Board of Education

Board of Education
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
Phone 301.334.8931
Fax 301.334.7621

Minutes May 13, 2008




Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Part I - Call to Order

Mr. James M. Raley, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:00 p.m.  Also in attendance were Mr. Rodney L. Durst, Vice President; Dr. Donald Forrester and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.   

Mr. Thomas Carr, associate member, was not in attendance as he was participating in an exchange program in Tunisia through the Oakland Rotary Club. 

Part II – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at this time. 

                        Part III – Executive Session

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education agreed (3-0) to move to executive session at 4:01 p.m. in accordance with Public School Law 4-106 and Section 10-508 of the State Government Code to hold an interview for the student board member applicant, for the purpose of discussing personnel matters affecting one or more individuals, and to conduct the superintendent’s evaluation.  Board members discussed personnel items which included appointments, retirements, a leave without pay request, a bus assistant for final approval, and professional leave and travel requests.  Board members also discussed proposed personnel changes for FY2009 and the superintendent’s evaluation.    

            Dr. Teets; Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration; Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction were present during all or part of the executive session. Commissioner Ernest Gregg, ex officio member, joined the meeting at 4:30 p.m.

                        Part IV – Reopening Public Session

            Mr. Raley reconvened public session at 5:55 p.m.  Mr. Brison Harvey, student board member, rejoined the meeting at this time.  The Reverend Dr. Donald Forrester, representing the Mt. Top Ministerial Association, offered a prayer, after which Mr. Harvey led the assembly in the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America.  

Part V - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the Board approved (3-0) the agenda with the addition of Student Board Member Selection under Board Concerns. 

                        Part VI – Announcements

                                                The following announcements were offered:


·        May 13:      Southern High Band Concert at 7:00 p.m.

·        May 15:      Envirothon at Bittinger 4-H Center

·        May 20:      Southern High JROTC Awards Dinner at 6:00 p.m.

·        May 22:      FFA Banquet at Northern High

·        May 26:      No School – Memorial Day

·        May 27:      ACE Meeting at GEARS Building at 7:00 p.m.

·        May 28:      Middle School Success Night at Southern Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

·        May 30:      Swan Meadow Graduation at 7:30 p.m.

·        May 31:      Crellin Corps of Discovery Civic Star Celebration at 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

·        June 1:        Northern High School Graduation at 1:00 p.m.

·        June 1:        Southern High School Graduation at 4:00 p.m.

·        June 12:      The annual Retirement Celebration will be held at Will O’ the Wisp at 6:00 p.m.

·        Swan Meadow collected the most food for the Kids Helping Kids program of all small schools in Maryland.   As reward, the state purchased $400 worth of books from Scholastic for Swan Meadow.

·        Joanna Guy won the Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest at the District level.


Additionally, Mrs. Sebold and Mr. Raley attended the Student Arts Fair at Garrett College on May 3 and expressed their appreciation of the event which included several arts activities, a reception, and a choral presentation.  Mr. Raley asked that administration convey their appreciation to staff for the efforts toward the Arts Fair. 

Part VII - Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Dr. Forrester, the Minutes of the March 31, 2008 Special Meeting were approved (3-0) as amended. 

            Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Dr. Forrester, the Minutes of April 8, 2008 were approved (3-0) as amended.

Part VIII – Continuing Business

             Mr. Raley opened the discussion relative to the Maryland Slots Referendum which was tabled at the April meeting.  Mr. Raley noted that he was approached by Commissioner Denny Glotfelty who asked that the Board of Education take a position on the issue since 70% of the monetary return of the program is slated for education.  Mr. Durst went on record as being against the referendum due to current state administration and his concerns regarding the oversight of the program.  Dr. Forrester stated that education was supposed to benefit from the lottery program, which apparently has not happened.  Commissioner Gregg felt that slots would be a short term solution to financial problems, adding that the Garrett County Commissioners voted 2-1 in favor.  Dr. Forrester moved, with a second from Mrs. Sebold, to take no action on the slots referendum.  During discussion, Mr. Durst expressed that he felt the board should vote against it.  Mr. Raley called for a vote on the motion to take no action on the slots referendum.  The board voted 2-1 with Mr. Durst voting in the negative.

