BOE visits Huxford

Published 11:06 am Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rachel Patterson Elementary School Principal Susan McKenzie reads to board members some student’s work during Board Appreciation Day.|Photo by Chandler Myers

Escambia County School Board officials are hoping to stretch more than $300,000 for the acquisition of four much-needed school buses.

According to Superintendent Billy Hines, Thursday afternoon’s board approval to advertise for bids to purchase two school buses will hopefully come in low enough to double the system’s purchase.

“Hopefully when the bids come back, we will be able to buy two of each,” Hines said.

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The board, which met during its monthly meeting at Huxford Elementary School this month, authorized bids for a special needs/handicap accessible school bus and a 72-passenger school bus. The system is working with a $311,000 fleet renewal bond from the State of Alabama.

The board also approved another large project as they accepted a bid in the amount of $195,668 from Carters Contracting for the construction of two classrooms at Flomaton Elementary School. Hines said the project would be funded by PSCA bond money from the state earmarked for capital improvements.

Student from both Huxford and Rachel Patterson elementary schools entertained the school board with a song and video featuring lyrics about each board member to the tune of “Old McDonald.” to begin Thursday’s meeting. Hines, who also recognized the board, said he, along with the board members, was appreciative of the students’ welcome.

“It was fantastic; it was cute as a button,” he said. “We try to do something different every year, we usually visit the high schools and middle schools, but changed it up this year to go to elementary schools. They did an exceptional job.”

The video was developed using 21st Century Video Cameras provided by the school system, which the students used to film the welcome.

In other business, the board:

• OK’d the renewal of appointment of Board attorney, Broox Garrett, for Jan. 1 through June 30, with a $500 retainer fee.

• Approved a revised JROTC salary schedule, mandated by the U.S. government, effective July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. Hines said the JROTC instructors are federal employees and the school system pays half of their salaries. He added that the increase is an annual cost of living raise authorized by the U.S. government.

• Heard from Chief Financial Officer Julie Madden, who reported that the system’s ending fund balance as of Dec. 31, 2010 was $9.390 million. Hines added that the balance should increase one more month due to the last of the ad valorem taxes being collected.

• Approved the following personnel issues:

Employment, Lisa Odom, Title I after-school tutor, W.S. Neal Elementary School, effective Jan. 19 and Earl Weaver, substitute bus driver, 21st Century Community Learning Center Program, Huxford Elementary School, effective Jan. 3.

Leave of absence, LaShonda Marshall, teacher aide, Rachel Patterson Elementary School, one-year leave of absence, effective Dec. 1, 2010 through Dec. 1, 2011; Crystal Worrell, teacher, Pollard-McCall Junior High School, maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, effective one half day on Jan. 25 through Feb. 28 and Peggy Hobbs, secretary, Escambia County High School, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, effective Jan. 24.

Temporary employment, Debra Conlee, certified teacher, Pollard-McCall Junior High School, to receive teacher pay, effective one half day beginning Jan. 25 until Feb. 28 (replacing Crystal Worrell while out on maternity leave) and Austin Rogers, certified teacher, Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective Jan. 3 through May 27 (replacing Gloria Wolfe while on leave of absence)

• Scheduled the next monthly board meeting for 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Brewton Career Tech Center.