Lewis County Herald - Serving Hohenwald, Lewis County Tennessee Since 1898

Lewis County School Board discusses how to reopen schools

Staff hired for upcoming school year


The Lewis County Board of Education met in regular session on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Middle School Auditorium on Park Avenue South. All members were present: Chair-Glenda Atkinson, Vice-chair Johnny Clayton, Derek Cotham, Cassie Couch, Blake Farr, Lindsey Himes, Jackie Holt, Nancy McDonald and Phyllis Townsend.

Back to School Options

Director Benny Pace explained the administration of Lewis County Schools was unsure of how the reopening of schools in the fall would be handled by the state of Tennessee, and that they are planning for several scenarios.

If a normal return to school was allowed, Mr. Pace advised safety measures would be implemented to keep students, teachers and staff safe.

Also discussed as an option for Lewis County students would be a virtual school. “Lewis County is not set up for connectivity right now,” Director Pace reminded the board, and added, “this would not be good for Lewis County.”

“We could come back with very strict measures for safety or rotate students in so that you could have smaller groups, currently nothing definite. This has been discussed in the leadership meetings and the logistics are going to be difficult. I want to send out a survey to parents to see if their students are coming back or not,” Director Pace added. “I certainly hope to get as many students back into the school buildings as possible.”

Completion of a survey by parents is crucial to Lewis County Schools so they can plan for the upcoming school year. A summer program implemented this year has 30 students. A typical enrollment in summer programming is 80, an indication, Mrs. Himes commented, of how people may respond to getting back to school.

“This will not be a regular school year,” Mrs. Himes added.

“We have learned we cannot reach all our kids,” Director Pace stated in agreement. “You’d like to think everyone has a phone with service. We have to figure out how to reach our parents...to maximize our children’s education,” he continued.

If distance learning continues, as was implemented in the Spring of 2020, “accountability will be different,” Director Pace told the Board.

Other Business

LCHS Principal Stacey Graves explained procedures for the Friday, June 12, 2020 high school graduation exercises.

The consent agenda consisting of the adoption of the agenda and approving the minutes from the May 12, 2020 meeting were approved.

Director Benny Pace stated he accepted the resignation of Brenda King, Paraprofessional, Teresa and Gary Lee, full-time bus drivers, Whitney King, LCHS Science teacher, Damian Clayton, LCHS History/Government, and Beverly LeBlanc, LCMS sixth grade Social Studies teacher.

He reported letters of intention to retire had been received from Paula Dyer, LCMS math teacher, Sandra Thompson, LCES PE teacher, Brenda Denton, LCIS ELA and Lisa Tatum, LCHS Secretary.

Barry Churchwell was transferred from LCHS Special Ed teacher to LCMS Special Ed teacher. Director Pace gave an update on the construction of the new high school gym roof. He stated that the construction was going very well. He stated that during the Memorial Day weekend the roof had leaked, that the construction company had removed the roof and had put a sticky barrier on the roof, but the roof still leaked.

Mr. Pace explained that the insurance company that represents the construction company met with him to go over the damages due to the roof leaking. Damage was reported on the gym floor which may be remediated with sanding, and to the office which may require new flooring. Mr. Pace said that once he heard back from the insurance company about the proposal for repairs that he would inform board members of the best course of action.

Director Pace shared a history with board members of the TSSE (Tennessee Small School for Equity) organization.

In the early 1980s, then Superintendent of Schools Dennis Whittenberg had helped found this organization. This was a way for small schools to have a voice for small schools. Mr Pace stated that currently there are approximately 90 schools that participate in TSSE.

Certified Personnel

Certified personnel and their assignment and support staff for the 2020-2021 school year, textbook adoption in the subject area of English - Language Arts and budget amendments were approved.

