Keny re-elected as school board chair

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School board members started their September meeting with the annual election of chairman, vice chairman, and chairman pro tem.

Last year's chairman, Mike Keny, turned the meeting over to schools director Roy Dukes, who accepted the nomination of Keny by Randy Perryman, and the nomination of Curt Denton by Sam Smith.

In the voting that followed, only Smith and Ann Tears voted for Denton, so Keny is the school board chairman for another year.

"I look forward to working with you again this year," Keny said.

Donnie Moses was elected vice chairman by acclamation, and Kristen Gold was made chairman pro tem by the same meth-od.

Board members also decided on a new day for their monthly meeting. Beginning in November, the meeting will be held on the second Thursday of the month. The start time remains 6:30 p.m. Due to fall break and parent-teacher conferences, the October meeting has been scheduled for the 20th.

Sam Jackson, of Lewis, King, Krieg and Waldrop, P.C., a law firm with offices in Nashville, Knoxville and Sevierville, was chosen to represent the Marshall County School Board for another year.

During his director's report, Dukes congratulated Forrest School junior Brooks Lamb who was named Student of the Year at the Tennessee School Boards Association South Central Fall District meeting. He will go on to compete with eight other district winners for the state award at the TSBA's annual convention in Nashville in November. Board member Ann Tears achieved her Level III boardsmanship award at the same meeting. Dukes praised Moses, Keny and Tears for attending the district meeting and urged more board members to go next year, stating, "Some unique things go on there."

Patricia Crane, the parent who signed up to address the board about Virtual School, did not come to the meeting.

In a phone conversation Thursday, Crane said she didn't go because her daughter, a 6th grader, was now a student at the virtual school.

"She loves it," said Crane enthusiastically. They got their approval letter from K12, the company running the virtual school for Union County, and were able to log on and "start trying to play catch up." Then, last Friday, Crane heard from K12 the approval letter was sent by mistake. However, they assured her that since it was their mistake her daughter could continue at virtual school, even if the company had to pay for it.

Siemens, the company that has been making energy-saving improvements to the schools has presented their final bill, but board members agreed to delay paying it until all the work is completed.

"This is the last leverage we have," Moses pointed out, and Harvey Jones Jr. added, "I'd like to see a representative from Siemens at our next board meeting."

On Jackson's advice, board members agreed to turn in a claim for the structural damage at Forrest School to their insurance company, to see if the repairs to the foundation might be covered. Therefore, they decided not to give maintenance supervisor Sheldon Davis the go-ahead to bid out the work of installing 24 piers, until they hear from the insurance company.

Also on Sept. 6, school board members approved:

* A pay raise for the 20 teachers involved in the Building Bridges program;

* The bid from Mid-South Bus Company to supply four new full-size school buses, and also approved the sale of one old bus and one old car to the highest bidder. Some board members suspected that the vehicles were being sold for less than the scrap price and resolved in the future to find out the scrap price of vehicles to be sold and set this as the floor for bids.

* The proposed kindergarten report card.

* The Chapel Hill Park and Recreation Committee's request to use Forrest School's old gym and auditorium for their annual Christmas festivities on Dec. 2 and 3.

* An overnight trip to Gatlinburg next May for the Lewisburg Middle School Chorus and Band to participate in Music in the Parks.

* The Oak Grove Junior Beta Club's request for two fund-raisers.

* The Supplement Schedule with one change which was a decrease; and,

* Policies as recommended by the policy committee on graduation activities and service animals.