By Nancy Lindsey
The Patrick County School Board voted unanimously May 12 to approve the lease of 12 school buses from Kingmor Supply Inc. of Mt. Crawford and Manassas, at a total cost of $914,739.
The company was the low bidder (out of three) on the project, according to Dr. William Sroufe, division superintendent. The school system will own the buses at the end of five years, he added.
The bid was also lower than state specifications, Sroufe said.
Derrick Smith, transportation director, said the buses met his specifications, Sroufe said.
The bid was for 10 65-passenger buses at a total cost of $746,110; one 77-passenger bus at a cost of $78,912; and one 35-passenger bus (to transport 35 special needs students) at a cost of $89,717.
Dean Gilbert, assistant superintendent, said the buses will probably be received by July or August.
Marvin Foley, a citizen who attended the meeting at the school board office, said he didn’t agree with the buses having seven speeds and lower horsepower, which he said was not good for traveling mountain roads.
Gilbert said the transportation department has a fairly new bus that runs the mountain routes.
Foley said he and other people in the county are concerned about the students getting out of school after half a day, which adds unnecessary mileage to the buses.
“I taught school 15 years,” Foley said, “and I don’t remember getting out of school half a day. We flat don’t like it.”
Foley said he had also heard a lot of comments about teachers using sick days on Wednesdays when they have Thursday and Friday off due to holidays. People also don’t like the across-the-board salary increase that means a teacher aide gets a $75 raise and an administrator gets a $2,000 raise, he said.
Foley said he would like to see directors of instruction in the classrooms more.
“I’m just telling you what’s out there and what’s being said,” Foley said. “I appreciate what you do, and I wouldn’t want to be a school teacher today. It was fun back in the ‘60s.”
Foley said he and other people don’t like the board meeting at 2:30 p.m. when most people can’t attend the meetings.
“I don’t like it,” he said. “We don’t like it.”
Following closed session, the school board approved three lists of certificated and support personnel for the 2016-2017 school year.
The following list addresses only changes in personnel, not reappointments:
The board approved the hiring of Judy Ison as a math teacher at Patrick County High School; Angela Welch as an English teacher at PCHS; Katie Taylor as an elementary teacher at Hardin Reynolds Memorial School; Brittany Martin as an elementary teacher at Meadows of Dan Elementary School; Douglas Cote as an English teacher at PCHS; and Lacey Harbour as a special education teacher at PCHS.
The board also accepted the following resignations: Jesse Kelly as an elementary guidance counselor at Blue Ridge Elementary and Woolwine Elementary; Stephanie Hale as an elementary teacher at Stuart Elementary School; Kristen Welch as an elementary teacher at Patrick Springs Primary School; Liz Andrus as an elementary teacher at HRMS; Megan Willis as a special education teacher at PCHS; Megan Richardson as a math teacher at PCHS; and Megan Richardson as girls’ tennis coach.
The board accepted the retirement of Debra Quesenberry, elementary teacher at HRMS.
The board accepted the following transfers: Lindsey Letchworth, from pre-K special education teacher at PSPS to elementary teacher at PSPS; Hannah Smith, from special education teacher at PCHS to special education teacher at SES; and James Eston, from elementary teacher at Meadows of Dan to elementary teacher at SES.
In the support category, the board accepted the resignation of Elaine Thomas as a part-time cafeteria worker at PCHS, and the resignation of Janet Cox as a teacher assistant at HRMS.
The board accepted the resignation of Paula Beasley as cafeteria manager at Blue Ridge Elementary School.
The board approved the rehiring of Cheryl Taylor as administrative assistant at PCHS.
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