UC school board hears from SCOPE delegates
Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 9:04 pm
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Special to The Messenger
During Monday night’s near 45-minute meeting, the Union City School Board came to the rescue of the local Boys & Girls Club (see related story), took care of a series of personnel matters and heard from this year’s four delegates to the recent Student Congress on Policies in Education conference.
The conference was held at Tennessee State University in Nashville March 12. Union City High School teacher Melissa Rice was chaperone for the event.
SCOPE is a prestigious program that was started in 1982 to unite select high school students from across the state in a day-long conference to address pressing education issues and to give students a look at the work done by their local school boards as they manage such business. Past conferences have addressed such issues as cell phone use in schools, student discipline, school violence and random drug testing.
“It was really nice,” SCOPE delegate and UCHS senior Treymar Johnson said. “It was really interesting.”
The other three delegates from UCHS echoed his remarks as they stood, one-by-one, before the school board to report on the conference.
“I was so glad we got to go … it was wonderful. It was definitely worthwhile,” UCHS senior Allison Bruff said.
Among the issues debated as this year’s SCOPE conference were early graduation programs, mandatory vaccinations and the issue of handguns in schools.
“It was a really neat experience for me,” UCHS junior Hannah Jackson said. She said she enjoyed meeting other students from across the state and discussing different viewpoints at the conference.
“It was just really awesome,” UCHS senior Andrew Speed said.
In other action, the school board:
• Extended this year’s school year by three days due to days missed because of inclement weather and the UCHS football championship. Now, the last day of school for students this year will be May 26. The change will not impact this year’s May 23 graduation date, according to Houston.
• Unanimously approved recommended tenure status for six teachers, including Brian Conner, Tina Grissom, Jeremy Maddox, Mallory Powers, Melissa Rice and Brandy Tanner. Tenure certificates for all six will be presented at next month’s board meeting.
• Rehired a group of non-tenured teachers for the 2010-11 school year, as recommended by Houston. Those teachers included LuAnn Barkley, Courtney Bondurant, Sara Brown, Angela Davis, Cristina Grimm, David Houston, Kristy Long, Angie Searcy and Stephanie McClanahan, all at Union City Elementary School; Morgan Cruce, Janice McAlexander, Lee Ussery, Rhonda Shanklin and Clarissa Youngblood, all at UCMS; and Preston Barbee, Darren Bowling, Ashley Bryson, Melissa Templeton-Heuck, Preston Martin, Jason Qualls and Eddie Suiter, all at UCHS. Two new teachers were also formally approved for the upcoming school year, Cole Clanton as a history teacher and Bryant Cruce as an alternative school instructor. Both will also be working with the UCHS football program. The school board also accepted the resignation of UCES teacher Amanda Bruff, who has been on leave.
• Was informed by Houston that UCHS has been reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, following a recent visit by a SACS accreditation team. Houston said he was particularly pleased by the team’s identifying two “strengths” at the high school — the safe and secure learning environment provided students by the school and the success of the school system’s Magnet School program. “They were really impressed by that,” Houston told the board in reference to the Magnet School.
• Was informed by Houston that TCAP tests will be given next week at UCMS and UCES, and that the high school’s annual Top Ten Banquet is scheduled for May 6 and will feature 1979 UCHS graduate Tony Bass.
• Was informed of UCMS principal Dan Boykin’s scheduled induction into the Gibson County Sports Hall of Fame. “That’s a great honor for him,” Houston said.
• Approved revisions to a series of 13 sections of the school system’s board policy, all dealing with personnel matters. All the changes were recommended by Houston and were made to Section 5 of the board’s policies. Also, a single change was made to Section 6 of the board’s policy dealing with school admissions.
There was 100 percent board attendance at Monday night’s meeting, which was opened in prayer by Mrs. Caudle, with the Pledge of Allegiance led by student representative and UCHS senior Rebecca Easley.
Published in The Messenger 4.13.10