Minutes of the January 10th, 2005 meeting of the Smyth County School Board, as approved by the School Board at its February 14th, 2005 meeting

Marion, Virginia
January 10, 2005

The Smyth County School Board met today with the following members present: Jesse Choate, Laura Hall, Roger Nipper, Susan Sneed, Charles Doane, and Jerry Catron. Mr. Doane arrived at 7:40 P.M.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes from the December 13, 2004, and January 6, 2005, meetings as presented.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve the agenda after adding to 13. Other items of interest - a. Consider a field trip request from the Girl's Athletic Association at Marion Middle School to attend a women's basketball game at Virginia Tech on Sunday, February 13, 2005.

Mr. Sullivan presided for the election of a chairman. Ms. Sneed made a motion to nominate Jesse Choate for chairman for the 2005 calendar year and Mr. Choate be elected by acclamation. There were no other nominations. Mr. Nipper seconded the motion and it passed unanimously by all board members present.

The chairman asked for nominations for vice-chairman. Ms. Sneed made a motion to nominate Mr. Catron for vice-chairman for the 2005 calendar year and Mr. Catron be elected by acclamation. There were no other nominations. Mr. Nipper seconded the motion and it passed with 4 ayes. Mr. Catron abstained.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to appoint Darlene Doyle as the clerk of the school board as recommended by the superintendent.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to set the meeting time of the board for the second Monday of each month at 6:00 P.M., at the Smyth County School Board Office. The board considered a suggestion by Mr. Catron to hold some board meetings in the individual districts over the course of the year. The board agreed to adopt a calendar for meeting in the individual districts on a rotation basis. Advance notice as to the change in meeting location would be advertised.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the 2005 Ad Hoc Committee Assignments as stated.

The board voted unanimously to pay employees on the last banking day of each month on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to continue the School Board Petty Cash Fund in the amount of $500.00 as allowed by law.

On motion by Mr. Nipper, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to continue the use of the present school board attorney, Mr. Don G. Hammer, to provide legal council for the board as recommended by the superintendent.

Mr. Sullivan distributed copies of the Freedom of Information Act to all board members as required. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously that they had received copies of the Freedom of Information Act.

During citizens' time, Ellen and Tom Tilson, parents, expressed their concerns that Marion Senior High School no longer had an indoor track team. Mr. Choate suggested for them to work with Mike Davidson, Assistant Principal at Marion Senior High School, on a possible solution.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve a request from Catherine Smith, Co-president of the Smyth County Education Association, for four substitutes so teachers could attend Lobby Day in Richmond on Monday, January 24, 2005.

Marion Intermediate School had the highest attendance percentage in the elementary category for the month of December. Steve Miller, Principal of Marion Intermediate School, introduced Hunter Pearcey, a fourth grader, for having perfect attendance since kindergarten. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Kyle Rhodes, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Osiris Garcia, a seventh grader, for having perfect attendance. Marion Middle School had the highest attendance percentage in the middle school category. The school received a certificate and will be retaining the flag from last month.

Chilhowie High School had the highest attendance percentage in the high school category. Steve Reedy, Principal of Chilhowie High School, introduced Catherine Smith, a teacher at Chilhowie High School. Ms. Smith accepted the certificate on behalf of the students and faculty. The school will be retaining the flag from last month.

Northwood High School had the most improved attendance percentage for the month of December. Steve Johnston, Principal of Northwood High School, introduced Joel Surber, a twelfth grader, for being Wendy's High School Heisman finalist. The school received a certificate and a flag to fly at the school.

Kyle Rhodes, Principal of Marion Middle School, introduced Steven Bowman and Hunter Shields for their participation in the Middle School State Wrestling Tournament. He also introduced Keela Smith, Sponsor of the Marion Middle School Players. Mrs. Smith introduced Addison Ratliff, Juliana Sullivan, Chandler Hopkins, and Nick Groseclose for their participation in the Virginia Theatre Association Young People's Theatre Festival held in Winchester, Virginia. Each student had an opportunity to speak to the board about their experience.

The board heard a report from Jeff Cassell, Principal of Rich Valley Elementary School, on the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 11-14, 2004. Mr. Cassell presented each board member with a gift packet from the meeting.

The board considered bids for ceiling and lighting upgrades at Northwood Middle School. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to accept the lowest bid from R & M Heating and Cooling, Inc., Marion, Virginia, in the amount of $19,600.00 as recommended by Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation.

