Board of Education

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

Minutes May 11, 2010



Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Part I - Call to Order

Dr. Donald Forrester, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 3:50 p.m.  The meeting was held in the cafeteria at Southern Middle School.  Also in attendance were Mr. Thomas Carr, Vice President; Mr. James Raley; Mrs. Charlotte Sebold; and Mr. Rodney Durst, associate members and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.  

            Part II – Meeting with High School Student Councils

Dr. Forrester welcomed the Northern Middle and Southern High Student Council members. 

Ms. Lorie Burdock, Northern Middle School Student Council Advisor, and Mr. Bill Carlson, Northern Middle School Principal, and Mr. Lowell Leitzel, GCASC Advisor, were also in attendance along with Northern Middle School Student Council members, Joseph Burdock; Gabi Daniels; Cameron Newman; Brady Benton; and Justin Derato.  The members of the Northern Middle School Student Council thanked the Board of Education for the support throughout the year.  They expressed their difficulty in attending meetings this year due to the severe winter season.  They gave an overview of their accomplishments for the 2009-2010 school year.  These accomplishments included attending the Maryland Convention of Student Leadership Council Conference in Prince George’s County with Mr. George Lander and Ms. Lorie Burdock,  sponsoring Red Ribbon Week and promoting drug free messages, having a Luau dance and raising $150 for MASC for sarcoma research at Johns Hopkins hospital, collected $634.09 through the generosity of parents and students for Haiti with the Lions Club matching their amount making a grand total of $1,268.18, and organized a book drive with over 600 books donated. The student council is currently collecting raffle donations for the senior citizen prom and working with Mr. Russell Settle to plan the sixth grade orientation.  A meeting is scheduled with Mr. Scott Germain on June 1 to discuss the new milk being offered in the cafeteria due to concerns over the pasteurization process.  The student council is scheduled to go to Annapolis on June 4 to tour the Governor’s house, the State House, and the Naval Academy.  They feel leadership is a great responsibility and take pride in what they do.  They asked the board to keep funding in the budget for student council next year. 

Dr. Forrester made introductions of the Board of Education members and central office staff administrators.  He stated that student council has had a good year considering the challenging weather. Board members were curious about what the students liked best about the new school.  Student council responded with the cafeteria, the art room, the new technology, and the size of the classrooms.

The Board and Dr. Teets thanked the Northern Middle School student council for attending and wished them well for the rest of the year.  Mrs. Sebold gave a brief overview to the student council regarding becoming the student board member in the future.   

Mr. Lowell Leitzel, Southern High School Student Council Advisor, was present along with the student council members Elizabeth Sines, Kaitlyn Swift, and Vicky Stevens.  The student council thanked the Board for the continuation of funding for student council.  The Southern High Student Council also expressed their challenge resulting from the weather.  They gave a brief overview of accomplishments for the 2009-2010 school year.  These accomplishments include attending the West Regional Conference in Hagerstown, MD, the first Ram Rumble which was a school spirit activity, and sponsored Candy Grams for Easter with the money donated to the American Cancer Society.  They held the annual winter homecoming in February and donated some proceeds to the Sarcoma Foundation which is the student council’s state charity.  A costume dance was held in the fall as well as a fall blood drive.  A spring blood drive was planned but had to be cancelled.  They are currently working on the year end party and are hoping to go bowling.  One major issue that student council has been dealing with this year is the condition of the lower student parking lot.  Dr. Teets informed student council that he is aware and that some projects have had to be curtailed due to budget.  He will have Mr. Thomas, Director of Facilities and Maintenance, see if anything can be done to improve the parking lot.  The student council also expressed their concerns regarding the schedule and the number of finals to prepare for at the end of the semester.  Dr. Teets responded that the faculty from both schools are reviewing the schedule and may have more flexibility next year while maintaining the same basic schedule.

They expressed their feelings in regards to attending school at Garrett Eight Cinemas during the closure due to the mercury incidence.  They felt everything went very well with all things considered.  They said the teachers, students, and administrators worked well together, adjusted, and everyone did the best they could in the situation. Dr. Teets added that the students were very attentive and he was very impressed by adaptation of students as well as faculty.

