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Halifax County school board calendar committee expands to 18 / August 16, 2018
The Halifax County School Board’s calendar committee — responsible for setting the daily schedule from the first day of school to the last — is getting larger.

School Board chair Joe Gasperini named four additional members to the panel Monday night. Gasperini asked fellow trustees Keith Lloyd, ED-2, and Monty Lowery, ED-7, to serve, along with Emily Noblin and Steve Salley.

With the appointments, the committee will grow to 18 members.

The group also includes a single representative from each of the county’s five smallest elementary schools — Scottsburg, Sinai, Sydnor Jennings, Meadville and Clays Mill — and two representatives each from the larger elementaries, South Boston and Cluster Springs. The representatives are appointed by the schools’ principals.

The middle school and the high school also have two members each on the committee, along with a member from the Halifax Education Association, for a total of 18 members.

Gasperini said he asked Lloyd and Lowery to join the committee since both volunteer their time to coach school athletic teams. For that reason, he said, they are good choices to provide input on the calendar.

ED-8 trustee Walter Potts pointed to the importance of the calendar committee and added that many of his constituents would like to see the opening of school come later in the summer.

In other business, the School Board approved a $25,000 contract for James Gordon to provide security for county schools. Approval of the contract came on a 6-2 vote.

Potts and ED-5 trustee Freddie Edmunds voted no on paying Gordon $2,500 for ten months.

Edmunds and ED-6 trustee Todd Moser, both law enforcement officers, pointed out that school resource officers who are stationed at the high school and middle school only investigate crime and behavior violations, and do not provide security measures, such as cameras and other steps for preventing incidents in the schools.

Both expressed high praise for Gordon, who they termed as being “the best in the business.”

While Moser acknowledged that the $2,500 per month cost is high, he was quick to add that “it is a small price to pay to save one student’s life.”

Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg touted the value of Gordon’s work, pointing out he has taken part in recent meetings of the school security committee.

Before tackling the business items on their agenda, trustees heard from three citizens during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Detra Carr, president of the Halifax chapter of the NAACP, chided the administration for the very low number of minority personnel hired during the school year. With school enrollment split very close to 50-50 among minority and white students, Carr said the makeup of administrative and teaching personnel should reflect a similar percentage.

Cheryl Watts questioned the School Board’s approval of a $12,000 deal for an outside contractor to raise community awareness of options for renovating or rebuilding the high school. “While this is a small amount, these things add up,” Watts pointed out.

Lineburg reminded trustees that Moseley Architecture will present a finalized report on the renovation or rebuilding of the high school on Aug. 25. In the meantime, officials will arrange for public forums so citizens have an opportunity to give their own thoughts on the matter.

Fay Satterfield, a former school trustee, also spoke Monday night to express her view that the School Board is spending too much money on consultants. Satterfield said the community is fortunate to have law enforcement officers who she believes are able to maintain security at the schools.

Also, three students told the trustees how much they enjoyed the recent Back 2 School Expo to generate enthusiasm for the new school year. Said one student: “It was fun and I enjoyed seeing the cheerleaders do their routines.”

Following a closed session, trustees on a 5-3 vote moved to reassign an employee as an instruction coach. They also approved the pay for extracurricular sponsorships: Kelly Weatherford, $2,300 for publications; April Miller, $2,300 to serve as SCA sponsor and $1,600 for senior class; Gregory Scott, $2,000 to serve as JROTC Drill instructor; Allyn Beth Motley, $2,300 for National Honor Society; Domonic Stephens, $3,100 for band director; Beverly Curtis-Mitchell, $800 for flag corps; Travis Moore, $1,200 for percussion instruction; Dominic Stephens, $2,000 for choral/chorus direction; and Shawn Torain, $2,000 for drivers education.

ACE team sponsors Beth Layne and Laura Meeks will each be paid, $5,100 while Greg Donner will receive $2,000 for serving as one-act theater director. Mary M. Bane will receive $2,500 for serving as assistant volleyball coach.

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School should not start till after labor day. They don't need 3 days for thanksgiving, also they don't need another holiday in January. If teachers can't teach kids to remember material over 3 weeks then they are not doing the jobs, the kids need to take responsibility and study. SOL are nothing but a sham, as long as kid passes a test, they don't care if they know anything or not


They just reduced the coaching stipends two years ago. Now I will support all activities and sports, but it is a shame that the ACE Team coaches are making more than most of the revenue producing head coaches and assistants. These sports pull in revenue for athletics and have become year round jobs, but the coaches of football, baseball, basketball make almost $2000 less than ACE Team sponsors.

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