Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mr. Hardin Kennedy III, and board members Mr. Kirk Walker, Mrs. Joan Caudill, and Mrs. Jammie Jolly. Also attending were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Academic Officer Mrs. Callie Grubb, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Chief Technology Officer Mrs. Julie Triplett, Executive Director of Federal Programs/Career & Technical Education Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Mr. Jeffery Johnson, Exceptional Children Program Specialist Mrs. Jill Starling, EL Coordinator Mrs. Lori Holguin, Coordinator of Advanced Programs Mrs. Angie Lamb, Public Information Officer Mrs. Morgan Mathis, and Executive Administrative Assistant Mrs. Carolyn Triplett. Also in attendance was Wilkes County Law Enforcement.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook called the meeting to order.
Superintendent Mr. D. Mark presented to the Board that the agenda needed to be amended to add a Discussion Item not listed. On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the agenda was amended to include Roman Number X, Item A for Board Policy 3210.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd for the Superintendent's Welcome and Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Byrd stated, "As we move into the month of October, we have several groups of people who are to be recognized this month that we need to make sure we don't overlook. So, while I may miss someone, let me mention three groups of our most important people and some that we should say 'thank you' to every time we have the opportunity.
First, the month of October is National Principal's Month, and I can't say enough about the 22 school leaders that we have in Wilkes County Schools. Almost daily, I have a conversation or hear of a situation that one of our principals is dealing with that reminds me how important their job is to our students. Our administrators did a book read a few years back where the author stated that the principal is the one person who has the greatest overall impact on the success of a school. The author also stated that you can physically feel the impact of a principal's leadership just by walking into a school. A former superintendent told me once that a principal makes more decisions in one week than an average person makes in a month, and any one of those decisions could cost them their job. We are starting to notice a lot of principal turnover across our state and fewer and fewer are willing to take a job with this much responsibility. I would encourage everyone in this room to not only say thank you to our principals every chance you get but to also support them as well. We are very fortunate to have the 22 leaders that we do, and I personally wouldn't trade them for any others across our state.
Yesterday, October 2nd, was National Custodial Worker's Day, and I would hope that everybody in this room knows the value of the custodial staffs in our schools. All you have to do is visit a school for five minutes and you can see their contribution to the success of our schools and school system. If we don't take the time to tell our custodial staff that we appreciate them, someone else will in our current job market. In these meetings, we often talk about test scores, school success, awards, and recognitions, but we need to remember that none of this would be possible without the contributions of our custodial staff members. I don't think I have ever done this, but I also need to publicly say 'thank you' to Ava McCall, Clint Blevins, Matthew Holbrook, and Caegan Huffman for their efforts in making sure we have a clean place to meet tonight.
I also need to make sure to mention that October 10th through 14th is National School Lunches Week, and I hope that everyone associated with schools in any way knows the significance of our child nutrition staff. I know we are going to recognize some of them tonight. When the pandemic led to staffing issues, a lot of our employees had the opportunity to fill in for our Child Nutrition staff, and I believe everyone who did has a new level of respect for the job they do daily. We look forward to joining them again next week. Not only do we need to thank and support our Child Nutrition staff, but their director, seated over to my right, Mr. Marty Johnson, is one of the Unsung Heroes of this school system, and we need to recognize him as well. If you don't believe me, ask our principals what they see Marty do on a daily basis. So, to Mr. Johnson and our entire Child Nutrition Staff, we plan to use National School Lunch Week as an opportunity to celebrate your work as well. We need to say thank you to every person mentioned daily, and not just in the month of October. I am certainly proud of the work that you do!"