Mr. Leitzel informed the Board that for the 2010-2011 school year that Vicky Stevens is President Elect, Elizabeth Sines is Vice President Elect.  The County Student Council Association has met and officers appointed at this time are Sara Harvey as President, Bryson Holler as Vice President, and Dave Swift as Secretary/Treasurer.  He gave regrets to the Board for Northern High School Student Council and the Southern Middle School Student Council because they were unable to attend.  Mr. Leitzel also expressed that it was a difficult year for GCASC due to the weather.  The decision to cancel the convention trip to Ocean City during the last week in February proved to be a good one.  There was much disappointment, but turned out to be a wise decision.  Also, due to weather and conflicts in schedules, the legislative sessions were also not attended.  Mr. Leitzel recognized the other student council advisors for all their dedication to the program.  He informed the Board that MASC continues to push for voting rights for the student board members.  Mr. Leitzel stated that it has not been a necessity for our board because our board listens to the student member.  He thanked the Board for all the work done on behalf of the students and commended the students as well.  Dr. Teets thanked Mr. Leitzel for all he does for the students at Southern as well as across the county.

Dr. Forrester asked if there are any long term plans in progress.  Student Council is thinking about a powder puff football game as a fundraiser and also try to improve the Ram Rumble. 

Dr. Forrester thanked everyone for attending and sharing their thoughts, concerns, and accomplishments.

            Part III – Public Comment

            Mr. Jay Moon, Mr. Rodney Reckart, Mr. John Brobst, and Mr. Jim Miller addressed the Board in regards to Board Policy 432.0, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Schools.

                        Part IV – Executive Session

             Upon a motion by Mr. Durst and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education agreed (4-0) to move to executive session at 4:31 p.m. in accordance with Public 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 that included appointments, retirements, resignations, an employee disciplinary action, a leave without pay request, and transportation deletions of routes.

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 V – Reopening Public Session

            Dr. Forrester reconvened the public session at 5:45 p.m.  Mr. Durst offered a prayer, after which Mr. Ian Aiken, student board member, led the assembly in the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America.  

                        Part VI - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Mr. Carr and a second by Mr. Raley, the Board approved (4-0) the agenda as amended.  The Charlie Strauss Award Recognition was postponed until the June meeting.

                         Part VII – Announcements

The following announcements were offered:

May 12                                                School Nurses Day

May 13                                                Envirothon – High Schools - Bittinger 4-H Center

May 15                                                Armed Forces Day

May 15                                                Southern High School Prom

May 20            5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Watershed Celebration

                                                                        Presentations by Garrett County Explorers & guests

·       Crellin Elementary School

·       Dennett Road Elementary School

·       Friendsville Elementary School

·       Yough Glades Elementary School

May 22                                                Northern High School Prom

May 27            6:30 p.m.                     Middle School Success Night at Northern Middle School

May 31                                                Memorial Day (No School)

June 4              6:00 p.m.                     5th Grade Graduation – Kitzmiller Elementary School

June 6              1:00 p.m.                     Northern High School Graduation

4:00 p.m.                     Southern High School Graduation


·       Northern High School has been awarded Green School Status.  Route Forty is receiving a Model Green School Award this year.  There will be a ceremony on June 4, 2010 at Sandy Point State Park. 


·       The 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year is Robyn Nazelrod, Fourth Grade Teacher at Yough Glades.


·       Adam Moranduzzo, Northern High School student, has won two state wrestling championships.


·       At the Maryland History Day competition held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on April 24, Gary Thompson, Social Studies Teacher, SX, received the Maryland History Day Teacher of the Year Award for the Garrett County District.  Nicolas Skipper, SX student, received the special prize in military history for his documentary, “The Gatling Gun”.


·       Southern Garrett High School’s Highlander yearbook has been recognized for excellence and featured in the 2010 Gotcha Covered Look Book, Volume 8.  Published annually, Jostens’ Look Book is a collection of spreads from outstanding yearbooks and their creative themes, cool covers, dazzling designs, relevant coverage, storytelling copy and action-packed photography.  The Look Book features the extraordinary work of yearbook staffs and advisers from around the world and is a popular resource for yearbook advisers and staffs seeking creative design and coverage ideas, trends, and inspiration.


·       The Southern High School Highlander was 1 of only 518 yearbooks selected from over 3,000 submitted to a panel of judges that included nationally recognized scholastic journalism professionals and award-winning yearbook advisers.  “The yearbooks chosen for Jostens’ 2010 Gotcha Covered Look Book reflect the sophistication and relevance of yearbook programs and demonstrate why yearbooks remain so popular among students as a means to capture and share their school experiences and traditions,” said Gary Lundgren, Jostens senior program manager.


