Carter County School board votes in new superintendent, discusses items for next board meeting

Published 4:34 pm Friday, May 15, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
Carter County Schools held a short meeting to vote on their next superintendent’s contract, followed by a workshop through ZOOM and Facebook on Thursday evening.
The short meeting consisted of approving the employment contract for the new superintendent, Tracy McAbee. The board approved it in a 5-2 vote. Those opposing were Keith Bowers Sr. and Danny Ward, who stated it was nothing personal, but rather to do with changes along the way to the contract during negotiations. As this meeting ended, the workshop began.
The first to address the workshop was Michael Kennedy, Deputy Director for the Finance Department. Kennedy went over budget amendments to be voted on during the May 21 board meeting.
Following Kennedy’s amendment discussion, questions arose over amendment 10, which focuses on ELA textbook adoption. Diana Bowers, Curriculum Director, addressed this by answering that the textbook proposal was being brought up due to no commission meeting in July. Had she not brought them up this month, she won’t have the money until August.
Sheriff Dexter Lunceford took the floor next, asking for guaranteed funding for student resource officers, or SROs.
“I have to have funding for those 16 SROs for 365 days out of the year. I have to have it, and that has to be 100 percent guaranteed,” he said. “If it’s not, I don’t have the money to fund them.”
Following Lunceford, Sonya Miller, Program Director with Carter Cares After School Program, joined the video and discussed MOU for EMD. It was announced on April 15 that Ballad Health would no longer use EMD products for telemedicine. She said in the past, Carter County Schools had an agreement with EMD that the company would deliver the $6,000 supplement to nurses for telemedicine. Ballad will not offer this supplement. The company has asked schools to return to them, and at the next meeting Miller is asking the board to approve this.
Bowers resumed after Miller in discussion of textbooks. She provided proposals and explained payments that would be due. She said a committee to explore materials was also being used. This included a variety of staff (teachers, principals, others).
J.B. Nave took the stand after Bowers. She said she and Terry Hubbard, special education director, were supposed to go over the consolidated application for federal funding, but due to discovered mistakes in the application, she wanted to correct them before going over it.
Nave also spoke on CARES Act funding, stating the county would be getting 1.5 million dollars, and more information on funding will be announced during a webinar May 18. There will be plans to have a committee of various individuals, and a survey for teachers as well.
Hubbard followed and said she had budgets for the GP, IDEA and preschool, with corrections made, and that budgets had not changed.
After Hubbard, Danny McClain, Director of Student Support, stated he will be asking for approval to have a number given to the online school academy. He will also be exploring ideas of opening up extracurricular activities, with guidelines and approvals from health officials, starting June 1.
Peggy Campbell, Assistant Director of Schools, provided information on teachers who have “pushed the button,” or decided to retire and filed paperwork, following a $15,000 bonus proposed. She said there are now 24 retirees. In terms of staffing numbers, she also said there were three relocating, three not being brought back due to job performance and one who left and is not needed to bring back.
“That doesn’t mean that’s exactly 30 people that’s going to save jobs,” she said. “For example, several of them, including Ward, will be a position that we are hiring outside our district. But this has been tremendously helpful.”
As the meeting began to wind down, Lindsey Feathers, Director of School Nutrition, said emergency feeding ends May 20, and will be followed by summer feeding beginning June 1. Times and days will remain the same, except for Happy Valley Elementary School no longer being a site during the summer due to construction. The idea of a new site being added to replace it is being discussed, with staffing as a factor. The summer feeding ends June 30.
Ward closed the meeting with updates to graduation, including two cars now being allowed.
The next board meeting will be May 21 at 5:30 p.m. over Facebook for public viewing.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox