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Two at central office get increase in salary

Two central office staff members received significant pay hikes following a closed session meeting of Halifax County School Board members Monday night. 

Executive Director for Administration Valdivia Marshall was named assistant superintendent and will receive $5,000 in additional pay from federal funds, and Supervisor for Secondary Education Frosty Owens will receive $10,000 in extra pay for taking on the additional duties of student services. 

Director of Student Services was a position previously filled by Beverly Crowder who will retire effective July 1.

The motions were passed by a 4-3 vote, with ED-2 trustee Karen Hopkins, ED-6 trustee Fay Satterfield and ED-8 trustee Walter Potts opposing. Chairman Kimberly Farson was absent from Monday’s meeting. 

In other action Monday night, board members made changes to the following personnel:

Vince Newton appointed for one year as interim associate principal at Halifax County Middle School (to work 12 months);

 Stephanie Watts appointed associate principal at Cluster Springs Elementary School (to work 12 months);

 Chris Lacks appointed associate principal at South Boston Elementary School (to work 12 months);

 Pedro Zamora resumes assistant principalship at Halifax County High School (to work 12 months)

 Officially appointed Marliss Barzak as Meadville Elementary School principal;

 Continued the $3,000 stipend to Dennis Seamster for overseeing alternative education;

 Appointed Jeff Davis as director of special education (title change only); and

 Reconsidered the salary of sign language interpreter Amber Shaeffer and placed her on the teacher scale.

Also Monday evening, Halifax County High School was recognized as ranking number 11 out of 100 schools across the county for “100 Best W!SE High Schools Teaching Personal Finance.” The recognition came during the regular scheduled school board meeting held at the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.

Supervisor of Secondary Education Frosty Owens recognized the high school program, Working in Support of Education (W!SE), a leading New York City based education not-for-profit that announced in late May the winners of the inaugural “100 Best W!SE High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” during a ceremony at the New York stock exchange.

Owens thanked instructors Judy Edwards and Ista Palmer for all their hard work with the students and extended congratulations to the Halifax County High School.

In other business Monday night, board members heard a presentation by Sydnor Jennings Elementary School Principal David Duffer about the history and activities of the school. Duffer told board members Sydnor Jennings Elementary is celebrating 50 years of education. 

The school that got its name from the son of a slave stays active in the community and recently raised $500 for Oklahoma tornado victims.

Trustees Satterfield and Roger Long attended the Virginia School Board Association Law Conference on Friday, June 7, in Charlottesville to keep up to date on ever-changing issues of law.

Satterfield said learning more about the Affordable Care Act was “eye opening” because that is something the board will have to address. 

Executive Director for Administration Valdivia Marshall updated board members on a number of Virginia School Board Association issues that are slated to be brought back to the July meeting for approval.  

Some of the updates included developing a threat assessment team; renaming fire and tornado drills as safety drills and lock down drills and making changes in professional staff probationary terms and continuing contracts.

“We are working to finalize these policies,” said Marshall.

 Director of Finance Jay Camp presented a resolution to board members to terminate the Early Retirement Incentive Plan bank account that was established July 1, 1999. 

Board members unanimously approved the resolution to terminate the account with SunTrust Bank that currently contains $16,000.

Board members tentatively scheduled meeting on Monday, July 8, to discuss the efficiency of school buildings with Director of Operations and Maintenance Larry Roller.

In other business, board members unanimously approved the financial report and the consent agenda that included the approval of minutes from May 13, May 24, personnel report, payment of bills and use of facilities.

Board members went into closed session to discuss personnel and student discipline.

When board members emerged they took the following actions:

 Rescinded the May 13 motion to expel student 2013-23 for 365 days with the motion passing 5 to 2 with Long and Potts opposing.

The following actions passed unanimously:

 Long-term suspend student 2013-23 for an indefinite time and include discipline records with student records.

 Long-term suspend student 2013-29 for first semester and allow NovaNet services. 

 Long-term suspend student 2013-30 for 45 days and permit alternative education services, and if student remains on good behavior, his record will be expunged of this incident at the end of the 2013-14 school year; and  

 Approved the Halifax County Public Schools organizational chart dated June 10.

Other personnel changes approved following Monday night’s meeting included the resignations of Cluster Springs Elementary third grade teacher Judith Burton effective end of 2012-2013; Halifax County Middle School science teacher Mary Helen Stafford effective June 3; Halifax County Middle School pre-algebra teacher Holly Laughorn effective end of 2012-2013; Halifax County High School interpreter Jessica Brinson effective end of 2012-2013; and returning from leave of absence vocational paraprofessional and bus driver Willie Judkins beginning of 2013-2014 school year.