The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit met for a reception at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 6, 2022 in the Stone Center for The Performing Arts at 613 Cherry Street North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659. Superintendent, Mr. Mark D. Byrd called the meeting to order and recognized Board Member Mrs. Sharron Huffman with a plaque for her years of service to Wilkes County Schools. Mrs. Huffman served as a Board Member for twelve years. Mr. Byrd thanked Mrs. Huffman for her years of service on the Wilkes County Schools Board of Education. Mr. Byrd introduced Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Mr. Michael D. Duncan to administer the Oath of Office to newly elected Board Members Mrs. Jammie Jolly and Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook. There were numerous guests in attendance.
At 5:30 PM, everyone that wished to attend the Business Meeting was asked to proceed to the Arnold and Becky Lackey Boardroom for the Business section. Present were Board Members, Mr. Kirk Walker, Mrs. Joan Caudill, Mr. Hardin Kennedy III, and newly elected Board Members Mrs. Jammie Jolly and Randall "Rudy" Holbrook. Also attending were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Donna Cotton, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Chief Technology Officer Mrs. Julie Triplett, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Mrs. Callie Grubb, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Secondary Education/Athletics/School Safety Mr. David Johnson, Director of Exceptional Children Mrs. Jennifer Blankenship, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Student Services Mrs. April Marr, Director of Testing and Accountability/Cultural Arts/504/Title I Mr. Jeffery Johnson, Executive Director of Federal Programs/Career & Technical Education Dr. Joe Bullis, and Public Information Officer Mrs. Morgan Mathis. Guests in attendance were Wilkes County Law Enforcement, Principals Mrs. Beckie Spears, Mr. Craig Tidline, Mr. Dan Biesak, Mrs. Michelle Shepherd, and Mrs. Carol Cleary. Media present were Jule Hubbard, Gary York, and Ed Racey.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook called the meeting to order.
Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd for the Superintendent's Welcome and Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Byrd stated, "Let me start where I should, which is with students, and say "congratulations" to the 547 seniors who made up the Class of 2022. This group of seniors overcame so much more than most, and their future will be brighter because of this accomplishment! Our school system is proud of every single graduate!"
"I then want so say 'thank you' to our teachers and staff for providing an outstanding school year to our students during a difficult time. For three consecutive school years, our teachers and staff have been faced with each year being the "toughest they have seen" due to circumstances beyond their control. And, during all of that, our students have not suffered. So, I want to thank our teachers and staff, tell them to have a wonderful summer, but also let them know that work is underway to make 2022-2023 better than what they have faced in the previous three!"
"We just took a minute to say 'thank you' to Mrs. Sharron Huffman for her 12 years of service on the Wilkes County Schools Board of Education, and I think we all agree that 12 years of service deserves a word of thanks. I think that is a lot to be proud of and I hope that every member of our current board has at least 12 more years of service in their future plans as well."
"I would like to thank all of our retirees and will say a special thanks to our retiring principals, Mrs. Sandra Burchette, Mrs. Michelle Shepherd, and Dr. Kim Stone. Our students' lives are better because of your service."
"And, in closing, I need to say a special thank you to a person I consider to be a friend who is retiring, and this will be her last board meeting working with Wilkes County Schools. Dr. Donna Cotton has served as our Chief Academic Officer for the last three years and has served our system in many other ways throughout her career. As I said at our retirement dinner and need to say again, I don't know how our school system could have survived this pandemic without Dr. Cotton's leadership. Dr. Cotton and I share something in common in that we both served as Assistant Principals under a great leader, Mr. Hal Gatewood, just in different schools in different systems. If you know Mr. Gatewood, he has a gift of making everyone he speaks to feel as if they are the most important person in the world. Dr. Cotton and I have often referenced, 'How would Mr. Gatewood have dealt with this situation?' Well, Dr. Cotton, let me say in front of everyone in this room, you have the same gift, and administrators in this room and this school system will be well served to follow the example that you have set in front of them if they want to be successful in the future. Thank you for your service!"
