By Mark Darnell
At the February work session of the Macon County Board of Education Director of Schools Tony Boles said he would not ask for a renewal of his employment contact. He has served in that position for eight years.
“I have served for eight years and due to family and personal reasons I will not ask for a renewal of my contract when it expires on June 30th of this year. I am done,” Boles commented. Boles mentioned that he thought he was hired because of his financial background and with the thought that he could improve the relationship with the School Board and the Macon County Commissioners. “I hope that I have done that, but I know that (the relationship) could be better.”
Chairman Jed Goad publicly thanked Mr. Boles for his hard work and professionalism. “Mr. Boles I just want you to know that on my behalf you were and are greatly appreciated.”
When the agenda item of Mr. Bole’s contract was addressed, Boles asked why the board would want him back and how long. Mr. Borders indicated that the board would want Boles to stay on in order to help complete projects just getting underway. Boles indicated that one to two years would not be enough to do that.
So in order for his replacement to be able to see things through and for other personal and family reasons Boles would not seek a contract renewal.
Due to state law a Director of Schools may not be seated less than 45 days before a general election or cannot be seated in less than 60 days following a general election. With one of those elections happening this August the board will need to try and have Director Boles replacement in place some time in early June.
In other business:
Terin Coe came before the board to ask to advertise for food and ice cream bids. Due to the numerous price increases for these items the contracts and bids that were in place are no longer valid or relevant. The board put this item on the agenda for the regular meeting.
Director Boles addressed the need for additional guidance counselors in county K-5 schools. Currently there are five schools in the county that serve children in grades kindergarten thru 5th grade and there are two contracted counselors to service these five schools. Mr. Case addressed the need for the mental health of these young students to be safeguarded due to the drugs, malnourishment, and Covid issues that kids see and deal with on a daily basis.
Director Boles says that if addressed the county would need to hire approximately three more positions with a salary range from $51K to $56K each based on educational experience. The item was put on the agenda.
Director Boles also highlighted the bid process that the board put out for school grounds keeping. Only one bid was submitted by Trent’s Landscaping for $79,200, which was up from last year’s bid of $74,200. Mr. Boles indicated that the increase was due to higher fuel and chemical expenses as well as the addition of one acre of property to be regularly mowed at Macon County High School. Item put on agenda.
MCHS Principal Daniel Cook brought the request for approximately three students from Smith County High School to co-op with MCHS in the spring sport of track and field. Minus having that sport at SCHS there is a set of procedures between both high schools, both school boards, and the TSSAA that must be followed for this to happen. It was put on the agenda.
Director Boles brought up teacher tenure. This process is a little later in the year this school year due to the state LOE scores just becoming available. Currently there are eight teachers that are eligible for tenure: MCJHS- Jamie Kelley, Karen McLerran, and Rhonda Paredes, RBSJHS- Andrew Mullinix, Fairlane- Juanita Holder, Lafayette Elementary- Brittany Holiday, and MCHS- Elizabeth Willbanks and Jacob Coffee. These employees have five years of service and have gotten LOE scores of four or five. The item was put on the agenda.
The regular monthly board meeting for February will take place next Thursday Feb 10th at the central office at 6 pm.