Sam Musick, Director of Maintenance and Transportation, reported to the board on the needed repairs to the smoke stack at Chilhowie High School. The board reviewed pictures taken of the smoke stack. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously for Mr. Musick to go forward in engaging an architect to prepare drawings to submit to vendors for cost comparisons.

The board heard Annual School Improvement Plans as presented by:

  1. Kyle Rhodes - Marion Middle School;
  2. Steve Johnston - Northwood High School;
  3. Jeff Cassell - Rich Valley Elementary School;
  4. Ed Worley - Smyth Career and Technology Center; and
  5. Sam Hambrick - Sugar Grove Combined School.

Mr. Hambrick brought four teachers from Sugar Grove Combined School to help with the presentation.

Mr. Doane arrived at 7:40 P.M.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed with the board the responsibilities and challenges of school board members. The board also agreed to sign an updated VSBA Code of Ethics for School Board Members.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed with the board Governor Warner's proposed amendments to the 2004-2005 Biennial Budget as present on Friday, December 17, 2004.

Elizabeth Roberts, Business Decision Support Analyst, reviewed revenue, expenditures, and cash flow figures through the month of December, 2004.

The board made plans for participation in the upcoming VSBA "Orientation of New Board Members/Superintendents" program on Thursday, February 10, 2005, and the VSBA Legislative Conference on February 10-11, 2005, in Richmond.

The board considered a resolution to affirm the present system of local governance of public education in Virginia. On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.

The board considered approval of the Technology Advisory Committee. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the advisory committee as presented.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the December payroll, paid December 17, 2004, checks # 45962-46393.

On motion by Ms. Sneed, seconded by Mrs. Hall, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $353,102.01 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve and pay current invoices in the amount of $123,043.99 from the County School Debt and Capital Outlay Fund, the same to be listed in the warrant register.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to approve invoices for utility payments made prior to the January 10, 2005, school board meeting in the amount of $34,344.07 from the County School Operating Fund, the same to be listed in the December warrant register.

The board reviewed specific dates for the 2005-2006 Budget Calendar. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to approve the calendar as presented.

The board considered a field trip request from the Girl's Athletic Association at Marion Middle School to attend a women's basketball game at Virginia Tech on Sunday, February 13, 2005. On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Doane, the board voted unanimously to approve the request.

Pursuant to 2.2-3711 of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, on motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to convene a closed meeting for the purpose of discussing the following specific matters: personnel issues as authorized by 2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Code of Virginia.

On motion by Mr. Doane, seconded by Mr. Nipper, the board voted unanimously to return to the open meeting.

WHEREAS, the Smyth County School Board has convened a closed meeting on this date pursuant to an affirmative-recorded vote in accordance with the provision of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; and

WHEREAS, 2.2-3712(D) of the Code of Virginia requires a certification by this school board that such closed meeting was conducted in conformity with Virginia Law:

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Smyth County School Board, by roll call, hereby certifies that, to the best of each member's knowledge (i) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements by Virginia Law were discussed and (ii) only such public business as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed, or considered.

VOTE:

Ayes: 6 Nays: 0

Mrs. Clark was absent.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to approve the following as recommended by the superintendent:

  1. Hire Sandra G. Hill as a cafeteria worker at Marion Senior High School;
  2. Hire Pamela D. Shirey as a cafeteria worker at Marion Senior High School;
  3. Hire Michelle Delp as a cafeteria worker at Rich Valley Elementary School;
  4. Accept the resignation of Linda Walker as a cafeteria worker at Chilhowie High/Middle School;
  5. Accept the resignation of Candace Gilley as a fourth grade instructional inclusion aide at Chilhowie Elementary School;
  6. Accept the resignation of Sharon McKinney as the head volleyball coach at Chilhowie High School;
  7. Accept the resignation of James R. Brooks as custodian at the Smyth Career and Technology Center; and
  8. Hire Crystal Hurd as assistant softball coach at Northwood High School.

On motion by Mrs. Hall, seconded by Mr. Catron, the board voted unanimously to appoint Jim R. Sullivan as superintendent of schools for a new three-year term beginning July 1, 2005.

On motion by Mr. Catron, seconded by Ms. Sneed, the board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting.