McKenzie Special School District Students talk about SCOPE Conference

SCOPE REPS – McKenzie Director of Schools Lynn Watkins (at left) recognizes MHS juniors (starting second from left) Kristen Bradberry, Payton Ognibene, and Lilly Sumrok for representing the school district at the SCOPE Conference in Nashville back in March. Not pictured is junior Amya Gilbert, who also attending the conference.

Three McKenzie High School students, who recently participated in the 2022 Student Congress for Policies in Education (SCOPE) Conference back in March at Belmont University, spoke about their experiences before the McKenzie Board of Education during the April 5 meeting.

Kristen Bradberry, Payton Ognibene, and Lilly Sumrok, all juniors, told how they took part in mock school board debates on various issues related to education. MHS junior Amya Gilbert also attended the conference but was unable to be at the April 5 meeting.

The topics of debate at this year’s conference included: year-round school, high school parking allowed only for students who meet certain criteria, mandatory school uniforms, and not allowing students to leave the school campus during the lunch period.

A total of 350 juniors from high schools all over the state attended the conference.

Sumrok said that it was a great opportunity to delve into some controversial issues and interact with students from other school systems.

“It was really cool,” said Ognibene.

“Thank you for the opportunity to go and for always supporting us,” said Bradberry.

Director of Schools Lynn Watkins presented these students with certificates of recognition.

• • •

In other business:

•The board approved a couple of amendments to the current fiscal year budget, one to account for a grant received and another to reflect the purchase of a scanner and printer for the high school nurse’s office.

•Second and final reading approval was given to two policy amendments, both setting guidelines required for a teacher to have a repeatedly disruptive student permanently removed from the classroom as established by a new state law.

•The board gave annual approval allowing basketball practice to be held during the school day during the 2022-23 school year at the high school.

•Watkins advised the board that both the state House of Representatives and Senate has passed a private act authorizing the district to issue and sell bonds or borrow up to $4 million in order to fund the construction of a new athletic facility next to the existing high school facility. The project is projected to cost around $2.5 million. Watkins said they are just waiting for the governor to sign off on the private act.

•The board generally agreed to hold the next regular meeting on May 3 at the middle school. The board also tentatively set a June 7 date for a budget workshop and then June 14 for that month’s regular meeting.

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