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The UnifiEd Student Voice Team's School Board Blog
The February School Board Meeting started off with some heated debate surrounding the Superintendent, Dr. Bryan Johnson, and his contract. Board Members were considering whether to renew his contract...
early in order to prevent Dr. Johnson from leaving at the end of his contract. Two board members didn’t want to vote on the issue early, and as such didn’t vote to approve the contract. However, seven other board members were very enthusiastic about supporting Dr. Johnson. Seemingly the most enthusiastic among them were Karitsa Jones, Jenny Hill, and Tiffanie Robinson. The three board members gave incredibly impassioned speeches in favor of Dr. Johnson. Jenny Hill quoted many of her constituents as she spoke for Dr. Johnson. Tiffanie Robinson stated that she got close to fifty calls about the issue from her constituents and only two were against entering the contract so early. Karitsa Jones reminded the board that if we did not renew Dr. Johnson’s contract, then we could potentially see him move to another school system or even work somewhere local like Unum. In the end, Dr. Johnson has been contracted to stay on as our superintendent and continue to lead our county into the future.
After a long fought battle, the teachers of Hamilton County received a 2.5% pay raise increase. This came after a power quote from Rhonda Thurman stating that when the budget is decided, “the teachers need to be paid first” and then the rest of the money would be distributed in other areas. Our teachers work long, grueling hours in and out of the schools. Most of the time they end up having to pay for supplies or extra stock to enhance learning, out of pocket. Investing in our teachers is an investment in our futures. The pay raise will be in full effect as of February 8. It’s a small raise but it’s a step in the right direction for Hamilton county faculty and staff.
Although only one of our SVT members attended the meeting in person, we all made sure to utilize our resources to be made aware of the topics that were discussed upon during the meeting. Most importantly what was discussed about the project we worked on. A lot of time was spent on other topics they considered “more important”. One of the board members said the teaching should be considered a “business.” After a few more topics were discussed, the board acknowledged our hard work once more but decided to vote on our new, improved, and revised suicide prevention policy. Not much was said about them voting or the policy. The board states that they will finalize their votes regarding the policy at the meeting scheduled in March.
Several board members mentioned or made reference to the fact that school board elections are coming up. Between Joe Wingate mentioning that he doesn’t vote on things to be reelected and Rhonda Thuman talking about what the next board may want it is obviously apparent that this board’s time is coming to an end. Rhonda Thurman, Kathy Lennon, Joe Wingate, and Tiffanie Robinson are up for reelection this fall. Make sure to pay attention over the coming weeks to see who else will be running for school board.