South Fulton teachers, administrators honored for school, system-wide accomplishments at Board of Education meeting

by Benita Fuzzell

Building Level Teachers of the Year, RISE (Recognizing Inspiring School Employees) recipients and System-wide recognition for Teachers of the Year were honored during the March 6 monthly meeting of the Obion County Board of Education held at Lake Road School.

Board members present included Fritz Fussell, Keisha Hooper, Tim Britt, Barry Adams, Jared Poore, Kyle Baggett and Shannon Hogg. Director of Schools Tim Watkins was also present.

Named as Building Level Teacher of the Year from South Fulton Elementary was Areli Frields, grades PreK-4 and Kristy Vincent, grades 5-8; South Fulton Middle/High School, Cheryl Ogg, grades 5-8 and Carmen Barclay, grades 9-12.

Barclay was named System-wide Teacher of the Year for grades 9-12 and Laura Pitts, Principal at South Fulton Middle/High was named system-wide Principal of the Year.

Named at Black Oak was Melisssa Jones, PreK-4 and Ped Foster, grades 5-8; Hillcrest, Carol Hames, PreK-4 and Meredith Mancell, grades 5-8; Lake Road, Jenny Crittendon, grades PreK-4 and Casey Wade, grades 5-8; Ridgemont, Lindsay Gidcumb, grades PreK-4 and Rachel Whites, grades 5-8; and Obion County Central, Tonya Cochran, and Suzanne Hill, grades 9-12.

System-wide recognition for PreK-4, Teacher of the Year was achieved by Lindsay Gidcumb, from Ridgemont; Meredith Mancell, grades 5-8 Teacher of the Year system-wide, from Hillcrest; Tonya Cochran, grades 9-12 Teacher of the Year from Obion County Central; Assistant Principal of the Year, Mary Coleman, from Black Oak; and Adam Stephens was named Supervisor of the Year.

Those honored for RISE, Recognizing Inspiring School Employees, included Barry Bondurant, South Fulton Elementary and Chuck Wieber, South Fulton Middle/High School; Stephanie Jones, Black; Linda Carney, Board Office; Allyson Lewis, Bus Garage; John Gargus, Lake Road; Teresa Sanford, Ridgemont; and Shawn Gansert, Obion Count Central High School.

In the Personnel report, resignations were listed for South Fulton Elementary Educational Assistant Ja’Quay Garmon; South Fulton Middle/High School Educational Assistant Lanzar Harris; Obion County Central Anglers Coach Denise Wright; Lake Road Educational Assistant Kasidy Rotgers; Lake Road Food Services, Paula Burrows;
new hires listed included Lana Carson, OC Anglers Coach; Kelsey Luckett, Teacher at Hillcrest; Greg Southerland, Custodian at Lake Road; and Leaves of Absence were listed for William Chapman, Bus Driver at Ridgemont; Avery Seals, Teacher at Lake Road; Tammy Long, Custodian at Ridgemont; and Transfers were listed for Andrew Cagel Custodian to Educational Assistant at Lake Road and Stephanie Oseman, Food Service from Lake Road to Ridgemont.

The listing of approved Substitute Teachers for March included Breeanna Toon and Macy Early.
An amendment to Board Policy 1.106, Code of Ethics, was approved, which pertained to a focus on prohibitions against accepting items intended to influence a board member’s vote and how to handle ethics complaints.

The amendment directs school board members and district employees may not accept, directly or indirectly any gift, money, gratuity, consideration or favor that a reasonable person would understand was intended to influence the vote, official action or judgement of the board member or employee in executing decisions affecting the school district, and also prohibits a board member’s or employee’s spouse or child living in the same household to accept the same such items.

The Board may create a School District Ethics Committee consisting of three members who will be appointed to ne year terms of the Board Chair with confirmation by the Board. At least two members are school board members.

Another amendment which received BOE approval was 1.107, Board Member Conflict of Interest, which helps clarify conflicts of interest.

State law provides specific instances when direct or indirect conflicts of interest may affect a board member’s ability to vote on certain matters, direct conflicts defined as the school district contracts with a board member or business in which the board member is sole proprietor, partner or person having a controlling interest. Indirect conflict may arise if a Board member votes on matters involving a board member voting on a matter involving a situation that a reasonable person would infer affects his or her personal finances directly.

Board members are required to disclose conflicts in matters that affect or would lead a reasonable person or persons to infer that it would affect the exercise of discretion of a board member.

A number of over-night trips were approved, for South Fulton HIgh School Educated Studies to Nashville, Tenn.’s Belmont University, March 6-7; South Fulton High School Beta Club, to Gatlinburg, Tenn. March 8-10 for Beta Leadership camp; South Fulton Middle School HOSA Health Science, Knoxville; South Fulton Middle/High School Band, to Gatlinburg, April 27-29, for the Smoky Mountain Music Festival; and Obion County Central High School, Seivierville, for Cross Country.

Following the Board’s review of a bid for E. Rate Wireless upgrade, recommended by Mr. Barbour as well as Superintendent Tim Watkins, Central Technologies was awarded the E-Rate Wireless Upgrade Bid, for a project total of $410,790. A response from Central Technologies and A3 Communications was received however the A3 Communications response was received after the deadline. The project, according to the information provided to the board, is dependent on federal funding and local funding, with the system to be responsible for the portion that federal funding does not fund. It was not yet determined as to the portion for which the system would be responsible to fund. The project would be included in the next school year’s budget if approved.

The board approved the bid.

An Industrial Power Contract between the Obion County Board of Education, referenced within the contract as the customer, and Gibson Electric Membership Corporation, the distributor, was approved for the supply of power and energy to Hillcrest Elementary School in Troy, Tenn., for a contract term of five years, beginning on delivery date of power, approximately Jan. 15, 2019, and considered renewed for a year from the expiration on the term and from year to year thereafter unless a written notice to the contrary is given by either party to the other at least three months prior to the expiration of the term or any then existing renewal.

With recommendations from the Math Curriculum Committee, comprised of math teachers in all grade levels, the Board approved the adoption of the system’s math curriculum, with the committee members representative of all grade levels and from all school campuses. Watkins said the same company was recommended from all committees, Tennessee Reveal Math, from McGraw Hill for grades K-12, and SAVVAS for three additional dual enrollment math classes, Elementary Statistics, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. The curriculum recommended and approved will be utilized for a six year term, minimum, with potential for an eight-year term pending with legislative action.

In his Director’s Report, Watkins updated board members on school campus repairs following frozen pipes and flooding damage in December.

He said all classrooms at Hillcrest are repaired and the temporary cooling tower has been put in place and is operating.

Once tiles were installed at Hillcrest, work crews moved to Black Oak, Watkins said, however more tiles were required there, were ordered and were expected to arrive this week. Ridgemont would be the next work site, he said, with an anticipated completion on all repairs in two weeks.

Watkins reminded the board members about the Board Retreat scheduled for April 28, and reported he had scheduled meeting with Coca-Cola and Pepsi next week, regarding upcoming vending agreements.