December School Board Meeting.

Kelly Sprinkles praises board member Sam Waits as former superintendent Huelett looks on
Kelly Sprinkles praises board member Sam Waits as former superintendent Huelett looks on

Girdler Elementary opened the meeting with a loud and perfect recitation of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance.  They stole the show by following up with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Mike Corey (County Clerk) asked to Board to speak prior to the actual meeting start.   He stated, “The hardest part of my job and the one that receives the most criticism is overseeing the election and its results. I asked Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles and Barbourville Advocate’s Jay Nolan to help me figure out a better way to gather and publish this year’s results.  I have to tell you between Frank Shelton’s efforts with TV-4, Nolan’s online streaming with the Advocate and the students who professionally read the results as they came in,  created the first, best live reporting that has ever been accomplished in Knox County.  I have heard nothing but praise concerning what was done and I appreciate everyone’s support.  Frank Shelton, sir, you are the man.” Corey, Nolan and the Board gave Shelton a round of applause.

Nolan said the online streaming of election results garnered 8,000 viewers. He also praised the student that hosted the event.

Lynn Camp students received a lot of attention for doing well in the KYA. The Kentucky Youth Assembly is a 3 day learning conference hosted by the Kentucky YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association).  During these days, students write, vote and debate like normal Senators and Representatives. An 11 person team from the school wrote 2 bills dealing with school security. This is the 2nd year (in a row) that they were honored on the state level.

They received Delegation of Excellence by beating out 100 other teams from top school across the state. Erik Fritts, Andrew Jones and Josh Asher beat out 20 other bills and were awarded Outstanding Premiere Bill. Their bill proposed arming teachers in schools.

Abigail Sell received a state level Outstanding Speaker award beating out 1,000 other students. Emily Garlen was awarded Outstanding Delegate.

Knox County’s Cross Country Teams are rising in power.  The Lady Panthers placed 6th in the region while the boys placed 5th. Several players made the all SEKC (South Eastern Kentucky Conference) teams. SEKC covers 6 of our local counties.  1st Team all SEKC: Madison Gibson, Caseylynn Brooks, 2nd Team: Dayne Imel, Brayden Elliott, Caleb Teague.  Imel in his age group is recognized as the 6th best in AA Cross Country in the state.

The trophies for school attendance went as follows: Elementary, Flat Lick with 94.73 %, Middle and High School (4th month in a row) remain with Lynn Camp.

Representatives from Berea College were on hand to discuss their Full Service Community Grant ($500,000 for the next 5 years).  They are interviewing for the Project Coordinator position and hope to have them in place by Christmas. If successful, the program will start in January. This grant is intended to help all kids at all Knox County Schools.

Sam Watts was recognized by the Board for his 8 years of service. Former Superintendent Walter T. Huelett (who showed up specifically to praise Watts), and Superintendent Sprinkles both praised Watts for his service.  Peggy Gray, the newest school board member elected was on hand and recognized by the board.

Cloyd & Associates brought copies of their 64 page audit of the Knox County School Board and gave them to each board member.  A Madgell Miller from Cloyd, called the audit “clean and nice.” She pointed out that the Activity Funds, through which all school level cash would flow through, took in over 1 million dollars last school year. This is the fundraising, bake sales, sports entry tickets part of a school. Miller pointed out that Knox County had very good “controls”to deal with this money.  Miller, “You were written up 10 times last year for not doing the right thing, such as buying something prior to a Purchase Order Number not being issued.  This year we found only 2 things to write up.”  Miller stated, “Gertrude (Smith) does a good job for the schools system.”

The Board voted to approve the same vendor to apply chemicals and cut all (sport playing) fields.  At Merrill Smith’s request, they will be looking for further ways to reduce this expense. No other information will be covered.