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JCHS construction program receives praise statewide

By: Bonnie Davis Guy
Freelance Writer

The Johnson County Board of Education’s December 10th meeting came to order with all members in attendance with the exception of Mike Payne, who was in Nashville attending an orientation for new school board members. Roan Creek Elementary School was well represented with students, parents, and employees in attendance for the board to honor those receiving the employee and student of the month award.
Cathy Sutherland was the recipient of Employee of the Month award. Sutherland has been an employee with Johnson County School System for 21 years. During these years, she has served as a paraprofessional in the special education department. “It is a privilege to work with Mrs. Sutherland and see the love and concern she has,” said special education teacher Carol Hieronymus. “She ensures that the students under her tutelage master the skills before them. She fills each day up with activities that are meaningful to both students and staff alike.”
Students receiving the Roan Creek Character Excellence Recognition were Lexie Faircloth- kindergarten, Maira Colin-Reyes-grade one, Chloe Rhymer-grade one, Elizabeth Jennings-grade two, Jack Able-grade three, Jackson Clifton-grade three, Jordyn Lunceford-grade four, Emily Meredith–grade five, Kristyn Johnson-grade five, and Hallie Noble-grade six. Each honored student received a certificate and praise from the board.
The approval of the consent calendar included approval of November minutes, Head Start budget for calendar year 2016 and approval of an overnight field trip for the Johnson County High School Boys Basketball team who will travel to Roanoke, Virginia on December 18-19.
Student Board Member, Will Sutherland, gave his December report. Sutherland states that although students are looking forward to the upcoming break, most are busy finishing up the second round of English and Math TNReady tests. Next week hold both finals and end of course testing. Students will be receiving their spring class schedules on December 10th and December 17th will mark the end of the first semester.
Following a presentation from Herbie Adams and Tim Roberts from Johnson County High’s Career and Technical Education department outlining the progress of the most recent house the students are building, a request for approval to purchase a used truck was made. The funds would come from the program and would be in the amount of $10,000. The truck is needed to haul supplies for the building projects. Roberts also answered questions from the board regarding the program and the house. He reports the program is going so well that it is receiving praise and attention state wide, including an upcoming site visit from local philanthropist Scott Niswonger. Students perform 100 percent of the work under teacher supervision, gaining experience in areas including foundation, walls, porches, decks, roofing, driveways and retaining walls. This hands on experience prepares them well for further education and careers after graduation.
Next up was the first reading of the board’s policy committee recommendations for change in fiscal management policies. The most significant changes involve a complete overhaul of the policy involving the use of county credit cards. These changes will better control use of the card and ensure that prior to use a requisition or purchase order is in place. Consequences of not obtaining prior approval will be personal responsibility for the purchase. Additionally, once the purchase is made, the items purchased, the receipt, and the purchase order will need to be reviewed by a second employee to ensure accuracy. This oversight management simply gives a second tier to the process.
The final issue discussed by the board was possible computer issues created by the new TNReady tests that will replace TCAP testing. The primary issue is that all testing from grade 3-12 for TNReady will eventually be conducted online. Although the students are prepared for the tests academically, computer access in some schools creates problems.

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