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The Cumberland County Board of Education held its monthly meeting last night (Thursday, May 24, 2018). Here are some highlights from that meeting:

The board recognized Virgie Lotze, who is stepping down as recorder after 42 years of service:

The board then recognized CCHS Beta Club member Hogan Herring and watched a video he made promoting the Beta Club:

Chealsey Baxter was honored for winning the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Outstanding Educator Award:

Chealsey was then joined by Meghan Niles of Martin Elementary who will represent Cumberland County and Tennessee in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit:

The agenda came to “community comments” and several people from Homestead Elementary School wished to address the Board of Education regarding Homestead Principal Robin Perry, who learned she will not return for the 2018-2019 school year as principal at Homestead. Perry reportedly is being transferred to a position not determined or released at this time. Perry served as principal of Homestead Elementary for 11 years, plus two years as assistant principal. She has 25 years of service to the Cumberland County School System. Perry was named National Distinguished Principal of the Year in 2015. Under her leadership with the staff at Homestead, the school was named National Lighthouse School of Excellence for three consecutive years, as well as other honors. Board member Shirley Parris, who represents Homestead, said a state law says the director of schools is in charge of personnel and the board has no say in the issue. Director of Schools Janet Graham has not commented on the issue as of 3 p.m. today (Friday, May 25, 2018). School Board Chairman David Bowman told the crowd last night at the meeting prior to comments that no personnel issues would be discussed since the director of schools was in charge of it. Bowman said if they wanted to be heard regarding personnel, they had to first address comments to the director of schools. No other comments were made from the public and the meeting proceeded.

Pam Burris then gave a presentation on “Kids on the Rise,” a mentoring program in Cumberland County. “Kids on the Rise” is looking for more mentors to work with school-aged children in Cumberland County. For more information about how you can be a mentor, e-mail Pam at director@kidsontherise.org 

Donnie Moody with the Cumberland County Community Complex went over plans with the school board, for informational purposes, for a proposed Expo Center to be constructed next to the fairgrounds. Moody said the complex would be an asset to the school system, as it would be designed to hold 6,000 people for graduations. It could also be used to shelter and feed up to 3,000 in case of an emergency or disaster. If approved by the county, the complex construction would be paid for by a 1 percent restaurant privilege tax to be petitioned to the state to put into effect.

The board approved a policy regarding students attending Cumberland County schools who live in neighboring counties. Those currently attending, and their siblings, will be grandfathered in. But out-of-county students wishing to attend Cumberland County schools will need to submit a request to the Board of Education upon the recommendation of the director of schools. The requests will be approved or denied based on available space at the requested school, the student’s previous attendance record and the student’s disciplinary history.

The board approved naming the library at Martin Elementary in honor of Cathy Cathey.

The board took no action last night in determining which insurance policy to go with for teachers. BOE member Josh Stone made a motion to approve a plan that received nearly 77 percent approval from teachers and staff. However, the motion was not seconded. The board will discuss the issue again at a future meeting.


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