquet will also house Sebastian Turner, XQ Lead for Special Projects, to explain what the organization is all about and Lee Hirsch. Hirsch, who recently worked on the documentary titled “Bully,” will be on hand to film the event for XQ in part of the recent Super School Project movement.
In other business, the BOE voted to:
• Approve a contract with Blackburn, Childers & Steagall for audit services.
• Approve the 2016 LEA Compliance Report
• Ratify the approval of two assistant positions to meet IEP requirements for special education students.
• Approve the contract renewal with Rebekah Price for public relations services.
• Approve equipment disposal request of one 1997 Chevrolet Lumina.

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