·       Members of the 2008-2009 yearbook staff were:  Krystin Fike, Madi Storey, Vicki Stevens , Allison Friend, Justine DelSignore, Alexis Markwood, Brooke Winning, Amy Bittinger, Chloe Anderson, Emily Thomas, Tiffany Beeman, McKenzie Wotring, Morgan Smith, Jackie Fries, Kendra Hardesty, Amanda Hanlin, and Destiny Capan


·       2008-2009 staff members that have graduated include:  Kati Hamilton, Brooke Baier, Brittany Slagle, Jessica Warnick, Kristen Gatto, Jennifer Cosner, Alysha Friend, Kristi Davis, Kari Bernard, Mike Kozier, Tiffany Matthews, and Bethany Stevens.  The 2008-2009 Senior Editors were Staci Fitzwater and Vivian Geroski.


Part VIII - Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Mr. Durst and a second by Mr. Carr, the minutes of April 13, 2010 were unanimously approved as amended. 

Part IX – Continuing Business

             Mr. Morris presented the Board with a HSA graduation requirement update for Cohort 2010.  The presentation included information on the number of students who are diploma bound, the number of students who are certificate bound, and the number of students who are being retained.  Information regarding the high school assessment tests included the number of students who have passed all four subjects, the number of students who reached the score of 1602, and those students who passed via bridge plans.  Information on the high school assessments was also presented for special education students.

            Dr. Teets commented that 100% of the students have passed based on the HSA requirements and expressed his appreciation for Mr. Morris, the high school academic coaches, and personnel for all their work.  Dr. Forrester also thanked Mr. Morris.

            Dr. Teets reviewed the Board’s action at the April meeting on Race To The Top (RTTT) as “not to approve participation in Race To The Top as of this time”.  He again recommended that the Board approve participation in Race To The Top and read a memo to the Board stating all the reasons for participating. On behalf of the personnel and students, he urged the Board to approve participation in Race To The Top. Dr. Forrester called for the will of the Board.

            Mr. Raley stated that he added the “at this time” amendment to this motion.  His hope was not to bring it back in a month and revote on the exact same thing.  His hope was that Dr. Grasmick, members of the State Board of Education, and the State Department would get the message that not everyone is on board with Race To The Top.    His feelings are that in working out all the details in RTTT that it won’t be in the best interest of the school system and that it is big government coming down on local autonomy. 

            Mr. Carr stated that Dr. Grasmick was in the county and he had an opportunity to speak with her regarding RTTT.  She informed Mr. Carr that one of the things that has changed since the vote made in April is the accountability level for teachers based on standardized testing is not at 50% but at 30%.  Mr. Carr feels things have changed but is bothered at the concept that there is a competition for funding. 

            Mr. Durst agrees with all that has been said.  He stated that elections have consequences.  He feels that what the state of Maryland school systems are doing should be emulated because of its success.  He will support the RTTT so that Garrett County will not be left out.

            Mrs. Sebold stated that the point has been reached that if we don’t go along then we won’t get any funds and then we’ll have to deal with the consequences.

            Mr. Raley stated that he hopes that if the Board does approve participation that they will have Dr. Grasmick answer all concerns of the stakeholders.  He also stated that what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.

            Mr. Carr made a motion that the vote for Race to the Top be reopened and reconsidered with a second by Mr. Durst. 

            Mr. Durst made a motion to approve the superintendent’s recommendation to participate in Race to the Top with a second by Mr. Carr.   The Board of Education approved (4-1) the superintendent’s recommendation to participate in Race to the Top.  Mr. Raley voted against participation in Race to the Top and Dr. Forrester voted in favor of participation.   

                        Part XI – Public Comment

Mr. Allan Twigg, Ms. Brenda McCagh, Ms. Vicki Willey, Mr. Brian Snyder, and Ms. Julie Kostovick addressed the Board in regards to the changes being proposed for Board Policy 432.0, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Schools.       

Part IX – Continuing Business

            Dr. Teets read his recommendation on the proposed change to Policy 432.0, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Allegany County Schools and Administrative Procedure, 432.1, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Allegany County Schools.  He recommended the approval of the policy and procedure change and read a detailed memo to the Board stating all the reasons the policy and procedure should be changed.  He also read the policy as it will read, if approved.  Dr. Teets reviewed the bus times for students in all areas of the county which included the Finzel area and noted students in other areas of Garrett County have as long or longer bus rides than those affected by the policy.  On behalf of our school personnel and students, Dr. Teets strongly recommended the change of policy  and procedure to the Board.

            Mr. Durst made a motion to accept the superintendent’s recommendation with a second by Mr. Carr. 

