During a recent board meeting, Patsy Richardson, local ESPO (Education Support Personnel Organization) president, asked the board once again about raising the pay for remaining support personnel by $2 per hour. Previously support personnel were granted a 3 percent across the board raise, which was rescinded and later changed to a 6 percent raise.
However, the board later voted to give maintenance personnel a $2 per hour raise. Mrs. Richardson and other support personnel felt that they deserve an addition $2 per hour as well.
“I’m like a bad penny, I just keep showing up!” said Mrs. Richardson. “We just wanted to know anywhere in the finances that you have gone over if you could do anything else for us."
Late last fall, then Superintendent Kay Davis said she would let Incoming Superintendent Brian Johnson make the recommendation on the pay raise. Johnson feels the Cherokee County Board of Education is not in a position to grant the raises at this time.
“I have checked the budget and looked at it from different angles,” said Johnson. “At this time, I don’t see that we would be able to provide any additional raises for support personnel, but again, I would like to say just how much we appreciate the job the support personnel do for our system. At this time I don’t see that we have the funds to be able to do that.”
Johnson said he has been looking at the salary schedules for support personnel and feels that step raises should be adjusted. He and the board hope to address this issue in the near future.
“I’m not making any promises, but I would like to look at the salaries,” said Johnson.
In his superintendent’s update, Johnson noted they are still considering a proprosal from Linc to upgrade the heating and cooling system in Cherokee County Schools to make them more energy and cost efficient.
The board also met with Barry Cavin with the Gaylesville School Booster Club and allowed the group to proceed with improvements to the Gaylesville football field.
“We worked in the fall to restore homeside bleachers and now we are looking to hopefully restore the visitor’s side bleachers and also maybe replace our press box,” said Cavin. “We currently have the funds and we are just looking to let you know what we want to do and how to proceed.”
Cavin said they are working with McCord Lighting about repairing a light pole on the Gaylesville field.
Upon Johnson’s recommendation, the board agreed to allow the Gaylesville Booster Club to proceed.
“Mr. Cavin, and to Gaylesville Booster Club, we really do appreciate the job that you do along with the other booster clubs in the county,” said Johnson. “It would be hard for us to get by on our own. We appreciate all of the support and help that you do provide.”
Johnson presented for the board’s consideration a proposed policy on support personnel incentive supplement for CNP, maintenance and mechanics. The board will discuss the policy further at its next meeting.
The board met in executive session for seven student disciplinary hearings. Following the hearings the board:
-took no action on a Sand Rock student since the student has withdrawn from this school system. If the student returns to the Cherokee County School System, however, the student will be required to appear before the board.
-took no action on a Gaylesville student, who has also since withdrawn from this school system. The student will be required to appear before the board, however, if the student returns to this school system.
-agreed to suspend a Gaylesville student from riding the school bus for the remainder of the school year, pending further investigation.
-agreed to expel a Cherokee County High School student for one calendar year. The student will remain on probation when the student returns to school during the second semester of the 2005-2006 school year.
-agreed to place a Centre Middle School student in the alternative school for the rest of the school year and on probation for the next school year.
-agreed to expel two Centre Middle School students for the rest of the school year and place the student on probation for the 2005-2006 school year.
In personnel action the board:
-Approved the transfer of Connie Arthur from B-Team Cheerleader Sponsor to Varsity Cheerleader Sponsor at Cherokee County High School for the remainder of the 2004-05 school year.
-Approved leaves of absence for Amanda Harkins who will be on maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act for eight weeks beginning Feb. 23, Cassandra Allen who will be on maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act from March 14 through the remainder of the 2004-05 school year, Chassidy Griggs who will be on maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act beginning March 1 for approximately six weeks and Paul Hyche who will be on military leave Jan. 16-23, Jan. 29-Feb. 4 and Feb. 26-March 12.
-Approved increasing the custodial hours of Williard Jennings from four to five and a half hours per day with the additional one and a half hours being funded by CNP.
In other action, the board:
-approved out-of-state travel for Heather Mitchell to Atlanta, Ga. March 3 for a reading skills workshop to be funded by Special Education and for Debra Mauldin to Biloxi, Miss. April 20-22 for the Regional Spring Professional Developing Training for McKinney-Vento Children and Youth Programs.
-Tabled bills for payment until the superintendent can review them further.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m., at the board office