Obion County School System honors retirees
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:16 pm
By: Chris Menees Messenger Staff Reporter
By CHRIS MENEES
Messenger Staff Reporter
They’re leaving some big shoes to fill.
Combined, the 19 educators and support staff members retiring this year from the Obion County School System have over 500 years of service.
They were recognized for their dedication to the county’s children during a retirement reception held prior to Monday night’s Obion County School Board meeting at South Fulton Elementary School. (See related photo, Page 4.)
Obion County School Board chairman Roger Williams opened the program by expressing appreciation to the retirees and then yielded the floor to a number of different school principals and system supervisors for recognition of the individual staff members.
The retiring honorees included:
• Black Oak Elementary — Dorothy Ray, custodian, six years of service.
• Hillcrest Elementary — Ginger Clardy, teacher, 27 years; Ina Carol Orsborne, teacher, 40 years and six months; Robert Orsborne, teacher and assistant principal, 39 years and five months; Mary C. “May” Wiggins, teacher, 21 years and four months; Patsy Caldwell, food service, 25 years; and Carolyn Cherry, food service, 37 years.
• Lake Road Elementary — Bobbye Ruth Jenkins, teacher, 25 years and one month; and Lupita Berner, educational assistant, 24 years and four months.
• Obion County Central High School — Marion Pitts, teacher, two years; and William “Bill” Wilder, teacher, 33 years and seven months.
• Ridgemont Elementary — Brenda Griggs, teacher, 30 years and two months; and Robert Eddlemon, bus driver, 13 years.
• South Fulton Elementary — Linda Faulkner, teacher, 36 years and two months; and Beverly Ofenheusle, teacher, 34 years and seven months.
• South Fulton Middle/High School — Peggy Lohaus, teacher, 24 years.
• Central office — Rita Moss, systemwide speech pathologist, 34 years; and Ava Storie, payroll administrator, 33 years and nine months.
• Transportation department — Edward “Ed” Austin, head mechanic, 15 years and nine months.
The experience listed reflected only that which was earned in the Obion County School System and not elsewhere.
After the reception, during Monday night’s monthly school board meeting, which was opened with prayer led by vice chairman Jimmy Smith, the board:
• Heard a brief update from Obion County Director of Schools David Huss regarding budget issues for the next fiscal year. He said the local sales tax has been steadily declining since December, but said it appears at this point that the school system “may break even” on its budget.
In response to some questions from board members, Huss emphasized nothing has been cut from any instructional programs at this point. On a positive note, he said the school system does not need to purchase any new buses this year and the price of diesel is down. He added, however, that the budget “does not look pretty” and said he doesn’t know when the school system’s budget will be completed due to awaiting word on state funding for the next year.
In his update, Huss also said all of the county school system’s principals do “a tremendous job,” but he feels OCCHS principal Linda Short and SFMS/HS principal Adam Stephens have “gone above and beyond” in ensuring high school students got in their required time in order to receive their credits. He said they are also taking on a considerable amount of added responsibility with new block scheduling and an attendance point system.
• Heard brief updates on the Adult Education and Coordinated School Health programs from Sharon Connell and Heather Kendall, respectively.
Mrs. Connell, supervisor of Adult Basic Education, shared positive statistics and results about the number of local residents who have earned GEDs in order to better themselves and expand their career opportunities. She said the oldest member of the current class is older than 60 and the youngest is 17.
This year’s GED graduation is set for June 18 at 7 p.m. at OCCHS.
Mrs. Kendall, Coordinated School Health program director, told board members she had just sent off grant paperwork for the next school year but said the program’s fate remains unknown due to pending budget issues.
She said her grant contained four goals: more parent involvement; suicide prevention and education; the county’s being prepared for crisis situations; and student wellness being a higher priority.
She also shared information about school obesity rates and fielded questions about what can be done to remedy the problem.
• Approved a consent agenda that included a monthly personnel report and monthly financial reports/business activity.
The personnel report for June listed the resignations of Ridgemont nurse Sharon Stone and OCCHS agriculture teacher Michael Adams; and a leave of absence for Lake Road teacher Allison Kail.
• Approved the second and final readings of separate amendments to board policies pertaining to attendance and graduation requirements. The first readings of the amendments, which relate to new block scheduling at the county’s two high schools, were heard last month.
• Voted to rescind a bid from Pro-Tec Security and award bids for door access control systems at Hillcrest and Lake Road elementary schools to Townsend Systems.
The board had voted last month to split the bids for door access control systems, with South Fulton Elementary awarded to low bidder Townsend Systems for $19,400 and the classroom additions at Hillcrest and Lake Road awarded to low bidder Pro-Tec for $11,438.12. Huss told the board Pro-Tec wanted “all or nothing” on the door access control systems. He said Townsend has agreed to honor Pro-Tec’s bid, even though it was less than the prices bid by Townsend for Hillcrest and Lake Road.
Huss said the bid specification paperwork had clearly outlined that the door access control systems were to be bid individually for the three schools as well as at a combined rate for all three schools.
• Approved the general and athletic fund budgets for individual schools.
• Approved the director of schools’ participation in the state’s CEO professional development program. Huss said professional development opportunities are extremely important in staying informed on the latest trends and developments in public education.
• Approved the appointment of members to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority for one-year terms. The members will include chairman Dale Hollowell, Mary Lynn Dodson, Lesa Scillion, James Faulkner, Cynthia Rainey, Adam Stephens and Dennis Buckelew.
• Approved five amendments to the General Purpose School Fund. They include those pertaining to vocational education for $3,501; adult education for $300; special education for $7,500; maintenance of plant, $20,000; and operation of plant, $60,000.
• Approved a request from the coaches at OCCHS to hold instructional basketball camps for students. Board approval was necessary for the coaches to receive the estimated salary supplements, which will be submitted through the central office to be included in regular payroll as supplements after revenues and expenditures of the camps are accounted through the school’s athletic fund.
• Approved allowing athletic practice during the school day.
• Approved the board’s annual agenda for the 2009-10 fiscal year.
Huss noted the proposed calendar includes a special called board meeting set for June 26 at 7:30 a.m. at the central office, with no regular July meeting and no orientation scheduled. The meeting includes some year-end items and routine business.
Board members Glynn Giffin and Brian Rainey were absent from Monday night’s session.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 6.2.09