Macon County Chronicle

Director of Schools Darrell Law, Resigns

New positions, budgets, technology and disciplinary committees were discussed during the regular scheduled Board of Education meeting on Monday night, June 29, but the meeting ended with the resignation of Director of School, Darrell Law.

Law, who has been with the school system for 32 years read to the board, a statement of resignation, effective July 31st.  He first announced his resignation on April 9th, and after discussion with board members and reconsideration, accepted a new contract.

“Will you stay in place until we find someone to replace you,” asked Board Member Ronald Birdwell. To which Law replied, “I will stay until July 31st.”

An emergency meeting was scheduled for July 2nd to address the situation.

When board members met, they agreed to post both an interim and permanent position for the Director of School position. No other business was discussed.

The majority of the Monday night meeting was spent debating the authorization of new positions with questions by board members about enrollment and need.

60 extra students were reported enrolled at Macon County High School.

The first position considered was special education teachers for Fairlane

Pre-K and Behavior Teacher, to be funded by stimulus funds. The vote passed with board members Steve Walton and John Wheeley opposed and Jimmy Cook, Ronald Birdwell, and Bill Wilmore in favor.

Walton named a shortfall of 15 percent identified in the budget and said, “I can’t in good consideration, so, no.”
Law stated, “Macon County has been out of compliance for two years for suspensions and expulsions with greater than 10 days.” He explained that the target is one percent and that Macon County has 3.7 percent and supported the use of the stimulus fund money to fund the Special Ed/Behavior teachers positions.

Up for consideration were teaching positions at MCHS in Family and Consumer Science (FCS), Agriculture, and Keyboarding plus one position in Agriculture at RBSHS.

Questioned in this and previous meetings, by John Wheeley, was if these positions could wait until school is back in session to verify the enrollment. “We have got to make the schedule before school starts,” said Red Boiling Springs Principal Don Jones.

Cook told other board members, “We’ve got to support this, these are teachers we need.  We have got to trust the people that run the schools.”

“I get the feeling we’re buying a pig in a poke,” said Wheeley, about filling positions before the beginning of the school year.

Voting for the FCS, Agriculture, and Keyboarding positions were Cook, Birdwell, and Wilmore, and opposed to filling the four positions were Walton and Wheeley.

The posting for an assistant principal for Macon County Junior High  gained approval with one vote of opposition from Wheeley.

An additional guidance counselor position was authorized for MCHS, with three votes in favor; Cook, Birdwell, and Wilmore.

Cook told those gathered that they needed more than “someone pushing through a file.” He encouraged the addition of an adequate amount of guidance counselors so that kids would have someone to talk to.   

Discussion on the Special Education Budget sparked opinions followed by a vote, which was tabled until the next regular meeting. The budget had just been presented to the board members in the meeting packet when Walton stated, “I would like to have a chance to look through this.”

Director Law offered that the money was federal dollars and that delaying the vote would put the program behind. “I’m not voting on anything without reading it,” replied Walton.

Patricia Ferguson, Technology Director, presented the board with a three-year technology plan that has been approved by the state, which was unanimously approved.  Ferguson also discussed the single bid from Artis Networks for computer and technology for the 2009/10 school year, followed by a vote which unanimously approved the bid.  The business, which employs people from the community, many graduates of Macon County schools, was complimented for the service and professionalism they offer. “They do a lot for us that is above and beyond, we appreciate that,” said Ferguson.

Principal David Flynn presented information on two successful grants.  One will provide fresh fruits for children at Fairlane and the other provides funds to upgrade the cafeteria serving line.

The school budget for the 09-10 school year was approved with Wheeley and Walton opposed.  County Commisioners Billy Bransford and Helen Hesson attended the meeting.  Both made mention that they are not for raising taxes. Bransford spoke about his conservative position with county money, and budget concerns.

In other business:

•    A school nutrition program supporting local agriculture products was unanimously approved.

•    Approval was granted for budget amendments for federal programs Title IIA and Title III budget amendment.

•    Discussed School Disciplinary Committee member appointments and decided to ask nominees to serve.

Directors’s Report

Certified Positions Hired: Brandi Hays – RBS Jr. High Cheerleading Coach 09-10 School Year (SY), Andrea Tuttle –

Central 3rd Grade 09-10 SY, Heather Towns – County Wide Speech Therapist 09-10 SY, Haley West – MCHS

English/Theatrical Arts 09-10 SY.

Non-Certified Positions Hired: Derek Meador – MCJH Special Education Teacher Assistant 09-10 SY.