School Board approves staff

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Webster County School District board members have approved classified and certified staff for the upcoming school year.

They did so June 5, according to minutes of that meeting. The board first approved classified staff for 2012-13 for Eupora High School, East Webster High School, East Webster Elementary School, Eupora Elementary School, the Career and Technology Center, Food Services, Transportation, Special Education, Technology, Central Office, Maintenance and the Alternative School, as recommended by Superintendent of Education Jack Treloar.

After he recommended certified staff for 2012-13 at all of the schools and for the Special Education Department, Etty P. Brown (District 3) made a motion to approve all certified staff except Helen Culpepper, Robin Hunter and Teresa Morton — all of whom teach at EES. Keith Hudspeth (District 5) seconded the motion, which was approved 4-0; Scott Hollenhead (District 4) was absent.

Hudspeth then made a motion to approve Culpepper, Hunter and Morton as certified staff, and Nancy Davis (District 2) seconded. The motion was approved 3-1, with Brown voting nay.

EWHS Field House Also on June 5, Bennie Wolfe, representative of H2O Partners, discussed the construction layout/design and location of the new field house at East Webster High School.

After some discussion, records show, the board approved the layout and design of the new field house as presented and approved the location to be on the north end of the football field behind the restrooms.

The board also approved Wolfe’s request for permission to begin obtaining quotes for the subcontracting work on the field house.

EES Land Swap Transportation Director Phil Ferguson recommended the board consider swapping some land at the east end of Eupora Elementary School for some land located behind the school to be used for a new road for loading and unloading buses.

He also recommended the board sell the timber located on the northeast corner of the school property to help cover costs of dirt work needed for construction of the new road for the buses.

The board authorized Treloar to begin negotiating swapping the land on the east end of the school with land on the south end owned by Earl Pryor Doolittle and to advertise to take bids on the timber located on the northeast part of the school property.

Board Supports Special Session Treloar presented a request from the Webster County Board of Supervisors and Mississippi Association of Supervisors to approve a resolution to support the call of a special 2012 legislative session.

The resolution, which was approved, supports a special session to fund programs essential to public school districts.

It notes that the Legislature’s 2012 regular session ended without passage of a bond bill or other appropriation of funds for “certain critical local government projects without which local citizens, including public schoolchildren, will be at risk of lacking proper transportation to and from public schools and requisite services.”

The resolution points out that the Legislature did not fund the state’s Local System Bridge Program, “resulting in the counties’ inability to fund critically needed local bridge repairs and inevitably the closing of some unsafe local bridges,” nor the Rural Fire Truck Program, resulting in the loss of funding by counties to buy new fire trucks to replace those no longer meeting state Rating Bureau standards or capable of meeting the needs of citizens in emergency situations.

Other Business The board went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter at East Webster Elementary School, records show. After coming back into open session, President Bobby McMullen announced that no action was taken while in executive session.

In items tabled from the previous meeting, board members approved a revision to the “Network and Internet Acceptance Use” policy and adopted a new policy, “Internet Safety.”

Consent Agenda These items were approved/accepted as a part of the Consent Agenda:

• the hiring of Laci Knight as Eupora High School principal, beginning July 1 (see related story).

• Ann Reach as a teacher at EWHS, beginning Aug. 1.

• Amanda Edwards as a teacher at EES, beginning Aug. 1.

• the hiring of Kayla Seawright, Angela Blake and Jennifer Gatlin as teachers at East Webster Elementary, beginning Aug. 1.

• the recommendation of East Webster Elementary School Principal Jim Ray to terminate assistant teacher Suzanne Scoggin, effective May 7.

• the hiring of Marla Bingham as an assistant teacher at EWES, beginning Aug. 1.

• Dicenzo Miller as an assistant teacher at EHS, beginning Aug. 1.

• the resignation of Joy Walker, EHS teacher, effective June 1.

• the resignation of Meleah Brown, teacher/coach at East Webster High, effective May 25.

• the resignation of Paige Brantley, EWHS teacher, effective May 24.

• summer workers Carson Bright, Demetrius O’Briant (both at EWES) and Derek Jones (maintenance).

• Christian Jones as maintenance worker at EWHS, beginning June 6.

• Kelli Crutchfield, Dot Powell, Josephine McCrory, Diane Ray, Amy Herard and Christine Tolmie as substitute cafeteria workers for 2012-13.

• donations of $4,437 and $400 from the Eupora Eagle Football Booster Club to the EHS football program, and a grant of $25,327 from the Project Fit America Program to EES.

• granted permission to advertise to take bids on hunting and fishing leases on a tract of 16th Section land.

• having only one board meeting in the month of July, which will be July 12.

Budget Hearing The school district will have a public hearing on the 2012-13 budget at 7 tonight in the boardroom, with budget adoption set for 7 p.m. June 28. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

According to the hearing notice, the district is now operating with projected total budget revenue of $16.12 million. Of that amount, 13 percent or $2.14 million, is obtained through ad valorem taxes.

For next fiscal year, the proposed budget has total projected revenue of $15 million. Of that amount, the district proposes to finance 13 percent or $2.21 million, through a total ad valorem tax levy.

The proposed increase in ad valorem tax effort may result in an increase in the ad valorem tax millage rate, the notice states. Ad valorem taxes are paid on homes, automobile tags, business fixtures, and equipment and rental real property.