The new members were sworn into office by Judge Daniel Swafford.
“I now know most of the people on the board and I know from my own life and experience that they’re good people and we are blessed to have them,” Swafford said.
Lillios will be representing the 3rd District, and replaces board member David Kelley. Turner will be representing the 1st District, and replaces Richard Baker. Neither outgoing board member sought re-election. Each incoming board member had family members present for the ceremony.
Before the end of his first day in office, Lillios had already been appointed to a position for the board. Lillios was nominated as the representative to the Tennessee Legislative Network for the board by Charlie Rose. Lillios was the only nomination. The representative to the Tennessee Legislative Network person receives information from the Tennessee School Board Association and keeps the board updated on legislation impacting education.
The board also selected a chairman and vice chairman to serve for the next year. Rose will continue as chairman. Rodney Dillard was also nominated and received three votes. Vickie Beaty was voted in as vice chairman. Christy Critchfield had also been nominated and received three votes.
During the meeting, the board approved bids for the system's nutrition program to select supply companies. These bids were selected through the Southeast Buying Group made up of many school systems in the area. One bid was for a lower-sodium alfredo sauce the school system is testing this year. This change is being made in anticipation of federal standards limiting sodium in school lunches.
One bid nutrition supervisor Emily Brown was especially excited about was the wheat bread crust pizza bid. This was the only bid the school system did on its own.
“This was a yearlong process on this bid,” Brown said.
Selecting the best wheatbread crust pizza involved taste tests by her office and students from Bradley Central and Walker Valley high schools.
“I have a great job and I enjoy it every day,” Brown said.
Brown said the students enjoyed all of the brands tasted during the process, and the final vendor was chosen based on price.
Capital projects were also a major topic of discussion as the board reviewed the status of several projects and approved others.
“I think the board has done a good job of being good stewards of the funds,” Rose said.
The board gave the technology department approval to move forward with updating equipment.
Aging heating and cooling systems in the schools were also a concern. Johnny Mull, energy management manager, said 180 of the units are more than 20 years old. To address HVAC needs, $750,000 was included in capital outlay.
A new roof at Michigan Avenue Elementary school was also discussed. The capital outlay plan includes $750,000 for roofs across the system.
“Larry (Holcomb) and his department do a great job with the little bit they get,” Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel said. “What they do in my opinion is close to miraculous.”
Also during the meeting:
- Changes to board policy to allow board members to attend a voting session electronically were approved. State legislation has made it possible for board members to attend a meeting electronically and vote as long as the board chairman can make visual contact with the board member at some point.
- Turner suggested that the board consider changing its policy from having the agenda five days before a meeting to five business days before a meeting. Rose and secretary to the director of schools Sammie Humphrey will discuss the feasibility of this and report back to the board. Humphrey compiles the agenda and emails it to each of the board members.
- The board approved projected expenditures for teachers with extended contracts.
“Primary in our ... approach to extended contacts is remediation,” said the supervisor for secondary education, Dan Glasscock.
Remedial courses account for 50 to 60 percent of these contracts.
The contracts are also used to pay teachers for added time spent in career advising, parent involvement programs and working in the system’s at-risk programs.