            Mr. Raley asked Dr. Teets to update the board on the FY2009 budget.  Dr. Teets explained that the budget impact has been tied to reorganization of staff at the central office, and that it is important to be clear on how the reorganization evolved.   He continued by explaining that the Executive Director of Administration expressed a desire to retire, but agreed to reduce his position to .6 FTE to cover his duties in finance.  With an additional reduction of 2.0 support staff through attrition and .4 of the Executive Director by consensus of a majority of the board at the April meeting, Dr. Teets planned to hire a new Director of Personnel.  This plan would reduce staff by 1.4 positions and save approximately $45,000.   Having a Director of Personnel would consolidate personnel needs, align duties more efficiently, take certification duties from the present supervisor, and assume some duties from other instructional supervisors.  Dr. Teets stated that this reorganization was an effort to save money as well as enhance support for programs.

            In this regard, Dr. Teets added that the board received a communication from the County Administrator and Commissioners.  The letter stated that, if the Board of Education continued with the hiring of this new position, they would cut the Board’s budget by another $100,000.  After discussion and knowing the budget could not be cut another $100,000, it was agreed to not hire the new position.  Mr. Fink agreed to remain as Executive Director of Administration for the time being.

            Mr. Fink then gave an overview of the budget status.  Based upon the board’s last budget revisions, the Commissioners did not fund $166,653 of the operating budget and $50,000 of the capital program for school furniture for the Northern Middle renovation.  Mr. Raley requested on behalf of the Board of Education that the Commissioners reconsider their allocations.  The County Administrator responded that it was the Commissioners decision to not amend or change the funding as presented to the Board of Education.  Therefore, Mr. Raley requested that staff prepare additional budget cuts based upon the approved appropriations.

            Mr. Fink reviewed the latest cuts, noting that there is currently $74,000 in the budget for Northern Middle furniture and the $50,000 reduction will leave $100,000 for school furniture next year. 

            Mr. Fink explained that the transportation budget is very under funded based upon current gasoline prices as the budget was approved for gasoline prices at $3.25.  He then shared a list of possible reductions compiled by instructional staff, noting that he and Dr. Teets recommend that any funds cut in excess of the $166,653 cut by the Commissioners be transferred to the transportation budget for the fuel shortfall. 

            Additional cuts included an increase in the number of teacher reductions (from 8 to 10); a decrease of secretarial position, a foods service monitoring position, and related fixed charges; a decrease in staff development; elimination of funding for high school scheduling after school; elimination of some funding for Office Occupation textbooks, musical instruments, a special effects projector, MVLO, and mannequins; and a reduction of funding for the Transition Age Youth (TAY) program.  These proposed cuts amount to $233,306.

            Mr. Raley added that he hoped the board has met the Commissioners’ condition in accordance with their letter.  He added that he has concerns about the cuts which had to be made and anticipates that the next year’s budget will also be difficult. 

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the board voted, 3-0, to cut the budget by an additional $50,000 in capital improvement and $166,653 in the operating budget, along with the transfer of $66,653 from the instructional area to be placed in the transportation budget.  The administration also anticipates two additional staff reductions due to a retirement and transfer.  This additional anticipated sum of $100,000 was also authorized to be placed in transportation. 

            Part IX – New Business

            Mrs. Barbara Baker, Director of Elementary Education, presented an overview of the revised Board Policy 910 Parent/Community Involvement.  The changes are a recommendation from MSDE and were shared with Title I principals.  The policy will be an action item at the June meeting. 

            Mrs. Waggoner introduced Mrs. Jenny Neville, teacher at Broad Ford Elementary School, who has been named Garrett County Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009.  Accompanying Mrs. Neville was her daughter Lauren and her principal, Mrs. Suzanne Sincell.  Mrs. Sincell noted that Ms. Neville is the school technology resource and a collaborative teacher with a wonderful rapport with students.  Mrs. Neville expressed her appreciation of this honor, adding that she finds joy in her chosen profession still after 32 years.  The Maryland State Board Recognition Ceremony and Luncheon for local Teachers of the Year will be held on May 29, 2008, at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel.  Board members were asked if they wished to attend.  As Mr. Raley cannot, Mrs. Baker will attend in his stead.  Dr. Teets and the board congratulated Mrs. Neville and wished her every success. 

                        Part X – Student Recognition  

            Mr. Raley recognized Maria Duff, student at Swan Meadow School, who was invited to the board meeting to be recognized as the First Place Winner in the Sixth Grade Poetry Category in the Young Authors Contest sponsored by the State of Maryland International Reading Association.   Accompanying Maria were Mrs. Liz Gilbert, her teacher, and Mrs. Randee Craig, Principal of Swan Meadow.  All first and second place state winners of the Young Authors Contest were honored at the annual SoMIRAC meeting at Hunt Valley in April.  Maria recounted her trip with her family to Hunt Valley and the Inner Harbor, and read her poem, “Warm Summer Nights.”  Dr. Teets and board members complimented Maria on her poem and congratulated her for her award.  Maria is the daughter of Daisy and Curtis Duff. 

