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Coach Vandygriff Gives Athletic Facilities Update

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New Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Don Vandygriff updated the Montgomery County Board of Education on his work revitalizing the football facilities at the regular monthly meeting on June 20. “We have put in a lot of hours to make sure that we are able to make our school look good,” Vandygriff told the Board. He informed board members the field house at Brogdon Field had been cleaned and reparinted, and the locker rooms had been given a facelift. “My son-in-law is a commercial painter, and he volunteered around 30 hours to help with the field house,” he explained. According to Vandygriff, Montgomery County Manager Brandon Braddy helped provide the resources and workers to trim the overgrowth of trees at one of the football field endzones. “Hopefully, now we will not lose as many footballs as last season in that area,” Vandygriff commented with a chuckle. He also told the Board that a tree had fallen at the softball field, and it had to be removed. Vandygriff said he plans to continue to work on the facilities, even making a new coach’s office and space for football officials at the field house. “It’s not about having the most things, it’s about making the most of what you have,” he remarked.

Other Business

Board members amended the budget for the 2021-2022 school year to ensure the revenues and expenditures experienced over the past year were accurate.

A spending resolution for July and August was also passed, which ensures that Superintendent Stan Rentz will be able to use funding from the school’s General Fund for payables during these months. This resolution is passed annually and is necessary because the Board has not yet passed the budget for the 2022-2023 school year. Eagle Academy Teacher Amber Street’s resignation was accepted by the Board and effective immediately and Montgomery County Elementary School Teacher Heather Pope was transferred to Eagle Academy.

The following hires were approved: Shonda Johnekins – Full-time School Nutrition, Sandra Nobles – Part-Time School Nutrition, Tammy Murdaugh –Elementary School Teacher, Brendan Earles –Middle/High School Teacher, Kera Nobles –Middle/High School Paraprofessional, and Cashaunda Smith – Behavior Intervention Specialist.

Smith was the only new hire present at the meeting and addressed the Board to thank them for their decision. “To have been interviewed with that panel of peers and be recommended for the job is truly an honor,” she remarked. “I am very excited to be a Montgomery County Eagle and am looking forward to the school year.” According to Smith, she served in the Treutlen County School System for several years before working as a business owner for four years. Over the past years, she has been employed with Vidalia City Schools, but denied a contract for the upcoming year because of desiring a change. “We are blessed to say that with the personnel decisions which we have approved tonight, our school system is now fully staffed for the upcoming school year,” Rentz told the public.

Several field trips and fundraisers were also approved for the upcoming school year, including trips to Beta Conventions in the fall.

Public Participation

Citizen Angela Bell addressed the Board asking them to review the current procedures with the sports concession stands, which she said have become difficult to maintain after the dissolvement of the Tipoff Club. “When we had the Tipoff Club, the members worked the concession stands and made sure that everything ran smoothly. Now that we do not have that resource this year, we need a way to make sure that the concession stands have adequate numbers of workers,” Bell explained.

Bell is a frequent worker of the concession stands and an avid supporter of the Montgomery County School System because of her children and grandchildren’s participation in school sports over the years. Bell wants to ensure that volunteers can have the opportunity to take breaks to watch their loved ones participate in the sporting events. Board Chairman Jim Paul Poole thanked Bell for her comments and said that he will pass the information on to the appropriate leadership. After the meeting, Superintendent Rentz spoke with Bell and shared his desire to ensure that concerns were heard and possible solutions were considered.

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