|Board recognizes student achievements|
|Tuesday, May 22, 2012|
With the last day of the school year just a week away, the Board of Education took time to recognize standout students in addition to its normal agenda of policy revisions. Future Farmers of America (FFA) members and much of Merrol Hyde Magnet School’s speech team were presented to the board for their accomplishments.
Most policy revisions were minor, but at least one proposed change to concession stand policy drew protest from civic group Sertoma. The Board also approved a slate of new school positions that would replace or rewrite current positions.
Portland’s Glen Gregory introduced the FFA students, who hailed from across Sumner county. “I went to the FFA banquet a couple weeks ago and I’ve never been more impressed with any ceremony... We’re not only recognizing one chapter, I think we have students [present] from every high school in Sumner County.”
Officers representing the different FFA chapters were on hand, and an officer from each addressed the board, outlining their chapter’s accomplishments at the recent state FFA competition.
District four representative Beth Cox introduced Merrol Hyde’s speech team and their faculty sponsor Courtney Spears. The team won top awards at the Tennessee High School Speech and Drama League district two tournament on March 24. Four students claimed first place trophies, 19 were finalists, and 11 qualified for the state competition. The team overall finished in second place.
Board members also praised Merrol Hyde for being named one of the best high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
A seemingly small proposed change to board policy regarding who runs school concession stands drew a reaction from Bill Rogers, treasurer of the Hendersonville Sertoma Club, a charitable civic organization. The change of a single line in policy JHB gives school support organizations the “first opportunity to operate concessions over an outside organization,” like Sertoma. According to the board, only Hendersonville and Station Camp High Schools currently use outside groups to run their concessions.
Rogers outlined the club’s history, service, and financial contributions to local schools. He cited the club’s yearly scholarships and financial assistance to students who need hearing aids. Sertoma’s involvement with Station Camp High School dates back to the school’s opening, when they offered to run the school’s concession stand and split the proceeds evenly.
According to Rogers, much of their half of the funds was reinvested in students. “Hendersonville Noon Sertoma Club is proud we have donated to Station Camp High School and the Station Camp STARS program over $41,000.”
“Let’s keep this partnership going for Station Camp High School, the students and the people attending our game,” implored Rogers.
Rogers argument made at least one board member rethink the proposed policy change. “I’m not ready to make decision at this point. Since Station Camp’s beginning we have had support from outside support organizations,” said Ted Wise, whose motion to defer for more study failed for lack of a second after Chairman Don Long noted that they were running out of time to get the revision in place before the beginning of the next school year.
Beth Cox noted the language would not prohibit outside civic groups to run concession stands if the principal wanted the outside group to continue.
The board promised to study the issue further, and voted to pass it on first reading. Another vote at next month’s voting session is required before it becomes official policy.
The board approved Director of Schools Dr. Del R. Phillips’ request for three new high-level positions. The new job descriptions for Assistant Directors of Facilities and Information Services, and Property & Records Supervisor replace, rewrite, or consolidate earlier positions that will either be vacant soon or are currently unfilled.
“We’re basically wanting to post this position in an effort to reorganize, streamline, and make more efficient how we operate within the system,” said Phillips of the Assistant Director of Facilities position. “Our number of employees will stay the same.”
The Assistant Director of Information Services is changing as current Technology Coordinator Bryce Embry is leaving that position. “We’re changing the role of that position to match our needs, which will be a little bit different... the job description is more enhanced regarding IT [information technology].”
The Property and Records Supervisor is part of an attempt to streamline operations at the school’s materials center. They will be in charge of tracking and coordinating educational equipment and support services.
*The board welcomed the new Assistant Director for Finance Amanda Pritchard. The Beech High Graduate comes from a background with TVA and Dollar General Corporation. She is the permanent replacement for interim Financial Director Jim Young, who has served since prior director Maryanne Durski took a position with the state Department of Education.
by Corey Conley