The Middlesboro school board met for their regular monthly meeting Tuesday at Middlesboro Middle School.
During the superintendent report at the beginning of the meeting, superintendent Dr. Rita C. Cook announced her intent to resign effective June 2013.
“This is a good time to resign because of changes in the board,” stated Cook as she explained her reasoning for resigning. She told the board the job had put a strain on her family life.
She said she appreciated the board and “for the opportunity to work with wonderful people.”
“(We) express our appreciation and understanding (of your resignation),” board member, Edith Kelley, told Cook on behalf of the school board.
Exiting board members, Vicki Bryne, Kelly Shoffner and Edith Kelley, were honored at the meeting. Each member was given a plaque for her time with the board.
“I will have more time to volunteer. You may see me more often,” said Bryne as she accepted her plaque.
In light of last weeks tragic events in Connecticut, Shoffner spoke to the crowd as she accepted her plaque.
“I would like to challenge the new board members to protect our children at any and all cost,” said Shoffner.
The new school board members will be Jeff Greene, J.J. Jones and Charlotte Webb.
Members of the student council were in attendance on Tuesday night. They shared a video the Middlesboro High School mass media class had put together. The video was entitled “Christmas This Year” and featured various students talking about what they wanted for Christmas this year along with clips from the RoHo shopping event and a Kiwanis luncheon.
The electronic resources for students policy was expanded to include any electronic devices students may bring to use at school. The acceptable use policy now also includes a clause saying if a student intentionally damages or destroys any of the schools electronic devices, they will have to pay for the item to be fixed or replaced.
The board had to vote on whether to allow the purchase of new equipment for the school buses in order to bring them into compliance with new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. The new equipment is going to cost approximately $9,000. If the school buses do not become compliant to the new regulations by the beginning of the new year, the school board could be fined by the FCC. The board unanimously approved the purchase of the equipment.
A staff report revealed the school system is moving in the right direction in decreasing their energy cost. The state is encouraging schools to lower their energy costs as much as necessary and Middlesboro has done just that in their gas usage. Using the 2010-2011 fiscal year as a baseline, the schools have used 20 percent less gas this year.
However, the schools electrical usage has increased and the report showed the increase is from the high school. The next step is to call a representative from Kentucky Utilities in order to ask them to conduct an audit on each school and make recommendations on how the schools can continue to decrease their energy usage.
The financial report for November showed this year is concurrent with last year. Up until this point, 27 percent of the budget has been used. The board expressed their happiness with the report in light of the vast reduction of this years budget in comparison to last year.
Requests to file a revised BG1 form and to file a new BG4 were approved by the board. The completion of these forms is necessary for the school system to obtain grant money to complete repair work of damages caused by flooding.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 15.
Reina Cunningham is a staff writer at the Middlesboro Daily News and can be reached via phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.