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd opened the business meeting with nominations for Chairman of the Board. Mr. Hardin Kennedy nominated Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook for Chairman. Mr. Byrd asked for other nominations and there were none. The Board approved Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook as Chairman by acclamation. Mr. Byrd open the floor for nominations for Vice-Chairman of the Board. Mrs. Jammie Jolly nominated Mr. Hardin Kennedy for Vice-Chairman. Voting yes were Jammie Jolly, Rudy Holbrook, and Hardin Kennedy. Mrs. Joan Caudill and Mr. Kirk Walker voted no. The Board approved Mr. Kennedy for Vice-Chairman by acclamation. These terms are for two years.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent to announce the 2022 C. B. Eller Teaching Grants. Friends and family of C.B. Eller established the C.B. Eller Education Fund in 1987. Mr. Eller was superintendent of Wilkes County Schools for 33 years from 1933-1966. This charitable trust is designed to improve the quality of education in Wilkes County by awarding grants for professional growth for public school teachers. Wilkes County Schools has three educators receiving the 2022 C.B. Eller Teaching Awards. A total of $3,933.58 was granted from the C.B. Eller Education Fund of the Winston-Salem Foundation. Mr. Andrew Casey from the C.B. Eller fund presented the following list of teachers with awards:
Kyrie Krenz – Wilkes Central High School
$1,500 to attend the American School Counselor Conference
Olivia Van Buskirk – Wilkes Early College High School
$1,354.58 for educational travel to Savannah, Georgia
Jennifer Estes – Wilkes Central High School
$1,079 to attend a family consumer science workshop
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the winners of the James Larkin Pearson Poetry Competition. These students were announced and given their awards at Whippoorwill Academy and Village in Ferguson on April 30th. North Carolina's 7th Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, a professor at Appalachian State University, was this year's judge and read some of his own work for those in attendance. He also gave encouragement and praise to the winning students. Wilkes County Schools had two students who both placed first for their age group.
Congratulations to Vivian Nguyen from the Wilkes Early College High School, who placed first in the high school age group. Congratulations to Molly Wagoner from East Wilkes Middle School who placed first in the middle school age group.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the Soil and Water Areas and State Awards. The Wilkes County Soil & Water Conservation held their education awards on Thursday, March 3rd at the Edwin H. McGee Center to recognize students for their hard work. Students advanced to area competition and state competition. Congratulations to the following students who placed in these competitions: Jordan Holleman from East Wilkes Middle School placed 2nd in the area competition in the 7th grade speech contest and Breagha Kilpatrick from East Wilkes Middle School placed 2nd in the state competition in the 8th grade speech contest.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent to recognize the Foothills 2A and Northwest 1A Athletic Conference Recognitions. The Foothills 2A and Northwest 1A All-Conference teams were recently announced following the spring sports season. We are proud to recognize many athletes and coaches from Wilkes County Schools that were chosen as players of the year and coaches of the year. They are listed below:
Congratulations to Jayden Hutchinson from East Wilkes High School. Hutchinson was recognized as the Northwest 1A Softball Player of the Year.
Congratulations to Coach Derrick Hill from East Wilkes High School. Coach Hill was recognized as the Northwest 1A Softball Coach of the Year.
Congratulations to Zoe Susi from Wilkes Central High School. Susi was recognized as the Foothills 2A Women's Soccer Player of the Year.
Congratulations to Coach Matt Matthews from Wilkes Central High School. Coach Matthews was recognized as the Foothills 2A Women's Soccer Coach of the Year.
Congratulations to Terry Hayes from Wilkes Central High School. Hayes was recognized as the Foothills 2A Men's Track & Field Player of the Year.
Congratulations to Coach Anthony Smith from Wilkes Central High School. Coach Smith was recognized as the Foothills 2A Men's Track & Field Coach of the Year.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the NCHSAA State Champions. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) held the 1A and 2A Track & Field State Championship at North Carolina A&T State University on May 20th and 21st. Congratulations to the following students who placed in their competition:
Abigail Tully from Wilkes Central High School placed first in the state in women's pole vault.
