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School Board: New faces Trying to save our schools

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

There will be several new faces joining some familiar faces in the Madison County school district next school year. In a special called meeting of the Madison County District School Board on Monday, June 12, the Board voted to approve several school administrators. Among those approved were a new Chief Financial Officer for the district, Walter Copeland. Lori Newman was approved as the Coordinator of ESE. David Chambers was retained as Principal at Madison County Central School (MCCS). Paula Ginn will be the Coordinator of CTE/Adult Education. Iris Wynn will be the Supervisor of Food Services. Amy Kendrick will be the new Principal at Pinetta Elementary School. Barbara Pettiford will take over as Principal at Greenville Elementary School. Kip McLeod has been named the new principal at Madison County High School (MCHS). Rod Williams will remain at MCHS as an Assistant Principal, as will Valencia Barnes. Joining Beth Moore at MCCS will be Jada Williams, who will also serve at MCCS as an Assistant Principal. Amanda Brown was tentatively approved as Principal at Lee Elementary School, pending results of her fingerprint and background clearance. Objections were raised when a candidate for Assistant Principal at MCCS was suggested. Kali Bass was recommended for this position by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Karen Pickles. Bass was most recently Assistant Principal at North Hamilton Elementary School, a position she has held for one year. Prior to her position at North Hamilton Elementary School, Bass was a teacher at Central Hamilton Elementary School, where she was selected “Teacher of the Year” for the school in 2015. District 3 Board Member, VeEtta Hagan objected to Bass on the grounds that she only had one year of experience as an administrator. “I trust the committee that conducted the interview,” said District 2 Board Member Carol Gibson. “That depends on who's on the committee,” responded Hagan. Nowhere in the Board-approved job description does it state a minimum number of years of experience as an administrator as a job requirement for an assistant principal position. Bass was approved, pending results of her fingerprint and background clearance, by the Board on a three-to-two vote with Hagan and District 4 Board Member Reginald Davis casting the dissenting votes. Another matter for the Board during the special meeting was a proposal from Florida School Boards Insurance Trust (FSBIT) to provide insurance coverage for the school district. The total proposed cost of the yearly premium for the insurance was $420,064. This is a savings of approximately $200,000 over other insurance options. The Board approved the FSBIT proposal unanimously. The next scheduled meeting of the Madison County District School Board is scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Board meeting room, located at 210 NE Duval Ave., in Madison.

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