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
*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
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
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 Sheriffs 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 Drivers 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
Schools 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 Lloyds 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
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
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 weve come with what schools are doing.
Governors 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 Governors School as well.
Congratulations to Macys Chess Club for winning the state chess
tournament! Way to go!
It was commented that the School Resource Officer is someone there to
help. Its 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. Its nice to be able to upgrade our sites.
Happy St. Patricks 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
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. Martins