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No tax increase in works for schools
Board keeps millage rate the same for fourth straight year

McDuffie County School District's property tax rate will remain flat for the fourth straight year.

In her motion that led to unanimous approval of the mill levy, Ella Samuels commended Superintendent Jim LeBrun and his staff for compiling a budget that does not raise the rate despite the difficult economic climate.

The district's tax revenues have increased each of the last two years, although the taxies levied in fiscal year 2011 were still lower than the $10.1 million levied in 2008, the last time the tax rate was increased.

Board members also approved the transfer, resignation and hiring of several staff members, including science teacher David Godsey at McDuffie Achievement Center, social studies teacher Alicia Brown at Thomson High School, and teacher Kelly Dresch at Thomson-McDuffie Middle School.

In other business at the meeting, the board approved a new medical policy for schools and a nepotism policy that would prevent anyone in the immediate family of a board member from serving as superintendent or in an administrative position.

The board also gave its support for an appeal letter to the 2010 Sales Ratio Study that the McDuffie County Tax Assessor's Office thinks will return $30,000 to the district.

The board's final action at its regular monthly meeting Thursday night was to promote director of curriculum and instruction Mychele Rhodes to assistant superintendent.

Rhodes has 18 years experience as a teacher and administrator.

She is beginning her 15th year with the McDuffie County School System.

"My first priority as an educator has always been to provide the highest quality learning environment for all students," she said in an e-mailed comment Tuesday.

"As assistant superintendent, I will continue to strive to meet that goal by providing the best possible resources and assistance to our schools and community."

Rhodes holds a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education and a master of education degree in early childhood education, both from Georgia Southern University.

She earned her education specialist degree in educational administration from Augusta State University and earned her doctorate in educational administration from Georgia Southern University.

In 2000, Rhodes became the first teacher in McDuffie County to become a National Board Certified Teacher.

She served as a teacher at Maxwell Elementary, and assistant principal later principal of that school.

In August 2008, she became the federal programs director for the system and served in that role for two years.

In the 2010-11 school year, she became the director of curriculum and instruction for the system, overseeing all federal programs, Pre K, K-12 curriculum, testing, and professional learning.

Web posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011

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