Superintendent contract, hunter safety focus of March DBOE meeting

The superintendent’s contract, a hunter safety day and personnel changes were on the agenda at the Daleville Board of Education’s March 20 meeting.

Board Chairman Steve Kirkland told the board Superintendent Dr. Diane Flournoy’s contract will expire in June.

“The contract does not have any extension options contained in it and has a final end date of June 30,” he said. “The board essentially has two options.”

He said the board can approve an extension of the contract or it can “declare an impending vacancy.”

“If the board moves in this direction, we will need to set a work session or a special-called meeting to prepare a timeline for posting the vacancy and conducting the hiring process of the position of superintendent of education.”

Flournoy was named interim superintendent on Feb. 17, 2016, after former superintendent Andrew Kelley resigned. She was named the official superintendent of Daleville City Schools on June 8, 2016, under a one-year contract, which was set to end on June 30, 2017.

During a June 27, 2017 meeting, the board renewed Flournoy’s contract for another two years until June 30, 2019.

After Kirkland presented the item to the board, only board member Barbara Davis spoke, saying she was in favor of the renewal of Flournoy’s contract.

“Mr. Chairman, I know you discussed with Dr. Flournoy as to what her wishes are, and she’s expressed to you that she would like to stay on another year… or two,” Davis said. “I am supporting her in this. I would like to see her stay on another year or two.”

Other board members did not comment on the item of business.

She did not, however, make a motion to renew her contract, stating “everybody’s silent. I know if I do that, (the motion is) going to fail.”

No action was taken on the superintendent’s contract during the meeting. The board set a date for a special-called board meeting for Wednesday, March 27, that was later cancelled.

A special-called work session was later called for Wednesday, April 10, with a meeting following the work session to discuss the “impending superintendent vacancy.”

In other business, the board approved a Hunter Safety Education Day proposed by Daleville High School teacher Franky Jackson.

This will be the second year for the event. In a letter to the board to request approval for the event, Jackson said students will learn how to properly handle firearms and bows while under “strict supervision of law enforcement officers, game wardens and others trained in firearm safety instruction.”

The event will only be available for students who have their hunter education certification, according to Jackson’s letter.

“As part of my Fish and Wildlife class, we do a hunter safety education (course), but we do not have any live firearms because we are a firearm-free campus,” Jackson told the board. “My whole deal out of the hunter education (day) is to have children understand about firearms. I want them to understand that firearms are a tool that can be very dangerous.”

He said the event, sponsored by the DHS FFA, is planned to be held at Tri State Gun Club on April 10.

Director of Programs Katheryne Horace spoke with the board about previous and upcoming assessments, especially those related to the system’s overall report card grade.

“That’s where our school accountability (is) and… it feeds into our school grade,” she said. “It’s pretty important.”

She said 107 English Learner (EL) students, an increase from about 25 students, recently completed ACCESS testing. This group has increased from about 25 students taking the test.

Horace said the hiring of a new EL teacher, Bethany Azar, and paraprofessional Nilda Lugo are the reason for the increase of students taking the assessment test.

She announced that the 11th grade ACT test has been administered, and the Scantron assessment test will be administered “in the spring” to third through eighth grades.

Horace also announced AP tests will be administered to AP students in May.

The board also approved the following personnel changes:

Employment:

Chad Wester, bus driver, starting March 4;

Resignations:

Barry Gardner, secondary science teacher, effective March 16;

Marcus Howell, part-time assistant principal at Windham Elementary School, effective March 8; and,

Kristen Cooper, math teacher at Daleville High School, effective the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The board voted to table a decision on the system’s 2019-20 school calendar. This calendar has the teacher institute day set for July 30, and the first day of school set for Aug. 5. Graduation is set for May 22, 2020.

"This calendar includes two days that we will dismiss students early for teacher-parent conference days," Flournoy said.

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