The DeKalb County Board of Education heard from Mary Crosby, representative of the Grove Oak Volunteer Fire Department last week, regarding the purchasing of the former Grove Oak School property.
Originally, the roughly four acres of property was home to Grove Oak School, once a thriving junior high school but closed in the early 90s due to low enrollment.
Crosby said at the time of the closing the property housed two main buildings, the school and the gym. During that time, the gym was still frequently used by members of the community.
Due to possible liability concerns, she said, in 1993, the county school board sold the 1.5 gym property to the Grove Oak Crime Watch for $1, letting the community assume responsibility.
In May of 2021, the Grove Oak Crime Watch sold the gym property to the volunteer fire department for $1. The property had not been utilized in years and the gym was falling apart due to lack of maintenance and no upkeep.
“They intend to tear down the remaining structure and put a community storm shelter and a helipad on this site,” said Crosby.
Because the property is close to High Falls Park, Morgans Cove and Buck’s Pocket State Park, the helipad would provide a landing platform in the vicinity for emergency helicopters in the event of an emergency.
In 2003, the board of education decided to sell the property where the school sat, consisting of around two acres.
Crosby said a bid was accepted from an individual in January of 2004 for $10,226. However, in February the school was destroyed by a fire and the individual asked to be released of that obligation.
The board agreed since the deed hadn’t been recorded and money exchanged.
“The board agreed, and this allowed their insurance money to clean up the damage,” she said. “In 2006 the board entered into a 20-year lease agreement with the Grove Oak Fire Department for $1.”
Since taking over, the volunteer fire department has constructed a three-bay fire hall and maintains the property.
“I ask you to consider the precedent set by the 1993 school board where they saw it fit to transfer [the property] to another entity that would serve the community,” said Crosby.
She said since acquiring the surrounding land from the Grove Oak Crime Watch, the additional land would benefit the fire department in the pursuit of grants and other opportunities to better the fire department and community.
Crosby said the property would never be a school again, is not a source of revenue and would be beneficial for the Grove Oak community and the surrounding areas.
The DeKalb County Board of Education last Friday unanimously approved the sale of the former Grove Oak School property to the Grove Oak Fire Department at the cost of $1, with the department responsible for covering the deed and other fees involved.
The board also:
• approved the school’s financial statements/general fund bank reconciliation and local school fund balance, bill and accounts
• approved the following retirements and resignations: Angela Dawn Bailey - itinerant special education bus aide - Fyffe Special Services Center - retirement - 7/1/21, Delane Westbrook - itinerant special education bus aide - Fyffe Special Services Center - retirement - 8/1/21, Donna Womack - secondary history teacher - Sylvania High School - retirement - 9/1/21, Shane Stewart - itinerant special education teacher - Collinsville High School - resignation - 6/16/21, Kacy Wooten - English language arts teacher - Ider High School - resignation - 6/30/21, Dusty Darnell - p.e. teacher - Crossville High School - resignation - 6/14/21, Lori Biddle - elementary teacher - Sylvania High School - resignation - 6/21/21, Ashton Traffanstedt - elementary teacher - Collinsville High School - resignation - 6/27/21, Lauren Roszell - band director - Geraldine High School - resignation - 6/30/21, Seth Busby - secondary social sciences teacher - Plainview High School - resignation - 7/2/21, Macy Cole - elementary teacher - Crossville Elementary School - resignation - 6/29/21, Christa Sims - reading interventionist - Crossville Elementary School - resignation - 7/1/21, Daniel Garrett - p.e. teacher - Collinsville High School - resignation - 5/27/21, Jon Nelson - secondary social sciences teacher - Crossville High School - declined position - 6/30/21, Rachel Johnson - itinerant special education teacher - Geraldine High School - resignation - 7/2/21 and Melinda Wooden - itinerant special education paraprofessional - Plainview High School - resignation - 7/8/21
• approved the leave of absence of Taylor Finch Littles - elementary teacher - Geraldine High School - 8/2/21-8/27/21, Kennedy Brown - occupational therapist - Annex - 8/2/21-10/19/21, Yolanda Lopez - migrant liaison - District - 5/12/21-6/30/21, Michelle Norwood - itinerant special education teacher - Crossville High School - 8/1/21-7/30/22 and Becky Reeves - healthcare instructor - DeKalb County Technology Center 8/2/21 - 5/27/22
