School board names management team

Friday, September 24, 2010

School board members followed their system director's lead in August when naming a management team to represent them during work contract negotiations with the organization representing teachers.

The management team exists to receive requests from the teachers' work contract bargaining agent, the Marshall County Education Association. Management team members advise the system's negotiating team.

The management team, recommended by schools director Roy Dukes, consists of Suzanne Ingram, Lyn Stacey, Lisa Ventura, Sheila Cook-Jones, and Linda Williams-Lee.

At their September meeting, the complete board, including newly elected member Donnie Moses, voted to put Stacey, Ventura, Cook-Jones, and Ingram on the team to negotiate with MCEA, and added board member Dee Dee Owens.

Moses recommended Stacey as lead negotiator, and this was unanimously approved.

"Let's get to work," said Mike Keny, who had just been elected to another term as chairman.

"We're ready to go to work," said Patty Hill of the MCEA earlier in the meeting. "It's been two months - we want to finish the contract."

In other business at the school board's September meeting, Dukes showed the board a plaque from the Census Bureau, thanking the Board of Education for the use of the Central Office building during the census.

Board members also discussed the director's evaluation, and moved the deadline for this to Dec. 14. They plan to discuss the evaluation at an off-site "Retreat," scheduled for Oct. 5. They also planned to review Robert's Rules of Order at the retreat, and board attorney Sam Jackson exclaimed, "Good idea." Board members unanimously voted to retain Jackson's firm - Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC - for another year.

Dukes told board members about the plan for spending $684,037 over four years, Marshall County's share of Tennessee's Race to the Top Funds. He referred them to the Web site where any county's scope of work can be studied after selecting it from the drop-down list. Dukes explained that Marshall County would work on increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) literacy among students, as well as helping teachers, supervisors and principals improve their instructional and mentoring skills. Performance measurement targets are stated and up-to-the-minute technology, including distance learning, will be utilized. In this area, Marshall County is ahead of neighboring Giles County, which is planning to spend a lot of its Race to the Top funds on hardware and software.

Distance Learning is already a great success, Dukes told the board. He referred them to an article in the September issue of Get Connected about an autopsy Dr. Elaine Huffines' Biology II class at Forrest observed by video teleconferencing last year.