WARRENTON, Ga. --- Three new members were appointed to the Warren County Board of Education last week to fill vacancies imposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Sandy Yelton was appointed Tuesday, Aug. 24 by Chairwoman Gwendolyn Tucker and Vice-Chairman Randy Morris to fill District 1. Ms. Yelton joined Ms. Tucker and Mr. Morris to make a quorum required for a special called meeting last Thursday. The meeting, which had been set for 5 p.m., was rescheduled for 9 a.m.
At that meeting, Carolyn Martin and Patricia Hambsch were appointed and sworn in by Probate Judge Janice Thigpen.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Perdue removed Clara B. Roberts, Cecil Brown and Charles Culver from their elected positions on the recommendation of an administrative law judge.
Both Mrs. Martin and Ms. Hambsch were part of a group of citizens who filed a complaint with the governor asking that the previous board members be removed from office.
Mrs. Martin, who has taken the District 3 seat, served on the Warren County Board of Commissioners for 16 years and is a retired teacher in McDuffie and Warren counties. She works part time for 21st Century in Glascock County schools.
"I think it's time for the board to get down to school business," Mrs. Martin said.
Ms. Hambsch is taking the District 5 seat. She is a teacher in Greene County.
During public input time at the regular August meeting Monday evening, Mary Grier complained to board members about the rescheduling of the meeting when Mrs. Martin and Ms. Hambsch were appointed.
"We did not know of the change of Thursday's meeting time," Ms. Grier said.
"And I just request from now on to be informed."
Ms. Tucker responded, saying the board had learned the three former board members were filing an injunction to block the appointment of new members, so the meeting was changed to prevent that from occurring.
FIRST MEETING WITH THE NEW BOARD
At Monday's meeting, the Warren County Board of Education got right down to business addressing the accreditation issue with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.
First, the three new members agreed to sign the ethics policy that was approved in August, 2009, thus taking care of one of the nine recommendations made by the SACS review team.
Other discussion and decisions made to retain the system's accreditation and be taken off of probation included, but was not limited to:
continue to send videos of all meetings to prove the board's compliance with Roberts Rules of Order;
board members will fill out a self-survey at the end of every board meeting, the survey comes from the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA);
a GSBA representative will be a guest at every regular meeting to conduct training during the course of the meeting;
restore stakeholders' confidence and provide evidence that the board's focus is on improving education for students of Warren County;
write a long-term plan for continued compliance to SACS standards;
complete the annual evaluation of the superintendent.
"Even though we have the new board in place, we still have got to do everything we can to retain our accreditation," Ms. Tucker said.
"We have to keep our p 's and q 's in a row."
The board also approved a tentative budget for the 2010-11 school year; amended the budget to implement a four-day reduction in the school calendar for both teachers and students, thus saving the system $90,000; approved two part-time positions; changed the system's pest control provider to a cheaper company; approved the superintendent's evaluation, and approved the superintendent's recommendation to change the format of the monthly meetings.
So meetings will "flow better" and not last as long, the business will begin at 6 p.m., with immediate consent of the agenda and discussion as each item is addressed on the agenda.
All votes passed unanimously without incident.