Cannon County's Board of Education gave its approval to the tenure and non-tenure recommendations of Director of Schools Barbara Parker Thursday, but the vote was not unanimous.
In fact, two of the four members who voted to approve the list of those who are being offered tenure, and those who are not, expressed some reservation.
Approved for tenure were: Deborah Parks and Peggy Leach, Auburn Elementary; Yolanda Flagg, Lydia Garrett, Crystal Kennedy, Casey Carson-McGee and Laura Simmons, Cannon County High School; Barbara Corry, Central Office; Greta Reed, East Side Elementary; Lori Christensen, Melissa Killian, Carolyn Joy Pope and Jessica Sullivan, Woodbury Grammar; and Christine Sanborn and Alice Whittle, Woodland Elementary.
Not recommended for tenure are: Libby Redmon and Gerald Tidwell, Woodbury Grammar, and Rona Justine-Russell, Woodland Elementary.
Non-tenured teachers not rehired for 2010-2011 are: Barbara Donnell, Holly Harwood, Jennifer Cherry, Leigh King, Jessica Logan, Rayann Loftis, Lisa Vickers, Tiffany Gannon, Diana Jernigan, Susanne Hebden and Mike Johnson.
Board members Randy Gannon, Cathy Hyatt, Roy Parker and Chris Blackburn voted to approve the director's recommendations. Shannon Davenport cast a no vote. However, Parker and Blackburn both expressed regret over some of the non-tenure decisions.
Prior to the vote, Davenport made the following statement:
"I wanted to let the public know that I have been very upset over the way some things have been handled over the past few weeks. As an elected official, I feel that there are some things I need to make my constituents & the public aware of.
"In running for the office of school board I had one thing in mind and that was to do what was best for each child in this county. I have never been one to let 1 or 2 people sway my opinion or vote in anyway because of being related, owing a favor to someone or just plain out UGLY politics! I think that we as adults have got to 1st ACT like one, 2nd Do what is best for the kids & 3rd Get over your hurt feelings & rise above any conflict that comes your way. It will make you the person that kids look up to & want to be like.
"I love my community & the people in it, but we are quick in judging those by the gossip that we hear. It would be so great if we could put aside our differences & do what is best for the kids. As teachers, administrators, supervisors, janitors, bus drivers, cafeteria staff & teachers asst we should be the one person that a child can count on. We spend more time with these children than most parents because of work & the economy. The influence that we have on these children will impact them the rest of their lives.
"We can either make that child strive to be better or constantly be a stumbling block that could make them just be satisfied with the way things are. I do not want that for my child or anyone else's. I think that we want to judge others & set a standard of what we think they should be, when we need to examine ourselves & see where we fall short! When the vote is taken in a few minutes there will be some happy & some upset. When the list is voted on its done as a whole which includes the ones who are recommended & the ones who are not. In voting we as a board are either saying that agree with the Director on the list 100% or disagree.
"I want everyone on this list to know that regardless of how the vote goes, that as a Christian, Mom & Board member I have to do what I think is best for the kids. I am not only their voice but that of the numerous parents, teachers & community people who have contacted me over the past few weeks with their concerns. It is my prayer that we all do a self-examination of ourselves to see if we really have our priorities straight & remember who this affects in the long run. It is our biggest ASSET & should be the reason our school system even exists: THE CHILDREN!"
In other business during Thursday's meeting at Short Mountain Elementary, the board:
• Received notification of retirements and resignations. The following Teachers have elected to retire at the end of the 2009-2010 School Year: Mr. Roger Turney; Mrs. Anita Arnold and Ms. Carylee Caputo. The following teachers have resigned their positions at the end of the 2009-2010 School Year: Ms. Kerri Huffines and Mrs. Lauren Gregory.
• Approved a change in 2009-2010 school calendar to make up a snow day. The make-up day will be May 27.
• Approved changes to the 2010-2011 School Calendar.
• Deferred to its May meeting Constable Jim Gibbs' request to start a G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program at county elementary schools.
• Approved a resolution to increase revenue and expenses for the Tools of the Mind Grant.
• Set April 22 at 4 p.m. as the date and time for negotiations with CCEA.
• Set April 26 at 6 p.m. as the date and time for a Board budget workshop.
The next Board Workshop will be at the Central Office on Tuesday, May 11 at 6 PM. The next Regular Board Meeting will be Thursday, May 13 at Cannon County High School at 6 PM.