            Mrs. Sebold read some prepared comments regarding this issue.  She stated the there are many areas in the budget that are in consideration during this time.  A major concern is that the same treatment be given to the Finzel area students that was given to the Bloomington area students in regards to siblings being able to enroll so that all students within a family are in the same school system whether it be in Garrett County or Allegany County.  Mrs. Sebold asked that Board members consider the way the Bloomington issue was handled and treat the Finzel decision the same way.

            Mr. Raley shared several documents that he brought with the Board.  Mr. Raley is looking at school choice as an economic development issue.  He reviewed the history from 1952 through current regarding the Finzel border issue.  He feels as though both sides are correct but the fallout from the vote will not be known for twenty years when the next census is taken.

            Mr. Raley informed the Board that he did seek legal advice in regards to his voting on this issue because of whom his employer is and his involvement and knowledge of the issue.  He stated that there is not an issue because there is not a direct financial impact to him personally. 

            Discussion followed regarding the Bloomington procedure verses the new Finzel procedure. 

            Dr. Forrester called for recess so that the attorney, Mr. Bob Watson, could review both administrative procedures.  The issue was tabled until Mr. Watson had an opportunity to review. 

Part X – New Business

            Mrs. Baker and Mr. Morris were present to discuss the Stanford (SAT) 10 Testing for grade 2.  Teachers have been giving input on the test and believe that it should be eliminated.  The test is given for five full days and the majority of the test is a listening test.  Mrs. Baker provided an example for the Board.  It is felt that the test is truly a test of endurance.  The principals have found that this test is not a predictor of MSA success.

            Mr. Morris explained that he took the last four years of the SAT 10 test and compared those results to when they were in 3rd grade taking the MSA.  It was originally though that the SAT 10 would be a good predictor of how they would perform in the third grade.  After reviewing the comparison, it was found that only 55.8% of the students who scored a certain level on the SAT 10 scored that level on the MSA in grade three.  In math, 55.1% of the student who scored a certain level on the SAT 10 scored that level on the MSA in grade three.

            The SAT 10 scores are used for school improvement planning and school enrichment.   The cost of the SAT 10 is $10,000.  If another option is used, such as Dibbles, there will be some cost but not to that extent.  Mrs. Baker explained that this is simply an information item to inform the board that the plan is to no longer utilize the Stanford 10 Test. 

            Mr. Fink was present to provide information on the Retiree Health Plan Trust Agreement as well as a copy of the agreement to the board members.  He explained that the Board of Education, the County Government, and the Garrett College offer health care through the Garrett County Health Care Plan.  This creates a liability for retiree insurance and there is a need to create a health plan trust to deposit funds into for the liability.  Once funds are placed into this agreement, funds can not be removed for any other purpose.  The commissioners made a deposit into the account last year but have not been able to this year.  There is a possibility that there will be deposits next year through the Medicare D funds.  The agreement was presented as information only.

            Dr. Forrester suggested a five minute break.

            After having a chance to interact with the Board attorney, it was found that the wording in the administrative procedure for Bloomington was not the same as the wording for the Finzel area.  In order for the procedure to be consistent with the Bloomington border closing, the procedure will be revised to include, “siblings of students currently enrolled in Allegany County Schools will also be permitted to enroll in Allegany County Schools”.  This option will only apply to siblings of students currently enrolled in grades 6-11 in Allegany County Schools for the 2009-2010 school year.    

            Dr. Teets again read the procedure as it will be if approved.  He also added that with this change, the administrative procedure will match that of the Bloomington administrative procedure.

            Mr. Durst addressed the Finzel citizens present.  He stated that he respects them for being present and fighting for their children.  He added that he is elected by the people of Garrett County and he must do what is best for all Garrett County students.  This idea is not only for this vote but for all future votes as well as those made in the past.

            Dr. Forrester stated that there is a motion and a second on the table to change Policy 432.0, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Allegany County Schools.  The Garrett County Board of Education approved (4-1) the change of policy 432.0, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Allegany County Schools. Mr. Raley voted against the change of policy and Dr. Forrester voted in favor of the change in policy.  Administrative Procedure 432.01, Garrett County Students Who May Attend Designated Allegany County Schools, was revised to include the change agreed upon by the board to make the Finzel procedure consistent with Bloomington regarding siblings of enrolled students in Allegany County.

