The Bartow County School Board didn’t let the coronavirus stop it from meeting Monday night.
Though the board had to forego some of its usual agenda items that involve students and staff, it was able to approve the appointment of a new principal for next year, new laptops for the middle schools and new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and light replacement for three school kitchens.
Superintendent Dr. Phillip Page announced that Clear Creek Elementary Assistant Principal Allison LaRue will be the the new principal of Kingston Elementary School beginning next school year.
In her third year as second-in-command at CCES, LaRue will be replacing Principal Philena Johnson, who resigned in January.
“Congratulations, Ms. LaRue,” Page said. “I look forward to the great work you’ll do with that amazing staff at Kingston Elementary School.”
The newly appointed leader, who was not at the meeting, said it was “an honor to be named the principal” of KES.
“I am thrilled to be able to support the staff and students and join their family,” she said in an email. “I look forward to getting to know all of them as soon as we are able to return to school.”
A member of last fall’s second cohort of the Aspiring Principals Leadership Academy, LaRue has known for a while that she wanted to be the head of a school.
“I have always wanted to be an educator, and in my experiences in administration, it became clear that I wanted to work toward being a principal,” she said. “When this specific position became available, I knew I had to apply. I am thrilled to have been extended the opportunity to work at such a wonderful school.”
Before becoming the AP at Clear Creek, LaRue also taught there for six years and was an instructional coach for one year.
In other business, board members approved 5-0 purchasing 3,500 Dell Latitude 3190 laptops for students and 300 Dell Latitude 3390 laptops for teachers – the same models used by the elementary and high schools – to complete the 1-to-1 laptop refresh for all four middle schools.
The $2,101,048 purchase will be funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
To protect those new laptops as well as laptops from one grade level for each elementary and high school, the board approved buying 5,250 11-inch Belkin laptop sleeves at a cost of $43,785, which also will come from SPLOST funds.
Board members unanimously approved awarding the contract for kitchen HVAC and light replacement at Mission Road and White elementary schools and Woodland High to low bidder McWhorter Goss for $515,824, with funds to be taken from the SPLOST account.
In a 3-2 vote, the board rejected supporting the Georgia School Boards Association’s legislative positions as recommended by the superintendent.
“I don’t have any particular bone to pick with the items in the legislative session,” Vice Chairman Derek Keeney said. “It’s just that over the years, I have been increasingly dissatisfied with the way the GSBA’s been representing school boards across the state of Georgia at the state Capitol. I fear that having a unanimous vote across all boards in the state sends the wrong message to our legislature. I’m going to have to vote against the blanket statement that we support the general direction of the GSBA.”
Chairman Fred Kittle and board member Terry Lee Eggert also voted against the measure.
Anna Sullivan and Tony Ross were elected as the board’s delegate and alternate, respectively, for the GSBA’s Summer Delegate Assembly June 5 in Savannah.