Troy BOE discusses split vote

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2010

The Troy City Schools Board of Education is not divided.

That’s the point school board Vice President Judson Edwards tried to drive home at the conclusion of Monday’s board meeting.

With the dust settling from the June 10 special session of the BOE, where a split vote approved the hiring of three new principals in the system, Edwards attempted to clear the air.

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“One of things that I saw in that vote was complete shock from the audience,” Edwards said.

He credited that shock to a school board that usually votes unanimously.

“You don’t see that (a split vote) much with this board,” Edwards said.

But he was quick to qualify that differences of opinion are part of the process.

“Disagreements occur when you sit on a board,” he continued.

“There’s not one person on this board that doesn’t have the kids’ best interests in mind.”

Edwards said he was concerned with how the public might interpret the actions of the board through media reports.

“The community should not worry about us functioning as a board because we function well as a board…we don’t want the community to think there is some tension between us,” he said.

The nearly full audience, which included incoming middle school principal Bradley Bouldin, joined all the members of the board in a loud ovation.

Edwards’ remarks came after Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith announced “Meet our Principals Day” set for July 1, at 3 p.m. at Troy Elementary School.

“Everyone’s invited to show them how welcoming Troy can be and what Troy is all about,” Felton-Smith said.

Board member Wally Lowery, who represented one of the votes against the three new administrators, later voiced approval of the meet and greet.

“We will be there July 1st to meet the principals, we look forward to that,” he said.

In scheduled business, Felton-Smith discussed plans for the final phase of projects made possible by a 2007 state bond for capital improvements.

The bond has already been used to renovate the Charles Henderson High School gym and build the new BOE central office, and Felton-Smith explained the third undertaking.

“We have 154,000 in the account left, we cannot do all the work we anticipated doing,” she said.

Felton-Smith said there are two things she would like to see done.

One would be canopies or awnings at Charles Henderson Middle School, that would help students move from building to building without getting wet in rain.

The second would be a large concrete slab at TES, with a top to provide a sheltered area for physical education and other activities.

“I’m recommending tonight that we negotiate with Whaley (Construction) to see how we can get the canopies at the middle school and the slab and top at the elementary school.”

The board also approved a resolution to consult with a financial institution to consider refinancing bonds while interest rates are low.

In personnel action the board:

Approved the hire of Kira Aaron, Secondary Language Arts Teacher

Approved the hire of Laura Renfroe, Special Education Teacher

Approved the hire of Cassie Newman, Library Media Aide