MoCo Schools Solidify Personnel Changes
The Montgomery County Board of Education approved and finalized administrative personnel for the upcoming school year at the regular meeting on February 28.
Athletic Director Tim Suttles resigned from his administrative position as Athletic Director to return to a teaching and coaching position, while high school Cheerleading Coach Carmen Suttles resigned from her role as varsity cheerleading coach. Both of these resignations were unanimously approved with the exception of Board Member Debra Gay’s recusal.
Resignations were also accepted from: Head High School Boys Basketball Coach Jimmy Williams, Middle School Teacher Travis Clark, and School Food Nutrition/ Cafeteria Worker David Jackson. The retirement of longtime High School Secretary Sabrina Kelly was also approved. Several new hires for substitution roles were approved: Ruby Joe Terrell as School Food Nutrition substitute, Lisa Wright as School Food Nutrition and teacher substitute, Jennifer Amos as teacher substitute, and Tim Nickels as teacher substitute. Permanent teaching positions were also filled as Terri Conner was hired as a Middle School English Language Arts teacher, Candace Medlock was hired as a high school science teacher, Madison Langford was hired as a high school social studies teacher, Rick Faircloth was hired as a community coach for Middle School Baseball, and Tracy McNeal was hired as a middle and high school English Language Arts teacher as well as an assistant administrator. Also, Lindsey White was hired as a middle school special education teacher, and Izell Stephens was hired as an elementary school reading teacher as well as head varsity boys basketball coach and assistant football coach. The system’s administrative positions were also approved, along with each school within the district’s positions; there was no change in leadership.
Currently, the school is looking to fill the following positions: two adapted curriculum personnel, two elementary teachers, an interrelated special education employee, two middle school English Language Arts teachers, and three special education teachers. Applicants with the qualifications to also serve as athletics personnel are highly desired.
District Parent Mentor Matt Reese thanked the Board for hiring a student who normally would not have the ability to work afterschool because of transportation issues. “Some students don’t have the transportation needed for an afterschool job,” he told the Board. “This board gave him a chance to apply for a job at our school, and I just want to thank you for the opportunity.” Reese continued to speak on the student’s growth within the school. “He was selected as our Heart of Georgia Transition Alliance award winner for his work in the Eagle Thrift Shop, which is another project I am thankful that you all have allowed us to undertake,” he commented. “These students are being able to participate and gain life, work, and social skills – which is a great preparation for life outside of school.”
The Board agreed to lift the mask mandate on the school buses so that it is now optional for students to wear facial coverings while riding the bus. Temperatures will continue to be taken until the Board sees fit to end that practice as well. The district will spend $8,500 on the Georgia School Board Association Policy Update and Revision process, which allows authorities to review the current district policies and make sure they are equivalent to the current state policies. This service is at a discounted rate, as when this was last done in 2016. The cost was $12,000 in 2016.
Superintendent Stan Rentz acknowledged the accomplishments of National School Bus Safety Poster School Level Contest Winners Sadie Cheek, Jackson Avery, and Karmin Johnson. The posters will be judged on the state level. Rentz also informed the Board of the winners of the School Level Young Authors Contest: Cannon Suttles, Eilynn Love, August Street, Kailee Phillips, Joshua Hong, and Caylon Crews. The writings will now be entered in the Heart of Georgia RESA Contest.
According to Rentz, COVID struggles have ceased, as no staff and only three students have tested positive for the illness within the past month. Rentz also enlightened the public that the ESSER 3 Grant Application for COVID relief funds was being reviewed by a committee that had asked for more information regarding requests. Federal Programs Director Julie Harrelson is currently working to provide that information.
A drainage issue with the football field and track was discussed in both the work session and meeting, but Board Members voted to table the issue so that more observations could be carried out before a decision was made on a plan of action.
The Board decided against making mandatory the high school PLUS class, which teaches students soft skills that prepare them for life outside of the academic structure. Requiring this class would disrupt students from the option of travelling to the Southeastern Early College and Career Academy (SECCA) for classes. The PLUS course will remain optional. Coca-Cola of McRae has donated a scoreboard for the school baseball field, which will be installed soon.