Crowd packs 509-J School Board meeting
Buff Elementary was packed for Monday night's 509-J Board of Directors' meeting, with nearly 300 people in the cafeteria and lined up down the hall.
The occasion was the presentation by the board, principals and superintendent of awards to students whose scores exceeded state standards by scoring a Level 4 on the state Smarter Balanced Test in literature and math.
"This crowd is a testament to what it takes to achieve – family support and involvement," Superintendent Ken Parshall told the parents and relatives in the room.
Starting with Big Muddy School, the principal of each school called students up one at a time to shake hands with board members and receive their award to thundering applause. Students exited through a side door to the gym, where proud parents took group photos.
Once all the excitement was over, the board held a short meeting.
During citizen's comments, parent Kristal Hughes thanked the board for the event. "One of the reasons we moved here was because of the diversity of your population. And (Principal) Simon White and his staff at the middle school have been amazing," she said.
Hughes had a request. "Is there a way to encourage the excitement the kids had tonight on a deeper level?" she asked. She said it was great to see struggling students getting the help they need, but also asked, "Is there a way to also encourage TAG (talented and gifted) kids?"
Parshall responded, telling her about the district's new free afterschool program. "The afterschool 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant is for every student and provides enrichment activities for all," he said.
Under personnel, the board approved the hiring of Lee Hofman to teach computer tech at JCMS, and Jacob Young to teach student academic success at Warm Springs K-8 Academy. Head coaches hired at JCMS included Shawn Darrow, boys basketball; Jessica Williams, girls basketball; and Ron Oliver, wrestling. Allen Hair was hired as the MHS boys basketball assistant coach.
A list of broken chairs, tables, desks and one Smart Board were declared surplus property, so they could be disposed of. A donation of $1,000 from the Go Beyond Racing group was accepted for instruction services.
The next board meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Big Muddy School, on the Washington Family Ranch.