Board of Education

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

Minutes February 10, 2009



Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Part I - Call to Order

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

            Part II – Public Comment

            Ms. Meredith Vagnetti, employee, was present for public comment to express her gratitude to the board for offering dependent health insurance up to age 25.  Mr. Fink explained to the board that Maryland House Bill 1057, the Family Coverage Expansion Act, which was passed in late 2007 and went into effect January 2008, was designed to extend health benefits to accommodate unmarried children under the age of 25, regardless of student status. 

                        Part III – Executive Session

            Upon a motion by Tom Carr, the Board of Education agreed (4-0) to move to executive session at 4:03 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, resignations, emergency coaches, volunteer coaches, professional leave requests, negotiations and renewal of the superintendent’s contract

            Dr. Teets, Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration; Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction; and Commissioner Ernie Gregg ; were present during all or part of the executive session.

                         Part IV – Reopening Public Session

            Mr. Durst reconvened public session at 5:45 p.m.  Dr. Forrester, representing the Mt. Top Ministerial Association, offered a prayer, after which Ms. Guy, student board member, 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, the Board approved (4-0) the agenda, as amended.  Additions to the agenda were information on the capital projects at Grantsville Elementary and Northern Middle and Booster/Parent Groups.

                        Part VI – Announcements

                                                The following announcements were offered:


·        February 16:  President’s Day – School in session

·        February 27 – 28:  Washington, D.C. Robotics competition

·        March 13 – 14:  Pittsburgh Robotics competition

·        Crellin Elementary School is being featured as the February 2009 “Best Practices of the Month” school on the Maryland Center for Character Education website.  In addition, the school is being recognized statewide as an award-winning Character Education school. 

·        On Sunday, February 15, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. the Garrett Engineering and Robotics Society (GEARS) Building will be open for you to stop in to see how this year’s robot is progressing and actually see Meshach 5.0 in action.

Meshach 5.0 is due to ship out on February 17th, so in addition to the Open House, Sunday will also be a work day for the team.  Beginning at 4:00 p.m. members of the Team will be offering tours of the various work areas so you that you might see the students and mentors in action.

Two of the five First Lego League (FLL) teams from the Southern and Northern ends of the county will also be demonstrating their robots.

Also, being demonstrated will be the 4-H/First Tech Challenge (FTC) team robot.

The GEARS building is located in Accident, Maryland in the old Phenix Technologies building behind Garrett Container.


Dr. Teets reported that the Grantsville Elementary School project is just about finished.  He and Duane Yoder will work together to coordinate a possible date for an open house.  Mr. Yoder hopes to have state funding agency representation attend.   Scheduling will be discussed at the March meeting. 

Northern Middle School is progressing with the classroom section basically completed.  The gymnasium and cafeteria are the focus of work needed for completion.  The contractors are also working on change orders.  Dr. Teets reported that they are doing a good job and is hoping that April is the target date for completion.  He stated that the building looks nice and is going to be a beautiful facility.  However, construction is taking longer than anticipated but Mr. Thomas is working with the contractor to ensure that the job is done correctly. 

                        Part VII - Approval of Minutes


Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, the Minutes of January 13, 2009, were unanimously approved, as amended. 

Part VIII – Continuing Business

            Dr. Teets gave an update on the budget and the budget calendar due to some uncertainty at the present time.  He explained that originally there was going to be $30,000 cut in state aid and now with House Bill 101, the Budget Reconciliation Bill, there are over $704,000 of cuts in state aid.  This consists mainly of the one percent supplemental grants and non-public school placements.   Dr. Teets informed the Board that funding for the Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) could possibly be reinstated pending stimulus package funding.  He explained that Garrett County is not eligible for the funding but it does impact twelve counties in the state.  There will be seventeen counties losing funding due to House Bill 101.  The superintendents are working with their legislators to try and get the Bill amended.    

            Mr. Fink added that until it is known what is going to happen with the federal stimulus package, it is difficult to project state funding.  He stated that it was previously suggested that the budget be presented to the Board the first week in March prior to the March board meeting.  He suggested patience at this time and waiting for more concrete information before putting a budget forward.  Mr. Fink also suggested presenting the budget to the Board at the regular March meeting and then holding a special meeting for consideration of the budget.  However, if the budget is still too much in flux, he suggested not presenting the budget at the March board meeting but at a later date.

