2018 Board Chair & Vice Chair Named
Members of the Board elected Carrie Sutton as the chair and Donna Vann as the vice chair of the Cumberland County Board of Education. Both will serve a one-year term. Special recognition for exemplary leadership along with a gavel and plaque were presented to the outgoing chair, Greg West, and vice chair, Donna Vann, respectively.
Administrative Recommendations Approved
J.W. Seabrook Elementary Jill Good
Recognition of Ex-Officio Members
Student Government leaders Pauline Allen from Alger B. Wilkins High School and Shana Okudzeto from Cross Creek Early College High School served as the ex-officio members of the Cumberland County Board of Education. Ex-officio members are given the opportunity to make comments, ask questions, and give input on any topic brought before the Board.
The Board Approves, Moves on Salary Study Results Members of the Board voted to act upon the results of the recent salary study conducted in order to build a competitive pay structure for the Cumberland County Schools. In a special video, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources Ruben Reyes shares information with employees about how they will be affected by the results. The video link will be shared with employees.
New Laptops on the Horizon for CCS’ Personnel
Through a recommendation from the Administration, the Board voted to award a contract to Lenovo, Inc., for 3,500 laptops. The Lenovo Thinkpad 13’s (256 GB, 13”) will be purchased for administrators and certified personnel for fiscal year 2017-2018. According to CCS’ Technology Department, distribution of the laptops will begin late spring.
Superintendent Search Survey Feedback Shared
Representatives from the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) shared with members of the Board superintendent search survey results from the community and CCS’ staff. It was reported that 492 community surveys were submitted and 1,436 staff surveys were completed with a vast majority of teachers as respondents. The community participants ranked “Understands how to provide safe environments for students and staff” and “Communicates well with people of all races and socio-economic status” as their top two most important characteristics of the future superintendent. Meanwhile, staffers chose “Has strong human relations or ‘people skills’” as well as providing safe environments for students and staff as their top two priorities. Board members also shared characteristics they would like to see in the new superintendent which included being a strong instructional leader with a vision for ‘the long haul;’ knowing how to get staff, students, and the community to work together; creating an atmosphere of trust, respect, caring and compassion for others; and knowing how to close the achievement gap in order to see that ALL children learn. According to the NCSBA representatives, the superintendent application deadline is Jan. 8.
Board of Education
The Board Votes to Delay Implementing K-3 Class-Size Reductions
The nine-member Board signed a resolution requesting the General Assembly “to slow the implementation of the K-3 class-size reductions as outlined in S.L. 2017-9 through a multi-year phase-in that allows time for the legislature and school districts to address the challenges” that will be faced, i.e., finding licensed and qualified teachers, increasing the number of physical classrooms, etc. S.L.2017-9 states that in the 2018-2019 school year, local school districts are required to (1) set class-size averages in grades K-3 that equal the State classroom teacher funding ratios and (2) meet more restrictive individual class-size maximums across those grade levels.
Betty Musselwhite, the associate superintendent of School Support Services, introduced the following honorees to the Board to be recognized:
November’s 2017 Amazing Acts of Character Award Recipients – Student Honorees Marcus Harris from Cumberland Mills Elementary School and Sydney Harris from E.E. Smith High School were recognized for displaying ‘acts of good character’ above and beyond expected behavior. Members of the Board extended personal congratulations to each student.
National Board Certification Candidates – CCS’ Teachers Dorothea Mixon from Pine Forest Middle School, Stephen Clabaugh from Jack Britt High School, Jennifer Helton from District 7 Elementary School, Laura Ransom from Gallberry Farm Elementary School, and Athena Rogers from Jack Britt High School were congratulated by the Board for completing the rigorous process of National Board Certification. The five teachers are anxiously awaiting their results.