Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Johnson County schools to benefit from $21 million grant awarded to Niswonger Foundation

Just after Wiley Boyd, of the Tennessee School Board Association, presented a nice two-year plaque to the Johnson County Board of Education for qualifying as Board of Distinction, and relaying the requirements that the board must meet to acquire this prestigious honor, Linda Irwin of the Niswonger Foundation presented the specifics of the “Investing in Innovation” grant to the Board of Education on Thursday evening.
In August the foundation was awarded the extremely competitive $21 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which promises to go a long way toward helping prepare area students for the future. The organization, founded and led by Greene County businessman Scott Niswonger, reports the five-year grant will fund the work of the Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium, a group comprised of 28 high schools where the foundation has partnerships. Areas of focus include the use of dual enrollment, advanced placement, distance learning, online instruction, effective counseling and the consortium’s efforts.
Partner Local Education Agencies, or LEAs include Bristol Tennessee City Schools, Carter County Schools, Cocke County School System, Elizabethton Tennessee City Schools, Greene County Schools, Greeneville City Schools, Hamblen County Schools, Hancock County Public Schools, Hawkins County Schools, Johnson City Schools, Johnson County Schools, Kingsport City Schools, Sullivan County Department of Education, Unicoi County School System, and Washington County School District.
The Niswonger Foundation was the only Investing in Innovation grant recipient in Tennessee and one of 49 school districts, nonprofit education organizations and higher education institutions selected for the grants from among 1,700 applicants.
For the 15 local school systems set to receive funds from this grant, it couldn’t come at a better time, because not only will this money improve the rigor of high school curriculum, it should help improve state mandated test scores.
The Johnson County Youth Basketball League’s president Kevin Hampton addressed the board and requested use of Roan Creek and Doe Elementary Schools for youth basketball practices and games and asked to be recognized as a “school support organization” for financial accountability. The board consented to the requests.
In other action, the board approved the installation of a Trane 10 ton package heat system by Comfort Systems USA in the amount of $11,203 and the purchase of a 2005 Volvo EC 35 excavator from Humphrey Masonry, Inc. for $18,000.
School Finance Coordinator Russell Robinson presented a copy of the recently approved budget and provided an update in regards to the current budget situation. According to Robinson, local sales tax saw a slight increase in September as compared to the same month last year.
Woodring informed the board that although a “local” bonus will go out Friday, October 22nd for all teachers and instructional support staff, the state will not be giving bonuses this year. “The state had hinted of a bonus of some sort,” said Woodring. ”The plan was to give state workers, teachers and higher education employees a bonus of $50 for each year of state service, however, the whole thing was contingent on state revenues coming in ahead of projections and they didn’t.”
The following personnel decisions were presented by the Director of Schools —
Hires — Keith Mullen as CTE Auto Technician, Donald Potter as substitute bus driver, and Brian Arnold as substitute teacher.
Transfers- Edsel R. Smith from bus driver/maintenance to mechanic/bus driver, Donald Potter from CTE Auto Technician to maintenance/transportation, Amy Tester from ARRA Special Education Asst. at RCE to IDEA Special Education asst. at RCE, Hilda Conville from Special Education Asst. at RCE to Special Education Asst. at JCMS, and David Watson from substitute school nutrition employee to part-time school nutrition food stocker.