The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit met in a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, October 7, 2019 in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659.
Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mrs. Sharron Huffman. Board Members Mr. Kirk Walker and Mrs. Leslie Barnes. Absent was Mr. Darren Shumate. Also present were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Technology Officer Ms. Julie Triplett, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Donna Cotton, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Ms. Callie Grubb, Director of Athletics and Healthful Living Mr. Chris Skabo, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Middle School, Federal Programs, and Cultural Arts Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Exceptional Children Ms. Jennifer Blankenship, Director of Testing and Accountability Mr. Jeffery Johnson, Director of Student Services Ms. April Marr, AIG Coordinator Ms. Angie Lamb, Public Relations Officer Ms. Morgan Mathis, and Executive Administrative Assistant Ms. Carolyn Triplett.
Prior to calling the meeting to order, Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook recognized Board Member Mr. Kirk Walker to lead the Invocation.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mrs. Barnes and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd for the Devotion and Pledge of allegiance. Mr. Byrd announced that October is National Principal’s Month. Wilkes County Schools is fortunate to have these Principals leading our schools. We have twenty-two leaders who are student-oriented, caring people who want nothing but the best for our students. Thank you to these administrators for what they do for our students and our staff every day.
Secondly, Mr. Byrd wanted to share a special “Thank You” to our Board Members for their support of our schools and our staff. Recently, our Board Members were recognized at the Regional North Carolina School Board Association Meeting with the “Gold Bell Award”. This award recognizes Boards that have gone above and beyond other systems in attending trainings and meetings. Wilkes County Schools is very fortunate to have the people serving on our board that we do, and we congratulate them on this great achievement.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the Top Readers from the Mountaineer Readers Program. This program is a partnership between the Reich College of Education and Appalachian State Athletics with the purpose of promoting and celebrating literacy in surrounding counties. Each year, participating students read books of their choosing during the summer months and record their reading on a log provided by App State Athletics/RCOE. Students then submit the log to their school’s media center coordinator the first week of school. These students were honored and given special recognition during the ASU football game on September 7, 2019. Congratulations to these students who were the top readers for Wilkes County:
- Nick Johnston from Wilkesboro Elementary School was the top reader in the 1st – 2nd grade category.
- Mallory Cockrell from Millers Creek Elementary School was the top reader in the 3rd – 4th grade category.
- Vivian Lin from Wilkesboro Elementary School was the top reader in the 5th grade category.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the 2019-2020 Beginning Teacher of the Year. The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) recently announced the development of the first annual NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year Award. This process was developed to honor beginning teachers and retain potential excellent teachers in North Carolina Public Schools. Each school district chooses a nominee who will then advance to compete for regional winner. Wilkes County Schools is pleased to announce that our 2019-2020 Beginning Teacher of the Year is Ms. Katelyn Bumgarner. Ms. Bumgarner is a third grade teacher at North Wilkesboro Elementary School. Her previous principal, Mr. Joey Ortiz, stated this about Katelyn, “Ms. Bumgarner created a classroom environment of trust and safety to explore and learn. She spent time getting to know her students and how they learned. She understands that each individual has a great ability to learn once we know how to reach them. She maintained high academic expectations of all of her students and they responded to her daily. The growth each child showed and their willingness to take chances and learn through multiple tries is a testament to her classroom academic practices.” Congratulations to Ms. Katelyn Bumgarner!
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the NCHSAA Special Friend Award. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association held their Region 7 meeting at the Stone Family Center for Performing Arts on September 18, 2019. Each year, the NCHSAA gives a “Special Person” award at its regional meetings to a deserving individual. Mr. Chris Skabo received the “Special Friend of the NCHSAA” award. They presented Mr. Skabo with this award for going above and beyond to help the NCHSAA with its mission to serve the member schools and their student-athletes. Congratulations to Mr. Chris Skabo!
