Pike County BOE welcomes new board member

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Pike County Board of Education welcomed Justin Davis to the board at its Monday meeting. Davis was appointed to fill the unexpired term of retiring member Wyman Botts who had served on the board for 19 years.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said, as the youngest board member, Davis will bring a different perspective to the board.

“We welcome you and are looking forward to working with you,” Bazzell said.

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The board heard presentations concerning programs offered by the board that are designed to raise the bar of expectations for students at different levels of learning.

Dr. Donnella Carter, administrative assistant, and Pamela Franklin, instructional support specialist, made presentations concerning the Aspire results. Carter also had a presentation concerning the expansion of the STEM initiative. Dr. Mark Head, administrative assistant, and Jeff McClure, director of alternative learning, spoke to the board concerning their presentation at the MEGA Conference in Mobile. 

Franklin expressed pride in the analysis of the Aspire data, which indicated increases in most areas of reading, math and phonics for grades three, four and five. The data also indicated focus areas where decreases were indicated.

Carter said the STEM Academy is proving to be a very beneficial program for the school system with double-digit gains in the math and science programs. Expanding hands-on, project-based learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics would raise the academics bar in the school system.

Bazzell said plans are to create STEM Space, which would be an environment where students could participate in STEM activities.

Head and McClure said the presentation at the MEGA Conference was well received with many schools in attendance that “look like Pike County.”

Head and McClure highlighted the Pike County Schools’ Virtual High School credit recovery program for students that have not been successful in the traditional high school setting. McClure said the credit recovery initiatives were of special interest.

Bazzell noted that the school year will open with longer bus routes for the buses that will have to detour due a bridge being out in the Goshen area. The added fuel cost for the 16-mile detour could cost as much as $62,000 depending on how long the bridge is out.

Bazzell discussed the options for the formation of the Pike County Schools Education Foundation, which would allow alumni and other supporters of the Pike County School System to make donations to the school systems and specify how the donations were to be directed.

In other new business, the board:

• Approved budge hearing dates Tuesday, Sept. 5 and Thursday, Sept. 7. Both hearings will start at 2:30 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room.

• Approved 18 school buses and three special needs buses as surplus and authorized the sale of 21 buses to Transport South.

• Approved permission for the Goshen High School Junior Varsity and Varsity volleyball teams to travel to and participate in the Wallace State Community College Team Volleyball Camp July 23-26 in Hanceville. Expenses will be paid from GHS volleyball funds.

In personnel action, the board:

• Accepted the resignation of Ashley Kilpatrick, third grade teacher at Goshen Elementary School.

• Approved the employment of Lori Hatler, bus driver.

• Approved the employment of Lisa McVay, pre-K lead teacher, Banks School.

• Approved employment Arnitra Cotton, pre-K auxiliary teacher, Banks

• Approved employment of Rebecca Lester, second grade teacher, GES.

• Approved employment of Alexa Suell, SPED aide, GES.

• Approved employment of Nancy Tindal, pre-K lead teacher, GES

• Approved employment of Susan Rogers, pre-K auxiliary teacher GES.

•Approved re-employment of Blair Bush, art teacher, Goshen High School.

•Approved re-employment of Tina Senn, pre-K lead teacher, Pike County Elementary School.

• Approved re-employment of Shatasha Carter, pre-K auxiliary teacher PCES.

• Accepted the resignation of Cynthia Donn, bus driver