January 26, 2000

Volume I Issue 6

Office of the Superintendent Dr. Robert C. McCracken

*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the December 15, 1999 regular meeting

Bills in the amount of $3,658,660.55

Payroll for the month of December, 1999

Revenue report for the month of December, 1999

Appropriation Request for February, 2000

Secondary School Fees

School Lunch Prices

Teacher Job Fairs

*Pledge of Allegiance

Mr. Buckland, Board Chairman, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

*Organizational Meeting

JB Buckland was appointed as School Board Chairman for 2000.

Ronald Whitehead was appointed Vice-Chairman for 2000.

The Board set the second Wednesday of each month as Board meeting day, holding the fourth Thursday open in case another meeting is needed.

Boni Kirk was appointed School Board Clerk for 2000.

Barbara Perkins was appointed Deputy Clerk for 2000.

*School Board Recognizes the following who were nominated by the Professional Advisory Council for their hard work and dedication by being presented plaques by the Superintendent and Board Chairman: Irene O’Dell – Community Involvement at EEMS.

Also, recognized were outgoing Board of Supervisors Members – Larry Blankenship and Bill Freeman, and County Administrator – Butch Mullins; and Giles High Schools teachers for a recent presentation, "Inclusion Strategies" – Mary Beth Holton, Margaret Christle, Cheryl Green and Linda Knott.

*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by Narrows High School

Pat O’Brien, NHS Principal, introduced Gary Hinson, Science Teacher and Carmen Blankenship, student and also Chairwoman of the Science Club. They presented a video regarding "caving experiences" , and shared information about how the caving began, which was four years ago, after a discussion in Mr. Hinson’s ecology class. Mr. Hinson has been taking students caving in May every year since then. He commended his colleagues, Charles Waselchalk, Kim Parton and Sara McGlothlin who have joined the adventures as well. He explained that kids were given disposable cameras to shoot pictures in the cave, and those pictures were made into a video. The video reflected Tawney’s Cave in Giles County and also inside the Pulaski County Cave, where the faculty went to investigate safety for students. As Mr. Hinson said, safety is the first priority. SOL’s have also been tied into the caving, as part of the ecology curriculum. He also commented that one of the best parts of the caving experiences is that you get to see a side of students that you don’t see in the classroom and it can be very rewarding. There are 3 trips planned for this spring. We look forward to hearing more about the adventures of caving!


*School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The School Board confirmed the following employment for the remainder of the 1999-00 school year: Mary Powell – NEMS – Half-time Special Ed. Teacher/Half-Time Teacher Assistant; Crystal Ramos – MMS – Half-Time Primary Teacher/Half-Time Teacher Assistant; Jeff Young – Network Administrator; and Jackie Evans as Weightlifting Coach at NHS.

The School Board approved the employment of Thelma Tuckwell as the bus driver for the disabled students, and the appointment of Lead Teachers as recommended, with four teachers per school in each SOL area and one teacher per school in the technology area: Math: Judy Keating, Susan Stafford, Paula Tibbs, Pat Bayless and Lisa Darlington; English: Sherry Kelley, Gail Austin, Sue Wheeler, Karen Yolton, and Betsy Wood; Science: Ellen Harkrader, Brenda Hayes, Sarah Wheeler, Neil Schmidt, and Sam Level; Soc. St.: Pam Warder, Mary French, Frances Breedlove, Bruce Frazier, and Judy Ray; Technology: John McDonald, Terry Beckner, Ellen Jones, Bob Lilly and Mike Biggs.

*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The Superintendent shared the instructional update with the Board, which included a handout of student achievement practice books consisting of simulation tests, pre-post tests and teacher keys/planning guides. The Board reviewed the tests that are given to different grade levels as the superintendent explained how difficult the tests can be for students. The practice booklets were provided by Flanagan and Mott to help better prepare students for SOL testing.

Mr. Wheeler updated the School Board on the construction projects at both high schools, which are both on schedule. Windows have arrived for Giles High School, and windows for Narrows High School are expected to arrive on January 28. The mechanical and electrical at both sites are on schedule as well. Mr. Wheeler commended the teachers, students and staff at both high schools, saying he had heard very little complaining. He also commended Branch and Associates for the fine job they are doing.

The School Board approved policy revisions as recommended by VSBA Policy Services and the administration. Policy changes included the Sick Leave Policy regarding procedures for maternity leave, as well as a new policy "Moment of Silence" which was also approved.

*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

The Board confirmed the following RFP action:

RFP No. 1-2000 – Purchase of three school buses awarded to low bidder, Virginia Truck Center at $48,419 per bus.

RFP No. 2-2000 – Negotiation with Sonny Merryman, second low proposer for the purchase of two activity vans, due to low bidder, Kingmor Supply, not meeting specifications for immediate delivery.

The School Board approved the following regarding school calendar adjustments:

To use the five make-up days as reflected in this year’s school calendar

Waive exams at both high schools for end of first semester

The Board approved a scholarship for GHS by a Martin family in honor of Richard E. Martin. The award would go to a Senior each year that has been active in volunteering in his/her community, since Mr. Martin was active in that capacity. This year the North Georgia Employer Committee will give a $1,000 scholarship in Mr. Martin’s memory, and subsequent awards of $500 will follow each year by the Martin family and will be called the Richard E. Martin Memorial Community Service Award.

The Board set Monday, February 14, 2000 at 7:00 PM at the School Board Office for the next School Board meeting. The Board also requested that the Board of Supervisors be contacted to see if a joint meeting might be scheduled for the same evening.


The Board confirmed their attendance at the following: NEMS dedication ceremony for the recent addition, January 27, 2000 at 10:00 AM; and the quarterly Intergovernmental meeting at the Pembroke Town Hall, January 31, 2000 at 6:30 PM.

*School Board and School Staff Present Comments and Mission Statement Accomplishments

The Board thoroughly enjoyed the NHS "caving" experience. The experience outside the classroom is a good activity for students. It is great how Mr. Hinson incorporates SOL’s into the adventures of caving. However, Board members commented they, themselves, were better at observing than rock climbing!

Sincere appreciation was conveyed to the American Electric Power Company for the recent generous contribution they made to both high schools.

It’s good to hear that the construction projects are going well. Keep up the good work!

Everyone was glad to be here with all the weather we’ve had.

Ms. Duncan, Director of the Governor’s School, conveyed to Mr. Whitehead that this is the best group of Giles County students she’s ever had!

A Governor’s School student recently won second place in the nation for an essay on geology, and will receive an award in Miami. Congratulations!

Mrs. Radford, GEA President, commented that everyone at GHS is striving to get through the construction. It seems like the most difficult time thus far, and teachers and students are moving along as necessary to assist however they can, without complaining.

The Superintendent reiterated what Mr. Wheeler had said regarding faculty, staff and students involved in the construction projects. Students are excited, and even if they don’t have classes in the new rooms, have asked if they could take a tour. Everyone is working well together to get through the projects.

The Superintendent also commented that some of our teachers have had the opportunity to attend various workshops in affluent localities such as Williamsburg and Charlottesville, and have been pleased to be able to say that our school system is already progressing in areas that are just beginning in the bigger divisions. It’s a good feeling to know we are meeting our goals.