Giles County Public Schools

News Release



March 17, 1999

Volume I Issue 8

Office of the Superintendent Dr. Robert C. McCracken



*School Board Approves Consent Agenda Items

Minutes of the February 17, 1999 regular meeting

Bills in the amount of $1,381,057.91

Payroll for the month of February, 1999

Revenue report for the month of February, 1999


*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: Giles County Technology Center for 30 successful years of student achievement; W.R. Johnston as the recipient of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution Teacher of the Year Award; Erin Martin as the recipient of the Clifford Martin $10,000 Scholarship Award; Ryan Olson – District and State Winner of the DAR Essay Contest – 6th Grade Division; Heidi Ferrell – Local Chapter Winner of the DAR Essay Contest – 7th Grade Division; and Amber Sparks – Local Chapter Winner of the DAR Contest – 5th Grade Division.



*School Board Hears an Educational Feature by Giles High School

Steve Fitch, Principal of Giles High School, attended the meeting along with 8 GHS students who joined him with their science projects. All of the students placed in the school science fair, and will advance to the regional science fair in Wytheville. Dr. and Mrs. Paul Olson were extremely instrumental in organizing the science fair, and worked diligently to raise student interest in the fair. The Board members circulated and talked with each student about their projects, and as a result, were highly impressed with the projects. The students that attended were:

Sarah Keister Effectiveness of an Antibacterial Kitchen Sponge

Courtney Olson Susceptibility of Arabidopsis Thaliana Phenylpropanoid and Mutants to UVA-light

Michelle Chidester Effects of a Factory on a Water Environment

Reid Nicholson Effects of Different Octanes of Gasoline on Gas Mileage

Russ Johnston Going the Distance – Scientifically Determining the Longest Ball in Golf

Cherish Morris Canine Glucose Curves Determine the Effectiveness of Caninsulin Drug

Clint Batson Geological Mapping

Andy Bowden Web Browser Acceleration Methods

Mr. Fitch also introduced Chris Neice, the GHS School Resource Officer (SRO). Mr. Neice shared with the Board the purpose of an SRO, which is to bring a presence of the Sheriff’s Office to the school, and establish a positive rapport with students. Mr. Neice spent a week of school in Richmond which helped him to learn how to deal with different problems in various ways. He has many different roles as an SRO. As a law enforcement officer, he assists if there are fights between students, a gun on school property, or substance abuse. He also serves in a teaching capacity, where he will soon be teaching "Class Action", a two day class that speaks of laws pertaining to juveniles, as well as when students become older. Talking with Driver’s Ed. students about safe driving is also on the list. Being a community liaison is also one of the jobs of Mr. Neice. He builds a rapport with businesses, so that should students be seen during a school day, the business will feel free to let Mr. Neice know. As a role model, he must portray good moral character, and conduct himself in a mannerly fashion, which also sets an example for students. When asked how parents were reacting, Mr. Neice said they loved it. He commented that several have stated they feel very comfortable knowing this program is in force, making a safer school environment.



*School Board Approves Recommendations Regarding Personnel Items

The Board approved the following: the retirement of Lynne Higginbotham – EEMS Custodian, effective July 31, 1999; the resignation of Armond Wills – MMS Tech. Resource Specialist and Eric Bodendorfer, GHS Tech. Ed. Teacher, both effective the end of the current school year.


The Board confirmed the following: the employment of Billy McCraw as Head Custodian and Lynn Collins as custodian at MMS; and the resignation of Michelle Brown, School Psychologist, effective the end of the current school year.



*School Board Hears Reports from the Superintendent

The School Board approved a proposed budget for 1999-2000, after the Superintendent gave a review of budget information which included a 3.54% salary increase for teachers, with $750 going to teachers that have not reached the new salary scale, and a $1,000 across the board raise for paraprofessional and non-professional staff. The operating budget approved was in the amount of $16,333,899 and the flow-thru budget in the amount of $9,148,273 for a total of $25,482,172.

The Superintendent shared a copy of Eastern Elementary/Middle School’s on-line newspaper, "Eagle Express" as part of the instructional update. He commented that the document can be found on the EEMS homepage. He commended the students for their articles and their hard work and preparation.

Mr. Wheeler updated the School Board on the construction projects. Macy is close to completion. The plan is to move the students from KJ back to Macy the end of March. NEMS is still working on punch list items. A meeting is scheduled within the next two weeks to finalize the punch list. Giles High School and Narrows High School are both on the drawing boards, preparing for their renovation projects.


*School Board Takes Action on Other Items

The Board approved the bid award to Lloyd’s Lawn Care Service for RFP No. 199 for Macy landscaping.

The Board approved an easement regarding the placement of Giles High School safety lights.

The Board approved policies and regulations as recommended by VSBA Policy Services.

The Board reaffirmed calendar decisions to certify 990 hours of instruction, with the last day of school presently being June 11th.

The Board approved 1999 graduation dates as recommended: Narrows High School – June 11th at 7:00 PM and Giles High School – June 12th at 11:00 AM.

The Board set the next School Board meeting for Tuesday, April 13, 1999 at 7:00 PM at the School Board Office.

The Board confirmed their attendance for the VSBA Spring Forum on May 19, 1999 in Radford.

The Board tentatively set the next quarterly meeting with administrators for June 16, 1999.

The Board approved presenting a resolution for the assistance the school system has received regarding state funds.


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

The Chairman commented that he had heard many positive comments regarding student safety during the recent winter weather.

Giles High School was commended for the fine educational feature. It was a pleasure having the students share their science projects with the Board and seeing such high quality work. Good luck as they advance to the regional science fair in Wytheville. Also, it was good to hear from Chris Neice, School Resource Officer, that the program for a safer school environment is working well.

Congratulations were conveyed to W.R. Johnston and the students that received recognition. It is great to see positive accomplishments.

The Board met with administrators prior to the regular meeting, and are always complimentary of how far we’ve come with what schools are doing.

Governor’s School students projects were recently accepted in the JMU Science and Humanities Symposium; two of the ten students are from Giles County!

It is pleasing to approve the resolution for the new Magnet School, it will house the Governor’s School as well.

Congratulations to Macy’s Chess Club for winning the state chess tournament! Way to go!

It was commented that the School Resource Officer is someone there to help. It’s good to have this program in force.

The Board conveyed their appreciation to the Superintendent for his hard work on the budget. Whenever there is a question, he is excellent in getting back immediately to the Board with an answer.

The Board looks forward to the continuing renovation projects for our schools. It’s nice to be able to upgrade our sites.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!

Mary Beth Holton, GEA President, expressed her appreciation to the Board for all the work on the budget and how they always come through for employees.

The Superintendent expressed his delight in the students’ activities such as the science projects that were shared, as they are a part of the Standards of Learning requirements. Hopefully, we will see more displays of students’ accomplishments.

Several academic fairs are going on in the schools. The Superintendent conveyed his appreciation to teachers, parents and students for making these events successful, and for putting in many hours and lots of extra effort.

The Superintendent shared that Darrell Martin of VA Tech has developed a leadership academy called "Mentornet", which will provide mentors for students. They are working on placing computers in students’ homes to assist kids in remediation as well. The Superintendent was very appreciative of Mr. Martin’s efforts.