OC board postpones action on contract for director of schools

OC board postpones action on contract for director of schools

By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Obion County School Board members will have another month to consider what action to take on their director of schools’ employment contract.
The board voted 4-0 at its meeting Monday night at Black Oak Elementary School in Hornbeak to table action on Obion County Director of Schools David Huss’ contract.
As part of the director’s employment contract, upon receipt of a satisfactory annual evaluation, the school board may grant a pay raise and/or a contract extension. School board chairman Brian Rainey said Huss received a favorable evaluation of 79.92 percent this year — which is, on average, 19.92 percent above satisfactory.
In past years, with the economy taken into con-sideration, Huss has consis-tently received contract extensions rather than pay increases.
Rainey told board mem-bers Monday night it has been five years since Huss has received a pay increase and he said the county system has “fallen behind” in pay in comparison to other area school systems. He also noted Huss is doing two jobs — the director of schools position, as well as finances and budgets for the system, which was previously handled by a finance director — and he said it would be difficult to find someone else who can do both jobs.
Rainey said Huss “de-serves a raise,” adding he has also discussed the matter with Huss. Board members discussed the matter at their recent orientation session and Rainey said they haven’t yet agreed upon a recommendation.
School board member David Lamb said he was reluctant to see a decision made Monday night since all seven board members were not present. The board barely had a quorum with just four members in attendance.
Present were Rainey, Lamb, vice chairman Diane Sanderson and board member Fritz Fussell. Board members Tim Partin, Willis Easley and Scott Northam were absent, although Northam arrived later in the meeting about two minutes before the session adjourned.
Lamb said all seven board members need to be present to make the decision on Huss’ employment contract. Rainey agreed and said he hopes all seven board members can be in attendance for the May meeting.
Lamb made the motion to table the director’s contract until next month’s session and it was seconded by Fussell, with the board then approving the motion 4-0.
Other action
In other action during Monday night’s 35-minute long meeting, opened with prayer led by Fussell, the school board:
• Recognized the school system’s Teachers of the Year (see related photo and story, Page 1) and Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) delegates.
The SCOPE delegates were Obion County Central High School juniors Kaycee Mathenia and Korben Hagan and South Fulton High School juniors Abby O’Neal and Ryan Harper.
• Approved a consent agenda that included a monthly personnel report, substitute teacher report, financial reports and a list of technology equipment declared surplus.
The personnel report listed the resignations of Obion County Central High School teacher Donnie Walton, Lake Road custodian Gary Bradley and Lake Road food service employee Carolyn Dickson; leaves of absence for OCCHS secretary Amy Bright and OCCHS custodian Kim Medley; and the hirings of Lake Road custodian Andrew Cagle, Black Oak custodian Linda Mann, Lake Road bus driver Kent Hendon, Hillcrest bus driver James Ursery, South Fulton Elementary bus driver Thomas Mulcahy, Black Oak food service employee Michelle Love and Lake Road food service employee Tiffany Fowlkes.
The substitute teachers added for the month were Matthew Dickinson, Chelsea Cox and Charity Smith.
• Granted approval to the second and final readings of amendments to board policies regarding an emergency preparedness plan, in-service and professional learning opportunities and compulsory attendance ages.
• Approved recommendations from the textbook adoption committee for K-6 reading textbooks. The vote was 3-1, with Lamb casting a dissenting vote after asking about teacher input in the selections.
• Voted to accept a low bid of $231,899 from Billy Rogers Plumbing, Heating and A/C Inc. of Dyersburg for the Phase 1 upgrade of the HVAC system at South Fulton Middle/High School. Phase I includes replacement of all rooftop units, the 10-ton HVAS unit at the field house and all high-voltage electrical work.
• Voted to accept a low bid of $16,800 from Georgia-based Stevens Gymnasiums Inc. to refinish the gymnasium floors at Hillcrest and Ridgemont elementary schools. The breakdown included a bid of $10,900 for Hillcrest and a bid of $5,900 for Ridgemont.
• Approved an amendment to the 2012-13 fiscal year budget for the General Purpose School Fund to reflect an increase in expenditures to meet the special needs of a student. Most, if not all, of the costs associated with placement and travel will be reimbursed by the state, but the school system must pay for services in advance, according to Huss.
• Declared old middle school football jerseys as surplus, since they are outdated due to combining the middle school football programs, and approved their disposition. Obion County’s middle schools have requested permission to hold a fundraiser to sell the jerseys for $25 each and for funds generated to be deposited to each school’s football restricted account to offset the cost of replenishing jerseys that will be used in the new middle school football program.
• Accepted a bid from Renaissance Learning Inc. in the amount of $2,925.83 per lab and $111.30 per unit for a total cost of $14,629.15 for five NEO 2 SmartOption Mobile Labs — one for each elementary school. The primary purpose of the mobile labs is to teach keyboarding to students at a younger age.
• Approved overnight student trips for Lake Road and Hillcrest elementary schools’ PLUS classes and South Fulton Middle/High School’s band.
• Learned from Huss in his update that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam pulled his proposed school voucher bill, although he expects it will be back for consideration again next year.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 4.9.13

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