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School Board meeting addresses various issues from grants to construction traffic

School Board celebrates the JCHS football team’s outstanding season by wearing Longhorn vests.

By Meg Dickens

The Johnson County Board of Education met on Thursday, November 9th for their monthly meeting. Before the meeting began, the room was abuzz with friendly chatter as old friends caught up on their daily lives. The meeting was called to order at 6:03 PM and began with a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Kenneth Gregg gave the floor to Lorie Plank. She called up three women in recognition of their hard work and dedication. These included Angie Miller with 21 years of service, Lorrie Shumate with 25 years of service, and Jean Zuercher (not present) with 26 years of service.
The board approved the agenda before giving the floor to Student Board Member, Chase McGlamery. He reported that “Johnson County High School has been very active within our community this past month.” These endeavors include a fundraiser hosted by cafeteria staff for Lois Farley that raised over $7,000 to help with her medical bills and the Johnson County Players’ recent team-up with the Johnson County Community Theatre for Addams Family, the musical. The musical had record-breaking ticket sales coming in at 833 attendees.
The school board moved on to reading the recommended policy changes. All were accepted onto the agenda. Discussion moved on to leasing a new copier/printer. Saratoga presented a cheaper option but Canon had the capabilities needed. Replacement was unanimously approved.
The floor was turned over to Tina Lipford to address the budget. The numbers for this past month and total expenses were discussed. August sales taxes were down while property taxes were increased from last year. BEP (a profit and break even point) dollars came in at $5,000 more than expected. The discussion moved to whether the board should attend the Day on the Hill where state senators and Congressman Phil Roe would be invited to the high school. It was decided that the state officials and Congressman Roe would be invited for a personal reception to utilize the experience to its fullest.
The next point on the agenda was the bridge construction. It is estimated to be open to traffic at the end of April. There is a possibility of expediting the process if an alternative source of asphalt can be found. The plant currently supplying the project will shut down on December 19th and not open again for 75 days.
UTRUST funds are going to be available soon. These are grants usually allocated to schools according to population. School technology is out of date and the funds could replace up to 60 teacher computers. The decision was put on hold for the moment. Vice Chairman Howard Carlton requested information on how the schools would use the funds to compare which course of action would do the most good. A decision must be made by December 31st.
The meeting wrapped up with an announcement of the school board’s award of distinction and discussion of upcoming elementary school Christmas program dates. Congratulations were given to the football players and cheerleaders on their success, hard work, and dedication. Everyone was wished a happy Thanksgiving and the meeting was adjourned.