                        Part XII – Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

·       Appointments:             James  M. Magruder, Head Custodian, SH, eff. 07/01/10

                                                Jeannie A. Callis, Cafeteria Assistant, AC, eff. 08/20/2010


·       Retirements:                Sharon Ashby, Teacher, RF, eff. 07/01/2010

William Ewing, Transportation Coordinator, CO, eff. 07/01/2010

Joanne Graybill, Pupil Personnel Worker, CO, eff. 07/01/2010

Susan Hinebaugh, Teacher, SX, eff. 07/01/2010

Lowell Leitzel, Teacher, SH, eff. 07/01/2010

Thomas Pessini, Instructional Assistant, NH, eff. 07/01/2010

Deborah Stuck, Teacher, BF, eff. 07/01/2010

Barbara Uphold, Instructional Assistant, DR, eff. 07/01/2010


·       Resignations:               Lisa Lantz, Teacher, FV, eff. 06/17/2010


·       Transportation:            Deletion of Routes:     Garland Wilt, Contractor        Bus 44

Herbert Myers, Contractor      Bus 82

Dale Evans                              Bus 71

Lester Chaney                          Bus 24

·       Professional Leave Forms:

Apple Learning Institute

June 24-25, 2010

Nashville, Tennessee


ISTE/NEC (National Education Computing Conference)

June 26-30

Denver, Colorado


      There was also an employee disciplinary action and a leave without pay presented to the Board.

            Upon a motion by Mr. Carr and a second by Mr. Durst, the Board of Education approved (4-0) the superintendent’s recommendations.

                         Part XIII – Board Business

             Mr. Aiken reported that on April 30 he went to MSDE with a group of students to meet with Dr. Grasmik regarding Race To The Top.  He informed the board that he was part of a focus group looking at teacher evaluation systems.  GCASC had the last meeting a couple weeks ago for this year.  Ian expressed that GCASC will be missing Mr. Leitzel after his retirement this year and thanked the Board for meeting with the student councils today.

            Dr. Forrester attended the LSA meeting.  He informed the Board that John Woolums was present and discussed all the legislation in great detail and explained the impact of the legislation on local school districts.

            Mr. Carr reported that Dr. Grasmick spoke at the last MABE meeting and that Common Core is now part of the Race To The Top which wasn’t there at the last meeting.  Dr. Grasmick spoke mainly on college success initiatives. 

            The Board questioned whether or not students who are currently attending Garrett College through the commissioner’s scholarships program are being tracked for college success.  Commissioner Gregg added that there is a demographics report on those students. 

            Mr. Fink presented the Superintendent budget at last month’s meeting.  Since that time, Board members have contacted Mr. Fink with comments and concerns.  Mr. Fink informed the Board that he is waiting to see where the reimbursement stands on snow renewal as well as what insurance is going to cover for the mercury removal.  Based upon a conversation with Dr. David Lever today, it is strongly felt that either state or federal funds will be received for the snow removal. 

            Also, since the preparation of this budget, there have been several retirements and this will change salary line items as well as the retiree insurance line item.  Mr. Fink will update these changes and have a final proposed budget at the June meeting.

            Mr. Raley stated that this budget mirrors last year’s budget other than a few employees have been terminated.  He stated his concern on the elimination of jobs and his concern for its economic impact.  He feels it’s an irresponsible budget because it does not reflect what is going to have to be done next year to have a balanced budget. He explained that at this point, the proposed budget reflects the administrations choices and decisions and next month it will reflect the Board’s choices and decisions.  Mr. Raley expressed that this is not the direction the budget should be taking.

            Dr. Forrester stated that there will be increasingly more difficult decisions to make in the next five years.  Mr. Durst added that government created jobs do not thrive on their own and that they are created on taxes.  Growth has to occur in the private sector and not on government jobs.  Dr. Forrester added that an AASA survey suggested that many of hundreds of thousands of teachings jobs will be lost across the country.

            Mr. Fink informed the Board that the Title I allocation for next year reflects two less Title I positions. He also stated that there will be some revisions to this document.  It won’t be anything substantial in the real text of budget but some adjustments will be made and revisions will be submitted in June.      

                         Part XIV - Information Items

            In addition to the following listed items, the Board also received the February/March 2010 Southern High School Newspaper, The Acorn. Invitations from the Garrett County Explores Watershed Celebration, the Northern High School Prom, Bloomington Elementary School’s Spring Concert, Kitzmiller Elementary 5th Grade Graduation, Western Maryland Area Health Education Center’s 34th Annual Awards Dinner, and Bloomington Elementary School’s Field Day/Health Fair were also distributed.


a.          Erate Funding

b.          May 2010 School Activities

c.          May 2010 Home & School Connection

d.          May 2010 Hope Health Letter


                        Part XV - Adjournment

Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, the Board adjourned the meeting at 8:09 p.m. 




Dr. Donald D. Forrester

Wendell D. Teets



Approved:   June 8, 2010