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School Board honors retirees, prepares for upcoming school year

Although only covering a span of just less than an hour, the June Board Meeting of the Johnson County Board of Education was eventful with an approved budget announced and schools gearing up for the new school year, which is scheduled to begin in about two months. Also, the Board was not only bidding adieu to several retiring teachers, but to student board member, Brittany Sluder, a recent JCHS graduate.
“The retirement of these faculty and staff members is a loss to the education of the students of Johnson County,” said Morris Woodring, Director of Schools, “and they will be greatly missed.” Those honored at a reception prior to the board meeting and presented a plaque of appreciation as part of the board meeting included Pam Amstein, Wanda Combs, Garry Ferry, Brenda Gambill, Dorothy Harmon, Linda Johnson, Sara Jones, and Carol Peterson.
Board Chairman Howard Carlton, along with all board members, voiced appreciation to student board member, Brittany Sluder, who will be heading to Tennessee Technology University in the fall where she plans to pursue a degree in music education. “She has been an exemplary student board member,” he commented, “and we certainly wish her the very best in her educational pursuits.”
The board approved the second and final reading of the following board policies as recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA): Separation Practices for Tenured Teachers – Policy 5.200, Student Psychological Services – Policy 6.406, and Special Education Students – Policy 6.500. One policy on tap for second and final reading, Procedure for Granting Tenure – Policy 5.117, was tabled in order to more accurately clarify the section regarding the necessity of procuring student evaluations as part of granting tenure. “It is my understanding this would involve former students,” explained Woodring, “and I am fairly certain it would not be a mandatory part of the procedure, but just a way to obtain more information.”
In other action, the board approved paying the Tennessee School Systems for Equity membership dues for 2010-2011 in the amount of $2,106.00.
Woodring addressed some inquiries posed at a recent budget work session in regards to the purchase of a new trackhoe for the maintenance department and deferred the questions to Barry Bishop, maintenance director, who explained the need, indicating an almost constant use of equipment when installing rubberized mulch at elementary school playgrounds recently. Board vice-chairman Kenny Gregg voiced an opinion that local contractors could do the work as needed; however, it was the consensus of the board to go ahead with the purchase as it would be advantageous to have and was already budgeted.
Bishop also provided an update on current summer renovation projects. “We’re concentrating the month of June on the hill,” he said. “The greenhouse roof is installed and health science wing is almost complete.”
The following personnel decisions were presented by the Director of Schools –
Hires –Steve Arnold – Johnson County High School CCLCP Program, David Wilson – CTE Custodian, Sonya Hammons – CTE Nurse Educator, Dennis Cumbow – MCE music teacher, Todd Whittemore – JCMS history teacher, JCHS girls varsity basketball coach, Donald Potter – substitute mechanic assistant, Tim Leonard – JCHS teacher, Alicia Smeltzer – JCHS French teacher. Also presented were those hired for the Special Education Summer Program, Roan Creek summer childcare, substitutes for school nutrition summer food program and substitute teachers and for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year.
Transfers – Sheila Diane Osborne from Special Education teacher at JCMS to Special Education teacher at JCHS, Anthony Troutman from Special Education teacher at JCHS to Special Education teacher at JCMS, Teresa Cunningham from teaching principal at Laurel Elementary to educational asst. at RCE, Paula Norton from Federal Programs Supervisor to Title I Supervisor and Principal at Laurel Elementary, Pam Crowder from educational asst. sub. at RCE to educational asst. at RCE, Janet Townsend from educational asst. at SVE to educational asst. at Laurel Elementary, Scott Plyler from JCHS counselor to JCHS teacher.
Resignations – Patty Pollard as RCE educational asst., Kelly Sells as JCHS teacher
Volunteer – Erica Hittinger as JCHS cheerleading coach
Retirements – Linda Johnson, Early Childhood Development Center, Pamela Amstein, Sara Jones and Carol Peterson, Doe Elementary