Lilly Adams from East Wilkes High School placed first in the state in women's high jump.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the 2022 Outstanding Elementary Mathematics Teacher Award. Every year, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction partners with the North Carolina Council for the Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) to recognize outstanding mathematic teachers. Heather Holloway, Ronda Clingman third grade teacher, has been selected as Wilkes County Schools' 2022 Outstanding Elementary Mathematics Teacher. Ms. Holloway has ten years of teaching experience and is a valuable member of the Ronda Clingman Elementary faculty. In addition, she has served on the Math Textbook Adoption Teacher Panel, been a mentor and coach to beginning teachers, and provided professional development with second grade teachers working on alignment of second and third grade standards. Ms. Holloway will receive a one year's membership in the NCCTM, a personalized award, and recognition at the NCCTM State Conference. Her name will also appear in the Fall 2022 issue of the NCCTM journal, Centroid, and on NCCTM's and NCDPI's website. Congratulations to Ms. Heather Holloway!
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award. Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence (BRSE) is an organization that serves schools across the nation. They use a one-of-a-kind assessment survey that provides insights that can be used for school improvement, professional development, support, and strategies for excellence. The nine performance areas include: Student Focus and Support, School Organization and Culture, Challenging Standard and Curriculum, Active Teaching and Learning, Technology and Integration, Professional Community, Leadership and Education Vitality, School, Family, and Community Partnerships, and Indicators of Success. In addition to a comprehensive review process for the nine performance areas, stakeholder surveys, interviews, and school visits were also completed. Wilkes Early College High School met the required criteria in the nine performance areas of high performing schools required for this prestigious award! This award will be presented during the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference in Orlando, Florida at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center at the Awards Luncheon on Friday, December 2, 2022. Congratulations to Wilkes Early College High School!
Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Mr. Jeffrey Johnson, Director of Testing and Accountability. Wilkes County Schools recently completed the North Carolina End of Grade (EOG) tests in grades 3 through 8, the North Carolina End of Course (EOC) assessments in grades 9 through 12, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) assessments in grades 9 through 12. The North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests are designed to measure student performance on the goals, objectives, and grade-level competencies specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The North Carolina End-of-Course Tests and Career and Technical Education post assessments are used to sample a student's knowledge of subject-related concepts as specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and to provide a global estimate of the student's mastery of the material in a particular content area. The preliminary results were provided for each grade span which include end of year results and end of Summer Success Academy results.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook asked if anyone had signed up for Public Comments. Three people signed up to speak. Two voiced their concerns over the Middle School Battle of the Books Program (BOB). They were Kelly Holleman and Shelly Mitchell along with Laurel Mitchell (daughter). BOB is a quiz bowl-style competition. There is a different book list each year. Those speaking were in favor of the program. Mr. Gary York spoke regarding the locker dedication he attended at East Wilkes High School.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the Minutes for May 2, 2022 were approved as presented.
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.
Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s)
Diana Bell – Bookkeeper – Transportation Department
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with thirty-five years and two months of service
Karen Ester – Media Specialist/Instructional Specialist – Mount Pleasant Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with thirty years and one month of service
Vanya Greene – Teacher – West Wilkes High School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with twenty-three years and seven months of service
Debra Hall – Bookkeeper – Child Nutrition Department
Retirement effective – August 1, 2022, with twenty-five years and eight months of service
Malinda Jarvis – Bus Driver – Central Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with eleven years and one month of service
Janet Staley – Custodian – Central Services
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with sixteen years and eight months of service
Dr. Kimberlee Stone – Principal – C.C. Wright Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with thirty-three years and two months of service
Randy Watkins – Bus Driver/Custodian – West Wilkes High School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2022, with five years and nine months of service
Callie Grubb – From Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education – Central Services
To Chief Academic Officer – Central Services
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the following field trips were approved as presented. Planned dates are listed below.
