Personnel, policies discussed by S-G board

    CHURUBUSCO — The Smith-Green school board approved filling several positions at S-G and opening up another teaching position, while adding a benefit to Superintendent Steve Darnell’s contract at its meeting Monday.
    Personnel added to the roster included Kameron Miller as groundskeeper/maintenance, Michael McPeak as a long-term substitute covering a medical leave, Deanna Elzey as a long-term substitute covering a maternity leave, and Mark Cheshire to continue in his role as sponsor of the pep band.
    In addition, the board approved advertising for a half-day position for kindergarten. Having 89 kindergarteners this year, they needed to spread the children out across five teachers to ensure each class total is below 20.  This is in keeping with their newly-adopted Strategic Plan in which they target increasing enrollment by 10 students each year from 2012-2014, while also keeping class size for K-2 below 20.
    As to Darnell’s contract, the board unanimously approved “a one-time 403(b) annuity contribution of $2,000 ... for work performed during the 2009-2010 school year” according to a business action recommendation presented at the board meeting. Board president Tanya Young, on behalf of the board, mentioned “how much we appreciate his leadership.” Young described some of Darnell’s accomplishments such as leadership in the district’s vision, getting NEOLA in place, devising the Strategic Plan, improving the financial situation, keeping the public informed, and as a bonus, starting the Eagle Garden and using free resources to save the district money.  He “likes being here [and] likes leading,” added Young, who hopes to see him here for a long time.  Darnell thanked the Board for their support and was appreciative they could be “on the same page.”
    Several policies were updated, but one may catch the attention of parents and students alike.  It’s simple, and Darnell said the updates were really just “a lot of clean up” of language.  The policy regarding use of wireless communication devices is that they are allowed, but must be powered off.  More and more students operate such devices, which seem to almost have become a necessity.  This policy clarification should help with any questions.

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