By Myra Chico,
The Gilmer County Board of Education conducted a regular meeting on Oct. 14, but it started in an unusual way.
Immediately after the beginning of the meeting, Calhoun Banks-Glenville Branch Manager Royce Steele officially presented a check to the board for $5,300. Steele said that “Gilmer County High School is taking on a new endeavor” with wresting for middle school aged children. She explained that the money will buy a new mat that will have the GCHS logo on it along with Calhoun Bank's logo. With smiles, GCHS Principal Steve Shuff and Superintendent Patty Lowther accepted the check.
Once the presentation was completed, the board members went into executive session for 21 minutes to discuss personnel matters.
When the board members returned from executive session, Lowther began reading the names of the new hires by category for approval.
Tyson Price was hired as principal of Gilmer County Elementary School. Price will replace Toni Bishop who is retiring at the end of October.
Lowther then asked the board's permission for Counselor Daniel Reed to offer a field trip to New York City for any middle school or high school student. She said no school funds would be used and the trip will be totally self-funded for those who choose to participate. The trip is planned for March 26-30.
Treasurer Clay Chesser gave the board members a financial report and stated that revenues are starting to come in. He also explained that there are two purchases over $5,000 that are needed. One request was for a three-door freezer from Child Nutrition Director Joe Frashure and the second one was from Technology Director Judy Stalnaker for six smart boards for different classrooms throughout the schools. The board approved both purchases and the financial report.
Board Member Tammy Stewart said the active shooter drill went very well. She said there would be a follow-up meeting on Oct. 21. And, she continued to explain that Homeland Security will be giving them an evaluation of how the drill went. Frashure said that he felt the drill went very well also. He said that communication needs to be improved. Frashure added that every teacher has been asked to evaluate the drill, he said he hopes to get a lot of good feedback from them.
Board Member Bob Minigh explained that out of 144 students at Leading Creek Elementary School, only 44 of those students are from Gilmer County. He said academics at the school are improving and attendance is good. He added that all the teachers at Leading Creek are certified except one part-time special education teacher.
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