Certified personnel approved were: Holly Adkins, Tammy Adkins, Laura Aldayturriaga, Gregory Amacher, Lisa Amacher, Jan Ammons, Lea Ann Anderson, Sherrie Anderson, Mitzi Ayers, Sabrina Baker, Shane Baker, Suzanne Baker, Amy Banks, Amanda Barnes, Jessica Bosheers, Ciara Bowen, Ashlyn Brewer, Regina Brewer, Judy Brinkley, Melissa Burney, Lindsey Calton, Jennifer Carroll, Shondra Carroll, Barry Churchwell, Adam Clark,

Alex Clayton, Brooke Clayton, Reagan Clayton, Tabitha Coble, Lori Cogdill, Cynthia Collison, Koty Couch, Patricia Couch, Dylan Crews, Nicole Renee Dalton, Dana Davis, McKenzie Denton, Scotty Duncan, Bobbie Ashley Duncan, Robyn Durham, Kara Farr, Brandi Feichtinger, Misty Fite, Katye Forrester, Stacey Graves, Constance Griggs, Vickie Halfacre, Ashley Hallman, Jennifer Hamm, Lauren Hamm, Danielle Haygood, Rhonda Haygood, Sharlene Hensley, Diena Hill, Jeff Hill, Jerri Hinson,

Kelly Hinson, Krista Hinson, T.J. Hinson, Kristie Holt, Mary Beth Howard, Tom Jalomo, Michelle Keating, Tonya Keltner, Bethaney Keltner, Ginnon Kilpatrick, Whitney King, Dana Laubach, Andrew Lawson, Evan Lawson, Kristel Lewis, Tracy Lomax, Dasha Lowery, Leslie Lyell, William Lynch, Darlene Maloney, Tammy Mason, Janet Mayes, Peggy McCann, Kathryn McDonald, Mary McDonald, Adam McInnes, Mylie McKissack, Colyn McKnight, Haley Mitchell,

Allison Moore, Lori Morgan, Lori Moseley, Lisa Mullinicks, Amanda Natschke, Jonathan Owen, Jonathan Cody Owen, Shelley Owen, Joyce Page, Brian Peery, Amanda Pennington, Maegan Pierce, Sasha Powers, Michelle Reasons, Lauren Reese, Chanda Reeves, Brandy Rhinehart, Tiffany Richards, Ernestine Riley, Lee Riley, Rachel Riley, Kyle Roberson, Brittany Schwendimann, Lucas Scott, Jill Selby, Bobby Sharp, Whit Shelton, Necole Shepherd, William Skelton, Stacy Smith,

Melissa Sparks, Kellie Spitzer, Arlene Staggs, Christa Staggs, Rebecca Stewart, Wyatt Stockdale, Carson Tanner, Shelby Tanner, Mike Taylor, Tracy Tenison, Paris Thompson, Charlotte Thompson, Tara Tiller, Timothy Tiller, Cynthia Trull, H. Allen Trull, Brice Van Hook, Emily Van Hook, Deborah Walker, Tina Walton, Trina Weaks, Samantha J. Webb, Samantha L. Webb, Jacob White, Jo Lynn Whitehead, Kelly Willis and Ronnie Yeiser.

Support Staff

Support staff for the 2020-2021 school year are: central office personnel - Rita Atkinson, Ginger Bates, Tony Cotham, Shannon Denton, Judy Ford, Justin Hildenbrandt, Donna Inman, Michaelena Kelley, Angela Leigh, Sheryl Sharp, Sandra Stacy, Penelope Tharp, Vickie Tiller, Terry Whittenberg and Debra Willis;

Maintenance/bus lot - Chad Clayton, Vince Hinson, Chris Rhinehart, Ronnie Staggs and Jeff Turner;

Nurses - Wanda Holloway and Deidre Senter;

Bus Drivers - Herschel Anderson, Barry Churchwell, Anita Coleman, Pamela Czajka, Billy Dyer, Elizabeth Evans, Glenda Harris, Jeffery Hill, Tom Jalomo, Steve Keeton, Evan Lawson, Larry Leigh, Pam Mercer, Jim Nutt, Brian Peery, Charles Stanley, Jonathan Owen, Darryl Mercer and John Spears;

Custodians - Kenny Davis, Steve Edgerton, Michelle Gallian, Carolyn Hargrave, Scotty Hinson, Robert Johnson, Terry McDonald, Patricia Middleton, Derek Miller, Kenneth Miller, John Nati, William Russell, Evelyn Seiber, Tammie Simpson, Penny Thompson, Mary Walker, Dory Yants and William Yants;

