The Greene County Board of Education’s Jan. 24, 2013 meeting opened with accolades to the board members from students, faculty, staff and administrators. Greene County High School began the salute to the board with a song by a representative group of students, a vibrant cheer from the high school cheerleaders and presentations of fruit baskets, led by Alphonzo Morton, III, GCH Biology teacher.

Songs and gifts were also presented to the board members by students and faculty from Carver Middle School, Paramount Jr. High, Eutaw Primary and the Career Center.  Rev. Joe Webb, representing the Transportation Department, Mr. Lesley Carlisle,  Maintenance Department and Superintendent Emma Louie and Ms. LaTonya Cockrell representing the Central Office Staff showered the board members with sentiments of appreciation and many gifts for them to enjoy.

Each board member expressed a profound appreciation for the heartfelt love expressed by everyone. “This is truly a unique experience for us.  We feel the embrace and support of our students, faculty, superintendent and staff, “said Leo Branch, School Board Chairperson.

 In the board’s business meeting CSFO, Shane Martin reported that at the close of December 2012, cash and cash equivalency in all accounts equaled $11.1M.  Of that amount, $6.9M is earmarked for new school construction. Total revenues were $1.2M; total expenses $1.5M. Construction costs for December were $580,000. Operational net increase was $200,000.  Local taxes collected were in amount of $650,000.  Approximately $40,000 was received from the local bingo entities.  As of Dec. 31, 2012 the general fund balance was $3.8M and the total fund balance was $14.1M.

  Martin pointed out to the board the need to approve Budget Amendment I, which will allow an adjustment to the school system’s budget to include the carry over funds from fiscal year ending September 30, 2012. The carry over funds, which are primarily Federal Title I and Special Education resources, have been approved by the Alabama State Department of Education.

On the recommendation of the superintendent the board approved the following Personnel Items:

* Employment of Mrs. Diana Liverman in the area of Reading for the Greene County High School High Hopes tutoring program for 2012-2013 school term. (Funding Source: High Hopes).

*Retirement of Ms. Barbara Davis as Cook at Paramount Jr. High School, effective February 28, 2013.

The board approved travel to New York City for board members Bobbie Morgan, Leo Branch and Board Attorney Hank Sanders to attend a bond rating meeting.

  Other action items approved by the board included:

*Budget Amendment 1

*Travel for Paramount Jr. High 7th graders and chaperones to Georgia Aquarium and Atlanta Zoo in Atlanta, GA, May 17, 2013; Paramount 8th graders and chaperones to Six Flags Over Georgia, April 26, 2013 to attend Math and Science Day.

*Superintendent Emma Louis and CSFO Shane Martin to attend a bond rating meeting in New York City.

*Construction contract with ST Bunn Construction Company at the contract amount of $557,319 for the US Highway 11 (AL 7) Road Improvement Project to serve new high school.

*Amendment #1 to CWA architect’s contract.

*First Team Change Order #2 for new GCHS in the amount of $43,238 and for 28 weather days added to the contract.

*US Hwy 11 (AL 7) Roadway Improvement Construction Contract. (For information only)

*Resolution Proclaiming February 1-28, 2013, as Career Technical and Education Month.

*Certificates of Affirmation of School Board Member for Leo Branch, Sr., Bobbie Morgan, Morris Hardy and Frank Smith.

*Greene County Board of Education Model Code of Conduct for Local Boards of Education.

*Closing position of Early Childhood Coordinator of Save the Children effective February 15, 2013, due to end of grant funding.

*Payment of all bills and payroll.

*Financial statement presented by CSFO Shane Martin. (For informational purposes)

*Bank reconciliations as submitted by CSFO Shane Martin.

  The action items relating to high school construction and contracts were approved pending review by the board’s attorney.  Attorney Sanders indicated he had not been presented these documents prior to the board meeting.

In her report, Superintendent Emma Louie stated that the school system’s focus for the remainder of the year would be on curriculum and instruction.  She indicated that Dr. James Wright would be assisting with the strategic plan in that regard. She explained that Alabama has adopted College and Career Readiness Standards which is a step above the Common Core Curriculum Standards and considered standards for the global scholar.  Students will take end of year exams relative to the curriculum.  “We will no longer be ‘teaching to the test,”’ said Dr. Louie.

  Superintendent Louie announced that procedures for registering concerns, complaints, questions, etc., found in the student handbook will also appear in the next school system newsletter.

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