District has six vacanciesBy PAT BROWN,
Dr, Robert Sanders, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, reported to the school board last week that the Simpson County School District has only six vacancies remaining for the upcoming school year.
With two weeks to go before school opens on August 7, the district still needs one instructional assistant at Mendenhall Elementary, one speech pathologist for Magee Elementary, one special education and one science teacher for Mendenhall Jr. High, one elementary educator and one special education teacher for Magee Middle School. The other schools have all position filled.
According to Sanders this puts the district in good shape. He asked the board to consider a special called meeting as the other positions are filled.
Sanders also told the board that there have been some requests to allow teachers to get out of contracts they signed earlier. He said that if a suitable candidate was found the district would try to work with these teachers but that staffing classrooms in Simpson County was the first priority.
The board approved the reclassification of 30 acres of 16th section land on Highway 49 from forestry to commercial for the purpose of building a wood yard. The operators will be Pine Belt Harvesting. The property will lease for $3,750 per year for the next 10 years. Part of the bid agreement was for Richton Tie and Timber to bid for the timber that was existing on the land. According to Tom McAlpin, land manager for the district, the bid was high and was to the benefit of the district. The board approved the bid as recommended by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
The board approved Patricia Braddock to attend training in Tulsa, Okla., for the National Association of Agricultural Educators and Jillian Ethridge to attend a class sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation in San Diego, Calif. The board approved Duane Fewell and Joanna Maddox to attend a conference on the Gulf Coast for business related officials and their role in school finance with regard to state and federal regulations.
Dr. Sanders reported to the board that Magee High had been approved for a Transitional Coach Grant to help in mental health interventions if needed for students. The board discussed the nature of the contract as well as student welfare. They instructed the board attorney to review the contract for the position before their approval.
The board heard from a parent seeking a transfer from Magee to Smith County. Based on the fact that one of the student’s parents resides in Smith County, the board approved the transfer.
Students from the Simpson County Technical Center were recognized for their achievements. First place in Public Speaking went to Alexis Sullivan. Second place for Senior Opening and Closing went to Josie Russell, Eli Thomas, Lauren Sullivan, Kaitlyn Taylor, Sara Peers, Maggie Jordan and Kaylee Meacham.
Third place in Junior Prepared Public Speaking went to Ayden Wolken, who was also recognized as Second District Jr. Star Farmer, and 2019-2020 Junior State Sentinel.
Seven Senior State Degrees were awarded: Zoie Baeuerle, Micheal Gill, Ethan Wallace, Maggie Jordan, Sara Peets, Ryan Welch and Alan Sullivan.
Two Junior Degrees were awarded to Ayden Wolken and Riley Welch.
The local FFA Chapter was awarded 100 percent membership for the school year.