GCPS Board Meeting Summary for August 19, 2010

The following are highlights of the August 19, 2010, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Board members present included Chairman Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Vice Chairman Dr. Robert McClure, Carole Boyce, Louise Radloff, and Daniel D. Seckinger. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.

Board honors award-winning students and staff
-- The Gwinnett County Board of Education acknowledged the service of the outgoing presidents of the three Gwinnett PTA Councils. Chief of Staff Berney Kirkland extended the district's thanks to Nancy Turner, Area I PTA Council; Mari Beth Cameron, Area II PTA Council; and Rhonda Rice and Terry Santerfeit, Area III PTA Council. These leaders have been key to the success of PTA in Gwinnett, offering support at the district level and for local schools. Carol Ranft, Georgia PTA District 12 Director, accompanied the honorees. Mrs. Cameron thanked the Board on behalf of the Councils and expressed her pleasure in serving on the PTA leadership team. She said, "We serve our parents, teachers, and students very well. As Council leaders, we take great pride in all that our local units do to support teaching and learning."
-- School Board members congratulated Christa Kirksey-Huggins on her designation as Georgia School Social Worker of the Year by the School Social Workers Association of Georgia. This award recognizes an outstanding member of the association who has made a significant contribution to the profession of school social work, both locally and statewide. Ms. Kirksey-Huggins has been with GCPS since 1993 and is a former state president of the association.
-- The Board recognized the leaders and community members involved in the district's Community-Based Mentoring Program. This program provides community-based mentoring to identified at-risk students. The mentors volunteer their time and talent to establish one-on-one and small-group mentoring relationships with middle school students. Mentors receive training to work with their mentees in the areas of developing self-respect, effective communication, leadership skills, and financial literacy through numerous workshops and activities. Under the leadership of James Rayford and Andrew Toney, the mentoring program has grown. More than 100 adult males have been trained and have helped the district serve more than 86 young men. Mentor Lanier Levett shared with School Board members that being a mentor has made him a better man. He publicly thanked Mr. Rayford and Mr. Toney for the "stand-up" job they have done to involve adults and young men in the mentoring program. On behalf of those involved, Mr. Levett presented both Mr. Rayford and Mr. Toney with Leadership Awards for Men and Youth in Action for their outstanding vision, dedication, and commitment to excellence.
-- Collins Hill HS administrators, coaches, and a number of the school's student-athletes were on hand at the meeting to receive congratulations on a successful year in athletics. Collins Hill HS earned the Regions Director's Cup, presented by Regions Bank and the Georgia Athletic Directors Association. The Cup is awarded to the school whose athletic department has excelled and shown superior performance. This is the second time Collins Hill HS has earned this recognition. The success of the school's athletic programs were last recognized with the Regions Directors Cup in 2005-06. Principal Glenn McFall praised Activities Director Roland Wallace, the staff of Collins Hill HS, and their students on the school's continued success. In addressing the Board, he said, "This is a community that has worked hard for a very long time to provide the best opportunities for our students. We have excellent teachers and coaches who work with our young people in providing these opportunities."
-- Among Collins Hill HS' successful sports was the school's girls golf team which won its first state championship in 2009-10. Roland Wallace, activities director, expressed the school's pride in this team and their championship season. The team's coaches are Bob Warman and Brett Savage. Head Coach Warman called his team's accomplishments "a dream come true." In addition to sharing his team's success on the links, Coach Warman shared his pride in their academic success. He also thanked the parents of his golfers, the administrators of Collins Hill HS, and the Collins Hill golf course for their support of the school's golf program.
-- Another example of the success of Collins Hill HS' extracurricular activities can be found in its boys soccer team, which won its second consecutive state championship in 2009-10. In introducing this honor, Mr. Wallace commended first-year Head Coach Drew Prentice, on the team's success. In addressing the Board, Coach Prentice shared a number of his team's accomplishments. The team started the season ranked #4 in the nation and achieved a #1 ranking in the nation within a month. The team finished the season #4 in the nation with a 20-2 record, improving on the previous year's 19-3 record. In addition, a number of team members earned individual awards and five seniors are now playing Division I soccer.

BOE approves applications for additional funding
The Board approved a resolution authorizing the district to apply for a $50 million allocation of State Qualified School Construction Bonds. If the district is a recipient of these bonds, it will result in an estimated $17 million in bond-interest savings. In addition, the School Board approved the district's Capital Outlay Application for 2012, requesting the use of multi-year accumulated regular and growth funds in the amount of $4,185,637. These funds will be used in conjunction with local funds to construct lighting replacement at one school, roof replacement at two schools, and HVAC upgrades at six schools.

Board continues updates to policies
The Board tabled the following policies until its next meeting to allow for public input:
Policy DJE- Purchasing-- Staff has recommended minor changes to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GAAA- Equal Opportunity-- Staff has recommended minor changes to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GAE- Complaints and Grievances-- Staff has recommended minor changes to this policy to align it with improvements in system processes.
Policy GBO- Personnel Resignations and Reemployment-- Staff has recommended changes to this policy to align it with mandates in state and/or federal law.

Citizens addressing the Board
Jean Spencer