Board supports sales tax increase


The Blount County Board of Education formally approved a resolution in support of the proposed sales tax increase – labeled as the Moving Blount County Forward Initiative – that is making its way through the Legislature in Montgomery. The board approved the resolution during last week’s meeting.

The resolution states, in part, “the Moving Blount County Forward Initiative provides a plan to support fire departments, roads and bridges, education, and municipalities…”

The sales tax increase was endorsed by the Blount County Commission and has been sent to the county’s legislative delegation in Montgomery. If it makes it through the Legislature, the referendum would be voted on in the November general election.

In other business, the board acted on the recommendation of Superintendent Rodney Green and:

•approved an Early Graduation/Early Release Policy for students who have met requirements for a diploma and wish to begin college/vocational training ahead of their class’s graduation date.

•approved five field trip requests, including the bands of J.B. Pennington and Susan Moore to travel to Disney World, April 27-May 1.

•allowed Appalachian High to contract with Children’s Theatre for a performance at the school on March 2. The contract will be paid from the school’s local funds.

•allowed Cleveland High to contract with Tony Glen Morgan to provide music for the prom on March 11. The contract will be paid from the school’s local funds.

•allowed Southeastern School to enter into a printing agreement with Herff Jones for the 2017 yearbook. The agreement will be paid from the school’s local funds.

•contracted with Jennifer Adams to serve as a credit recovery teacher at Susan Moore High from Feb. 16 through July 29. She will be paid $12.50 per hour, not to exceed a total of $2,500, from At-Risk funds.

•contracted with Grindl Weldon to do prep work for tutoring and to provide tutoring services to students at Locust Fork High. The contract will be paid from the school’s Title I FY2016 funds.

•contracted with Wendy McCollum and Linda Tidwell to provide homebound services for students.

•approved homebound services for a Hayden High student through the ACCESS Program during the spring semester. Cindy Bartlett and Susan Parker will serve as ACCESS facilitators.

•approved human resources coordinator Phillip Hazelrig to serve as the board representative on the Sick Leave Bank Committee, effective Feb. 8.

•allowed Pam Minyard to work 10 additional days during the summer for workshops and to extend the office hours of the Resource Center. She will be paid at her daily rate from Title I FY2016 funds.

•transferred Susan Moore High Child Nutrition Program employees Lisa Burns, Selena Joiner, Reba Skillman and Paula Weaver to Susan Moore Elementary, effective March 1.

•assigned Sherry Whitworth Hayden High’s Blount County Career Technical Center’s bus route.

•transferred utility bus driver Cheyenne Smith to Blountsville Elementary and J.B. Pennington High.

•transferred bus driver Hugh A. Thomas from Locust Fork schools to Hayden schools.

•hired Brian Perkins and Karen B. Peters as utility bus drivers.

•allowed Donna Diane Karen Perez to conduct her apprenticeship/instructor training hours (650 total) with the Cosmetology Department at the Blount County Career Technical Center.

Finally, the board awarded a $185,424 bid for new football and track lighting at Hayden High to Titan Electric of Dora.

“The company should be starting work soon,” said Hayden High principal Allen Hargett.“If they get good weather, the company believes they can have everything done in time for graduation in late May.”

Hargett said the light replacement is much-needed and overdue. The lighting system has been changed but the poles at Robert W. Reid Stadium date back to the original construction in 1979.

Present at the Feb. 8 meeting were board members Chris Latta, Jackie Sivley, William Ferry, and Ken Benton, Green, board secretary Karla Latham and several visitors.