School Board rescinds $5,000 pay raise for superintendent

By JOEL McNEECE
The Calhoun County School Board voted 3-1 Monday night to rescind the $5,000 pay raise for the superintendent they approved at last month’s meeting.


School Board President Billy McCord presented the issue in the form of a motion. McCord said the superintendent requested the raise be withdrawn until the state approved additional pay increases for teachers. The raise would have increased the salary to $90,000.
Reginald Baskin, of Bruce, seconded the motion and Susan Hardin, of Calhoun City, voted in support.
Danny Harrelson, of Bruce, cast the lone dissenting vote.
“Nothing has changed from last month when we made the decision,” Harrelson said. “I believe this is politics, and I don’t believe politics should be involved in school board decisions.”
School Board member Whit Casey was not present at the meeting, which took place in the new Bruce High School Band Hall.
School board members toured the new facility before and after the meeting.
“We’re really proud of this facility,” McCord said.
Superintendent Mike Moore said the school district saved thousands of dollars by doing the Bruce and Calhoun City Band Hall projects with local contractors and a lot of in-kind labor.
Moore also mentioned the new drop ceilings at Vardaman as a big improvement this summer.
He also announced efforts are underway to get the Bruce gym air conditioned like Calhoun City and Vardaman’s.
Moore told the board that most state test scores are still embargoed from being released to the public, but said the school district saw “great improvement.”
He said the QDI (Quality Distribution Index) at every school except Vardaman Elementary increased this year. He emphasized that VES had one of the highest QDIs last year and is still among the highest in the county.
The largest improvement was at Bruce Elementary, Moore said. He offered congratulations to Principal Angie Weldon and the BES teachers.
“We increased class size and had our money reduced and still improved our test scores,” Moore said. “That’s a credit to our teachers.”
Other items approved by the board:
•Added policy GBRK?(paid vacation for certified employees)  to the “online policies.” The policy outlines that certified employees working the “maximum school calendar” are eligible for 10 paid vacation days per year. Certified employees not working the “maximum school calendar” are eligible for five.
•Superintendent Moore acknowledged that Bruce Upper Elementary had been approved for a $24,967 “BCBS?Project Fit America Grant” for new playground equipment.
•Student transfers from Houston to Calhoun –?Kelsie Grace Hall, Alyssa Alford, Ryan Washington, Brandon Washington, Tyler Washington.
•Agreement between school district and Communicare for “school-based mental health services program.”
•Collaborative agreement between school district and Millcreek of Pontotoc – a psychiatric treatment facility.
•Personnel – approved distribution of supplements, substitute teachers and substitute bus drivers; resignation of Gretta Morgan as classroom teacher; hiring of Jordon Graham as classroom teacher replacing James Courtney who resigned; Machele Denley hired as teacher assistant replacing Tania Nelson; Leigh Childs hired as secretary/store worker at CCHS replacing June Sturdivant; Alice McCormick transfered to bookkeeper/secretary at BUES replacing Jessica Adams who resigned; Lisa Sutherland hired as secre-tary/store worker/fixed asset clerk replacing Alice McCormick; Kendrick Armstrong hired as custodian replacing Richard Morgan.
•Substitute cafeteria workers hired – Juanita Norris, Gidgett Bailey, Teresa Morphis and Joanne Tedford.
•Student workers hired – Archie Swords, Jakeal Bobo, Jukeshila Thornton, Dalia Hernandez, Rickey Conley, Jamie Jenkins, Ieshia McCaster (sub), Demonta Moore (sub), and John Wilson Jr. (sub).
•Bus drivers hired – Larry Blackwelder replacing Rudy Pope, Lee Warren replacing Curtis Bryant, Cindy Hubbard replacing Charles Conlee, Latarsha Vance replacing Jimmy White.

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