Whitesburg KY

School system has already rehired most

All school employees who received letters of non-renewal in May will be rehired for this coming school year, members of the Letcher County Board of Education were told this week.

“I think by the end of the week everyone that was laid off will be hired back,” Supt. Anna Craft told the board at its July meeting. “We thought that was going to be difficult to do.”

Craft said the use of federal stimulus money and normal employee attrition are making it possible for employees to be rehired.

Rodger Martin, the district’s director of finance, said Letcher County will receive a portion of the $233 million in stimulus funding for the state’s schools that will replace Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) allocations.

“It’s to make sure we survive at last year’s level,” said Martin. “I don’t know what we are going to do about next year, but we will worry about next year when it comes.”

Craft also reported to the board that Lesia Whitaker and Lori Hollen have been hired after a “shift in positions” to fill administrative positions in professional development and curriculum and instruction that were left unfilled for the last few years.

“We keep pinching ourselves saying ‘Are we really here?,'” said Hollen. “This is such a positive place to be.”

“We are surrounded with greatness,” added Whitaker. “This is a wonderful district.”

Hollen said one of her goals is for Letcher County Central High School to become a top-10 high school in the state.

“That’s a big thing to say but that’s my goal,” she said.

The board approved final payments of $8,235 to Breeding’s Plumbing and Electric and $663 for Richardson Associates architects for plumbing renovation at Fleming-Neon Elementary School.

Board Member Dr. Sam Quillen Jr. said the project is many years past due.

“That was a tough project,” said Quillen. “They did a really good job.”

“They did a great job without disturbing school and getting the job done,” said Board Chairman Will Smith.

The board also: • named Debbie Cook, who computerizes student and district data, as employee of the month.

• authorized the Letcher County Central High School girls’ soccer team to travel to Scott County to participate in a tournament September 4- 6.

• voted to solicit bids for gasoline, diesel fuel, lubricants, antifreeze, tires, tubes and tire retreading.

• appointed the following people to serve on a committee to update and review the evaluation procedures of certified personnel: Kenneth Cornett, Tex Isaac, Linda Hall, Kelly Hall, Cheryl Denise Yonts, Oscar Back, Jackie Collins, Tracie Howard, Regina Donour and Janet Caudill.

• approved professional contracts for the 2009-10 school year on an as-needed basis: Jeffrey L. Holbrook, speech and language screenings and evaluations; East Kentucky Physical Therapy, onsite physical therapy and occupational therapy; Tina Hogg, occupational therapy; Melissa Bailey, speech pathology; Pamela Baker, speech pathology; Melissa Bell, speech pathology; and April Morrell, speech pathology.

• approved an agreement with Morehead State University to allow MSU students to participate in student teaching, Teacher Education Program (TEP), and Masters of Art in Teaching (MAT) in the Letcher County school system.

• entered into a contract with LKLP Head Start and Appalachian Childcare for the Letcher County food service program to provide breakfast and lunches to the Colson LKLP Head Start Center and Appalachian Childcare. • entered into a contract with Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation to provide physicals and tuberculin tests for new employees. Cost is $49.50 per person. Hepatitis B vaccine will be administered to select employees at a cost of $5 per person.

• renewed a contract with Appalachian Regional Hospital to provide drug screening services for new employees in the school district. Cost is $5 per drug screen.

• entered into an agreement with the Kentucky River District Health Department to provide limited school nursing services in the schools for the 2009-2010 school year. The school district will pay $5,000 per nurse for school health nursing.

• accepted payment of $150,000 from the Letcher Fiscal Court for Kingdom Come Elementary School property.

• approved a payment of $74,061 to Mountain Enterprises for asphalt paving and sidewalk repair on the Safe Routes to School sidewalk project in West Whitesburg.

• approved the financial report, payment of bills and transfers and payment of salaries. Martin, the district finance officer, said there was $3,123,104 in the general ledger balance.

• approved establishing school principals as custodians of the school activity funds and all checks are to bear the signatures of the custodian of that account and the school secretary.

• accepted the resignations of Jamela Billiter, a teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School, and Cavanaugh Trent, a teacher and coach at Letcher County Central High School.

• hired Scott K. Teague as director of special education and preschool.

• rehired Jessica Antonio as a teacher at Letcher County Central High School.

• hired the following certified employees: Donna Delpont, teacher at LCCHS; Roger Brian Johnson, teacher at LCCHS; David Hammonds, teacher at LCCHS; Jerry Bentley, teacher at LCCHS; Denise Baker, teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School; Jamieson Braddock, teacher at MJP; Cathy Johnson, teacher at MJP; Morgan Taylor, school psychologist at central office; Amanda Driskell, teacher at Cowan Elementary School; Jamie Napier, teacher at CES; Tracee Scheeler, music teacher at Fleming-Neon Elementary School and Whitesburg Middle School; Michael Whitaker, physical education teacher at Whitesburg Middle School; Gina Hall, Response to Intervention (RTI) teacher at Letcher Elementary School; and Winston Lee, RTI teacher at Beckham Bates Elementary School.

• rehired the following certified employees: Adrienne Sturgill, literacy tutor at CES; Vivian Banks, cook/baker at Letcher Elementary School; Olivia Blair, program assistant II at Arlie Boggs Elementary School; and Jacqueline Hall, literacy tutor at CES.

• hired the following certified employees: Tammy Cook, program assistant II at CES; Terry Wyatt, custodian at Beckham Bates Elementary School; and Pamela Mays, custodian at CES.

• approved the following transfers: Lisa Souther, a special education teacher at MJP, is now a special education teacher at the alternative education center. Angela Craft, a teacher at ABES, is now a preschool/kindergarten teacher at West Whitesburg Elementary School. Brandee Hall, a special education teacher at MJP, is now a special education teacher at WWES. Florene Stamper, a teacher at Letcher Elementary School, is now a physical education teacher at WWES. George D. Adams, a teacher at MJP, is now the physical education teacher at MJP. Vickie Baker, a cook/baker at LES, is now a cook/baker at Fleming- Neon Elementary School.

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