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Danville School Board – LIVE! (1/7/16)

SouthsideCentral was LIVE! at Thursday’s Danville School Board meeting. Enjoy the recap!

We’re underway. Philip Campbell leads the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Chairman Ed Polhamus leads a moment of silence for Joe King & all school employees who died in 2015.

Nobody wants to speak in the public comment section. We move to business and we start with Andy Thacker announcing that Langston had the highest percentage increase in United Way contributions this past year.

Andy Thacker speaks at the podium.

Here’s the representatives from Langston to accept the award from Andy Thacker.

And here’s a close-up of the award plaque.

Next, Kathy Osborne & John Parris speak about moving the school board meetings to city council chambers.






John Parris takes his turn at the podium.

Miraculously, it’s been discovered that for less than $1000, the school system can run a data line directly into the city system. That means that they can do live broadcasting from the downstairs meeting room. With this addition, the school board now seems to be leading towards not moving to city council chambers at all. When I started pressuring for the change of venue to council chambers, the main goal was to make it so that the second meeting of the month (what they call the “work session”) would be televised. That’s now doable as well as having things broadcasted live, so I really don’t have much of an objection to keeping the meetings in the basement room. Cheryl Bryant does point out that council chambers are much larger and that was another issue, but the board agreed that they could move meetings where it looks like there will be a large crowd over to council chambers.

I’m perfectly willing to compromise on issues, so I’m not really going to push this issue any more.

Here’s one side of tonight’s audience.

And here’s the other side.

And here’s a look at the entire board.

Kathy Osborne now talks about the capital improvement budget. The board will hear from an architect firm at the next meeting to figure out what the most pressing repair needs will be.

In the meantime, a Danville police officer has arrived for his normal security shift. Unfortunately, there’s no student discipline cases scheduled so he’ll be watching over empty chairs. Nobody called the police department to cancel the standing request so his time is being wasted. And the money to pay the 4-hour minimum is also being wasted. I’m not complaining about the police officer. He’s just following his orders. After the meeting was over, school board members said that they’ve always used a police officer for security purposes at the meetings, yet I’ve sometimes seen one and other times I haven’t. Oh well. That’s a lot of money being spent that could be used for other purposes.

Next up, Melissa Newton presents a Title I award of excellence to Forest Hills Elementary School.

Melissa Newton thought she got away fast enough to avoid her photo being taken. Wrongo! Heh.

Catherine Lassiter and the Title I teachers of Forest Hills Elementary School are very happy about their recognition. Dolores Reynolds, HELLO!

Principal Catherine Lassiter and her teachers show off the award.

Register & Bee reporter Trevor Metcalfe is hard at work getting his article ready.

We heart Juliet Jennings.

Next, Special Guest Star Juliet Jennings goes over the twelve eleven personnel recommendations. Lori Cassada follows her and talks about the governor’s proposed education budget and the upcoming school budget process.

It’s Lori Cassada!

Superintendent Stan Jones asks for the moving of a physical education teacher to GW for administrative support, extending the workday of a middle school teacher (she would leave at 12:30 and go to GW for support services help until 4 PM), and adding a “student relations specialist” position for the rest of the school year. The board approves that on a 7-0 vote. I notice that there are zero parents and concerned citizens here to speak or even just see what’s happening with the GWHS discipline issues except Dolores Reynolds, and I’m excluding her from that comment because she’s always there and always cares about local issues). Danville’s infamous Short Attention Span is quite evident here.

We’re done with business and we move to the around the horn session. Everybody has nice things to say about the school system. At the end of the meeting, Chairman Ed Polhamus reads some talking points prepared by Stan Jones about the school system employee arrested on child pornography charges. They remind everybody that the man had no pornography of local students, that he was immediately suspended without pay and has been banned from school property until the criminal charges are resolved.

The board heads into closed session for Superintendent Stan Jones’ six-month evaluation, so we’re done here.

Thanks for reading the most comprehensive recap of Thursday’s Danville School Board meeting. We’re the only local media source that loves to add photos so that you can see what happened. We’ve got more coming up on SouthsideCentral!

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