Students at Jenkins Middle High School will see several new faces when the doors open for their first day of class on August 15.
At Monday’s meeting of the Jenkins Independent Board of Education, Superintendent Mike Genton announced that Middle High School Principal Eddie Whitaker has retired and will be replaced by Burdine Elementary Principal Stacy Collier. Whitaker notified the board before last month’s meeting of his intention to retire but it wasn’t made official until after the meeting. Genton said the elementary school assistant principal position at Burdine will be posted.
The board also signed a contract with Jenkins Mayor Todd Depriest for the city to provide a resource officer, a trained police officer whose duties will center on the two schools in the system. Depriest told the board the city has a candidate in mind and Genton said the cost to the system will be between $37,000 and $38,000 per year.
Finally, high school football coach Matt Chandler has resigned to accept a position at Danville (Kentucky) High School and top assistant coach Kenneth O’Quinn has accepted the position of head coach. O’Quinn served as principal assistant to Chandler during his tenure at Jenkins.
In other business, the board approved schematics and a proposal from Lexington Architecture Firm Alt-32 for renovations and improvements at both campuses. The changes will include both cosmetic and security renovations. Mike Sparkman of Alt-32 presented the initial plans for building security upgrades at the April meeting, including what he called sally ports at the time, which would control entry to both campuses. Each building will have a controlled entry vestibule that will be secured during school hours and to keep unwanted visitors out.
Sparkman also introduced project architect Chris Wilson. He told the board that there will be one available entrance to each building during the school day and that exit doors will lock upon closing. He also said ceilings will be replaced with wooden panels for noise abatement and cosmetic purposes. The school symbol “Cavalier” logo will be prominently featured as well.
The board voted unanimously to approve the schematic designs at Monday’s meeting and Sparkman presented the members with a schedule for other steps in the process. The final design will be presented for the board’s approval on August 27 and construction documents will be sent to the Kentucky Department of Education on September 1. The board will advertise for bids on September 25 and bids will be opened on October 17 for board approval at the October 22 meeting. A bond sale will be conducted on November 16 and blacktopping parking lots and building construction will commence on November 17, with an expected completion date of June 15, 2019.
Sparkman said that the safety and security of students and staff will be the main factor in all the work and that having a schedule that could be accomplished was an important factor in the planning. Exterior doors will be replaced on both buildings as well as lockers at the middle high school. Parking lots will be resurfaced and changes will be made in both buildings to improve accessibility in accordance with the Americas with Disabilities Act.
The board voted unanimously to approve a two percent salary increase for all employees who pay into the Kentucky Teacher Retirement System. Superintendent Genton said it will cost about $50,000, but it will help Jenkins compete for personnel with neighboring systems. The board also adopted the salary schedule for classified personnel.
District Finance Officer Candala Gibson reported that as of June 30, the General Fund stood at $854,148.41 and the unaudited Annual Financial Report stands at $918,984.50. The board agreed to explore a drug testing policy to provide random drug tests for students and Genton said he will have a policy template from KDE next meeting. They also agreed to establish a policy for all food service personnel to be required to have the hepatitis A vaccination. Genton said all current food service personnel have been vaccinated and the policy will apply to new hires.
In other board business:
• The board approved a Memorandum of Agreement with Eastern Kentucky University to offer criminal justice classes to dual credit students.
• The board approved using the vendor bid list from the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative for food supplies.
• The board approved renewing membership with the Kentucky Educational Development Cooperative.
• The board approved the Student Handbook for 2018-2019.
• A passing score of 60 percent in a civics test will be required in order to graduate.