Board of Education

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

Minutes December 8, 2008



Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Part I - Call to Order

Mr. James M. Raley, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:15 p.m.  Also in attendance were Mr. Rodney L. Durst, Vice President; Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, and Mr. Thomas Carr, associate members and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.

Part II – Public Comment

            Mr. Rob Sharps was present to discuss his thoughts on the possibility of an increase in graduation credits which includes requiring a financial literacy class.  He expressed his pleasure and excitement in this regard and stated that he fully supports the recommendation as it was presented to the Advisory Council on Education (ACE) several weeks ago.  Mr. Sharps thanked the Board of Education and Dr. Teets and his staff for their attention to this matter.  Mr. Raley thanked him for his positive comments.  Mr. Sharps hopes this decision will lead to students who have better schedules and are thus better prepared for the real world.  He shared a copy of the Southern Garrett High School Alumni Association Alumni News as well as informing the Board of a $1,500 donation that will be given to the school by the alumni to purchase a smart board and projector.  Dr. Teets expressed his appreciation to Mr. Sharps for his leadership.

                        Part III – Executive Session

            Upon a motion by Mr. Carr, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education agreed (3-0) to move to executive session at 4:22 p.m. in accordance with Public School Law 4-106 and Section 10-508 of the State Government Code for the purpose of discussing personnel matters affecting one or more individuals. Board members discussed personnel items which included appointments, emergency coaches, volunteer coaches, transportation approvals, professional leave request, and negotiations

            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. Mr. Ernie Gregg joined the meeting at 4:40 p.m. during the executive session.

                        Part IV – Reopening Public Session

            Mr. Raley reconvened public session at 5:40 p.m.  Rev. Pat Kerr, representing the Mt. Top Ministerial Association, offered a prayer, after which Mr. Raley led the assembly in the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America.  Ms. Guy, Student Board Member, joined the meeting at 5:42 p.m. 

Part V - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board approved (3-0) the agenda. 

                        Part VI – Meeting with Local State Representatives

            Senator George C. Edwards and Delegate Wendell R. Beitzel were present to discuss issues that are relevant to the upcoming session.  The Board asked that there not be any state funding responsibilities passed back to the county governments or local school systems; that the 1% supplemental grant in law for FY ‘10 be protected and support an extension for FY ‘11 and beyond pending the rebirth of Thorton; that Labor Relations Board not be supported; that any changes to the current employee negotiations legislation that would erode local board of education’s authority or the superintendent’s authority not be supported; and that any legislation that creates “Unfunded Mandates” not be supported.  The Board also asked that the Superintendent be contacted before signing on or voting for any legislation that would impact education to determine its effect on Garrett County Schools. Senator Edwards and Delegate Beitzel thanked the Board for dinner and for their comments in regards to the issues presented.  Mr. Raley thanked both for their time.  Dr. Teets and the Board expressed his appreciation for the work that is done by both representatives and for their accessibility.      

Dr. Forrester joined the meeting at 5:50 p.m.

                        Part VII – Announcements

                                                The following announcements were offered:


  • December 10                           7:00 p.m.  Swan Meadow Christmas Program
  • December 10 & 11                  Drama Presentation – NHS “Student Night Live”
  • December 10, 11, & 12           Drama Presentation – SHS “Wild Oats”
  • December 15                           7:00 p.m.  Southern Middle Band Concert
  • December 18                           7:00 p.m.  Northern High Band Concert
  • December 18                           7:00 p.m.  Northern Middle Band/Chorus Concert
  • December 19                           9:00 a.m.  Northern Middle Band/Chorus Concert
  • December 23                           Students dismissed at noon
  • December 24 – January 4        Christmas Holiday (All schools and offices closed)


  • Congratulations was given to the team and coaches of Next Gen.  This is the third consecutive year that Next Gen of Southern Middle School has won the Chairman's Award as the best team from over 70 teams.  The past two years they won the Maryland competition and this year the Penn. Tournament.  We will have 3 other county teams in competition in Maryland the end of January. 


  • The NeXT GEN FIRST LEGO League Team competed this past Saturday in the Pittsburgh, PA Championship


The team won the following:


1st Champion's Award

1st Robot Performance

1st Research

2nd Technical

3rd Teamwork and they were in the Top 10 in Programming


The team has earned the honor to attend the first, ever, "FLL United States Open Championship" in Dayton, Ohio in May!


