Sparkman and Cantrell voted top two school board positions

By | September 17, 2012 12:00 am

BonDeCroft Principal Dr. Larry Thompson and School Board Member Janet Webb pose with the BonDeCroft Rock Stars, Tia Cantrell and Jade Erickson. The school board’s spotlight on students this year focuses on students who excel in the arts, community service and physical education. The students chosen, including Alea Tindal, who could not attend the meeting, were hand picked after their contribution to the Coal Miner’s Celebration earlier this year.

The September meeting of White County School Board was very optimistic, as the board elected chair, vice-chair and committee positions and unveiled the fruits of the summer’s labor on numerous construction projects across the district.
The first order of business was to have the newly elected Roy Whited and the re-elected school board members, Richard McBride, Gary Sparkman and Janet Webb, sign the code of ethics.
The board then took nominations for chairman, which was held by Sparkman before his re-election. The board unanimously voted that Sparkman continue as chairman. Chairman Sparkman graciously accepted the position, saying, “I appreciate the hard work that you guys do. No one can stand alone.”
The board also nominated and unanimously approved Edd Cantrell as Vice-Chair, the position previous held by Becky Tubb, who has retired from the school board. Cantrell replied, “I’ll be right behind you, Gary. I thank the Lord daily for our unity and that we consider every child and not just our own.”
Sparkman appointed Kenneth Robinson as head of maintenance, Janet Webb as head of policy, Richard McBride as the legislative delegate and Donna Jones as head of student reports.
Dr. Larry Thompson, principal of BonDeCroft Elementary, gave a presentation on the school to the board. He said the school has 192 students, with two teachers per grade for all grades except second grade, which only has one teacher.
He spotlighted the annual measurement objectives for the last school year, which showed that in grades three through five, 45.9 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in reading and 46 percent were proficient or advanced in math.
Dr. Thompson said for the 2012-2013 school year, the school’s target is 49.3 percent proficient or advanced in reading and 49.4 in math. The school has already conducted a benchmark test this school year, and Dr. Thompson said those results show students are on track to do even better than the goal.
Other items discussed:
•John Cheney, of Cope Architecture, presented an update on the new security vestibules.There were no unexpected issues to come up during construction, and the final punchlist was completed in August.
“The project went beautiful…All faculty and principals were out of their way to make things easy on us,” Cope said.
Sparkman said he has heard a great deal of positive feedback about the project. Whited remarked he felt the vestibules actually enhanced the appearance of the schools.
•The board plans to apply for an energy efficient grant as they did two years ago, which provided money to the schools for energy efficient lighting in the gyms. The school system has been approved for an energy conservation survey. Facility Services Inc. will help the board with the survey and help them to prioritize their needs. Cantrell said he has seen some of the proposed solutions the grant would cover, such as motion sensor lights.
“It’s a common sense approaches that involve technology,” Cantrell said.
•The board approved the girls’ basketball team to travel to Sevierville for Winterfest Shoot-Out.
•A list of the proposed 2012-2013 volunteer coaches was approved by the board.
•The board approved a $1,200 proposal by Upland Design Group to prepare drawings of the new bus/maintenance facility. The school board is required to keep a copy of the drawings on file, and the drawings need to be provided to the codes department so the building can be brought up to code and allow for necessary equipment to be brought in. Robinson said he expects wiring improvements will be needed.
•Webb presented several policies to the board for first reading. Two applied to the school board and the third was about the new grading system already in use for grades K-2. The board approved the first reading of the policies.
•Many maintenance projects were completed across the county. New gym lights and bleachers were installed in several schools and asbestos abatement was performed at the Findlay cafeteria. The biggest project, however – the new bus garage – is well underway. Crews have started leveling the ground. The project is expected to be completed by Christmas. The old bus garage will be torn down.
•There is a large leak on the home side of the football field. To repair the leak in the water line, a five-foot trench must be dug, so the board plans to begin the repairs after the football season has ended.
•The board has assured that every student has received their textbooks, and a teacher textbook adoption committee has been appointed to select next year’s books.

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