GCPS Board Meeting Summary for January 17, 2013

The following are highlights of the January 17, 2013, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Chairman Carole Boyce, Vice Chairman Daniel Seckinger, Dr. Robert McClure, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, and Louise Radloff. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board attends to annual business at first meeting of 2013
January is the month for the Gwinnett County Board of Education to elect its officers for the new calendar year. As the first order of business, Carole Boyce, who represents District I, was elected chairman for 2013. Daniel Seckinger, District 2 representative, was elected vice chairman for 2013. In accordance with policy, the School Board reaffirmed its policies, 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 2013. Adopted School Board meeting dates for 2013 include January 17, February 28, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 17, November 21, and December 19, as well as January 16, 2014. The Board will hold oversight workshops in the following areas during 2013: Business and Finance-- March 21, Construction Management/Facilities Maintenance-- July 18, Information Management-- September 19, Human Resource-- November 21, and School Nutrition-- December 19.

Board recognizes students and schools
- Board members saluted Brookwood HS' Girls Cross Country team on its AAAAAA state championship season. This is the school's sixth state championship in girls cross country. Principal Debbie Dees applauded the team and expressed their community's pride in this program. In her remarks, she expressed her appreciation for the parental support and to Head Coach Chris Carter for his work with the team, as well as for the excellent job he does in the classroom. In accepting the Board's congratulations, Coach Carter thanked the Board and Principal Dees for their support of the program. He also outlined the accomplishments of the girls on his team, remarking that the qualities that have made them outstanding athletes also have made them outstanding students.
- The Board also recognized this year's Boys Cross Country AAAAAA state champs from Mill Creek HS. This is the first cross country state championship for Mill Creek. Accompanying members of the team were Principal Jason Lane, Activities Director Gary Long, and Head Coach Andy Christie. In his remarks, Mr. Lane shared that the team represented the Mill Creek community very well and accomplished a number of "firsts" along the way. They won their first overall county title, the team's first state championship, and the first state championship of any boys team at Mill Creek HS. Head Coach Christie accepted this honor on behalf of his team, introducing his assistant coaches and the team members.
- Rounding out the night's school honors was the recognition of the Norcross HS football team as the 2012 AAAAAA Football State Champion. This is the school's first state football championship. Team members were accompanied by Principal Will Bishop, Activities Director Kirk Barton, and Head Coach Keith Maloof. The team went undefeated during this championship season, defeating
seven of the top-ranked teams. Principal Bishop thanked the Board for their support, noting that the athletic program and extracurricular activities are important to the community and to keeping students engaged. He expressed his pride in the talented students and coaches that were a part of this team. He shared that Coach Maloof and the coaching staff are the type of people you want working with your own children as they want their student athletes to be successful on the field, and, more importantly, in life. In his remarks, Coach Maloof gave special recognition to the seniors on the team, thanking them for their leadership and all they accomplished.

Outgoing Chamber President/CEO honored by BOE
The Gwinnett County Board of Education recognized Jim Maran, who has served as president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce from 2003 through 2012. The Superintendent and Board thanked Mr. Maran for his steadfast support of public education and Gwinnett County Public Schools throughout his tenure as the chamber's leader and presented him with the GCPS Public Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have exhibited outstanding involvement in and support of public education in Gwinnett County. In introducing Mr. Maran, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks shared that almost from the day Mr. Maran took office, he exhibited an interest in the school districts in Gwinnett County, as well as the postsecondary institutions. He understood that economic development in any community is inextricably tied to the quality of the educational opportunities available to its citizens. During his nine years at the Gwinnett Chamber, Mr. Maran has been an ardent supporter of both the Gwinnett Student Leadership Team and the Teachers as Leaders Program, and attended many of the functions of these groups. Under his leadership, the Chamber partnered with GCPS to launch the highly successful and popular Principal for a Day program, which pairs a business or civic leader with every principal in the school district for a day during American Education Week. He also served on the committee that helped develop plans for the district's first charter school, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

In recognition of Mr. Maran and his support for the school district and public education, the Gwinnett County Board of Education and the Board of Directors of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce are joining forces to establish a scholarship in his name. Acknowledging two areas of special importance to this outstanding leader, The Jim Maran Scholarship will be awarded to a student who intends to pursue a career either in international business or in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Contributions are being accepted now to build the fund for the scholarship, and the criteria for awarding the scholarship are being formulated, with the goal of awarding the first Jim Maran Scholarship to a graduate of the Class of 2013. Information on how to contribute to the scholarship fund will be available on the Chamber's website and on the school district Foundation's website.

School councils from Archer and North Gwinnett clusters make report to BOE
As part of the recognition portion of the meeting, representatives of local school councils from the Archer and North Gwinnett clusters made a presentation to the Board, sharing how their councils help bring parents, teachers, school administrators, and the business community together to discuss concerns and share ideas for school improvement.

Board authorizes steps to begin refunding (refinancing) of 2008 general obligation bonds
The Board authorized the CEO/Superintendent and staff to begin work with Merchant Capital, King & Spalding, and Thompson & Sweeny to prepare for a 2013 general obligation bond refunding (refinancing) as market conditions warrant. Current market conditions indicate that an opportunity exists to explore refinancing options related to the remaining General Obligation Series 2008 bonds. This would possibly affect $236 million in outstanding bond principal maturing in 2029-2036. Depending on the market conditions, this could result in potential future debt service payment savings of approximately $15 million.

Board approves revision to FY2014 Budget Development Calendar
The Board of Education approved two changes to the FY2014 Budget Development Calendar, originally approved on October 18, 2012. The Superintendent and Cabinet will meet on Friday,
March 1, 2013, to discuss FY2014 budget requests rather than dates in February. In addition, the Board Budget Work Session has been rescheduled from Saturday, April 6, to Saturday, March 30, to avoid a conflict with the Spring Break holiday. Click here to review the revised FY2014 Budget Development Calendar.

Board approves extension of strategic partner agreement
IBM has served as a strategic partner with Gwinnett County Public Schools for a number of years. The Board of Education approved an extension to the current agreement with IBM through the end of February 2013 to allow time to clarify needs, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the GCPS-IBM partnership as we move forward with district technology initiatives.

BOE continues updates to policies

Board members approved the following policy which was tabled at last month's meeting to allow for public input:
Policy DCKI- Annual Operating Budget: Changes to this policy align it with improvements in system processes.

School Board honors Louise Radloff for service as 2012 chair
The Board annually recognizes and thanks the outgoing chairman for his or her leadership and service during the year.
Louise Radloff was acknowledged during the meeting for her service as the 2012 chairman. CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks announced that the four-volume series titled "Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature" will be presented to Meadowcreek HS in honor of Mrs. Radloff's service. In addition, Radloff MS will receive a new globe for the media center and a world map to designate the countries of origin of its students.