            Mr. Fink informed the Board that he, county government, and the college have had discussions with the consultants from CBIZ on the health insurance and that the Board should be expecting a significant rate increase.  Mr. Fink also informed the Board that proposals from CareFirst will be received this month.  Moving the budget presentation to the March board meeting will also allow for more time to have the insurance cost in place. He reminded the Board that the budget has to be completed in time to meet the requirements of the county.  It was decided that the budget will be presented at 4:00 p.m. prior to the March board meeting.  If this deadline can not be met, the Board will be informed.

            Mrs. Waggoner presented an HSA update to the Board.  She explained that the numbers provided at the January board meeting are still about the same because there have been no further assessment results received.  Mrs. Waggoner provided a copy of the MSDE High School Assessments and Your Child brochure which has been distributed to students and parents and a copy of the 2009 proposed HSA waiver process to the Board.  She informed the Board that a team including Mr. Morris, Mrs. Kotulak, Mr. Lear, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Eggleston, and the academic coaches, Ms. Fleming, and Ms. Raybold, and herself met on February 2, 2009 to discuss the waiver process and brainstorm certain situations that might apply to this process.   The team discussed in depth what needs to be done for each student in order to help each one meet the HSA requirements.  Mrs. Waggoner expressed gratitude for the great job the academic coaches have been doing in coordinating assistance for the students that have not met the HSA requirements.  After meeting as a team, they met with Dr. Teets, Mr. Maddy, and Mr. Reichenbecher to discuss the waiver process, potential issues and plans outlined for each student.  Dr. Teets explained the importance of consistency across the state in regards to the waiver process. Mrs. Waggoner informed the Board that there will be few students who will be eligible for the waiver process and a minimal number of students who will not meet the HSA requirements provided that the students continue working and moving forward on their individual plans.

            She, also, informed the Board that Mr. Morris will be at the March board meeting with updated numbers and results of the bridge plan reviews.  Dr. Teets expressed his optimism after the meeting and was very impressed with the knowledge that the academic coaches and principals had about each of the students. 

Part IX – New Business

            Dr. Teets reviewed the Superintendent’s Report – 2005-2009 – Four-Year Goals Summary and Future Goals, which provides an overview of major highlights and accomplishments during that time frame.  Information contained in the report was gathered from all staff members.  The superintendent’s analysis was structured around the Board of Education Goals as noted in Board Policy 105.  Dr. Teets added that these goals reflect the hard work of our teachers and administrators with Board support.  Mr. Durst recognized Maryland as one of the best in the nation and Garrett County as one of the best in the state.  Mr. Durst thanked Dr. Teets for his report.

            Dr. Teets informed the Board that the annual invitation was extended to booster and parent groups to attend the February meeting to share their projects and funding requests. There were no requests to attend.  These invitations were sent through the principals. 

                        Part X – Recognition

            The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) NeXT GEN team from Southern Middle School attended the board meeting to be recognized for winning the Pittsburgh, FLL Championship and to present their research project to the Board members.  NeXT GEN will represent Garrett County at the first ever FLL US Open Championship in Dayton, Ohio in May.  Following are the team members and coaches:

                        Daniel Adams                         Zach Frick

                        Andrew Hauser                       Devon Jobe

                        Rachael Huxford                     Levi Lantz

                        Rebecca Lee                            Colin Lynch

                        Arlene Lantz, Coach                Willie Lantz, Coach

                        Phil Malon, Coach                  Ronni DiGioia, Coach

                        Jason Jobe, Coach


The Board congratulated the team for their tremendous success.  The NeXT GEN team thanked the Board and Dr. Teets for their support.  Also in attendance were several parents and supporters of NeXT GEN.

