The Kingsport City Schools Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Several key items were discussed, including:
- Recognition of Dobyns-Bennett teacher Kris Krautkremer for being awarded as a state-level winner of the 2016-17 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching;
- Recognition of the Dobyns-Bennett Air Force JROTC for receiving their 10th consecutive Distinguished Unit Award;
- Consideration and approval of the search process and timeline to hire the next KCS Superintendent of Schools;
- Consideration and approval of compensation for the Interim Superintendent of Schools;
- Consideration and approval of a professional services agreement for a Dobyns-Bennett High School facility assessment; and
- Information related to the Sullivan County budgetary process which could have significant potential impact on the current-year 2017-18 Kingsport City Schools Revenues.
Tonight's reports and recognitions were broadcast live on the KCS Facebook Page! Click here to view this video from tonight's meeting.
CALL TO ORDER
Members of the nationally recognized Dobyns-Bennett High School Air Force JROTC presented the Colors and led attendees in tonight's Pledge of Allegiance. The unit is led by student Cadet Colonel Sydney McDougal (D-B AFJROTC Core Commander), Cadet Chief Master Sargent Mason McDougal, and Cadet First Lieutenant Mason Acton. Colonel Eric Vogt leads the D-B program and led the Pledge this evening.
Board member Mr. Eric Hyche and State Representative Mr. John Crawford recognized Mrs. Kris Krautkremer, Dobyns-Bennett High School AP Biology and AP Biology 2 teacher, for being named a State-level science winner of the prestigious 2016-2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
- Mrs. Krautkremer will be recognized as a state-level winner at the Tennessee Department of Education banquet in September.
- Her application will now advance to a national selection process. National winners receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, $10,000 from the National Science Foundation to be used at the awardee's discretion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. for the recognition activities.
- Mrs. Krautkremer is in her 15th year with KCS and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma, a Masters of Science in Microbiology and a Masters of Public Administration, both from Texas A & M.
Board President Mrs. Susan Lodal recognized the Dobyns-Bennett Air Force Junior ROTC cadets and instructors for recently earning the Air Force JROTC Distinguished Unit Award for the 2016-17 school year.
- This is the 10th consecutive year the program has earned this prestigious honor.
- Board President Mrs. Susan Lodal, Interim Superintendent Dr. Dwain Arnold and Dobyns-Bennett Principal Dr. Chris Hampton were presented a guidon, an embroidered ribbon signifying a specific award achieved by an individual unit. This guidon, recognizing the unit as a 2017 Distinguished Unit, was pinned on the Unit's flag by Mrs. Lodal, Dr. Arnold, and Dr. Hampton as part of a military ceremony.
The Board discussed and considered options for conducting the search for the next KCS Superintendent of Schools.
- The Board considered three groups to lead the search: Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, Ray and Associates, and Teams, Inc.
- All three firms were also considered for the previous superintendent search, resulting in the hiring of Dr. Ailshie in March, 2012. At that time, Teams, Inc. was selected and facilitated the search process.
- Having been on the Board during the prior search, Mrs. Lodal and Mrs. Upshaw expressed positive reviews of Teams, Inc. related to the previous search. The expressed satisfaction in the attentiveness to KCS' needs and feedback. Mr. Hyche expressed satisfaction in reviewing the experience and ability of Teams, Inc. to conduct a sufficiently broad search with a solid and streamlined process.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to move forward with Teams, Inc. to conduct the search for the next KCS Superintendent.
- The Board additionally expressed a desire to complete the search and hiring process by January 1, 2018. The Board affirmed this desired timeline by a vote of 4-0.
The Board also considered a compensation package for Dr. Dwain Arnold for his service while filling the role of Interim Superintendent of Schools.
- Given the additional roles and responsibilities required of Dr. Arnold while serving in the Interim Superintendent position, an additional $2,500 per month in compensation was purposed for the length of his interim tenure.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted to approve this additional compensation for Dr. Arnold while serving as Interim Superintendent by a vote of 4-0.
Chief Finance Officer Mr. David Frye reviewed a professional services agreement for Perkins+Will for a facility assessment study at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
- The scope of this work will include meetings with facility staff to learn interests and requirements for systems, structure, exterior, and renovations.
- The total cost of this agreement is $30,000, which includes $15,000 for facility assessment, $5,000 for programming, and $10,000 for scope of desired renovation work and budget generation.
- After review and consideration, the Board voted 4-0 to approve the professional services agreement with Perkins+Will in the amount of $30,000 for a facility assessment.
During tonight's Superintendent's Report, Dr. Arnold presented preliminary information to the Board regarding ongoing considerations related to the Sullivan County budget process, which is currently underway. The projected Sullivan County budget currently under consideration by the Sullivan County Commission could have a significant impact on the current-year 2017-18 KCS budget, as KCS receives revenues deriving from Sullivan County taxes, based on the percentage of students that attend Kingsport City Schools. City residents in Kingsport and Bristol both pay city and county taxes.
KCS Chief Finance Officer David Frye and the Board discussed information related to the potential impact on KCS finances. Mr. Frye and BOE members are continuing to review the specifics of the Sullivan County budget proposal and its potential impact on expected KCS revenues. This includes newspaper reporting that indicates a potential reduction in the county education tax rate by shifting 5.5 cents from the general purpose schools fund to the county general fund, as well as the Sullivan County Commission not sharing a proportion of renovation funding with KCS and Bristol City Schools, as has been the case until now, based on the percentage of city students attending city systems. As currently understood, the impact on expected current-year KCS revenues could result in a decrease of more than $1.5 million. Sullivan County Schools and Bristol City Schools would also be negatively effected.
Out of caution, two agenda items originally scheduled for consideration at tonight's BOE meeting (the purchase of laptop devices for KCS teachers and the upgrade/replacement of the KCS phone system) were deferred until additional and final budgetary information could be obtained.
KCS officials are continuing to investigate the situation regarding the potential Sullivan County budget. Current Kingsport Times-News reporting indicates that the Sullivan County Commission will hold a public hearing at 8:30 a.m. on August 31st in the Historic Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville, followed by a likely vote on the proposed budget. Depending on the final outcome of this process, KCS will then determine a plan of action to address any necessary adjustments to the 2017-18 KCS Budget.
The next meeting of the Board of Education will be on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Tennessee Room of the Administrative Support Center (400 Clinchfield Street).