County BOE approves campus updates

Pictured, above from left, Vice Chairman Robert Elliot, Board members Monty Darwin, Carol Hiett and Chris Andrews, Chairman Randy Peppers and Superintendent Jason Barnett on Thursday. 

The DeKalb County Board of Education on Thursday approved various campus updates including the district-wide security camera installation and updates to Crossville High School.

The board awarded the District Security Cameras and Installation bid to Howard Technology Solutions, Inc. at $973,381.88.

DeKalb County Superintendent Jason Barnett said the security updates are funded through the county’s Advancement Technology Funds that have been set aside.

“This is going to upgrade our security camera systems at every one of our schools,” he said. “It’s something our folks and local schools have been needing and asking about for a long time.”

Barnett said installation by Farmers Telecommunications Coop is scheduled to begin promptly.

The board approved the replacement of the Crossville High School visitors’ bleachers from Boatner Construction at $774,000.

The 40-year-old concrete bleachers at CHS were replaced with aluminum ones in 2017 after they were assessed and deemed “at-risk” by risk management personnel and an engineer.

Barnett said at that time, the visitor bleachers also needed updating but the board handled the most urgent, which was the home side bleachers.

“Their visitor bleachers are in very poor shape. This is something that has been needed, and I am glad we are able to do it,” he said.

Board Chairman Randy Peppers said there’s been a lot of complaints over the years from visiting teams regarding the bleachers.

“It’s good to see we are finally getting the opportunity to get them fixed. I know it will be a big plus for the school,” he said.

The board also approved repairs to the Crossville High School gym floor through Covington Flooring Company for $30,000.

“We’ve had issues with the floor ever since it’s been installed. We worked out an agreement with Covington, the original installers, who will be paying a higher amount than we are for repairs,” said Barnett.

He said as part of the agreement Covington will be replacing the floor with thicker wood which the architects and all other parties involved believe will fix the ongoing issues since installation.

Board Vice-Chairman Robert Elliot inquired about a guarantee from the company due to the many issues with the original flooring to which Barnett said there is a certain timeline within the contract that it is guaranteed.

A start date for installation was not provided.

The board also:

• approved the school’s financial statements/general fund bank reconciliation and local school fund balance, bill and accounts

• approved the on the job injury of Cristie Brothers - elementary P.E. teacher - Geraldine High School - 20 days, Christopher Murdock - bus driver - Ruhama Jr. High School - 10 days, Harold Guilford - maintenance worker - Facilities - 3 days and David Bailey - custodian - Moon Lake Elementary School - 0 days

• approved the retirement/resignations of Cindy Wilks - CNP manager - Moon Lake Elementary School - retirement - 6/1/21, Paul Benefield - P.E. teacher - Fyffe High School - retirement - 6/1/21, Gina King- elementary teacher - Sylvania High School - retirement - 6/1/21, Regeania Dickerson - special education teacher - Collinsville High School - retirement - 6/1/21, Mahala Neeley - assistant secretary - Sylvania High School - retirement - 5/1/21, Michael Lacy - bus driver - Henagar Jr. High School - retirement - 6/1/21, Tammy Richey - itinerant special education paraprofessional - Geraldine High School - resignation - 3/1/21, Cori Willoughby - assistant custodian 7hr/9mo - Geraldine High School - resignation - 3/12/21, Jake Peek - head boys basketball coaching duties only - Crossville High School - resignation - 3/12/21, Casey Isbell - head varsity and junior varsity volleyball coaching duties only - Collinsville High School - resignation - 3/15/21, Ashley Williamson - secondary English language arts teacher - Sylvania High School - resignation - 5/27/21, Jason Lindsey - itinerant special education paraprofessional - Plainview High School - resignation - 2/18/21, Alexa Williams - varsity cheerleading coaching duties only - Crossville High School - resignation - 2/23/21 and Brad Waldrop - head football coaching duties only - Geraldine High School - termination - 3/25/2021

• approved the transfers of Jackie Sue Davis - CNP worker at Henagar Jr. High School to CNP worker at Plainview High School (2021-005), Jennifer Willoughby - assistant secretary at Geraldine High School to assistant custodian (9-month/7-hour) at Geraldine High School (2021-034) and Michael Peppers - bus driver at Crossville Elementary School to bus driver at Crossville Middle/High School (2021-030) (Chairman Randy Peppers abstained his vote)

• approved the certified placement (All placements are made pending a background review meeting suitability criteria and negative, pre-employment drug screen and appropriate certification): Audre Gilbert - English language arts teacher (3/22/21-5/27/21) - Ider High School (2021-033) and William Joshua Taylor - physical education teacher/ head football coaching duties - Crossville High School (2021-027) (Effective June 1, 2021)

• approved the support placement of Robert L. Hale - mechanic - bus garage (2021-023) and Amanda Moses - itinerant special education paraprofessional - Geraldine High School (2021-024)

• approved the following volunteer coach: Jackson Bearden and Jason Dollar - baseball at Geraldine High School, Elijah White, Jason Brown, Jason Traylor - baseball Plainview High School, Monty Price, Jason Traylor, Kennedy Traylor and Bailey Smart - softball Plainview High School and Chris Mattox - baseball at Sylvania High School

• approved the following contracts: Huntsville Behavior Associates - Behavior Analytic Services - IDEA B, Janie House - contracted special education teacher - Geraldine High School - IDEA B, Whittany Nicholas - remediation tutor - Crossville High School - Title I, before, during, and after-school tutoring services - GEER, Summer Reading Camps - GEER, Summer Reading Camps - ARI, Parenting Partners Facilitator - Title I, Casey Denton - 21st century Crossville teacher - Title IV, Suzanne Hunt - 21st century Crossville site coordinator - Title IV, Lisa Middlebrooks - reading instructor at Collinsville - NEA Foundation Grant, Charles Warren - contracted social science teacher - Ider - local, Scott McFall - contracted middle school mathematics teacher - Henagar - local, Gary Talley - interim high school principal - Sylvania High School, Alex Thomas - student computer technician - local, Nathan Hall - bilingual tutor - Crossville Elementary School (2021-028) and Leslie Foster - 3 hr. CNP worker - Henagar. Jr. High School (2021-020)

• approved the following superintendent’s recommendations, comments and reports:

• laid on the table the School Academic Recovery Supervisor job description, funded through ESSER funds.

• additional certifications and duties supplements update for DeKalb County schools secretaries.

• Barnett took a moment to recognize the Fyffe High School varsity boys basketball team on their 3A State Championship and the Sylvania High School varsity girls basketball team, 3A State Runner Up.

• the ESSER II - installing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) consideration, planning and installation.

• approved the board recommendation to bestow Chief Schools Financial Officer Anthony Cooper a $3,000 raise.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 22, 2021 with the regular meeting at 5 p.m. and work session at 4:30 p.m. in the meeting room of the Facilities Building.

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