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Poole Comments on Board Member’s Behavior

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Montgomery County Board of Education Chairman Jim Paul Poole closed the BOE’s regular meeting on May 16 with a comment regarding the recent controversy over a single Board member’s behavior.

This comment comes as a result of citizens attending the meeting in outrage over the Board member’s conduct online regarding a personnel decision.

Three individuals spoke during the public participation portion of the regular BOE meeting in April, among them, parent Heather Williams, who said, “In the very recent past, as our system was undergoing yet more staffing issues, a public and very divisive social media post was made by a member of this School Board.” Williams continued, “It (the post) referenced personnel issues, which I have been repeatedly told could not be discussed outside of executive session. It publicly admonished the administration and our superintendent for actions taken privately, once again, concerning personnel.”

Williams, who was back before the Board on May 16 to readdress the issue, said, “My intention at Board meetings and speaking during Board meetings is not to harm our schools. I am the biggest fan of Montgomery County Schools. I volunteer at the school system. I would never want to hurt the school.”

She added, “That being said, I am here because there still has not been any public acknowledgement from the Board member that was spoken to. I do not want to keep coming back, but until it is addressed publicly, I am going to be standing here at every meeting.”

Williams noted, “That particular incident was inappropriate. It did not look good on our school system and it needs to be addressed publicly — and not behind closed doors or in a small way. It was a big thing. It (the conflict) was made public by a Board member, and not by anyone other than that Board member. So, I am asking that it be addressed.”

Once returning from executive session and handling the action items, Poole spoke to the public regarding the conflict.

“At this time, I want to address concerns that have been expressed at our last Board meeting and again tonight. We are aware (of continued from page

the situation), and the Board is going to be looking ahead to our future policies concerning situations such as this,” Poole told attendees. “We are also consulting with our attorney to address these current concerns. So, at this time, we will leave it at that, but knowing that it will be addressed shortly.”

Per Board policy, the Board member was not identified during the Board meeetings.

Superintendent’s Report Superintendent Stan Rentz told the Board that the recent Eagle Alliance meeting, which was designed to unify the community and school system, was a great success. He also shared that the members of the state championship track team will be recognized publicly during the June meeting of the Board.

According to Rentz, milestone scores have begun to become available, and are showing the results of COVID and virtual learning, as scores have decreased.

Other Business

Board members discussed the purchase of four used bus lifts to enhance the mechanic’s ability to fix issues on the school system’s 24 buses with Transportation Department Overseer Reggie Ricks. The Board tabled the issue to gain more information on their options, and plan to vote on the issue at the next meeting.

A fuel bid from Gay Oil Company was accepted for the transportation department. An exact price could not be given because of the constant fluctuation of prices in the oil industry, but $37,000 is expected to be spent on the 7,000 gallons of diesel. These orders are completed every three months to ensure the buses are supplied to run.

Bulletproof safety glass partitions will be installed at the Montgomery County Elementary School in the office area, and a commercial dishwasher has been purchased for the middle and high school.


The following new hires were unanimously approved by the Board: Brandon Edmond, Alternative School Director and Middle School Computer Science Facilitator; Thomas Patrick George, High School P.E. Teacher; Ruby Jo Terrell, Food Assistance; Lucy Michelle Chambers, Part-time Technology Worker; Emily Conner, Community Coach for Middle School Softball; Ashley Powell, 2nd Grade Teacher; Jennifer Amos, Pre-K Paraprofessional.

The Board also agreed to open a position for a behavior intervention specialist position, which may be applied for now.

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