GCPS Board Meeting Summary for January 9, 2003

          The following are highlights of the January 9, 2003, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education.
          The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

          Board attends to annual business at start of new year
          January is the month for the School Board to adopt its officers for the new calendar year. Dr. Robert McClure, who represents District IV, was elected chairman for 2003 as the first order of business. Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, District III representative, was elected vice chairman for 2003. In accordance with policy the School Board reaffirmed its policies and bylaws, designated the Gwinnett Daily Post as the official media organ for the school system, and approved retaining the services of Thompson & Sweeny as its legal counsel. In addition, Board members approved the meeting schedule for 2003. The meeting dates for the remainder of the year are: February 13, March 13, April 17, May 8, June 19, July 10, August 14, September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11.

          Board of Education recognizes students and staff
          -- School Board members recognized Mary Pederson of Peachtree ES, the 2002 Georgia Elementary School Counselor of the Year. In introducing Ms. Pederson, Brenda Thomas of the Counseling Office said that Mary has developed a school counseling program that has contributed to the wonderful teaching and learning environment at Peachtree ES. Principal Kathy Eichler echoed this praise and discussed the important connections that Mary and other school counselors make for children.
          -- The Office of Safety and Security was recognized by the Board of Education for earning accreditation through the Georgia Law Enforcement Standards Certification program. Dr. Charles “Buck” Buchanan, executive assistant in Educational Leadership, briefly reviewed the certification process with the Board. He pointed out that GCPS is the first school system to earn this recognition, which consists of more than 100 standards that reflect the best professional requirements and practices for law enforcement. Director Dennis Foster accepted congratulations from the Board giving credit to his team and their efforts. He said that his staff will be honored by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police at its meeting later this month.
          -- Jeannie M. (Sis) Henry, executive vice president of the Georgia School Boards Association, presented School Board Member Louise Radloff with a pin honoring Mrs. Radloff for 30 years of service as a School Board member. In presenting this honor, Ms. Henry thanked Mrs. Radloff for her contributions over the past 30 years to Gwinnett County, the state of Georgia, and the nation.
          -- The Board of Education congratulated 30 Gwinnett teachers who recently earned national certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. These teachers successfully completed the extensive process designed to evaluate a teachers' qualifications and content knowledge. Gwinnett's newest board certified teachers are: Jimmie Allen, Summerour MS; Cindy Apley, Shiloh MS; Carolyn Becker, Duluth HS; Juanita Blankenship, Suwanee ES; Allen Brumbalow, Norcross ES; Sandra Cleveland, Grayson ES; Elaine Crowell, Creekland MS; Becky Custar, McConnell MS; Jami Fewell, Creekland MS; Patti Garrett, McKendree ES; Gissella Diaz Williamson, Gwin Oaks ES; Joan Grindle, Duluth HS; Richard Gross, Central Gwinnett HS; Jim Hall, Phoenix HS; Mecia Israel, Sweetwater MS; Janet Lewis, Fort Daniel ES; Sharon Mabery, Mason ES; Kris McMullan, Brookwood HS; Kaysheila Mitchell, Duluth HS; David Moore, Dacula MS; Elaine Norton, Suwanee ES; Dr. Jim O'Neil, Brookwood HS; Sandy Peterson, Parkview HS; Julie Pugh, Stripling ES; Christine Pulliam, Collins Hill HS; Niki Ross, Phoenix HS; Dr. Pat Saulson, Brookwood HS; Dr. Doug Shook, Summerour MS; Beth Thompson, Collins Hill HS; and Lisa Watts, Suwanee ES.
          -- Connie Wiggins from Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful announced that Jim Steele, GCPS chief operations officer, received the 2002 Iron Eyes Cody Award from Keep America Beautiful (KAB) in recognition of his commitment to environmental education for youth and adults and his leadership role in increasing public awareness about activities that preserve and enhance natural resources and minimize waste. According to KAB President G. Raymond Empson, "Jim Steele's leadership ability has made a dramatic difference in the environmental practices of thousands of young people and adults. Like Iron Eyes Cody, he is an example of the power of an individual to be a catalyst for change through his actions."

          School naming process begins
          Dr. Cindy Loe, associate superintendent for Organizational Advancement, briefed School Board members on the school naming process which will begin later this month for five new schools set to open in August 2004. A committee, including parent and educator representatives, will lead the process for each school, researching and gathering names from the public, and suggesting names for the Superintendent to recommend to the School Board. Names of any sort may be submitted; however, consideration is typically given to names of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the community, names of communities served by the school, and landmarks and geographical locations in proximity to the new school. The Gwinnett County Board of Education is expected to vote on these new school names in March.

          Gwinnett Retirement System Administrative Committee Appointments
          The Board appointed Scott Pryor, a former GCPS principal, and Ken Johnson, a teacher at Central Gwinnett HS, to serve on the Gwinnett Retirement System (GRS) Plan Administrative Committee. The appointments are for seven-year terms. These appointees will succeed Reid Mullins and Sara Burns, who are both completing seven-year terms on the committee. The GRS Plan Administrative Committee is comprised of nine representatives. The Chief Financial Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer serve as permanent members of this committee. The committee also includes three teachers, one local school administrator, one classified employee, one retiree, and one position of any classification covered by the plan. The GRS Plan Administrative Committee is responsible for managing the $558.8 million in assets currently held for beneficiaries of GRS and for ensuring that the plan is properly administered.

          Board Issues Short-Term Construction Notes
          The Board authorized the issuance and sale of $244,000,000 in construction sales tax notes for the 2003 calendar year. These notes are issued as a temporary loan while waiting to receive revenue from the sales tax in 2003. Note proceeds will be used to pay expenses related to the 2002 capital projects program, which is funded by the special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). The notes will be retired on December 31, 2003. Similar notes were issued in 2000, 2001, and 2002, providing constant cash flow for capital projects and allowing the school system to maximize its investment opportunities. In his comments, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler credited the low interest rate received in the sale in part to the school system's Aaa bond rating

          Citizens Addressing the Board
          Mike Norman, Office Depot

          The School Board also approved the following appointments at its meeting on January 9, 2003.

          Name-- Current Position
          Dana McGraw-- Coordinator of Curriculum Development and Instructional SupportDirector of Continuous Improvement
          Dr. Carrie Booher-- Assistant Principal on Special Assignment, Office of Research and AccountabilityCoordinator of Academic Support and Advisement
          Lisa Burleson-- Assistant Principal on Special Assignment- Project Facilitator, Office of Continuous ImprovementCoordinator of Curriculum Development and Instructional Support
          Gayle Adkinson-- Teacher, Collins Hill HSCommunity School Director, Peachtree Ridge HS
          Linda-Gail Robinson-- Teacher on Special Assignment, Department of Special Education and Psychological ServicesAdministrative Assistant, Shiloh MS
          Ms. Robinson's appointment is effective today. Appointments for Ms. McGraw, Dr. Booher, and Ms. Burleson will be effective Jan. 13. Ms. Adkinson will take her new post July 1.

          In addition, the following organizational changes involving existing positions were presented to Board members for their information:

          Name-- Current Position
          Bobby Crowson-- Executive Director to the SuperintendentChief of Staff, Office of the Superintendent
          Alexis Kirijan-- Executive Director, Educational LeadershipExecutive Director, Human Resources
          Debi Williamson-- Director of Application and Web Development, Information Management Division (IMD)Executive Director of Information Technology Solutions and Design, IMD
          Terri Kimbrell-- Director of Information Systems, IMDExecutive Director of Information Systems and Support, IMD
          Mark Walls-- Assistant Director of Enterprise Information Systems, IMDDirector of Data Management, IMD