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Board reviews superintendent hiring process, annual financial report

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 — The Nelson County Board of Education discussed the process it will use to begin the search for a new superintendent at its working session Thursday evening.

DIANE BREEDING

Board Chair Diane Breeding told the board that by law, the selection committee the district appoints is required to include:

  • two teachers elected by the district’s teachers;
  • one board of education member appointed by the board chair;
  • one school principal selected by the district’s principals;
  • one parent selected by the heads of the school’s parent-teacher groups, and;
  • one classified employee selected by the district’s classified employees.

Board member Rebekah McGuire-Dye suggested the board insure the selection committee members included appropriate minority representation.

Interim Superintendent Tom Brown told the board they may wish to step back and take a breath before moving forward with the process.

“Its not that you have to start on this in the next few weeks,” he said.

The selection committee will review applications and make their recommendations for possible candidates to the board. The board is not obligated to hire the candidate or candidates the committee may recommend, Brown said.

Brown suggested the board vote to begin a search at its Aug. 15 board meeting this month with the goal of having the selection committee members appointed by the board’s September working session meeting.

TIM HOCKENSMITH

ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT. Tim Hockensmith, the district’s chief operating officer, told the board the district’s annual financial report was complete and ready for audit.

The district added approximately $200,000 to the general fund in the past year, which he said was good news.

The district added a new revenue line last year — revenue in lieu of taxes. The revenue stems from industrial revenue bonds issued by Nelson Fiscal Court that waived taxes on new bourbon warehouses being constructed in the county. Jim Beam Brands paid the district $5,000 for each of its five new warehouses in the county, Hockensmith said.

He told the board he anticipates this revenue line will continue to grow.

One bourbon-related revenue item fell short of its budgeted number, however. The revenue produced by the distilled spirits tax was about $110,000 less than budgeted. The shortfall is due primarily to the fact the budgeted number was based on an estimate, rather than actual figures. The use of actual figures will be used in future calculations, he said.

DROP IN STATE SEEK FUNDING. Hockensmith said the trend of the state providing less SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) funding to the district is expected to continue this year. Last year the district received $15.2 million in SEEK funding; this coming year, SEEK funding is expected to drop to $14.7 million.
The only mechanism the district has to make that shortfall is through taxes, he said.

In other action, the board:

— received what will be the final construction update on the Thomas Nelson High School auditorium project and the expansion of the district’s Early Learning Center. Both projects are essentially complete and will be ready for the first day of school with only a few minor items remaining to be completed on both. Some contractors have yet to submit their final bills, Tim Hockensmith told the board.

— received an update on the HVAC upgrade at Bloomfield Middle School and the energy savings upgrades in lighting throughout the district.

— heard from Kim Brown, the district’s director of secondary schools, that the high school summer school sessions helped students recover 61 full credits. She praised the work of the teachers during the sessions and the students who took advantage of the opportunity.

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