Lesson in loss: Board asks questions after two teachers leave Roseland

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Picayune School Board wants answers after two teachers at Roseland Park Elementary asked to be released from their contracts.

The requests came at Tuesday’s board meeting, and the board approved the requests, albeit grudgingly. Board member Frank Feeley asked Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell to report back to the board just how many teachers the school has lost.

Board member Frank Ford went further and asked for totals for all schools.

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Then Feeley asked about replacements at Roseland Park.

“We’re losing two at Roseland Park and were recommending one,” Feeley said. “Is that because we don’t have anyone else?”

Harrell said the principal is actually interviewing three teachers, but had only settled on one to recommend for hire.

Harrell reported that one teacher had been planning to leave for some time and the other teacher is pursuing  job at the community college.

The board also approved buying some new Ford vehicles for $105,000. The vehicles are coming from Bay St. Louis, and Feeley asked whether anyone had tried to purchase them locally.

“I hope we exhausted our efforts because that’s disappointing,” he said.

Superintendent Dean Shaw said the district had tried, but couldn’t find better prices in Picayune than in Bay St. Louis.

“I know the Ford dealership tried very hard to do this for us but they just couldn’t,” Shaw said.

During the middle of the meeting, the Picayune Memorial High School Show Choir stopped by to perform three songs. The songs were well-received, and then the board continued its meeting.

In other news, the board:

Approved all financial items, including a change order and project renovations for Early Head Start and a sole source purchase order.

Approved all consent items, including budget and financial statements, payroll certification, travel request, donations and broken/obsolete items.

Approved grants.

Held an executive session for a student matter, a parent request and a personnel matter.

The next Picayune school board meeting will be held on Jan. 26 at noon.