                        Part XI – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at 7:00 p.m.

                        Part XII – Student Recognition

            Mr. Raley recognized Mr. Bruce Taliaferro, Coordinator of the Hickory Environmental Education Center, who gave an overview of the 2nd Annual Charlie Strauss Earth Day Contest.  The contest was open to students from grades 5, 7, and 9 and presented in honor of Mr. Charles Strauss who was the first coordinator of Hickory when it was opened in 1965.  Mr. Taliaferro introduced the three student winners, listed below, who read their essays for the board:

·        Devan Helbig, grade 5, Yough Glades Elementary School

·        Brianna Callis, grade 7, Southern Middle School

·        Joni Jenkins, grade 9, Northern High School

Each student was presented with a certificate and small gift.  The board congratulated each student and thanked them for coming to the meeting to share their essays.  Board members also thanked the students’ teachers and principal who were in attendance:  Linda Martin, teacher, and Keith Harvey, Principal of Yough Glades; Jodi Wilt, teacher, Southern Middle; and Michelle Harman, teacher, Northern High.  Dr. Teets and the board also thanked the several parents and relatives of the students who were in the audience. 

                        Part XIII - Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:


·        *Appointments:            Kent Huber, Principal, FV, eff. 7/1/08

                                                Richard Stevens, Principal, KZ, eff. 7/1/08

                                                Jane Wildesen, Principal, SX, eff. 7/1/08

                                                Joshua D. Elmlinger, Band/Music Instructor, SH, eff. 8/21/08

                                                Melanie S. Roberson, English Teacher, SH, eff. 8/21/08

                                                Angela N. Taylor, English Teacher, NH, eff. 8/21/08

                                                Joyce Rodeheaver, Secretary VI, GV, eff. 8/14/08


·        *Retirements:                Naomi Beitzel, Instructional Assistant, GV, eff. 7/1/08

                                                Mary Lynn Bosley, Teacher, DR, eff. 7/1/08

                                                Thomas E. Bosley, Teacher, SH, eff. 07/01/08

                                                William Andrew Callis, Head Custodian, DR, eff. 6/1/08 

                                                Gail R. Dixon, Instructional Assistant, NH, eff. 5/1/08

                                                Leroy A. Friend, Head Custodian, SX, eff. 7/1/08 

                                                Thomas J. Graybill, Speech Therapist, DR, eff. 7/1/08 

                                                Pamela Livengood, Teacher, AC, eff. 7/1/08

                                                Donna M. Miller, Teacher, DR, eff. 7/1/08

                                                M. Pamela Thank, Teacher, DR, eff. 7/1/08

                                                M. Thomas Woods, Principal, SH, eff. 7/1/08


·        *Transportation:  Bus Assistant for Final Approval:  Janet Poli for Alice Bittner, Inc.


·        *Leave Without Pay:    Sherry Spencer, Teacher, BR. 2 days 


·        *Professional Leave and Travel Requests:

-      World Premiere International Art Show, June 2008, Basel, Switzerland  (1 staff member)

-      National Reading First Conference, July 2008, Gaylord Convention Center, Nashville TN 

                          (3 staff members) 


Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the Board approved (3-0) the superintendent’s recommendations.

                        Part XIV – Board Concerns

            Mr. Harvey presented the Student Board Member Report, noting that the GCASC meeting was held on May 3.  The Senior Citizens’ Prom sponsored by GCASC is being held on May 16; and GCASC is planning a trip to a Pittsburgh Pirates’ game.  Mr. Harvey also endorsed Ms. Joanna Guy for next year’s student board member. 

            The 10th Annual MABE Summer Leadership Conference will be held at the Holiday Inn in Cumberland on June 19-20, 2008.  Mr. Raley and Mr. Carr will attend. 

            Mr. Durst announced there will be an LSA Seminar on May 22. 

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the board voted 3-0 to select Ms. Joanna Guy as the 2008-2009 Student Member of the Board. 

                        Part XV –Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

                        Part XVII - Information Items


            In addition to the listed items, Board members received the MSDE booklet: High School Assessments & Your Child.   

a.        April 2008 Attendance Bulletin

b.        Home & School Connection, May 2008


________________________________________ _______________________________________
James M. Raley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   June 10, 2008