• approved the transfer of Amanda Chisenhall - Itinerant special needs pre-k paraprofessional to itinerant nurse at Fyffe Special Services Center (2021-169), Tammy Wynn - pre-k teacher at Henagar Jr. High School to elementary teacher at Ruhama Jr. High School (2021-185), Brian Pool - assistant principal Crossville High School to 12 month principal at Crossville Middle School (2021-175) (two-year probationary contract 7/1/21-6/30/23), Rob Hullet - itinerant technology instructional coach for the District to secondary mathematics teacher - Geraldine High School (2021-189), Hugh Taylor - secondary science teacher at Ruhama Junior High School to p.e. / intervention teacher at Crossville Middle School (2021-193) (8/1/21-12/31/21), Daniel Williams - teacher at DVA to technology integration/math coach for the District (2021-205), Lisa Dollar - itinerant special education teacher to pre-k teacher at Geraldine High School (2021-182), Alicia Wilbanks - elementary teacher at Collinsville High School to elementary teacher at Sylvania High School (2021-198), Allison Foster - itinerant el teacher at Crossville Middle School to itinerant el teacher at Collinsville High School (2021-173), Angela Edge - itinerant special education paraprofessional to itinerant special education pre-k paraprofessional at Fyffe Special Services Center (2021-194), Annie Varner - receptionist to secretary at the Central Office (2021-140), Courtney Waldrop - itinerant special education paraprofessional to itinerant special education teacher at Plainview High School (2021-168) and Jodie Rae Barton - itinerant special education paraprofessional to itinerant special education teacher at Crossville Middle School (2021-210)
• approved the certified placement (All placements are made pending a background review meeting suitability criteria and negative, pre-employment drug screen and appropriate certification): Blakely Appleton - Elementary Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-045), Chelsea Patterson - Itinerant Special Education Paraprofessional - Collinsville High School (2021-047), Seth Phillips - Secondary Mathematics Teacher - Crossville Middle School (2021-050), Jennifer Mayes - Elementary Teacher - Crossville Middle School (2021-129), Marlene Bryant - Elementary Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-152), Emmily Smith - Business Education Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-157), Heath Blackwell - 1⁄2 Assistant Principal / 1⁄2 Teacher - DeKalb Virtual Academy (2021-166), Jessica Horton - Itinerant Special Education Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-167), Robin Potter - Elementary Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-174), Hailee Miradakis - Elementary Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-174), Makayla Lacy - Elementary Teacher - Crossville Middle School (2021-176), Britt Shore - Secondary Social Sciences Teacher - Crossville High School (2021-178), Autumn Fox - Elementary Teacher - Geraldine High School (2021-181), Destiny Ridgeway - Elementary Teacher - Geraldine High School (2021-181), Michaela Young - Pre-K Teacher - Henagar Jr. High School (2021-183), Isaac Dismuke - Itinerant EL Teacher - Crossville High School (2021-190), Kaitlin Clark - Secondary English Language Arts Teacher - Sylvania High School (2021-191), Mandi Goza - Elementary Teacher - Crossville Elementary School (2021-192), Jessica Munger - Secondary English Language Arts Teacher - Ider High School (2021-196), Joyce Elizabeth Haygood - Elementary Teacher - Collinsville High School (2021-199), Megan Henderson - Secondary Social Sciences Teacher - Plainview High School
(2021-200), Timothy Spears - Band Director - Geraldine High School (2021-201) and Amber Miller - Elementary Teacher - Crossville Elementary School (2021-202)
• approved the support placement of Summer Rainer - store worker (6 hour) - Sylvania High School (2021-126), Summer Wooten - pre-k auxiliary - Plainview High School (2021-184) and Kaylee Hubbard- pre-k auxiliary - Henagar Junior High (2021-203)
• approved the following contracts: Landscape Maintenance Agreement - Central Office, Ernie Willingham - Baseball Coaching Contract - Collinsville High School, Ider High School - After School Program - GEER - Barbara Davis, Deborah Durham, Tina Ferguson, Nancy Frost, Dena Hairston, Lindsay Higdon and Diane Laney, Valley Head High School - After School Program - GEER - Renae Day, Renee Fraley, Amy Haymon, Tonya Hilyer, Lesa Smith and Lynne Wagner, Heath Blackwell - DVA Schedules - ESSER I, STEM Camp - ESSER II - Joey Haymon, Kristi Mitchell and Tim Turner, Dallas Brown - Summer Worker - Ider High School, Ellen Shirley - Summer School CNP, Migrant Summer Program - Migrant - Sadie Durham, Beatriz Felipe, Brenda Gembe, James Hamby, Katie Bailey, Heather Beritiech and Yenifer Pedro, Kinsey Hawkins - Summer Bus Driver - ARI, Geraldine High School - Summer Program - ARI - Lyndsey Franklin, Melissa Gilbert, Ginger Hill, Teresa Jamison, Darlene Mosley, Kimberly Norwood, Dana Patterson and Vickie Armstrong, Michelle White - Valley Head High School - Summer Program - GEER, TeresaSmith-SummerSchoolCoordinator-Local and Daniel Williams - Summer School Teacher - Local
• approved the following superintendent’s recommendations, comments and reports:
- permission to place personnel pending board approval.
- approved the transition of Jr. High Schools custodians to a 12-month custodian salary matrix.
- approved to postpone the removal of unused pay scales in the system and the school secretary pay scale until the next meeting.
- approved the payment plan of the Geraldine Lawn Mower Purchase Agreement.
- approved the extension of the Parental Involvement position for the District from 9 months to 12 months. (effective 7/1/21)
- The board heard a TEAMS contract update from Assistant Superintendent Brian Thomas
• approved the payment of the AASB Membership dues.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 27, 2021 with the work session at 4:30 p.m. and regular meeting at 5 p.m. in the meeting room of the Facilities Building.