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the HOPE Award. Wilkes County school counselors, school nurses, and school social workers support the work of our teachers, administrators, and other school staff. Their work is essential in our schools as they help address the social, emotional, and health needs of our students and their families so that our schools can be places for optimal teaching and learning to occur. Thus, the HOPE Award was created to recognize those whose sole professional focus is Helping Other People Excel. Each school was permitted to nominate a school counselor, school nurse, or school social worker for this recognition. The criteria were that nominees must have worked in Wilkes County Schools for a minimum of three years and must have demonstrated the following characteristics: possess the true spirit of “servant leadership” in all aspects of their work, made significant contributions to their school, and demonstrated a commitment to professionalism by always being respectful and compassionate toward others, with the highest level of integrity and confidentiality in handling sensitive matters. We are pleased tonight to recognize the six candidates nominated for this award from the 2018-2019 school year:
Mrs. Crystal Call
Mrs. Beth Hodges
Mrs. Kyrie Krenz
Mrs. Allison Lambert
Mrs. Megan Walsh
Dr. Meghann Roberts-Clawson
Congratulations to Dr. Meghann Roberts-Clawson for being named the 2019 HOPE Award winner!
Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Chief Academic Officer Dr. Donna Cotton who presented the Board data information regarding Growth of Student Groups. In Wilkes County Schools, seven schools exceeded expected growth, eleven schools met expected growth, and four schools did not meet expected growth. 82% of our schools met or exceeded expected growth, and 75% of North Carolina Schools met or exceeded expected growth. The percentage of WCS making an A or B increased from 36% in 2017-2018 to 50% in 2018-2019. Proficiency is determined by how well the students scored (their achievement) on EOG/EOC tests while Growth is determined by whether the students maintained their achievement level from previous years as compared to the students across the state.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook asked if anyone had signed up for Public Comments. No one had signed up.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the minutes for September 9, 2019 were approved as presented.
On a motion by Ms. Barnes, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.
Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s)
Melissa Anderson – Custodian – Central Services Stone Center
Dismissal effective – September 23, 2019
Lisa Barnett – Teacher Assistant – Moravian Falls Elementary School
Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with twenty-three years and three months of service
Susan Bley – Counselor – North Wilkesboro Elementary School
Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with eighteen years and one month of service
Robert Coles – Custodian – Central Services Stone Center
Resignation effective – September 13, 2019
Beth Cook – Media Specialist – Mountain View Elementary School
Retirement effective – December 1, 2019 with thirty-five years and five months of service
Lisa Corpening – Bus Driver – C.C. Wright Elementary School
Resignation effective – September 13, 2019
Dorothy Elliott – Child Nutrition Assistant – Central Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with eighteen years and four months of service
Christopher Macemore – Teacher – C.C. Wright Elementary School
Resignation effective – September 4, 2019
Tracy Marsh – Custodian – Central Services Stone Center
Resignation effective – September 16, 2019
Janice McGrady – Teacher – Mountain View Elementary School
Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with twenty-eight years and seven months of service
Christopher Skabo – Director of Healthful Living and Athletics – Central Services
Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with thirty years and one month of service
Jada Triplett – Custodian – West Wilkes High School
Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with twelve years and seven months of service
Recommendation of Licensed Personnel
Timothy Correll – Teacher – Central Wilkes Middle School
Patricia Phillips – Behavior Support Liaison Specialist – Exceptional Children Department
Recommendation of Classified Personnel
Missie Allen – Teacher Assistant – Millers Creek Elementary School
Jacob Barker – HVAC Mechanic I – Maintenance Department
Sherrie Brown – Teacher Assistant – C.B. Eller Elementary School
Alma Byers – Temporary Screener – Exceptional Children Department
Lynette Call – Part-time Custodian – Central Services Stone Center
Lisa Connor – Custodian – Moravian Falls Elementary School
Jackie Darnell – Data Manager – East Wilkes High School
William Darnell – Part-time Custodian – Central Services Stone Center
Guadalupe Rosales – Gear Up Coordinator – Central Services
Camilla Simmons – Non-Permanent Tutor – C.B. Eller Elementary School
Heaven Tharpe – Student Assistant – Mountain View Elementary School
Karen Todd – Part-time Custodian – Central Services Stone Center
Sherrie Triplett – Teacher Assistant – Wilkesboro Elementary School
Leave(s) of Absence(s)
Patricia Church – Teacher Assistant – Millers Creek Elementary School
Request family medical leave – Effective August 19, 2019
Rebecca Cole – Teacher – West Wilkes Middle School
Request family medical leave – Effective September 5, 2019
Sharon Everidge – Physical Therapist Assistant – Exceptional Children Department
