GCPS Board Meeting Summary for January 14, 1999

          Dr. Mary Kay Murphy to Lead Board in 1999
          The Board's January meeting is the traditional time for electing its officers for the new year, for setting the Board's meeting calendar, and for taking care of other annual business matters. The School Board elected 1998 Vice Chairman Dr. Mary Kay Murphy of District III as its 1999 chairman, and tapped District I representative Dr. Billy Britt as vice chairman.
          During 1999, the Board will meet in regular session on the second Thursday of each month, except April, when the meeting will be held on the third Thursday to avoid conflicting with spring break. All meetings will be held in the Board Room at Lawrenceville East beginning at 7 p.m. on the following dates: January 14, February 11, March 11, April 15, May 13, June 10, July 8, August 12, September 9, October 14, November 11, and December 9.
          In other annual business, the Board reaffirmed its policies for governance of the school system, reappointed the law firm of Thompson and Sweeny as its legal counsel, and approved the continued use of The Gwinnett Daily Post as its official legal organ.

          Principals Named for Six Schools
          At its meeting on January 14, the Gwinnett County Board of Education approved principal appointments for six elementary schools for next school year.
          • David Friend, currently an assistant principal at Fort Daniel Elementary, will be the principal of Dacula Elementary.
          • Suzanne Dressel, assistant principal at Nesbit Elementary, will lead Kanoheda Elementary next year.
          • Kanoheda Elementary Principal Gary Yetter will transfer to Harmony Elementary.
          • Lawrenceville Elementary will be led by Dorothy Hines, current assistant principal of Meadowcreek Elementary.
          • Shirley Millicans, an assistant principal at Beaver Ridge Elementary, will be the principal of Bethesda Elementary.
          • Bron Gayna Schmit, an assistant principal at Walnut Grove Elementary, will succeed Deanna Fraker as principal of the school. Ms. Fraker has announced her retirement at the end of this school year.
            The 1999 principal positions at Dacula Elementary, Harmony Elementary, Bethesda Elementary, and Lawrenceville Elementary became open after last month's Board meeting in which the current administrators of those schools were named as principals of four new schools that will open next year.
            In an additional action, the Board named Dr. Gwen Tatum, assistant principal at Norcross High, as principal of the 1999 summer school program.

            Board Approves Loan to Berkmar High
            The Board increased a $400,000 loan to Berkmar High to $700,000. The increased loan will allow the following improvements to the Berkmar Community Stadium to be made-- a brand new stadium with an additional 4,000 new seats, a 70-foot addition to the existing field house, two new restroom facilities, a state-of-the-art concession area, an indoor baseball/softball facility that will include a locker room and storage area, two new baseball dugouts, and all new underground plumbing.

            State and National Award Winners Recognized
            • Britt Elementary Principal Gloria Sheppard and a group of the school's teachers and staff accepted the Board's congratulations on being named a Georgia School of Excellence.
            • The Board honored Principal Judith Rogers and the staff of Norcross High for their work which enabled Norcross High to earn a 1998-99 Georgia School of Excellence title.
            • Jackie Ellett of Fort Daniel Elementary was recognized as the Georgia Art Educators Association's Georgia Art Educator of the Year.
            • A group of Brookwood High students performed a musical production number from "The 1940's Radio Hour," the one-act play which earned the students the state championship in this year's literary competition. Students Ann Jackson and Scott Nelson were recognized for individual honors they earned at the competition. The students were accompanied by Principal Connie Corley, and teachers Patty Lindahl, Anna D'Antonio, and Ken Lindahl. The students also are one of 10 groups in the world chosen to participate in the International Thespian Convention this summer.
            • In observance of School Board Appreciation Week in Georgia and the nation (January 11-15), Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks commended the members of the School Board for their tireless efforts on behalf of Gwinnett's students. He said, "...Gwinnett's School Board members are making great progress in advancing higher standards, more accountability, and better educational programs. Our citizens, students, and employers are fortunate to have the five individuals who currently serve as our elected representatives on the Gwinnett County Board of Education."

              Board Reverses Change to Beaver Ridge Elementary/Norcross Elementary Attendance Lines
              The Board approved a motion to reverse its April 20, 1998, action to move approximately 51 students from Beaver Ridge Elementary to Norcross Elementary in August. An unanticipated decline in enrollment at Beaver Ridge this year, and a projected decline for next year, make it no longer necessary to move the students. This action will keep Beaver Ridge Elementary's zone exactly as it exists today.

              Sale of Short-Term Construction Notes Approved
              The Board adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of $75,000,000 in principal of construction sales tax notes for the calendar year 1999. These notes are to be issued as a temporary loan in anticipation of the revenue that will be generated by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in 1999. Note proceeds will be used to pay expenses relating to the 1997 SPLOST-funded capital program. The notes will retire on December 31, 1999. Similar notes were issued in 1998 and provided a constant funding source for capital projects while maximizing investment opportunities.
              This action results in no net cost to the school system. Investing the proceeds and sales tax receipts will provide the opportunity for additional revenues, depending on the school system's cash flow and the interest rate environment. The school district was able to earn in excess of $900,000 in additional interest earnings on the proceeds from the 1998 construction notes.

              Revision to Policy IHF, Graduation Requirements Tabled for Input
              The proposed revision to the Graduation Requirements policy was tabled for input until the February 11 Board meeting. The proposed revision reflects recent revisions in the State Board of Education's policy. It specifically adds fine arts courses as acceptable state electives.

              Board Approves IBM Contract for Y2K Support Services
              As part of the school system's Y2K readiness plan, additional technical support services will be needed in 1999. The School Board approved a contract with the system's technology integrator, IBM, for these special services.

              EMCs Refund Portion of Utility Payments
              A check in the amount of $44,671 was presented to the Board during the 6:30 p.m. public forum by representatives of the Jackson and Walton electric membership cooperatives. Each year the utility providers refund money paid by the Board for electricity that is over and above the actual cost for the utility service.