Board honors state champs addresses light agenda

Published 11:30 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Elizabethton Board of Education met on Tuesday for their regularly scheduled December meeting in a celebratory mood and took care of a light docket on their regular agenda.
Coach Shawn Witten and the players and coaches from the 2019 BlueCross Bowl Class 4-A State Champ Elizabethton Cyclones were recognized before the business portion of the agenda started for their recent accomplishments on the football field.
Board Chairman Rita Booher presented Witten with an encased football that will be placed in the school’s trophy case that was signed by the players and coaches while both EHS Athletic Director and head coach Shawn Witten thanked the board for taking time to recognize the team and the support given to the program throughout the season.
Light refreshments were served and the team allowed to leave before the board dove into the business portion of the meeting.
During the Director’s update portion of the meeting, Director of Schools – Dr. Corey Gardenhour took a moment to comment on the community’s support at the state championship game which Gardenhour said reflected on the health of the school system and the community supporting the team and the band, chorus, cheerleaders, and everyone representing Elizabethton High School.
Gardenhour also advised that a compliant bidder had been selected for the Stem Lab project which was Armstrong Construction and contract negotiations are currently underway to get started on the project very soon.
Also, Gardenhour said that federal paperwork had been completed and the board later voted to approve the purchase of Avigilon Access Control Security/Camera System for Elizabethton City Schools using funding from the COPS Grant in the amount of $533,425.97.
Gardenhour also informed the board that a meeting with TRANE was held in regards to an energy audit to look at the HVAC systems, specifically the air handlers in the EHS gymnasium which are 1974 models, as well as some HVAC needs at Harold McCormick Elementary and lighting needs throughout the system.
In addition, TRANE will also look at going from a two-pipe to a four-pipe system at EHS. The audit will take four to five months to complete with numbers presented to the board in regard to the cost associated with making recommended changes.
Elizabethton High School principal Jon Minton gave a school report covering the Spring and Fall semesters of 2019.
Minton recognized the teachers for their hard work and his appreciation for that work and their willingness to work to help students to think outside the box with more creative approaches.
Minton went on to give recognition to students currently in the school. He said that there are a total of 11 students who have scored 30 or higher on their ACT with the total number of students who have increased their ACT by two points over multiple attempts being 56, and the total number of students who have scored 21 or higher is 104.
Also, in the spring semester of 2019 students earned a total of 86 dual enrollment credits and 36 AP credits, while in the fall semester students are projected to receive 239 dual enrollment credits in Composition 1, Composition 2, Speech, Computer Apps and the newly created Capstone project.
Other items addressed by the board from the regular agenda included improving the Title 1 Computer Lab Assistant and the Title 1 Teacher Assistant positions at Harold McCormick be converted from part-time to full time.
A credit card account for system travel was approved with a credit limit of $25,000. The purpose of this account will allow school personnel to check out the card and return the receipts for approved training and professional opportunities due to the fact that checks are no longer a viable source of paying for these functions.
Approval was also given by the board to approve an amount not to exceed $13,500 for Architectural and Engineering fees for the T.A. Dugger Jr. High School project to Thomas Weems Architect.
The board also agreed to hear from findings around the project from Weems before making a decision whether to wait or proceed with delivering a request to the City Council asking for a bond issue in the amount of $1.2 million dollars for improvements at T.A. Dugger.
A decision will have to be made relatively quickly as City Council will be looking at refinancing bonds during their February 2020 meeting according to councilman Michael Simerly who was in attendance at the board meeting.
The meeting was adjourned with the next regularly scheduled meeting to take place on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, in the Mack Pierce Board Room at 6:30 pm.

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