The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit conducted a regular meeting in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 5:30 PM at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659.
Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook and Vice-Chairman Mr. Hardin Kennedy III. Other board members present were Mrs. Joan Caudill, Mrs. Jammie Jolly, and Mr. Kirk Walker. 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, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Secondary Education, Athletics, and School Safety Mr. David Johnson, Director of Student Services Mrs. April Marr, Director of Exceptional Children Mrs. Jennifer Blankenship, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Mr. Jeffery Johnson, AIG Coordinator Angie Lamb, ESL Coordinator Lori Holguin, Executive Director of Federal Programs and Career & Technical Education Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Testing and Accountability, Cultural Arts, 504, and Title I Dr. Dion Stocks, Public Information Officer Mrs. Morgan Mathis, and Executive Administrative Assistant Mrs. Carolyn Triplett. Also, in attendance were Mrs. Dee Surgeon, Principal of North Wilkes High School, Mrs. Becky Spears, Principal of Wilkesboro Elementary School, and Law Enforcement.
Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook called the meeting to order.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, 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, "Let me first welcome everyone to the first school board meeting of the 2023-2024 school year. It seems like just a few days ago we were wrapping up the 2022-2023 school year, and I think the preliminary data from last year shows what we already knew, which was last year was a great year for our school system. I don't see any reason to lower our expectations as I think all of us expect this coming school year to be even better."
"I would like to talk for a minute about some of the things that have taken place since we last met. We have hired five new principals that you will all meet tonight, and I am excited about the level of energy they bring to their schools. Eight schools will start the year with a different principal than before. We have hired three new Assistant Principals, each of whom has a bright future in this system. We have hired roughly sixty new teachers, which we all know will have the greatest impact on students. Mrs. Grubb and her staff have provided our leadership with an awesome administrative conference which I think has everyone excited about the up and coming year. Marty Johnson has prepared our staff to be ready to feed students, Eric Barker and his staff have our buses repaired and ready for students, and other directors have done too much for me to list tonight preparing for the school year. I don’t know that anyone has worked harder than Bergie Speaks and his staff as they have worked diligently to get Mount Pleasant Elementary ready for students, have started work on a new gym at Wilkes Central, and have major HVAC renovations underway at multiple schools, this all while trying to keep up with routine summer maintenance work. Our technology department has done an awesome job of putting things back together after HVAC repairs. We have a group of leaders in this room who have worked and are working diligently to make 2023-2024 a great year for our students and our staff, and I would like to ask that you take a minute to say thank you to them when you get a chance! I certainly know that I need to!"
"And to the roughly 8500 students who will either return to the Early College on Thursday or to our other schools in three weeks, let me say we can't wait for your return. Students, you are the reason we are here, and I hope we never forget that. Our staff is working hard for you and will give you nothing but our best, and we expect the same from you! I personally expect 2023-2024 to be a great year for Wilkes County Schools and I look forward to working closely with each of you to make sure that every person in our schools has the best that we can possibly provide them!"
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the new principals for the 2023-2024 School Year. Wilkes County Schools would like to recognize and congratulate our new principals for the 2023-2024 school year. These administrators bring a level of energy that will help students and our school system to be successful for years to come.
Mrs. Teresa Stone has served as an assistant principal at Wilkes Central High. She will now serve as principal of C.B. Eller Elementary School.
Mr. Ebenezer "Eben" Lancerio has served as Dean of Students for Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC, and will now serve as the principal of Central Wilkes Middle School.
Dr. LaShaunda Plain-Mamon has served as an assistant principal for Davie County Schools. She will now serve as principal of North Wilkesboro Elementary School.
Mrs. Andrea Byers has served as assistant principal of Wilkesboro Elementary and will now serve as principal of Mount Pleasant Elementary School.
Dr. Grant Tharpe has served as assistant principal at Mountain View Elementary and North Wilkes High School. He will now serve as principal of Mulberry Elementary School.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to acknowledge the new assistant principals for the 2023-2024 school year. We are excited to see them bring their educational leadership skills to fruition and make a difference in their school and community!
Mrs. Shanna Bumgarner will serve as assistant principal of Wilkesboro Elementary School. Mrs. Bumgarner most recently served as an ESL Lead Teacher with Wilkes County Schools. She began her employment with Wilkes County Schools in 2007 as an elementary education teacher at Millers Creek Elementary.
Mrs. Kendall Steelman will serve as an assistant principal of Wilkes Central High School. Ms. Steelman most recently served as a health and physical education teacher at Central Wilkes Middle. She has served in the leadership capacity of Athletic Director at Central Wilkes Middle since 2013.
Mr. Randy Hunt will serve as an assistant principal of North Wilkes High School. Mr. Hunt most recently served as a high school advisor for Forsyth Technical Community College. Prior to this role, Mr. Hunt served as an assistant principal in Wilkes County Schools and Stokes County Schools.
Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Mr. David Johnson, Director of Secondary Education, Athletics, and Safety. Mr. Johnson provided a brief update on the data from the 2022-2023 school year regarding school nurses. We have twelve school nurses who serve twenty-two schools. In 22-23, school nurses completed 383 home visits. The number of student encounters and/or health office visits, for any purpose, to the school nurse resulting in the student returning to class was 18,179. The following are just a few of the conditions that school nurses most frequently see students for: ADD/ADHD, allergies, asthma, concussions, diabetes, seizure disorder/epilepsy, and migraine headaches.
