Valdosta Daily Times

January 14, 2014

BOE swears in members, elects chairman

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — With the new year came new changes for the Valdosta Board of Education. During the meeting Monday night, the board swore in its new and returning members, the board also approved several items throughout the meeting.

The meeting began with the recently elected board members being sworn in. Gary Moser of Valdosta swore in Warren Lee, District 3, Vanassa Flucas, District 2, and Liz Shumphard, District 1. Board members were instructed to raise their hands and repeat their oaths after Moser.

Next on the agenda was the election of a new chairperson and vice chairperson. Lee nominated Dean Rexroth, District 4, to be the new chairperson, and Rexroth nominated Flucas as the new vice chair. Both of these nominations were approved unanimously.

Celebrations were in order during the next agenda item. Georgia Power presented the board with a $17,030.74 check for Pinevale Elementary School.

Robby Hastings, city schools account manager with Georgia Power, presented the check to the board saying, "Pinevale is a beautiful school and I believe it is also a flagship on energy efficiency. We wanted to reward you for that."

There were several items up for approval in the buildings and grounds portion of the agenda. The first item was a request to consider the portables at J.L. Newbern Middle School and Valdosta Middle School as surplus. Combined, the schools have five portables that are not being utilized as class spaces. This request was unanimously approved and the board also wanted to make it known that these portables are being offered to government agencies within the city. If there are any agencies interested in these portables, contact the board office at (229) 333-8500.

The next three items in the building and grounds portion of the agenda were requests for approval to receive quotations. The board unanimously approved the requests for quotations on stadium turf replacement, sports field maintenance at Valdosta High School, VMS and eventually Newbern, and finally floor replacement at J.L. Lomax Elementary and Newbern, both of which have the original carpeting from their initial construction.

Lee, with agreement from the rest of the board, wanted it made clear that these items were approved as only requests for quotations and that taxpayers should know that the board is not going to take "just anything" in these quotations.

The board received information on the future renaming of the Pinevale Learning Center. Lee volunteered to chair the committee responsible for renaming the facility. Lee is joined on the committee by Shumphard, Trey Sherwood, District 5, and Kelly Wilson, Superward West. This renaming comes after the building of the new Pinevale Elementary School.

These committee members will offer their suggestions and also take suggestions from the community on potential names that fit the required criteria for nomination. The criteria for nomination states that the facility may not be named for an employee or former employee unless that person is deceased or has been retired from the City Schools for at least five years. Anyone interested in making a name nomination can present them in writing to the School Board office, 1204 Williams St.

Once a name has been nominated, it will be presented to the board at one meeting and voted during the following meeting.

The board then heard the report from Superintendent Martin Roesch. He informed the board about the proposed agenda for the board retreat on Jan. 24, the board training at RESA, and his school visits and meetings since the last BOE meeting.

New business presented during the meeting began with a request from Michael Thomas, VHS band director, to approve the band trip to New York City. The board unanimously approved the trip, which will give students a chance to see the many education sites in NYC and also participate in the Broadway in the Classroom program.

The final item approved by the agenda was a request to hold a surplus sale of the accumulated food service equipment that is no longer being utilized.

The meeting concluded with comments from the board. Sherwood, previous chairman, reiterated his thanks to Georgia Power for its kind donation. He and Bill Love, District 6, also thanked the company for its support of the First Tee program.

Lee commended the past chairman on his hard work and dedication throughout the year.

"You did an outstanding job and you should be commended for it. It's not easy at all and I look forward to continuing to work with you," said Lee.

Sherwood responded, "It's a group effort."

Rexroth spoke next saying, "Going off of what you just said, with your continued help, I know we will continue to do the best we can for the system. We are going in the right direction and that won't change under my watch."

Lee took the chance to welcome Sherwood to the board and thank her for "stepping up" to serve.

Sherwood was the final board member to speak. "I look forward to working for this board and I appreciate the community's support. I'm just glad to be here," she concluded.