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School board fills vacancies, approves trips, fundraising

The McDuffie County School Board filled teaching vacancies and accepted one retirement at a regular meeting Thursday, Feb. 17.

Thomson High School teacher Robin Dudley's retirement is effective May 27. The health care science technology teacher was McDuffie County teacher of the year in 2008 and one of 10 finalists for the state honor in 2007.

Also Thursday, five positions were filled:

- Nancy Lovelady, principal, Dearing Elementary School;

- Sean Patrick, history teacher, Thomson High School;

- Lee Hutto, social studies teacher, Thomson High School;

- Chad Simmons, health and physical education teacher, Thomson High School, and;

- Kasey Patrick, Spanish teacher, for the 2011-2012 school year.

The board approved administrators' recommendations for leaves of absence for:

- Anthony DuBose, teacher, Thomson High School, from Feb. 28 through March 25;

- Leigh Smith, teacher, Thomson Elementary School, from Feb. 10 through May 24;

- Byron Tutt, teacher, Thomson High School, from Dec. 1, 2010, to Jan. 25, 2011;

- Rosie Scott, paraprofessional, Thomson Elementary School, from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23, and;

- Kevin Carr, teacher, Dearing Elementary School, from March 7 through March 20.

In a final personnel matter, the board approved a transfer for Luetta Sorrow, School and Community Nutrition Services assistant, from Thomson-McDuffie Middle School to Maxwell Elementary School.

On a separate topic, the board selected Robertson Loia Roof of Alpharetta, Ga., as the architects for upcoming projects.

No specific projects have been assigned.

Fourteen firms had expressed interest in the contract, and 11 were interviewed. Three finalists were chosen. Nine members of a local school committee toured projects the architects had handled.

In another matter, the board approved 58 sports trips and field trips.

Destinations include the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, McCorkle Nurseries in Dearing, Thomson Twin Cinema, Sweetwater Ball Park in Thomson, Thomson Depot for a choir performance, MCG, Augusta Mall and CiCi's Pizza for Pre-K for several age groups, and Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C.

The board also approved additional fundraisers for:

- Cheerleading, car wash, June 8, to raise money for more mats;

- Cheerleading, magazine sales during April and May, to pay for summer camp and warmups;

- Cheerleading, Zaxby's Night, May 1, to raise money for new pompons for varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders, and;

- Key Club, bake sale, March 14 to 17, to raise funds for March of Dimes.

The board gave its tentative approval to a policy spelling out what constitutes fraud or waste. Final approval is expected at the next meeting, March 10.

The board tentatively approved a policy ensuring equal access to education for homeless students. Final approval is expected March 10.

The board advanced a policy on bullying, with final approval expected March 10. "The Board of Education believes that all students can learn better in a safe school environment," the policy states. "Behavior that infringes on the safety of students will not be tolerated."

Web posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011

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