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BOE elects Thigpen new president

Recognition of school board members and the election of a new board president kicked off the Butler County Board of Education’s regular meeting Thursday night.

After serving a year as board president, Joanne Peak relinquished her chair to new board president Frank Thigpen.

&uot;The last year has been a real learning experience,&uot; said Peak. &uot;I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the whole thing, but this experience has been very educational.&uot;

Superintendent of Education Dr. Mike Reed was complimentary of Peak’s tenure as board president.

&uot;Joanne did an excellent job staying informed and prepared and I appreciate that,&uot; Reed said. &uot;It helps when your president is prepared.&uot;

Thigpen alluded to the position as one that’s not easy to deal with sometimes.

&uot;I think it’s a job everybody should have at least once in their life,&uot; he said with a smile.

Billy Jones made the motion for Thigpen to be new board president with Terry Williams making a motion for Linda Hamilton to serve as vice president. Both were approved unanimously.

Reed also thanked each board member with a plaque for their personal contributions to the Butler County educational system.

&uot;Without their work the educational system in the county would come to a standstill,&uot; Reed remarked.

The board also announced some personnel changes with the retirement of Tommy Kendrick from the Special Services Facility and Linda Reid, who was a bus driver.

The board also approved the employment of June Brooks at the Butler County Activity Center, Kimberly Yates as a bus driver and Rose McClain as a child nutritionist at the middle school.

Students at Greenville High will also be eligible to take courses at the high school for college credit at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Greenville High’s teachers will teach the courses, that will be paid for by students and LBW will reimburse the High School. Reed said students could apply for scholarships to take the courses if they needed financial assistance.

The board also approved two payments of $19,697 each to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club and Every Child Deserves a Chance. Each year the district is required to return 20 percent of its federal funding to community agencies if the agencies request the funds from the district.

Reed also honored the district’s special education program for being chosen as a model program the state.

&uot;The federal monitors were so impressed with (our program) they called and asked if it could be used as a model and show how it improved our school system,&uot; Reed said.

During his report Reed also announced grants to the school system totaling $542,216.

The board approved Alltel’s bid as vendor for the district’s cell phone service and long distance with Pomeroy IT Solutions getting the district’s bid for hardware and software maintenance.

Pomeroy’s contract was approved for $250,000 but the federal E-Rate program, which was a part of the telecommunications act of 1996, will pick up 87 percent, or $217,500, of the total cost.

In other action the board:

N Set a work date of Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. to review the superintendent’s suggested chaperone policy. The board will make any needed changes before sending it to the review board for approval.

N Changed the regular Feb. board meeting date to Feb. 24. Reed suggested the change as he will be out of town on the original board’s meeting date.

N Recognized Gerry Adair, administrative assistant to the superintendent, for being chosen to serve as a mentor to seven new federal program coordinators in Alabama. She will also represent District 11 for the Alabama Association of Federal Program Administrators.