Some of the school-based therapy services provided in 2022-2023 to our students by licensed therapists were CareNet, Jodi Province Counseling, and Children's Hope Alliance. The Wilkes County Health Department MESH was visited 255 times by our high school students. A total of 675 students enrolled in the Wilkes Public Health Dental Services. The number of prevention services provided to students was 2,589. These services are vital to our student's well-being.
Mr. Johnson also briefly gave some data regarding student athletes. We had a total participation of 1,359 students at the high school level and 657 at the middle school level.
Safety updates include adding two SRO positions in the coming school year. We have implemented a new program called I Love U Guys. Training in this program has been completed by our administrators. Our hope is to enhance communication and responsibilities for all to help students and employees feel better prepared for any challenge that may come up.
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 Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the minutes for June 5, 2023, were approved as presented.
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.
Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s)
Rodney Graham – Principal – Central Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2023, with twenty-eight years and three months of service
Jody Holleman – Instructional Specialist – East Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2023, with twenty-nine years of service
Rebecca Mastin – Principal – Millers Creek Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2023, with thirty years and one month of service
Tracie Walker – Teacher – Ronda Clingman Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2023, with twenty-six years and seven months of service
Recommendation of Administrative Personnel
Randy Hunt – Assistant Principal – North Wilkes High School
Ebenezer Lancerio – Principal – Central Wilkes Middle School
Dr. LaShaunda Plain-Mamon – Principal – North Wilkesboro Elementary School
Transfer(s) of Assignment(s)
Kristine Kennington – From Principal – Mount Pleasant Elementary School
To Principal – West Wilkes Middle School
Nikki Patrick – From Principal – Mulberry Elementary School
To Principal – Millers Creek Elementary School
Katie Reeves – From Principal – C.B. Eller Elementary School
To Principal – Mountain View Elementary School
Teresa Stone – From Assistant Principal – Wilkes Central High School
To Principal – C.B. Eller Elementary School
Dr. Grant Tharpe – From Assistant Principal – North Wilkes High School
To Principal – Mulberry Elementary School
On a motion by Mrs. Jolly, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the following field trips were approved as presented. Planned dates are listed below.
|Wilkes Early College High School
|11th Grade Students
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Exceptional Children's Department Contracts for the 2023-2024 school year were approved as presented. All of these contracts are continuations of existing contracts. Each of the companies and organizations involved have been contractors with Wilkes County Schools for a number of years and have a proven record of providing high-quality services to our students with special needs. They are listed below:
Pamela G. Edwards, LLC
Wilkes Day Care Association, Inc. /Wilkes Developmental Day School
Wilkes Adult Developmental Activity Program, Inc. /Wilkes ADAP
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Exceptional Children's Department Interagency Agreement for Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission, Inc. was approved as presented.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Exceptional Children's Department Cooperative Agreement for Division of Vocational Rehabilitation was approved as presented. Vocational Rehabilitation services support our students transitioning post-graduation. This agency has a positive history of working closely with Wilkes County Schools in meeting the needs of our students in both pre-employment services and post-graduation.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Exceptional Children's Department Professional Service Agreements for 2023-2024 were approved as presented. Aveanna Healthcare, Inc. and Continuum Pediatric Services will be providing nursing services for a student attending school in 2023-24. These contract nursing companies have provided high-quality nursing services for students in Wilkes County Schools in the past.
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Social Services (DSS) was approved as presented. In 2009, Wilkes County Schools and the Department of Social Services (DSS) worked collaboratively to create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to improve communication and services to children in our community. The memorandum is reviewed each year with principals and the DSS administrative staff.
On a motion by Mrs. Jolly, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the Contract for School-Based Mental Health Services was approved as presented. These contracts are for school-based mental health services with Jodi Province Counseling, PLLC, CareNet, Inc., and Children's Hope Alliance for the 2023-2024 school year. These mental health organizations provide licensed therapists to offer mental and behavioral health services to our students on school campuses. Parents/guardians can request these services for their children at all of our schools. These contracts include individual counseling sessions for students and educational and consultation services for school administrators, instructional support staff, and teachers.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the License Agreement to Moravian Falls Water Works was approved as presented. Moravian Falls Water Works, Inc., a North Carolina non-profit corporation, requested to use a portion of land to construct a building to store water lines, valves, and fittings for future repairs. The land they have requested to use is not currently used by the school and will in no way interfere with any school activities. They have been serving our schools for many years and have always been a great partner when we are in need.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Schedule of Fees was approved as presented. These fees are typically set by the principal and do not include purchased items at the school, which may include yearbooks, shirts, pencils, etc.
Chairman Mr. Holbrook made the following announcements:
- August 16-18, 2023 – Optional Workdays
- August 21-25, 2023 – Required Workdays
- August 28, 2023 – First Grading Period Begins
- September 4, 2023 – Labor Day Holiday
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next board meeting to be September 11, 2023. 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. Kennedy and seconded by Mrs. Caudill, with no further business, the Board of Education voted unanimously to adjourn at 6:12 PM.