Congratulations to Daniel Adams, Zach Frick, Andrew Hauser, Rachael Huxford, Devon Jobe, Levi Lantz, Rebecca Lee, and Colin Lynch


  • ROBOTICS TEAM 1629 receives competitive NASA grant to attend Washington D C Regional on Feb 25-27th


  • IAC audit of our school construction funds was excellent with no material findings


  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Contest Winners:  163 contestants:  Patriots Pen Contest/XS: Top 3:  Kayi McKenzie, Jordyn Folk and Chris McCann all of NXS;   Voice of Democracy Contest/high school:  Ashleigh Friend of NHS first, Shayna Sweitzer of SHS 2nd, Rachel Margroff of NHS 3rd.


Part VIII - Approval of Minutes


Upon a motion by Mr. Carr, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Minutes of November 11, 2008, were approved (4-0) as amended. 

Due to some of the Board members having to leave early, the following new business was moved to the beginning of the meeting.

Part X – New Business

            Mr. Fink presented the request of the Garrett County Commissioners that the Board of Education’s undesignated/unreserved fund balance at the end of each fiscal year be reduced from $800,000 to $500,000.  Mr. Fink explained that this will have very little impact.  There will be fewer funds in reserve in case of unexpected costs and there will be less interest income generated in the Board’s budget due to the reduction.  Dr. Teets and Mr. Fink feel that the Board should consider this reduction.

            There was discussion regarding how it is determined if the undesignated/unreserved funds come from state or county funding.  Mr. Fink explained that due to the way the budget is done there is no way to establish if the funds came from the state or the county.  Mr. Fink informed the Board that if the balance is dropped below the designated level and the Board can’t maintain that balance, then the County Commissioners will provide additional funding.  Mr. Fink also informed the Board that he had a discussion with Wendy Yoder, Director of Financial Services, regarding executing a new memorandum of understanding stating that if the Board drops below the designated amount then the balance will be maintained by the County Commissioner and if the balance is greater than the designated amount, it will be given back to the County Commissioners at the end of the fiscal year.  Mr. Fink informed the Board that if the decision is made to reduce the amount it will be effective for FY ’09. 

            Dr. Forrester made a motion to reduce the Board of Education’s end of year unreserved/undesignated fund balance from $800,000 to $500,000.  Although while it is prudent management practice to maintain a 3% to 4% balance, this lower balance will provide increased funding for county government.  The Board further notes that county government has previously agreed in the unlikely event that the unreserved/undesignated balance falls below the agreed upon amount that the Board of County Commissioners will appropriate funding to reestablish the balance back to the agreed upon amount and that the Board of Education will refund any amount in excess of that amount to the County Commissioners.  This action is effective beginning with the FY ’09 budget.  Mr. Carr seconded the motion and the Board of Education approved unanimously (4-0).

            Mr. Thomas presented the Board with Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Procedure amendments for approval.  He informed the board that there was discussion at the July meeting in regards to the fact that the Board will no longer be subject to the 25% MBE goal.  Mr. Thomas pointed out that this is a good move for the Board of Education because it is often difficult to reach that percentage in this demographic area.  He, also, informed the Board that there was no record of action being taken on the initial change of the Procedure at the July meeting. Since then two amendments have been added, therefore, he was requesting acceptance of the entire document.

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education  accepted the new Minority Business Enterprise Procedures (4-0) that were presented in July as well as the two new amendments to the MBE Procedures as presented. 

            Mrs.  Sebold and Mr. Raley left the meeting at 6:05 p.m. 

The Board continued to Continuing Business.  Mr. Durst, Vice President, served as President for the remainder of the meeting.

                        Part IX – Continuing Business

            Mrs. Waggoner presented for Mr. Lear due to his absence.  She presented the agriculture text, Introduction to Agronomy:  Foods, Crops and Environment, Delmar Cengage Learning, 2009 and Introduction to Plant Science-Revised, Delmar Learning, 2004.  Mrs. Waggoner informed the Board that there were no comments on the textbooks during the designated time period.  Dr. Teets recommended the text books for acceptance.  Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education approved the text books (3-0).  This included a vote by acting President, Mr. Durst.

            Mr. Gregg left the meeting at 6:30 p.m.

            Dr. Teets informed the Board that the computer bid for Northern Middle School was awarded to Insight Systems Exchange of Ellicott City, Maryland.  The Board has an excellent experience record with this company and they have been very dependable.

                        Part X – New Business

            Sue Waggoner reviewed a proposed textbook and lab manual for grade ten for Project Lead the Way.  The text Digital Electronics, Fifth Edition, Thomson Delmar Learning, 2007, will be on display for public review and comment for two weeks prior to being an action item on the January agenda. 

            Mr. Thomas presented an update on the Northern Middle and Grantsville Elementary projects.  He informed the Board that the Grantsville project is 96% complete and is on schedule.  A power point presentation of construction pictures was then shared with the Board.

