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Hartselle Enquirer

School board discusses how to keep status quo

Facing a November referendum that could change the way its members are selected, the Hartselle School Board is going on the offensive to educate the public on why it should keep its current appointee system.
A special referendum will be conducted Nov. 2 as a part of the general election to give voters the opportunity to decide if they want to change from an appointed school board to one that is elected. Should that occur, voters would go back to the polls in August 2012 to elect a new school board.
The discussion at Monday’s school board meeting came on the heels of chairwoman Jennifer Sittason’s question if it was proper for the board to take a public stance on the issue.
“I’m in support of taking the initiative to get pertinent information into the hands of voters, this is something that is coming up and I care about our schools,” she said.
“I feel like we haven’t done a good job of educating the public about the importance of having an appointed school board.”
“I don’t think it would be advisable for employees to talk for or against a board change,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said. “However, as citizens of the community we can certainly communicate what we think. I would not want to discourage our employees from speaking their views.”
Board member Jeff Gray said part of that effort should include a “snapshot” of the system and its accomplishments. Dr. James Joy said he’d also like to see others in the community that support the current system speak up in support.
“When someone talks to me about it feels awkward to respond,” Joy said. “It would be nice if others would stand up and speak out for the school board. If you like what we’re doing, we’d like to hear from you.”
In other items:
The board acted on the following items:
• Approved low bids on supplies for the 2010-2011 school year as follows: Ice cream—Purity Dairies, Nashville, Tenn.; Bread and bakery, Sara Lee, Birmingham; Dish machine—Central paper Co., Birmingham.
• Adopted new textbooks in accordance with the State Textbook Commission.
• Adopted revised board policy JCE—harassment.
• Approved a first reading of proposed board policy changes as follows: INA—grading system, IHAA—final examinations, IHE—promotion and retention, IHE-R—delete promotion and retention policy and adds portions to IHE and JBD—absences and excuses.
• Approved the enrollment of 54 out-of- district students from 58 requests as follows:  48 in elementary grades, three in junior high and three in high school.
• Approved salary schedules with minor changes for the 2010-2011 school year.
Personnel items were acted on as follows:
• Approved the resignation of Johnny Berry as head boys basketball coach at Hartselle High School, effective July 14.
• Approved the resignation of Debra Harvel as counselor at F.E. Burleson Elementary School, effective July 14.
• Approved the resignation of Margaret Campbell as speech language pathologist at F.E. Burleson Elementary School, effective July 19.
• Approved the employment of Donna Legg Battles as assistant varsity. Junior varsity volleyball coach at Hartselle High School for the 2010-2011 school year.
• Approved the employment of Daniel Bennett as a special education teacher at Crestline Elementary School for the 2010-2011 school year.
• Approved the employment of Lacy Stancil as an eighth grade math teacher at Hartselle Junior High School for the 2010-2011 school year.
• Approved the employment of Eddie Stewart as ninth grade assistant football coach at Hartselle High School for the 2010-2011 school year.
• Approved the employment of Johnny Berry as athletic director  for the 2010-2011 school year.

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