|East Wilkes High School
|East Wilkes High School
|East Wilkes High School
|East Wilkes High School
|East Wilkes High School
|East Wilkes Middle School
|Wilkes Central High School
|East Wilkes High School
|JV & Varsity Cheerleading
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the NCPA Lot 1 Groceries and Lot 3 Supplies were approved as presented. Child Nutrition attended the North Carolina Purchase Alliance Bid Opening on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 10 AM in the McKimmon Center located in Raleigh, North Carolina. US Foods Fort Mill and Sysco Charlotte submitted bids for Lot 1 Groceries. Deep Reflections, Inc., Imperial Dade, US Foods Fort Mill, and Sysco Charlotte submitted bids for Lot 3 supplies. Lot 1 Groceries low-cost winner is Sysco, Charlotte; however, on May 27, 2022, Sysco withdrew the bid for Wilkes County due to concerns that they were unable to support the volume of our district. In Lot 3, Deep Reflections was the preliminary low-cost winner; however, there were unable to provide all of the items required by Child Nutrition. Imperial Dade’s bid had to be disqualified due to changes in bid languages to require a $350 order minimum rather than specified in the bid amount of $150. Sysco, Charlotte was the low-cost winner on Lot 3 Supplies. However, on May 27, 2022, Sysco withdrew the bid Wilkes County Lot 3 Supplies due to concerns that they were unable to support the volume of our district. Therefore, NCPA Lot 1 Groceries and Lot 3 Supplies was awarded for the 2022-2023 school year.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the 2022-2024 CTE Local Application was approved as presented. The Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) is a web-based planning and grants management tool, and connects district goals for improvement with budgeted activities. CCIP is used by school districts to apply for state and federal funds.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the 2022-2023 Supplemental Athletic Insurance with The Young Group was approved as presented. The Young Group has been the provider of our supplemental athletic insurance for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The rate they have offered for 2022-2023 is $21.50 per high school athlete and $10.25 per middle school athlete (no increase). Our premium will be $25,850.75.
The coverage levels for supplemental insurance plans are determined by the NCHSAA, so the coverage is the same regardless of the vendor. The Young Group was also the provider of our middle school catastrophic insurance coverage for those same years. They have offered the same rate of $1.60 per athlete for a total of $766.40. Traditionally, high school catastrophic insurance was covered by the NCHSAA. Due to new legislation, it can no longer by administrated by NCHSAA. This has been transitioned to the NC Department of Insurance, but up until this time, we have not heard any details that we need to secure a policy or pricing.
We have received a quote of $3.30 per high school athlete from The Young Group. The coverage would be $3,214.20 for 2022-2023.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the Budget Amendment was approved as presented and is listed below:
State Public School Fund – Increase of $353,046.00
Federal Grants Fund – Increase of $3,000,000.00
Child Nutrition Fund – Increase of $940,000.00
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the Resolution to close fiscal year 2021-2022 was approved as presented. Adoption of this resolution allows the Finance Director to record any State, Federal, and Local budget revisions, continue maximizing funds, and balance the budget after the last Board meeting in June. In addition, the resolution prevents the Board from having to call a special meeting to approve items by June 30. Final budget amendments for the fiscal year will be presented to the Board at the August 2022 meeting.
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the 2022-2023 Budget Resolution for all fund sources were approved as presented. Attached is the budget resolution for all fund sources in a uniform format as prescribed by the Local Government Commission. This document summarizes the appropriated budgeted expenditures and revenues available to the Wilkes County Schools for the 2022-2023 fiscal year from all fund sources. All funds include expenditures by purpose code and balanced revenues by purpose code as well (see attachments one and two).
Chairman Mr. Holbrook made the following announcements:
- June 7-8, 2022 – Optional Workdays
- No July Meeting Scheduled
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next board meeting to be August 1, 2022. The 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.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, there being no further business, the Board adjourned at 6:38 PM.