            Mr. Thomas informed the Board that the Northern Middle School project is behind schedule but progressing.  A request for a recovery schedule has been sent to the contractor and a response was  received today regarding the recovery schedule.  The project should be 90% complete at this point in time but is only 84% complete.  This extends the completion date to April 13, 2009 with the earliest possible completion date of March 31, 2009.  Mr. Thomas stated that most issues are contract related and that some are architectural. The Board would like for him to keep them informed on where the fault lies for the delay.   Mr. Thomas expressed his displeasure with the progress of the building and he also expressed that he does not want substandard work just to get the work done.  He also explained to the Board that the furniture has been ordered and delivery dates have been given.  The contractor has rented trailers to store the furniture.  A power point presentation of construction  pictures was then shared with the Board.

                        Part XI – Public Comment

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

                        Part XII – Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

  • *Appointments:             Gregory Foley, Infants & Toddler Special Ed Teacher, eff. 01/05/09

Robyn Bagley, Secretary III, CO, eff. 01/05/09

Anthony Miller, Custodian IV, BF, eff. 12/22/08

Donita Shaw, Secretary/Media Assistant, BL, eff. 01/05/09

Lisa Sweitzer, Custodian III, BF, eff. 12/22/08



  • *Emergency Coaches:   Jordan Brenneman, Assistant Wrestling, NH

Chris Elliott, Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach, NH

Diane Smith, Mock Trial Advisor, NH


  • *Volunteer Coaches:      Cory Bosley, Volunteer, Boys Basketball, SH

Jill Bosley, Volunteer, Indoor Track, SH

James Burns, Volunteer, Boys Basketball, SH

Lyndsi Butler, Volunteer, Girls Basketball, NH

Frederick (Chuck) Fitzwater, Volunteer, Wrestling Coach, SH

Gladys Gank, Volunteer, Band Chaperone, SH

Justin Gregory, Volunteer, Wrestling, SH

Donnie Horner, Volunteer, Softball, SH

                                             Kenneth Michael, Volunteer, Softball, SH


·        *Transportation:                 Drivers-Final Approval:     Mary Myers for William Fitzwater, III

                                                                                          Dennis Wolfe for Roland Murphy

                                                                                          Kenneth Green for Bertha Green Bus Service, Inc.


·        *Professional Leave and Travel Requests:

                  - Teaching American History Grant Weekend Tour, February 13-16, 2009, Birmingham, AL



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

                        Part XIII – Recognition

            Mr. Jim Thomas, Director of Facilities, Maintenance and Operations, Mr. Matt Eggleston, Principal, and Mr. William Hady, Jr., Head Custodian of Grantsville Elementary School were recognized on behalf of the Grantsville Elementary School with a Governor’s Citation for highest standards for school maintenance during the 2007-2008 school year. 

            Jenny Neville, Teacher of the Year, was recognized by the Board of Education.  Mrs. Suzanne Sincell, Principal at Broad Ford Elementary and Mrs. Barbara Baker, Director of Elementary Education, were also present.  A DVD highlighting Mrs. Neville was presented to each school to view on the county wide staff development day as well as to each Board member.

            Mrs. Neville shared a power point presentation.  She highlighted all of the opportunities she has had as Teacher of the Year and also some upcoming events.  She expressed her feeling of honor for all the support she has received from her co-workers.  Mrs. Neville informed the Board of her plans for a Western Maryland Retreat for all those chosen for Teacher of the Year.  Dr. Teets congratulated Mrs. Neville.  An engraved plaque was presented to Mrs. Neville which will be on display at Broad Ford Elementary School. 

            Mrs. Sincell, Principal, expressed her feelings of good fortune of having Mrs. Neville on her staff and of the talents that she possesses.  A tree has been planted in the honor of Mrs. Neville at Broad Ford Elementary School.

Part X – New Business (Continued)

            Mrs. Bell was present to present recommended changes for the Hickory Environmental Education Policies and Procedures.  Mr. Bruce Taliaferro, Coordinator and Mr. Jim Hart, Teacher, were also present. 

Mrs. Bell reviewed the recommended changes to Policy 723.5, Hickory Environmental Education Center Fee Structure, Policy 831.4, Policy Denying Access to School Building and Grounds, Policy 173.32, Hickory Environmental Education Center Advisory Committee.  The revision to policy to 723.5 suggests removing the statement in regards to Garrett College being charged for using the facility.  The revision to Policy 831.4 makes changes to the titles of central office personnel.  The revision to Policy 173.32 adds that the minutes of meetings and brief overview of programs will be provided to Board members annually.

