Anthony Pennington, Lynn Camp School’s principal and his staff, hosted the Knox School Board Meeting Tuesday night. The crowd was by far the largest for any previous school board meeting this year. Pennington stated, “It should quite apparent to anyone here that our parents and families support these kids. It is so exciting to see this many folks show up for a board meeting. The auditorium’s seating capacity is 650 people and we have already had to carry in more chairs.”
Pennington should be excited. Lynn Camp High School received recognition as the second “Most Improved High School” in the state of Kentucky. According to him, “We were almost #1. I think Estill County beat us by a point or 2.”
Twenty-two groups/individuals were also recognized for either: pioneering a 1st year program, being published in a book, winning a District, being the first ever person in Lynn Camp history to be elected to a regional Club office, being recognized nationally as 1st place winners. Some of the largest applause was given when Principal Pennington had all of the school bus drivers take the stage. He recognized them for helping him have 100 % attendance during ACT testing, and for going beyond their jobs in making sure kids attended school.
When the school’s recognition was completed, the board got down to business. Highlights were: teachers will continue to be paid twice per month, next year school will start August 12th and end May 13th, Summit Construction was approved to start the process or repairing the roofs of Knox Middle and Lynn Camp Elementary.
Roeding Insurance was given the insurance coverage for the upcoming year. The Board was quick to vote yes to get the coverage as the amount was $6,843 less than last year’s premium. Roeding executive David Livingston stated, “Statewide the average increase in cost of insurance for schools has risen 5-6%. You guys (Knox) are actually getting a 1.83% decrease due to less claims.”
After much discussion, the Board decided to spend $48,000 to purchase a new (air conditioning) compressor and repair an old compressor at Knox Central High School (2 are necessary). They are looking into some additions that could be completed to create future energy saving.
The Board also approved to start using a Non-Traditional School Day Plan. This allows (in the event of bad weather) for 10 days of school to be made up by sending homework packets home with kids or engaging them via the internet with programs such as blackboard.
Richland Fire Department’s Chief Alfred Yeager and Assistant Chief Pat Mills were on hand to sign another 40 year lease agreement with the Board. Dexter Smith, Chairman of the Board, said, “Almost forty years ago, the school board leased 0.621 acres of land so that a volunteer fire department could be built to aid the community. We can continue what our forefathers wanted started.” The acreage being leased is the land that the Richland Fire Department building resides. The lease was approved unanimously and signed/notarized immediately.
In the behind doors closed session, the Board conducted their first reading concerning random drug testing for employees in safety-sensitive positions. Safety-sensitive positions requiring post-offer, pre-employment drug testing are: principal, assistant principal, teacher, traveling teacher, teacher aide, substitute teacher, school secretary, central office staff, itinerant staff, and school bus driver. The policy will be further reviewed by Kentucky School Board Association. The second reading will occur at the May Board meeting.
A Motion was also passed to allow the Board attorney to initiate legal action against a former athletic director to collect district funds. No specific name was given.