City, schools work together to keep resource officers on campuses

Published 12:12 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

BY ROBERT SORRELL
Star Correspondent
School resource officers will continue to work in schools after the Elizabethton Board of Education approved an agreement with the city on Thursday.
Director of Schools Richard VanHuss said there have been school resource officers in every school in the city for the last three years. The district was paying for the officers with a three-year federal grant. The city received $45,000 for each of those officers.
The district has been able to save $14,000 per position and will use that to continue the program.
VanHuss said the district asked the city to cover the difference. City Council approved a memorandum of understanding during its July meeting to pay for those officers.
“We are excited about that partnership and what those officers bring to our students and our schools,” VanHuss said.
He said Police Chief Jason Shaw has provided quality officers for the school resource officer program in Elizabethton.
“These officers are very much needed in the environment that we have today,” said Board Chairman Vice Phil Isaacs.
The board also approved a motion to create a new transitional football coach position.
VanHuss said that due to an increase in student athlete participation at the middle and high schools, there has become a need for a new coach position. The new coach will work during the 2022-2023 school year, but if participation numbers decrease, the position would be eliminated, VanHuss said.
The board approved a request to purchase a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Lift Van. VanHuss said there has been a need to purchase a van that can transport individuals in wheelchairs.
The director said there are a few areas where handicap buses cannot reach so a van would make it easier to get to students. Two individuals with wheelchairs can use the van, he said.
Other approved items on the agenda included minor adjustments of board policies, such as legislative involvement, numerical grading scores and internet usage.
The board also recognized Elizabethton High School Swim Coach Kelli Broussard who has been named Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year.

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