            Mrs. Bell also reviewed the recommended changes to Administrative Procedure 173.32a, Hickory Environmental Education Center Advisory Committee.  The recommended changes include that meetings will be conducted as needed to address issues and curricular needs, meeting will be chaired by the Coordinator of the Center, and the Advisory Committee will be divided into two sub-committees to address specific areas (Policy/Procedures and Instructional).  Action on the recommendations will be placed on the January agenda.

            Mrs. Bell also reviewed the recommended change made to the Extra Curricular Handbook.  The recommended change states that if a student becomes ineligible during the fourth marking period/end of second semester, the ineligibility period begins the first day of fall practice.  She also shared this recommend change will be updated in Policy 347.7, Curricular, Co-Curricular, And Extra-Curricular Activities. Action on the recommendations will be placed on the January agenda. 

The recommended procedure changes for Procedure 347.71, Curricular, Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities was discussed.  The recommended change is a revised chart to reflect curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities. 

Mrs. Bell presented the recommendations for the 2013 Cohort.  The recommendations include an increase in graduation credits from 21 to 23, a requirement of four mathematics credits and four science credits, a requirement for all students to complete a Financial Literacy course (Personal Financial Mathematics, Financial Management, or Economics), that the freshman are provided an opportunity to select to enroll in honors/merit biology in ninth grade, and to eliminate the Freshman Seminar requirement.  It is felt that these recommendations will keep more students in school. 

Lisa Thayer Welch, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Education (ACE) was present to speak in favor of the 2013 Cohort recommendations.  She explained to the Board that the ACE Committee has seen the recommendations and that they believe this action will enhance academic rigor and support for students.  She expressed that ACE Committee believes the staff has been very responsive to the interest and concerns of those on the committee.  On behalf of ACE, she is urging the adoption of these recommendations. 

Mrs. Bell reviewed the revised recommendations for Policy 331, Maryland and Garrett County Graduation Requirements.  The recommendations include an increase from 21 to 23 credits needed for graduation, a change in the amount of credits required for mathematics, science, and financial literacy, and enhance support to remediation related to the HSAs.  Action on the recommendations will be placed on the January agenda. 

Mrs. Bell reviewed the numerous revisions for the Student Education Planning Guide (SEPG).  Discussion followed as to whether or not the SEPG should go to print prior to official board approval.

Mr. Durst thanked Mrs. Bell for her hard work and also thanked the ACE committee.  He stated that the reward of the Board is seeing the recommendations take shape.

Part XIV – Board Business

      Ms. Guy informed the Board that during a School Improvement Team (SIT) meeting held on December 8, 2008 the topic of AP testing and HSA requirements was discussed.  She explained that the goal is to increase AP scores as well as AP enrollment.  She thinks that it will be difficult to do both at the same time.  AP teachers have to do HSA remediation. 

Ms. Guy suggested that students are not going to after school remediation and may be more inclined to do so if incentives were offered.  Examples of incentives given by Ms. Guy were pizza parties and movie tickets.  She doesn’t feel as though the reality has set in for those students who will not graduate and she feels as though it will not set in until students see seniors being retained because they haven’t passed.  She feels that if remediation is done during the school day students won’t have a choice but to take the HSA remediation.

Dr. Teets asked Ms. Guy how she feels about the proposed graduation requirements.  She said that she thinks it is a great idea.  It’s good to have the modified schedule for those that have jobs but feels that for the most part kids just want to sleep in.  The Board thanked Ms. Guy.

                  Part X – New Business (Continued)

Mr. Fink explained to the Board that MSDE requires that the Board complete a Bi-Annual Financial Report.  This report shows if there are any problems in the school system or any signs that the school system is in a deficit for the year.  The Board president is required to sign off that there aren’t any problems anticipated and that the year will not end in a deficit.  Mr. Fink assured the Board that there will not be a deficit at the end of the year. 

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners sent a memo to the Board of Education in regards to the date set for the Garrett County Salary Review Commission to study the compensation of elected and appointed officials.  The date set for the Board of Education is Tuesday, February 10, 2009.  Due to this being scheduled during the same time as the February Board meeting, it will be requested that the date be changed.

It was discussed that the mileage allowance will be reduced to .55 cents effective January 1, 2009.

Mr. Carr informed the Board that LSA meets this Thursday.

            Part XV –Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Part XVI - Information Items

            In addition to the listed items, Board members received:

a.      November 2008 Attendance Bulleting

b.      Erate Funding YTD

c.      Invitation to MABE Annual Legislative Luncheon

d.      December 2008 Home & School Connection

e.      December 2008 HOPE Health Newsletter

f.       December 2008 School Activities Calendar

g.      Garrett County Community Resources Survey Results



________________________________________ _______________________________________
James M. Raley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   January 13, 2009