The Grayson County School Board expressed both their excitement over their newest staff member and their gratitude for a retiring long-time employee at their regular meeting on Thursday evening.
The introduction of the high school’s new machining program has brought with it the need for a new instructor. Russell Cheney has been hired to fill the position, and was hailed by Superintendent Barry Anderson and Board Director Carolyn Thomason as an experienced instructor who is expected to be a valued staff member.
Anderson also announced that rumors of Clarkson Elementary School Principal Eddie Chambers retiring are true. Chambers is currently finishing up his 31st year with the school system (and his 14th year at Clarkson Elementary) before entering retirement in the 2013-14 school year.
“On behalf of the board,” Anderson told Chambers, “we’re all very appreciative of your service of the kids at Clarkson.”
Another big item on the board’s agenda was the approval of the Design Development plans for the soon-to-be-built Board of Education Central Office building.
An architect with designing firm Clotfelter-Samokar, out of Lexington, explained that the structure, which is to be built off of Shaw Station Road, will be turned in a different direction from the original plan in order to decrease drainage issues and avoid added cost.
Upon seeing a rendering of what the completed building should look like, however, questions were raised about a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows in front of some offices.
While everyone appeared to like the look of the structure, board member Valeria Hayes-Hicks thought this could be a potential danger in the event of an attack on the building.
With safety and security becoming a more prominent priority in schools and school-related buildings across the country, the group admitted that this could be something to consider before giving the final go-ahead on the current building design.
In other school news:
-The group recognized Caneyville Elementary School for becoming the 200th Energy STAR-rated school in the state.
“It’s a really great accomplishment. It’s something that we’re really focused on,” Anderson said, adding that “There are a lot of good things gong on in our school system outside of the regular school day.”
- The group discussed the completion of additional security measures at three local elementary schools - Clarkson, Caneyville, and H. W. Wilkey. New camera and buzzer systems were installed outside the buildings’ front doors to ensure greater student safety.
“This is just one of the things we’ve done in the last couple of months to make our schools more secure.” Anderson explained to the board.
- Director of Transportation Arnold Hack spoke to the group about the new fuel monitoring system being used by the school system.
“It’s really up to date and keeps us really accountable.” Hack said, “It helps me to keep track. It does a good job.”
- Thomason said she would like to publicly thank the Grayson County Detention Center for hosting the Class of 2013 Senior Social.
She also wanted to thank Angie Jones for implementing the Operation Preparation events at the middle and high schools, as well as the community for their support in the program.
- Finally, Anderson released a letter he received from Senior Consultant C. Stephen Oborn, Ph.D., who led the recent review of the school system.
Oborn touted the school system’s ethics and performance, writing “Your work with servant leadership is uncommon. I travel the globe leading external review teams, and it is rare that I see such a commitment to, and operation footprint for, shared governance.”
He went on to write, “The greetings at the buildings, the atmosphere found in the classrooms, and the commitment to improvement by all were testimony to your Board’s belief in doing, “Whatever it takes.”