Chairmen Elected

At their first meetings in September each year, both the Loudon County Commission and the Loudon County School Board elect their chairman and vice chairman for the upcoming year.

Last week, commissioners unanimously re-elected current chairman Steve Harrelson and current vice chairwoman Earlena Maples for another one year term. The school board election wasn't quite so simple.

Current school board vice chairman, Scott Newman, was nominated to be the new chairman by board member, Bobby Johnson Jr. However, board member Jeremy Buckles nominated current board chairman, Rick Best, for a second term as chairman. The two nominations set up a roll call vote to decide the position. Newman has previously served three terms as board chairman.

When all was said and done, Newman was elected as chairman by a 6-4 vote. Johnson Jr., Newman, William Jenkins, Kenny Ridings, Craig Simon and Leroy Tate voting for Newman. Buckles, Gary Ubben, Phil Moffit and Best voting for Best. Board member, Craig Simon was unanimously elected as vice chairman. 

BOE names officers for new year

Jeremy Nash

Loudon County Board of Education selected its new chairman and vice chairman for the 2015-16 school year during Thursday night’s meeting.

This year board member Scott Newman will serve as chairman, while board member Craig Simon will serve as vice chairman. Over the past year Newman served as vice chairman, and he was recommended by board member Bobby Johnson Jr. Board member Jeremy Buckles recommended Past Chairman Ric Best to resume the role again for another year, but ultimately Newman won a vote of 6-4 in favor.

Simon was recommended by board member Will Jenkins and went unopposed.

“I think we picked two experienced board members,” Best said after the meeting. “They’ve had considerable time on task and they’re going to serve the community well. They have a background with experience in all different aspects of the total school program, and Mr. Newman for sure is a tried and proven leader and I’m looking forward to working with both of these gentlemen.”

Newman said he has been on the school board for 13 years and has served as chairman two other times as well.

“I’m excited. I think we showed tonight that we’re all going to work together and move forward,” Newman said after the meeting. “I think that we’ll just keep on doing what we have. We have a great director and he pretty much runs the show and we just kind of guide him in that way.” Simon is into his third term on the school board.

“Just get us back on track,” Simon said of what he looks forward to doing as vice chairman. “I like Scotty’s idea of doing what we’ll do with the budget and we’re just — not that we’re off track but just keep us going in the right direction.”

Newman said he wished to do away with the school board’s budget committee and just let all board members work together on the budget line by line.
In other news, the school board:

• Unanimously passed in favor of a consumer driven health plan where the BOE will contribute $500 for an individual plan and $1,000 for a family plan into a Health Savings Account each year. Board member Leroy Tate motioned, and Johnson seconded.

• Voted in favor of teacher tenure for 10 teachers. The vote passed unanimously. Buckles motioned, and board member Kenny Ridings seconded.

• Approved budget amendments that included $130,000 in the 141 budget for security entry ways at Eaton, Philadelphia and Steekee elementary schools, and old 142 subfund monies totaling $141,281, which would leave a current estimated ending fund balance of at least $5.363 million. Tate motioned, and Jenkins seconded.

• Agreed to name Highland Park Drive as David Clinton Drive in honor of Highland Park Elementary School’s past principal who retired after last year.

• Voted in favor of allotting up to $25,000 toward a Fort Loudoun Middle School concession stand, about $5,000 toward entering into an agreement with an architect to map out plans next to the new Greenback School and $1,500 toward soccer field repairs at North Middle School. Additionally, the school board voted unanimously in favor of approving a 25-year lease for the Loudon High School softball team to utilize Liberty Field. Loudon City Council will now need to vote on the lease.

• Approved $13,000-$15,000 to be taken out of fund balance for an awning at Loudon Elementary School. Ridings motioned, and Jenkins seconded.

• Approved making Best a Tennessee School Boards Association representative, and Best recommended Buckles take over for him as a Tennessee Legislative Network representative.

• Voted in favor of taking $90,000 out of fund balance to be used to pave an emergency drive and the existing drive through around Philadelphia Elementary School. Director of Schools Jason Vance said he would try to ask Loudon County Commission for the $90,000 to be taken out of Adequate Facilities Tax. Tate motioned, and Ridings seconded.

• Approved Vance going to County Commission at the capital projects meeting to request $130,000 for security entry ways at Eaton, Philadelphia and Steekee elementary schools. The money is already approved to be taken from fund balance.