School Board recognizes key staff

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

RECOGNITION: Ed Sternod, left, was recognized by Superintendent Carl Merrit during Monday’s meeting. Photo by Julia Arenstam

RECOGNITION: Ed Sternod, left, was recognized by Superintendent Carl Merrit during Monday’s meeting.
Photo by Julia Arenstam

The Poplarville School Board opened Monday’s meeting with Superintendent Carl Merritt recognizing the Board as part of School Board Recognition week and named Steve Seal as Administrator of the Year.
The Board also recognized Transportation Director Ed Sternod for his many years of dedication to the district.
“I want to somehow say thank you for all [the Board has] done for my kids, our kids, all the kids,” Sternod said.
From bus cameras to GPS, Sternod said the Board has met his requests, “one bus at a time.”
In other matters, the Board approved a Title VI amendment that compensates a social worker in the district. Assistant Superintendent Konya Miller said the state funding has changed, mandating the update, which will allow for some additional professional development funding next year.
Miller also said the reapproved dropout prevention plan would continue the program already in place, which has lowered the district’s dropout rate to five percent.
Miller and Merritt also noted that the district’s graduation rate rose to 90 percent, the highest in Mississippi’s six southern counties.
The Board also approved a tuition assistance agreement to pay for the athletic director to earn higher a degree, allowing them to make administrative decisions.
The Board also approved the addition of a Students Against Destructive Decisions program, which Merritt said is being used across the county and could produce good results in the district.
Upon Seal’s recommendation, the Board voted to purge student social security numbers from the central database and change district policy so that information will not generally be collected in the future.
Seal said that while there have been no security breaches, the policy would protect against future problems.
Merritt and Seal also noted that the state no longer requires schools to keep a record of students’ social security numbers.
In other online matters, the Board voted to approve a Frontline Recruiting application package, which would start to move the application and human resource matters online.
Finance Director Samantha Sandifer said the process would store staff and faculty applications online, instead of filing them manually.
The Board voted to accept two unnamed resignations, and authorized Merritt to keep a reoccurring advertisement posted for positions that could possibly open.
“Staff members are sometimes leaving not at the end of contract time, putting us in a situation where we’re scrambling to hire,” Merritt said, adding that all new hires would still be approved by the Board.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the Board discussed two student matters in executive session.
Merritt told their parents the Board would discuss the matter overnight and notify the parents of a decision the next day.
More information from Monday’s meeting will be published in Wednesday’s Item.

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About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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