Greene County school system’s chief financial officer resigns

The Greene County Board of Education met in a special call meeting, Thursday, September 2, 2021, for matters involving the system’s CSFO, Lavonda Blair and for personnel matters. Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to accept the CSFO’s resignation, effective September 16, 2021. The board did not disclose reasons for the resignation. Ms. Lavonda Blair was hired as Chief School Financial Officer for the Greene County School System, on a three year contract, beginning August 1, 2018. In June of this year, the board renewed Blair’s contract effective July 1, 2021, expiring June 30, 2024. The board authorized the President, Dr. Carol Zippert, with the assistance of the Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, to seek temporary personnel to continue the tasks in the system’s CSFO Department, especially regarding the closeout of the books for the current fiscal year ending September 30. The board further authorized President Zippert and Vice-President Kashaya Cockrell to initiate the search for a qualified CSFO for the system. Regarding personnel items, the board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to hire the following: Mary Henderson as Secretary for the Department of Transportation; Cyontai Lewis as Physical Education Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School. Following the close of the board meeting, Superintendent Jones announced that Greene County Schools would continue the remote learning program for approximately another two-weeks, up to the next regularly scheduled school board meeting, September 20, 2021. Dr. Jones noted that his decision is based on the rising number of COVID virus cases in Greene County and the surrounding region. According to Jones, each school would prepare lesson packages for students not yet able to participate in the on -line virtual classes. “We had to secure more tablets or repair existing ones as well as purchase more hot-spots for students in areas not accessible to the internet. Even with the hot-spots, some students are having difficulties logging-on. To address this, the system is arranging for log-on spots (crater points) that students can access,” he said. Dr. Jones urged everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. “The low vaccinated rate in our county, including among parents, school personnel and eligible students, is the main reason the COVID virus is attacking us,” Jones said. It was also announced that beginning with the September 20th meeting, the board will hold its regular monthly meetings at 5:30 pm in the Central Office.

Greene County School Board given tributes for Board Appreciation Month

L to R: Boardmembers Kashaya Cockrell, Carrie Dancy, Board President Carol P. Zippert,
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones, Boardmembers Leo Branch and William Morgan

The Greene County Board of Education was given special salutes in recognition of January as the state-wide School Board Appreciation Month at its recent meeting held Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Delegations of school personnel and students from each school presented gifts of special treats and kind words to each board member, the superintendent and the board’s attorney. The Greene County High School choir favored all in attendance with a heartfelt song, led by choir director Mr. Siegfried Williams.
The board’s Central Office Staff, the Tishabee Community Tutorial Program and the Parent Engagement Program also provided Certificates of Appreciation and favorite treats. Robert Brown Middle School invited the board members to a continuing Board Appreciation Program at RBM scheduled for Friday, January 31.
As the board continued in its business meeting, CSFO, Lavonda Blair, presented the financial report as of November 31, 2019. Blair noted the general fund balance as $1,147,527.97; checks written for the period totaled $231,148.11; Payroll register total $860,169.77. Blair reported local revenue as local taxes in the amount of $217,426.22 and bingo revenue in the amount of $47,540.
According to CSFO Blair, the school system’s liquid assets in November exceeded $3,000,000.
As his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones opened the discussion of the board’s annual on site Whole Board Training workshop conducted by staff of the Alabama Association of School Boards. The board members reviewed the workshops completed since 2014 and listed preferences for the upcoming schedule.
The personnel items recommended by Superintendent Dr. Jones included the following.
Resignations: Herman Thomas, maintenance helper, effective January 31, 2020; LaToya Consentine, as school bus driver for the after -school 21st Century Program, effective ????
Cheryl Morrow as 21st Century Teacher, for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Ann Spree, released as Math Tutor, Greene County High School.
Supplemental contract for Rhonda Cameron, to assist CNP director with CNP related tasks.
Supplemental Contract for Corey Cockrell, as Girls Basketball Coach for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Supplemental Contract for Kelvineshia Williams, as Girls Assistant Basketball Coach for the 2019-2020 School Year.
The board approved the following administrative items recommended by the superintendent.
Approval of Alabama Supercomputer Authority (E-Rate) Contract, for the 2020 – 2021 School Year.
Approval of Criterion K-12 Consulting Evaluation Support Services for the 2019-2020 School year.
Approval of Contract between Greene County Board and Dutchess Jones, to provide ACT Mathematics Test Prep services for 11th and 12th grade students, at Greene County High School for the 2019-2020 School year.
Approval of Contract between Greene County Board and Pruett Oil Company, to provide Petroleum Products for the 2019-2020.
Approval of ADS Custom Security Needs for Robert Brown Middle School.
Approval of two (2) school buses to be added to Surplus List for sale or discard.

School board re-elects Branch as President and Zippert as Vice President

At its annual re-organizational meeting held, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, the Greene County Board of Education elected the same officers to serve for the next year: Mr. Leo Branch as President and Dr. Carol P. Zippert as Vice President. The election of board officers was conducted by Attorney Hank Sanders who explained that the officers could be selected through the nomination process or by a motion and second. The latter was selected and the motion to re-elect the current officers was made by board member William Morgan, with a second by board member Carol Zippert. The motion passed on a vote of 3 to 1. Only four of the five school board members were present. The board agreed to maintain its same meeting schedule: Third Monday of each month at 4:30 pm. In his report to the board, Superintendent James Carter announced that the State Department of Education will be conducting a Comprehensive Review of the Greene County School System, which will include a review of all programs. This is a federally mandated review that is routinely conducted of all school systems within a three to five year schedule. The team from the state will review policies, visit classrooms, conduct interviews with administrators, teachers, and other school personnel, students and parents. The Comprehensive Review will be conducted November 26-30, 2018. Dr. Carter also reported that the Greene County School System is one of the first in the state to include a coding program for students. This will enable students to create various robotic instruments and components as well as develop systems by the time they are ready to graduate. In other business, the board approved the following personnel items: Resignations of Cardelia Paige as 5th Grade Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School and Cassandra Burton as Math Teacher at Greene County High School. Employment: Ann Spree as Math Tutor at Greene County High; Elroy Skinner as Math Teacher at Greene County High; and Jacqueline Carter as 5th Grade Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School.

The board approved the following Administrative Services recommended by the superintendent: * Request approval to survey and appraise Birdine School property. * Request approval for Makane Morrow to travel to Howard Computer Technology in Mississippi. * Approval of Contract with West Central Official Association of York, Alabama for Girls Basketball Officials during the 2018 -2019 school term. * Approval of Contract with West Central Official Association of York, Alabama for Boys Basketball Officials during the 2018 -2019 school term. * Request approval of field trip for Debate Team to travel to Kennesaw State University to compete in a 2-day event, March 2019. * Request approval of field trip, for Debate Team, to travel to Mississippi State University, to compete in a 2-day event February 2019. * Approval of Bid for fuel from Pruett Oil Company for Department of Transportation. * Approval of 2.5 % raise for LaVonda Blair, CSFO. * Approval to pay cost of T-Mobile connectivity for students in Greene County School District. Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll. The meeting adjourned with no comments from the public.