Kids' performance highlight of meeting

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oak Grove Elementary School was in the spotlight at last Thursday's meeting of the School Board. They contributed art work to decorate the board room, and students from the OGES Eagle Ensemble led the Pledge of Allegiance and performed two of the songs from their Jingle Bell Jammin' Christmas concert that will be presented in its entirety at the school next Thursday, Dec. 18.

OGES sixth grade teacher Lori Beardsley brought several students from her ExCel class to show PowerPoint presentations that they created in social studies class on a variety of topics. Beardsley explained how the students had researched the PowerPoints on their own and then used them to teach their classmates what they had learned.

Hampshire Unit School, of which Stan Curtis was principal before accepting the Marshall County director's job, has been awarded a bronze medal by U.S. News and World Report. Just 29 high schools (7.8 percent) in Tennessee were recognized by the magazine. There were two gold, two silver and 25 bronze awards given in the state.

Curtis announced this to the board during his director's report.

"Marshall County can be in the Top 10," asserted Curtis. "We have the opportunity to be successful here."

Curtis also reported to the board that he is continually working on establishing and implementing administrative procedures. He is going to start meeting monthly with the bus drivers, and also with an advisory council of students.

In other business, the Board heard a report from Colin Beatty, president of the Marshall County Education Association.

He announced that the MCEA would be sponsoring a countywide spelling bee on Feb. 2.

Beatty thanked the Board and the County Commission for their investment in technology and said it will go a long way toward improving instruction. He did say, however, that there had been some problems lately, such as programs that had worked before not working since new security upgrades had been installed. The teachers would like one teacher at each school to be authorized to make downloads and changes, instead of always having to go through the technology staff at central office.

The Board also heard and discussed reports from the budget committee and the buildings and maintenance committee.

"It's our responsibility to find the most efficient way to do things," said board member Craig Michael who heads the buildings and maintenance committee. "We're going to have to do something different if we're going to break even next year."

Curtis has already supplied Michael with the list of classrooms and student numbers that they requested, and Janet Wiles, the budget and finance director is working on their requests for maintenance facts and figures. Curtis said he should have the principals' lists of academic needs, asked for by the budget committee, by the 15th.

"Have a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year," was Dr. Stan Curtis' wish for the school board at their last meeting of 2008. Their first meeting of the New Year will be on Thursday, Jan. 15.

The group emerged from their one-hour meeting to find a winter wonderland of falling snow and greeted it with jubilant cries of "No school tomorrow!"