Towns County BOE approves renewal of Superintendent contract; reveals difficulty in finding Spanish teacher


The Towns County Board of Education (BOE) convened for a Work Session at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 5, 2017. TCS Superintendent Dr. Darren Berrong, Finance Director Myra Underwood and all TCS Board Members were present.

In a closed Executive Session, the Board discussed the recommendation for renewal of Dr. Berrong’s Superintendent contract. Following the Executive Session, the Board voted unanimously to renew his contract for another three years.

Among many other items discussed was the impact of the resignation of the TCHS Spanish teacher. It was revealed that this is a serious concern because qualified Spanish teachers are difficult to find and attract to Towns County. Dr. Berrong and the Board agreed to work diligently to solve this problem. This issue will be revisited at the monthly Board Meeting next Monday, June 12.

Before approval of the Consent Agenda, which included Fund Raisers and Field Trips, Board Member Dr. Kilee Smith voiced her objection to serving hot dogs, Butterbraid and Priester’s Pecans at several TCHS Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) fund raising events. Dr. Smith said she feels that food of a more healthy nature should be served at the HOSA events since the funds raised will go to preparing students for the healthcare industry. Following some discussion with no feasible alternatives put forward, the Consent Agenda was approved by a majority, Dr. Smith the sole nay vote.

Amy Barrett, President of Parents Together for Students Organization (PTSO), addressed the Board with recent changes within Towns County Chapter and updates on their activities. Dr. Berrong said he and the Board were very happy with the contributions PTSO makes to TCS.

In his Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Berrong said he felt that the Graduation went very smoothly. Dr. Smith said she was surprised that the students who were inducted into the Beta Club at the Honors Day event didn’t question what they were pledging themselves to. Dr. Berrong agreed. Regarding Attendance, Dr. Berrong, in rebuttal to a recent rumor, said that school policy is five unexcused absences and unlimited absences with a doctor’s note. Regarding Testing, Dr. Berrong said everything went very well; that the HS students did better this year than last year. He said in the area of Economics there was some room for improvement, but a solution was forthcoming. The MS he said did well. Overall, compared to other schools (in the district), he said he expects that TCS did very well. Dr. Berrong said that the Handicapped Parking will be repaved in July and that they have paved and poured a concrete slab behind the baseball field backstops. And last, Dr. Berrong addressed the issue of Provision 2 Free Breakfast for students. He said, given that only about 60-62 percent of the student body is subsidized for free/reduced cost lunch, the Provision 2 Free Breakfast will cost TCS some money. However, he said, though he doesn’t have the exact figures, the cost would not be enough to warrant nixing the program and denying breakfast to those who would otherwise partake.

The Board also approved the recommendations for 1) Rodney Stroud for temporary Summer Maintenance Helper, 2) Colin Taylor for full-time Maintenance/Custodian and 3) Tabling the JBC(4) Awarding Units and Transferring Credit Policy for one month.

Other items discussed that will be voted on at the regular monthly BOE Meeting on Monday June 12, 2017 were:
• Towns County Family Connections Grant for FY 2018
• School Nutrition Program Vendor List for FY 2018
• Resignation of a Head Start/Pre-K Teacher
• Resignation of a MS Science Teacher
• Resignation of a HS English Teacher
• Recommendation of a Maintenance/Custodian Supervisor
• Recommendation of a Maintenance/Custodian Manager
• Recommendation of two SPED Paraprofessionals
• Recommendation of an ES Teacher
• Recommendation for the Band Director
• Recommendation for an ES Art Teacher
• Recommendation of the Transportation Assistant
• Recommendation of a HS English Teacher

With no further business to conduct, the meeting adjourned.


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