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Schools exceed state average in all subjects

Accolades swirled during Thursday evening’s meeting of the Johnson County Board of Education as the State Department of Education’s report card was presented, the announcement was made that Mountain City Elementary was named one of the top five percent performing schools in the state and the board received a five-star award for exemplary employee management.
After unanimous approval of the consent agenda as presented the board got down to business approving a four-year energy savings contract with Energy Education, Inc.
Dr. Truman Atkins, Southern Division President of Energy Education, Inc., was available to field questions regarding the cost savings projected by the program.
Board member Kevin Long questioned the cost associated with the program, reportedly almost $8,000 per month. The program also requires the purchase of specific software and the hiring of a part-time energy education specialist.
“A key benefit of the Energy Education program is that all costs come out of the existing utility budget with savings projected to more than pay for the program,” explained Morris Woodring, Director of Schools. “It pays for itself in the money we save.” Many school districts credit the program with helping to keep personnel and programs that would otherwise have fallen victim to budget cuts.
“The money saved from saving energy can be redirected into vitally important educational resources,” says Atkins, who explained current utility bills should be decreased more than the cost of the program. By implementing energy management techniques, the program is expected to save Johnson County Schools approximately $67,000 the first year and up to $130,000 upon the fourth year after implementation.
Woodring had the county attorney review the contract prior to the meeting. After more discussion, the board eventually approved the contract and directed Woodring to present it to the Johnson County Board of Commissioners at their December meeting.
Dr. Mischelle Simcox was then called upon to present the results of the state report card. Considering the new, more stringent standards, the local school system faired pretty well overall, but as Simcox explained, all schools are still in need of, and are diligently striving for, improvement. “Even with the more rigorous curriculum and graduation requirements the Tennessee Diploma Project calls for, Johnson County faired well,” said Simcox, who presented the report in a Power Point presentation. “We did well in overall academic achievement, even surpassing the state average in every subject.” Data is based on the 2009-2010 academic year. For complete results of the 2011 Tennessee Report Card, or to see how a specific school scored, visit: http://edu.reportcard.state.tn.us.
Student school board representative Lauren Martinez provided an informative report, which included updates on the recent band concert, the upcoming financial aid night, and the end of course exams currently being administered. “The SADD Club is holding a Christmas food drive for adult protective services and the elderly of the community,” she reported. “We hope to have as much success as the last food drive at the school.” Christmas break begins on Friday, December 16th, when schools dismiss at 11:15am.
A budget update was given by Russell Robinson indicating a slight increase in property tax and sales tax collections in relation to the same time last year. “October is the first month of any collections for current year property taxes,” Robinson reported, “but in a one-month review of sales taxes realized from October 2010 to October 2011 collections were up a bit over last year. Robinson indicates it is too early yet to determine if this trend will continue.
The following personnel decisions were presented by the Director of Schools –
Hires – Rebecca McGlothlin as JCMS Special Education 1:1 Asst., Chris Fletcher as substitute nurse for Johnson County Schools, Marty McQueen as JCMS ISS Instructor, LaVonna Roush as CTE Agriculture teacher, Joe Barry as substitute for Johnson County Schools nutrition program, Alvin Presnell as bus driver, Janice Hensley as MCE teacher, Michelle Zukowski as substitute for teacher on maternity leave, Whitney Norris as MCE teacher, Angie Brown as CTE greenhouse technician
Resignations –Robin Whittemore as JCMS ISS Instructor, Sarah Campbell as Health Counselor for Coordinated School Health Program, Chris Robinson as MCE teacher.