By David Smith
For the Mountain Advocate
Dexter Smith dropped the gavel for the first time to open Tuesday’s Knox County School Board meeting.
He told the sparse crowd, “I appreciate serving on this school board. I thank these fine board members for voting me chairman.”
After the pledge of allegiance and prior to the start of the meeting, Kelly Sprinkles, Superintendent, introduced Dalton Smith, a senior from Lynn Camp High School.
“Dalton Smith is going to be our first non-voting student board member. We hope to get the ‘student perspective’ concerning what we do as a school system. Each month we hope to have a new student from a different school.”
The board voted to join the KSBA. Kentucky Utilities has asked for a rate increase up to 18 percent. Sprinkles said that if enough schools from across the state joined the KSBA, the increase might not happen this year.
Board member Gordon Hinkle disagreed, saying, “This increase is going to happen no matter what we do.”
Chair Dexter Smith said, “This is a ‘getting rid of our coal’ increase.”
Pride Grants were approved for Flat Lick and Knox Central along with the hiring of 21 new substitutes teachers. Bids will be accepted for auditors in 2015 and new banking service. Due to already missing 18 days this school year, the board approved attending classes March 20 and April 6-10.
Various board members implored the group to look for other ways to attend school during inclement weather. Virtual classrooms and strategic busing schedules were brought up.
Both of the roof renovations at Dewitt and Flat Lick were tabled until next month’s meeting.