Barbour County Board of Education members held their first meeting in two months on Monday, May 11 via Zoom with each board member signing in by either computer or cell phone.

Minutes, which included personnel items, from the last meeting held on March 9 were approved before the board moved on to other items listed on the approved agenda.

The first personnel item from the March 9 meeting to receive approval from the board, with the exception of two board members, included the non-renewal of the contract for the Principal of the Barbour County Primary School, Undrea Johnson. Effective June 30, Johnson’s contract with the county school system will end. Reasons given for recommending the termination of the contract were willful failure to comply with board policy procedures, failure to fulfill duties and responsibilities imposed under principals by law, and /or other good and just cause associated with fiscal management of school funds.

Personnel items approved in March that received approval of the full board included a leave of absence for Traci Abercrombie that was extended through April 13; rescinding of employment for Sandra Guilford as a bus driver for the county schools, effective Feb. 17; and the hiring of Sherry Nelson as bus driver, effective March 2.

Every year near the end of the school year, the county Board of Education approves a non-renewal of supplemental positions for coaches and sponsors — the positions are refilled when school resumes each year. Non-renewal of supplements that were approved with a March 10 effective date included Stevie Fryer as the Head Coach for the boys’ basketball team, Varsity Girls Basketball Assistant Coach, and Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Assistant Coach; Cornadis Jones, Varsity Boys Basketball Assistant Coach and Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach; Darius Muse, Varsity Girls Basketball Head Coach; KeUndra Dudley, Varsity Girls Basketball. One new supplement was named — Anthony Patrick was named as the Interim Assistant Track Coach effective March 10.

Questions were raised by board member Jimmie Fryer during the check register accountability reports about two checks written to Lennon Financial Services, one during February for $1,878.75 and one during March for $1,235.25. Fryer asked what the school system was being billed for by the former county financial officer, Marcus Lennon. He said he had requested a copy of the invoices for services that were performed before the meeting.

“It was for work that was performed,” CSFO Michelle Rhynes said as she answered Fryer. “He is still under contract so whenever I choose to utilize his knowledge and experience, he helps with whatever the issues might be. We do pay him for that.” She asked for another 24 hours to provide the information to Fryer due to the fact that she did not receive a list of the questions Fryer had until noon that day.

Fryer said, “I need this information in order to cast my vote — yea or nay.”

Fryer also asked about checks written to hotels, getting the explanation that it was for hotel stays during the state championship that the boys’ basketball team went to, representing the school system during the tournament.

As a vote was called for, board members Shirley Johnson, Jackie Davis, and Ruby Jackson cast affirmative votes. Fryer and board member Johnnie Helms voted not to approve the check register accountability reports. Fryer and Helms went on to cast a no vote during the call for a vote to approve the monthly bank reconciliations for February and March.

Personnel items handled for May included accepting the retirement of Angela Magee as a first grade teacher at the primary School effective June 1 and the retirement of Michelle Tharpe-Baxter as a first grade teacher, effective June 1. Also approved were the hiring of Shelton Johnson as the ninth-tenth grade English Teacher, effective with the 2020-2021 school year; and the hiring of Kerri Taylor as a Special Education Teacher at the High School effective the 2020-2021 school year.

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