Whitesburg KY

Jenkins board targets teacher

The Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education is taking legal action to recover salary and other money wrongfully spent for or by a school district employee the board declined to identify.

Board Chairman Durward Narramore Jr. said the board’s action, approved unanimously at its April meeting this week, is the result of a report issued by the Office of Educational Accountability in Frankfort. Narramore also announced that Corbin attorney Tim Crawford, who specializes in school law, will handle the negotiations with the employee.

Crawford represented Jenkins Superintendent Debbie Watts in demotion proceedings against former Jenkins Middle High School Principal Teresa Bentley. The issue involving the unnamed person was first discussed by the board in an executive session. When the board returned from the closed-door meeting, Board Member Eileen Sanders introduced a motion to pursue the legal action. The motion was seconded by Board Member Paulette Sexton. Neither Board Vice Chairman Tracy Goff nor Board Member Paul Stambaugh attended the meeting.

In other business, the board also voted to adopt a school calendar for 2009- 2010 which represents somewhat of a departure from the district’s four-day week. The new calendar calls for 168 instructional days, nine growth planning days, and four professional days. There will be four holidays and 187 total days for staff, which provide 1,134 total instruction hours. The state requires 1,062 instructional hours.

Director of Pupil Personnel Harvey Tackett said the original four-day week has not been rigorously followed since the first year, and has been modified to some degree each year to accommodate calendar changes. If there are no days missed because of bad weather or other factors, school will begin on August 6 for students and end on May 12.

The board also voted to change the end of the current school year for students from Wednesday, May 27 to Thursday, May 28 to allow for a holiday on Memorial Day (May 25). High school graduation will be Friday, May 29 at 7 p.m., in the high school gym. Eighth-grade graduation will be on Thursday, May 28.

Director of Pupil Personnel Harvey Tackett reported to the board that attendance is holding steady at around 91 percent and the system should finish the year at that mark.

In other board business:

* Superintendent Watts announced a federal technology grant which she said will allow Technology Director Damien Johnson to conduct specific training in classrooms with teachers and will allow for posting assignments on the school website for students who are absent.

Johnson said he has received 40 percent of the training necessary to become an Apple Certified Systems Administrator. Johnson said that by participating in the training, which costs $15,000, the school system has received over $46,000 in Apple computers and software.

The board also announced anticipated vacancies in the following positions:

English/Communications/ Drama grades 7-9; English 10-12; Math 7-9; Math 10-12; Spanish 7- 12; Humanities 7-12; Band Director; Practical Living/Vocational/ Business 7-12; Librarian; Science Lab Instructor 7-12; Health/PE 7- 12; German/Psychology 9-12; Girls’ Basketball Coach; Baseball Coach; Assistant Football Coach; Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach; Boys’ Middle School Coach

The board voted to establish the following positions:

Technology Assistant (Classified); Library Assistant (2); Finance Clerk (Classified); Reading Recovery Teachers (Certified), and Developmental Reading Teacher (Certified) MHS.

• McRoberts Elementary School Principal Kristie Collett told the board that McRoberts Elementary, in conjunction with the McRoberts Community Center, will hold a family night on May 15 with kindergarten registration on the same date. Collett said the community center will rent the inflatable theater screen from the Letcher County Department of Parks and Recreation to show "Little Feet."

The board meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by three McRoberts Elementary students, Kenjie Collier, Kameron Collier, and Layton Shepherd. Collett also showed the board a slide show of the recent Science Fair and Career Day at McRoberts.

Local business people and public officials attended the Career Day, including members of the Fleming-Neon Volunteer Fire Department and Fleming-Neon Police Chief Henry Day. Day brought a city police cruiser to display, the volunteer firefighters brought a fire truck. A Wings Air Rescue flight crew was also on hand with a medical evacuation helicopter from its base at Jenkins.

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