The Grayson County Board of Education took an opportunity to recognize three local court officials at their regular meeting on July 12 as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the dedication shown to local youths and their ongoing relationships with the board.
Director of Pupil Personell, Sonny Prunty, presented honorary plaques to Judges Shan Embry and Kenneth “Harold” Goff II, along with court designated worker Lori Majors.
Prunty praised the trio, saying that they “help the school system in a big way.”
“Some tough decisions have to be made, but I think they’re fair and right on target,” Prunty said of Embry, Goff and Majors.
Two local elementary schools also received awards of a different kind at the meeting. Both Lawler Elementary and H. W. Wilkey Elementary were recognized as Energy Star Schools.
Superintendent Barry Anderson praised the schools for their accomplishment, adding, “I am of the belief that the facility makes some difference in the way kids learn.”
The school system as a whole was also recognized for being a 100 percent tobacco-free campus. Anderson applauded the school board for being the driving force behind that accomplishment, saying that the school system has been tobacco-free since 2009.
Anderson said that Grayson County Schools were a “trendsetter” in the state in moving toward entirely tobacco-free facilities.
In other school business, the group voted to approve a new fuel management system called “Gas Boy,” which will help keep track of fuel costs for school buses.
The current system relies on drivers keeping a written log of how much fuel they use and when, but if any of those logs are lost or destroyed, it can make the system a less reliable representation of actual expenditures. There is also the problem of simple human error with this system.
“There are no controls,” said Director of Transportation, Arnold Hack, of the current system, “except honest people.”
The Gas Boy system would employ key fobs (small security hardware devices used to access a system) to grant access to the school’s gas pumps and electronically and automatically record information such as how much gas was pumped, when, and by whom.
It would also give the transportation department greater knowledge regarding each individual bus by alerting them to vehicles which are getting notably less gas mileage than they should - a sign that there are mechanical problems which need to be addressed.
Director of Finance, Kerry White, who strongly recommended accepting Gas Boy’s bid for the fuel management system, said that the school system spends about $450,000 on fuel each year.
“This is a good long-term investment,” White said, explaining that the cost would be about $35,000 to implement the system at the school’s four gas pumping locations.
While the cost seems notable, White said that it is a good deal compared to similar systems employed by many other school systems, which often run about $17,000 for just one pumping location.
Also approved at the meeting were motions to create two new positions for Licensed Practical Nurses in elementary schools; Milk and Bread bids for the 2012-13 school year; and motions for three personnel to take a leave of absence.