New member takes seat on School Board

Published 8:22 am Monday, January 19, 2015

The Washington Parish School Board welcomed a new member at Thursday night’s regular meeting and voted to retain its president and vice president for 2015.

Robert Boone, who represents District 5, defeated Mary Adams to win the seat. He had approximately a dozen family members in the audience to see him take the oath of office from school board attorney Wayne Kuhn. He has 33 years experience in education and is currently working at Marion County Career Technical Center in Columbia, Miss. He is the father of five children.

“Children are the most important things. That’s why we’re here,” Boone said. “I want to make the best decisions I can to help the children.”

District 8 representative Matthew Tate was re-elected board president without opposition. District 1 representative Dan Slocum nominated Tate.

“I thank the board for re-electing me as president,” Tate said. “It’s a privilege to serve as president of the Washington Parish School Board. I don’t take it lightly.”

District 7 representative Lee Alan McCain was re-elected vice president without opposition. District 3 representative the Rev. Bruce Brown nominated McCain.

“I appreciate the board allowing me to serve as vice president for two more years,” McCain said.

In business matters, the board authorized withdrawal privileges for Varnado High School Interim Principal Renee Burris and Assistant Principal Polly Thigpen on all school bank accounts. The board terminated withdrawal privileges for former principal Randy Branch, who retired last month.

Board members adopted a resolution to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Washington Parish Council on Aging. The Council uses the old Pine School site for feeding the elderly. The agreement allowed the agency to continue the practice for one year.

The board discussed the use of school facilities by groups not associated with the school and what fees those groups should pay. Primary facilities discussed were the use of cafeterias and auditoriums.

“We want to make sure we can work out details. We want a policy that is uniform,” Tate said.

After a lengthy discussion, the board rescinded the item from the agenda, meaning it can be brought back up at the next meeting, according to Robert’s Rule of Order.

In personnel moves, the board approved the retirement/resignation of Franklinton Primary School food service employee Anna Schellinger and Franklinton Elementary School cafeteria employee Betty Burton.

Also, board members approved hiring of Franklinton High School teacher Stephanni Cassidy, Thomas Elementary special education teacher Lynn Pigott, Varnado High School teacher Ashley Thompson and Wesley Ray special education teacher Felicia Jefferson.