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Hughes, Jones re-elected to Sullivan BOE leadership positions

Rick Wagner • Sep 17, 2017 at 8:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County’s school board will have two familiar faces at its helm for another 12 months.

The Board of Education voted 6-0 with one abstention to re-elect Michael Hughes of Hickory Tree chairman and Randall Jones of Indian Springs vice chairman during its meeting Thursday. Hughes abstained on the motion to re-elect him, and Jones abstained on the motion to re-elect him.

As previously reported, the board formally named the new middle school in the Sullivan East High zone Sullivan East Middle. The school’s colors will be red, white and blue and its mascot the Patriots, matching the nearby high school. The board also approved moving forward with taking bids for initial site preparation work.

In addition, the board went on record expressing a preference for Bristol Tennessee Essential Services to provide electricity to the new high school off Exit 63 of Interstate 81 and voted to apply for BTES to serve both schools. Kingsport Power, doing business as AEP-Appalachian Power, has requested the Tennessee Public Utilities Board have AEP serve the site instead of BTES, citing a 1989 agreement among utilities.

In other action, the board:

— Approved policies on audits, emergency preparedness and interscholastic athletics, all required by changes in or additions to Tennessee law.

— Granted a requested 10-day extension to the sellers of the Lynn Road property where the new county high school is to be constructed. The owners are removing a cabin and have had rain and other issues that pushed the work beyond the agreed-upon 90-day timeframe.

— Reviewed on first reading proposed policy changes on attendance, removing what Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski called erroneous information, and amended policy to mirror state law that gives each teacher $200 a year in instructional supplies instead of $100 going to each teacher and another $100 pooled for use schoolwide.

— Approved a $25,000 budget amendment to accept money from SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, to hold a teacher professional development conference at Bristol Motor Speedway Sept. 22-23. From 150 to 200 teachers from Sullivan and 10 surrounding school systems are to attend, Rafalowski said.

— Scheduled its annual retreat for 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 10, at a to-be-determined location. A called meeting to perform the annual board self-evaluation will take place at the same location from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The regular board work session will be 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28., and the next voting board meeting Monday, Oct. 2.

— Adopted its yearly agenda.

— Met with Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee seventh-grader David Davenport, a Boy Scout who attended the meeting with his father.

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