Houston reports increased enrollment

Houston reports increased enrollment

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Enrollment is up, a new website is online and the 2012-13 school year is off to a good start for the Union City School System.
Director of Schools Gary Houston announced Thursday evening that student enrollment is up by 30 students this fall, and that 25 of those students are kindergartners. What that means is Houston has added two kindergarten classes at Union City Elementary School.
There are 789 students currently enrolled in the Union City School System.
“It’s always good to be up,” Houston said at Thursday’s 20-minute Union City Board of Education meeting.
As for the increased enrollment in kindergarten students, Houston told the board, “We’re proud to report that.”
As for the school system’s new website, it too received high praise from Houston.
The website features colorful images, the latest news and announcements, a calendar of events and a “Quick Links’ feature that connects users to other related websites. The website is very user-friendly and paints a very positive picture of the local school system.
Board chairman Glenda Caudle said she was “very impressed” by the website and described it as “very nice looking.”
Work on the new website — http://tornadotouch.net — was done by Cindy Kuberski and Debbie Wilson.
In other action, the school board:
• Welcomed UCHS senior Joseph Shanks as the board’s new student representative. He will serve on the board through his senior year. Shanks is the son of Tim and Selle Shanks of Union City and is a standout student-athlete while also serving as vice president of the Student Government Association.
Houston described Shanks as “an outstanding student.”
• Was informed a new billboard on East Reelfoot Avenue will recognize the city school system being named an Exemplary School System.
• Learned that one-third of the students at UCHS are currently enrolled in the magnet school.
• Was informed by Houston that UCHS has awarded the TSSAA’s Just Do What’s Right Award for no instances of unsportsmanlike conduct during the 2011-12 school year.
“We expect that to happen every year,” Houston said.
He extended “a big congratulations” to all the students and coaches at the high school.
• Was informed of the recent resignation of UCES education aide Brandi Harbison and the hiring of UCES education aides Beverly Gidcumb and Barbara Brooks. Also, Houston told the board Art Ross has announced he will retire in April 2013. Ross is the supervisor of maintenance and transportation for the school system.
• Formally approved its consent agenda, which included approval of a textbook compliance recommendation and extended contract activities for the current school year. Also, the board approved fundraising petitions and financial reports for school organizations.
Prior to the start of Thursday’s meeting, board member Curtis McLendon led a prayer and Shanks led the Pledge of Allegiance. Absent from Thursday’s meeting were board members Dr. John Clendenin and Karl Ullrich.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 9.14.12

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