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McKenzie School Board swears in 3 new members, school rep

Three new McKenzie Special School District school board members, who won in the Aug. 6 election and the new student board representative, were sworn in during the Sept. 1 school board meeting.

Board members Karen Fowler, Misty Aird and Chad Brown and student board representative Lyndsey Summers took the oath of office from Director of Schools Lynn Watkins.

Lyndsey, daughter of Ken and Sherry Summers, is a senior. She attends the board meetings and can have input, but is not a voting member. She is a member of several high school clubs. They include: Beta Club of which she was secretary last school year, Student Council of which she has been nominated for the secretary’s position this year, DECA and Library Clubs and yearbook staff. 

Jon Davis, who has served on the board for several years, was selected as board chairman. LaShonda Williams was chosen as vice chairman and Greg Barker as treasurer.

Fowler was voted as the state Legislation Network member with Aird as the alternate member. In this position, Fowler will be a liaison between the state legislation and the board.

The board still has one more position to fill. This is for Norman French’s unexpired term of two years.

 “The deadline for candidates will be Sept. 18,” said Watkins.

There are already two resumes from Craig Hobson and Justin Stafford that have been submitted.

A called meeting on Sept. 28 at 5:30 p.m. has been set to vote on naming the board member for that position.

The next regular scheduled board meeting will be Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Watkins advised how the school calendar had been changed due to school being out for the COVID-19 Pandemic. School dismissed on Aug. 14 and resumed on Sept. 8. Three stockpile days will be used and students will be attending on data and parent-teacher conference days on Oct. 22 and March 18. The parent-teacher conferences will be rescheduled by the principals of each of the three schools.

“That way, only one instruction day will be lost instead of three days.,” said Watkins. “That will leave the school system nine stockpile days.”

Veda Haney, middle school music teacher who was in the audience, asked why school was returning to school with the numbers for COVID 19 and quarantining so high.

Watkins said the numbers have been decreasing steadily and that students and teachers should be back almost 100 percent by Tuesday. From Sept. 3 to Sept. 4 the county wide school system numbers went down by 197.

During the director’s report, Watkins said he has hired four substitute teachers for the 2020-2021 school year. They include: Sean Beck, Damian Brown, Mary Davis and Debbie Reed.

He also informed board members that the TSBA Fall District meeting is set for Sept. 29 and will be a virtual one. The one-hour webinar will start at 5 p.m. Webinar registration instructions will be sent out by e-mail. Three credits will be given for it. Generally, there is a charge of $60, but this one is free.

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