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Board of Education meets

Bethany Stephens


The Board of Education met this past Monday night for their monthly session.  New board members, Tim Benton, Dennis Edwards, and Gary Rhoda, took their oaths of office, and Ophelia Munn-Goins and Alan West were both re-elected by the board to serve as Chair and Vice Chair respectively.  Heath Occupations Students of America (HOSA) members from both East and West Bladen were recognized next for their wins at the recent Regional District IV HOSA Competition.  Stephanie Putman from East Bladen won fourth place in Medical Terminology, and Jazzman McKoy won a top ten finish in the same category.  Lauryn Burney won a third place in Prepared Speaking while Kaythelia Lucky also earned a third place in Researched Persuasive Speaking.  Lastly from East Bladen, the team of Jasmine Ransom and Malik Riggins won fifth place in the Health Career Display.  West Bladen's students that won regional awards at the competition were recognized next.  Quinton Edwards served as Regional Secretary, and Faith Crumel won first place in the Knowledge Test, and Dasia Young won third place on the same test.  Aileen Garcia and Glorimar Cruz won second place as a team in the Health Career Display, and the team of Brianna Nance and Jenna Floyd won eighth place in the same category.  East Bladen's HOSA advisor is Pattie Nance, and West Bladen's group is advised by both Charlotte Davis and Mary Todd. 
East and West Bladen Future Farmers of America (FFA) students were recognized for participating and bringing home wins in FFA Land Judging Events.  James Nance, Nichole Smith and Scott Howell served as East Bladen's Junior team and Tyler Canady, Dylan Campbell, Josh Robbins, McKinley Raynor, and Jannie Culpepper served as East Bladen's Senior team.  The teams won second place int eh Three Rivers FFA Federation event. The advisor for both teams is East Bladen's Agriculture teacher, Earl Miller.  West Bladen's Land Judging team earned the State Championship in the State Land Judging competition, and the team will go on to compete in the National Competition to be held in May in Oklahoma.  West Bladen's Senior team members are Nikki Locklear, Jeremy Davis, Allison Morris, and Cody Roberts.  The teams advisers are Ronald Autry, Gary Collier, and Dana Mills. 
Several Career and Technical Education (CTE) students were recognized for receiving their ServSafe certification.  Lauren Autry, Rakwan Banner, Megan Bennett, Matthew Bobby, Cody Brown, Mary Glasgow, Meredith Jordan, and Taylor Sessoms earned the certification.   The students were taught by Gail Marsh, West Bladen's CTE/Foods Teacher.  In addition to the ServSafe recognitions, Booker T. Washington Primary won the attendance award in the Elementary School Division; Clarkton School of Discovery won in the Middle School Division, and East Bladen High School won in the High School Division.  Following the above awards and recognitions, the board proceeded to go into closed session to discuss personnel and legal issues.
Upon reconvening back into open session, Sharon Penny, Finance Director, gave an informational financial summary for the month of November.  There was some concerned discussion surrounding the state of the current budget as the budget is already $373,000 into the fund balance.  Penny and the superintendent explained the current state of the budget is due to state level cuts that came in after the budget was planned and due to the first half of teacher supplements being paid out last month.  Any extra expenditures at the end of the year will have to come from Capital Outlay funds if approved by the County Commissioners. 
Robert Heavenridge, School Support Services Coordinator, addressed the board next concerning placing hand sanitizing stations in the schools' cafeterias.  Due to minimal funds and the like, Heavenridge recommended that stations be only put in the six primary schools to begin with.  The cost to put the stations in the primary schools will be $582.  Following Heavenridge's comments, Willa Dean Williams, CTE Director, presented information concerning the CTE Pathways to Prosperity and the CTE Fall Newsletter.  A Personnel Addendum List was approved as well as two fund raiser requests, and voting on a revised policy was postponed until a future meeting. 
Robert Taylor, Superintendent, spoke regarding future training for new board members, an upcoming board photo shoot, the upcoming Annual School Board Conference, and of Patricia Faulk's, Personnel Director, upcoming retirement.  Faulk has worked in the school system for 38 years and will be retiring March first.  Lastly, the board's attorney, Gary Grady, thanked the board for their recent regards and prayers following his mother's death.  Following all of the above, the board proceeded to adjourn for the evening.



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