Paraprofessionals - Jessica Anthony, Jennifer Baker, Jessica Baker, Mary Boyd, Lisa Brewer, Nancy Bryant, Bethany Calderon, Stephanie Carroll, Teresa Clayburn, Kelby Feichtinger, Rachel Floyd, Hayli Gilbert, Shaina Hamm, Melissa Hill, Gwen Hinson, Simone Hodges, Karen Holt, Donna James, Mark King, Julie Mayberry, Melissa McCann, Dollie McKnight, Kaci Meek, Elizabeth Redmon, Edna Skelton, Emma Spiess, Heather Whitlow, Carolyn Williams, Janie Williams, Kathreen Willis and Judy Worrell;

Office staff - Anita Coleman, Robin Gandy, Emily Laster, Pam Mercer, Cathey Roberson, Shannon Schmittou, Patricia Seiber and Kathy Webb;

Cafeteria staff - Cindy McClain, Janean Davis, Rebecca Miller, Nora Halfacre, Jennifer Johns, Betty McDonald, Brandie Sharp, Dana Sims, Stacey Armstrong, RoeyAnn DeVault, Vicky Duncan, Amanda Matteson, Michael Wallace, Patricia Woodie, Kathleen Andrews, Jennifer Collins, Sara Francisco, Carrie Kilpatrick, Angela Staggs Maria Staggs, and Tammy Woodie.

The board voted to pay Tennessee School Board Association and TSSE dues for the 2020-2021 year.

Volunteer Coaches

Volunteer coaches for the 2020-2021 school year was approved. They are Jeff Holbrook, Esley Shelton, Jason Graves, Mike Tharp, Shane Kimble, Kip Kelsey, Chad Clayton, Marcus Moseley, Kyle Tenison, Brad Creasy, Michael Creasy, Britney Tenison, Rodney McDonald, Daniel Hull, Jonah Keltner, Josh Keltner, Scotty Bass and Aren Ragsdale.

Retirement Plan

Prior to approval of the reinstatement of Lewis County Schools’ 403(b) retirement plan, Michaelena Kelley explained to the board members why the school was changing administrators of the Lewis County School’s 403 (b) retirement plan. She stated that employees have complained about the current administrator, Horace Mann, and there were several issues with payroll deductions. She also stated there seemed to be several times employees had tried to contact Horace Mann representatives and no phone calls were received back.

AIG has agreed to be the new administrator of the 403 (b) retirement plan. She stated that current employees will have the option to stay with Horace Mann or change over to AIG. All new employees will be enrolled with AIG. She also stated that AIG will be offering financial planning with all employees if they choose to have this service.

New Business

Mrs. McDonald inquired if the school had a bereavement policy for employees. She stated that she thought that it was not fair for employees to use their sick leave for bereavement days.

Mr. Pace explained that most of the employees receive 12 days per year which are two personal days and 10 sick days. He stated that there were very few employees who do not have days that they can use for bereavement days. Mr. Pace stated that he would check with TSBA to see what the legal issues would be for a bereavement policy. Mrs. McDonald requested to have more information regarding the possibility of bereavement pay being a part of the employees benefits by the next regular scheduled meeting. Mr. Pace agreed to have information put on the agenda at the next board meeting for the board to discuss.

A tentative meeting date of June 29, 2020, 5 p.m. was set for a special called meeting, in the event any additional amendments were necessary to close out the school year budget. This meeting was scheduled in advance of the Lewis County Commission’s return from recess at 6 p.m. the same day.

Board members would be notified no later than a week prior to a meeting, if there was a need for an additional meeting.

Mrs. Himes stated that she would like to go over some of the budget that will be presented in July, to which Mr. Pace replied they might have time to go over some of the bigger budget items on June 29, 2020, if the meeting is held.

Chairman Atkinson reminded board members of the Senior Walk and to keep Spencer Clark in their prayers.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be July 14, 2020 at 6 p.m.


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