            Dr. Teets introduced Gracie Ingram, fourth grade student at Broad Ford Elementary School, as the designer of the Christmas card which was sent from the Board and Superintendent to Board employees, each Maryland school district, and various county and state agencies in December 2008.  Dr. Teets commented on the difficulty to choose one from the many creative design submissions.  The Board and Dr. Teets expressed their appreciation for Gracie’s great artistic work and presented her with a framed and matted copy of the Christmas card.  They also thanked Diane Bateman, Gracie’s art teacher for her efforts and for coming to the meeting.  Gracie was accompanied to the meeting by her parents, Samuel and Adrienne Ingram.  Mrs. Sincell, principal of Broad Ford Elementary was also in attendance.

            Ernie Gregg left the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Part XII – Public Comment

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

                        Part XIII – Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

  • *Appointments:                 Timothy Sines, Custodian IV, AC, eff. 02/16/2009


  • * Resignations:               Joshua D. Hinebaugh, eff. 03/20/2009


  • *Emergency Coaches:   Robert Sweitzer, Assistant Softball Coach, SH


  • *Volunteer Coaches:      Terry Brenneman, Volunteer Softball Coach, NH


Jeff Carr, Volunteer Baseball Coach, NH

Johnny Lipscomb, Volunteer Softball Coach, SH


·    *Professional Leave and Travel Requests: 

                                      Midwest Conference on Differentiated Instruction

                                      July 7-9, 2009

                                      Hilton Chicago, Chicago, IL


Upon a motion by Mr. Carr the Board approved (4-0) the superintendent’s recommendations.

On behalf of the Board, Dr. Forrester moved to renew the superintendent’s contract for an additional four years. The Board unanimously approved the motion.

Mr. Durst stated that is has been good to have the stability of Dr. Teets serving for the past twelve years and to see all the accomplishments of the school system.  Dr. Teets thanked the board and is looking forward to four more years of continued success, rising to higher standards, and to working with a great board, wonderful personnel and students.

                         Part XV – Board Concerns

            Ms. Guy reported that last Saturday some of the members of council attended the 2009 MASC legislative session.  This is Ms. Guy’s personal favorite event due to the fact that parliamentary procedure and the law making process are the main topics of discussion.  Also, during this session, candidates for the student member of the state board are selected.    

            Ms. Guy also reported that the Northern and Southern student council dances will be held this coming Saturday.  Charity from both dances will go to the MASC charity, “ARC”, which helps disabled people. 

            She will also be attending the MASC convention on March 25-28, 2009.  She expressed her excitement for being able to attend the many different conventions because it allows her the opportunity to interact with fellow student board members.  However, it is difficult for her to take an entire day of travel for a one hour meeting.

            Dr. Teets informed the Board that Ms. Guy sang the National Anthem at the Miss American contest recently held in Las Vegas.

            Mr. Carr reported that the MABE Summer Leadership Conference will be held June 25-26, 2009, and that the location is undecided at this time.  He also reported that the MABE Conference being held this fall will be September 20 –October 2, 2009 at the Clarion in Ocean City.

            Mr. Durst, Mrs. Sebold, and Dr. Teets reported on the PACE Reception.  Mrs. Sebold had an opportunity to speak with several State Teacher Association representatives, Mr. Durst spoke with several delegates and shared concerns. Dr. Teets noted that attendance was down from years past and that there were not as many legislators in attendance. 

            Mr. Raley reported that he and Mr. Fink attended the Governor’s Town Hall meeting.  The meeting’s topic was Education and the Economy.  Mr. Raley noted that the topic did get side tracked, however; he feels that it became clear that there are certain educational needs and the Governor needs to continue with his commitment to education.  The Board discussed the issue of retirement cost being passed back to the county. 

            The Board decided to hold the May board meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

            Part XVI –Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:33 p.m.

Part XVI - Information Items

            In addition to the listed items, Board members received:

a.           Erate Funding YTD

b.          January 2009 Attendance Bulletin

c.           Garrett County Public Schools Annual Report

d.          January 2009 ASBO Matters

e.           February 2009 Home & School Connection

f.           February 2009 School Activities Calendar

g.           February 2009 Hope Health Letter

h.          MSDE:  Maryland Education #1 in America




________________________________________ _______________________________________
James M. Raley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   March 10, 2009