Request family medical leave – Effective September 9, 2019
DeeAnna Parker – Teacher – North Wilkes Middle School
Request family medical leave – Effective September 4, 2019
Carol Walsh – Counselor – Millers Creek Elementary School
Request family medical leave – Effective August 29, 2019
Katherine Whittington – Instructional Specialist – West Wilkes Middle School
Request family medical leave – Effective August 27, 2019
Transfer(s) of Assignment(s)
Gary Brooks – From Custodian/Bus Driver – North Wilkesboro Elementary School
To Custodian – North Wilkes High School
Verna Call – From Child Nutrition Manager – Wilkes Early College High School
To Child Nutrition Manager – Central Wilkes Middle School
Michelle Elliott – From Teacher Assistant – Wilkesboro Elementary School
To Teacher Assistant – North Wilkes High School
Kathy Hunt – From Custodian – Moravian Falls Elementary School
To Teacher Assistant – West Wilkes High School
Laura Billings – From Teacher Assistant – C.C. Wright Elementary School
To Teacher – C.C. Wright Elementary School
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the School Improvement Plans were approved as presented to the Board. School Improvement Plans are written each year following a very thorough school-wide reflection process that involves the principal, school improvement team, and parents. Principals and leadership teams work diligently to make the school improvement plan a living document that directs their efforts to help students achieve at higher levels and demonstrate growth. Wilkes County Schools uses an online tool called Indistar or NC Star for the template for our continuous school improvement process. Board members are provided with a code to preview each school’s plan.
On a motion by Mrs. Barnes, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Wilkes County Schools and Wilkes Community College Local Articulation Agreement for 2019-2020 was approved as presented. Wilkes County Schools and Wilkes Community College has a strong partnership in providing high school students many opportunities to gain college credits while completing their high school requirements. The local articulation agreement adds additional articulated courses at the local level that are not included in the statewide North Carolina High School to Community College Articulation Agreement, further streamlining students’ educational pathways by eliminating the need to take multiple courses with the same learning outcomes.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Ms. Barnes and duly carried, the Revisions to Board Policy 1310 were approved. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) serves as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Since its inception, the intent of the law has been to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. Parent and family engagement have always been a key piece to the law and ESSA provides some specific guidance for school districts in regards to revising their current Parental Involvement policy. Recently, the Wilkes County Schools District Parent Advisory Council (D-PAC) convened to review the requirements of ESSA in regards to revising the Parental Involvement policy to the Parent and Family Engagement policy. To meet the statutory requirements in this section, D-PAC has composed this revision for consideration. This revised policy satisfies the requirements of ESSA in regards to parent and family engagement and incorporates established procedures for parent involvement designated by the Wilkes County Board of Education.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Ms. Barnes and duly carried, the Revisions to Board Policy 7411 were approved as presented. This policy has been revised to meet requirements of North Carolina Session Law 2019-82/House Bill 924. This law defines, in relation to teacher contracts, that in order for a teacher to be employed for a year, a teacher must have worked for no less than 120 workdays as a teacher in a full-time permanent position. In addition, if a local board of education has adopted a policy that requires teachers to be employed three consecutive years in order to be eligible for an extended contract, the policy must state the following: 1) If a teacher did not work for at least 120 workdays in a year because the teacher was on approved or legally entitled leave, that year shall not constitute a year of employment nor shall it be considered as a break in the continuity of consecutive years of employment, and 2) Suspensions cannot constitute approved or legally entitled leave.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Walker and dully carried, the Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Social Services; Transportation Procedures Agreement was approved as presented. To ensure the educational stability of foster care youth and to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Wilkes County Schools and the Department of Social Services (DSS) worked collaboratively to create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address transportation related provisions.
Chairman Mr. Holbrook had the following announcement:
- October 23, 2019 – First Grading Period Ends
- October 24, 2019 – Required Workday
- October 25, 2019 – Optional Workday
- October 28, 2019 – Second Grading Period Begins
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next meeting to be November 4, 2019. This meeting will be held in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom located at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina beginning at 5:30 PM.