By ALICE ORTIZ
AMORY – At the recommendation of Superintendent Jim Sappington, the Amory School Board at its April 13 meeting approved a 5 percent raise for principals, vice principals, central office personnel, and district maintenance personnel. He told them the group had not had a raise in three years.
Board member Lazette Stevens questioned the advisability of the creation of a new position in the central office, an asset control/federal program coordinator. Stevens said she thought the money could be better spent in getting more classroom teachers at East Amory Elementary and West Amory Elementary.
“I think the central office has plenty in the office,” she said.”I understand that more teachers are needed at the elementary schools and I feel that is where the money should go.”
Sappington said he had mentioned to the board in February 2008 that since he would be retiring, and administrators Valerie Jaynes and Ricky McShane were getting close to retirement it would be good to have someone in the office who would be familiar with the workings of the system.
Board member Sam Nerren told Stevens that several of the central office positions were self-supporting. He also stated that the district’s administration office was not top heavy compared to other school districts.
Four members of the board voted to hire Paula Wax for the position while Stevens opposed the recommendation.
In other business, the board also discussed some items in the district’s drug testing policy. Board president Bill Rogers brought up the fact that students were declining to be tested once they had finished their extracurricular activity such as football, and were not involved in another sport. The drug testing policy calls for random testing of all students who participate in any extracurricular activities at the high school and middle school.
Sam Nerren asked if the purpose of the policy wasn’t to eliminate drug use.
Sappington said the drug testing policy has been successful this year. He stated that the board might want to look at the policy closely and make amendments, if necessary, before the new school year begins to remove any loopholes.
The board went into closed session where they discussed the search for a new superintendent.
The board also approved the following actions:
n Permission for Amory High School Varsity Cheerleaders to have a Fall Festival Fundraiser on Aug. 22 at the Concord ballfields.
n The following hirings were approved: Haran Young at West Amory Elementary; Nathan Clayton and Tanya Pearson at Amory Middle School; Eloise Forbes, Spanish teacher at Amory High School; Laura Gibson, English teacher at Amory High School; Ricky Kendrick, a teacher/coach at Amory High School; Kelly Bennett, English teacher at Amory High School
n Kemberly Ford was hired as guidance counselor at Amory Middle School.
n Melanie Stark was approved as director of bands.
n Michele Harris was approved as a certified employee at East Amory Elementary School.
n Tanya Pearson and Glenda Keeton were approved as Amory Middle School football cheerleader coaches.
n Leigh Stanford and Julie Clark were approved as co-cheerleading sponsors for the Amory High School competition cheer squad.
n Approval was given for Jim Sappington to be paid for any sick or personal days he has left upon retirement, up to 30 days at a rate of $60 per day.
n Approval was given for Ricky McNeese to sell back up to 30 days of unused sick leave upon his retirement at the rate of $60 per day.
n Lisa Faye Herndon is retiring as math teacher at Amory High School. Approval was given for any unused personal or sick days to be paid to her at the rate of $60 per day.
n Cindy Pace will be paid for any sick or personal days she has left at retirement at the rate of $60 per day.
n Deidre Garth has resigned as a teacher at West Amory Elementary School.
n A transfer request was approved for Christane Taylor Bullard, kindergarten, from the Monroe County School District to the Amory School District. She has a sibling currently attending Amory Middle School.
n A transfer request for Molly Thompson, third grade, from Oak Hill Academy to Amory School District was denied.