The following are highlights of the October 18, 2018, meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education (BOE). Board members present included Chairman Carole C. Boyce, Vice Chairman Daniel D. Seckinger, Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, Dr. Robert McClure, and Louise Radloff. The official minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Board at its next monthly meeting.
Board honors award-winning staff and students
- Board members congratulated Alexandra Scott of Parkview High School on her recent recognition as the Georgia Art Education Association's (GAEA) 2018 Educator of the Year. Each year, the GAEA Art Educator of the Year award is given to a member who represents the highest standards of the organization in teaching and service. Ms. Scott previously won GAEA’s Secondary Educator of the Year, presented at numerous state and national conferences, and served as the Secondary Division Representative on GAEA’s board. In introducing Ms. Scott, Parkview Principal David Smith described her as an outstanding teacher who is passionate about her subject, commending her on the many opportunities she provides for her students' work to be showcased. He said "She certainly goes above and beyond for her students and is very deserving of this recognition."
- The Board of Education also honored Brookwood High School teacher Carrie Settles-Livers, saluting her as the national winner of the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education. The Leavey Awards, awarded by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, were created in 1977 to encourage and thank teachers whose expertise and creativity were leading to innovative ways of teaching students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. Ms. Settles-Livers was honored as a national winner for her creation of “STEMpreneurship with Brookwood Aquaponics", which combines the teaching of next-generation science standards alongside the free enterprise system and agriculture education. Jody Reeves, executive director for Academies and Career and Technical Education, applauded Ms.Settles-Livers for the work she has done in helping students explore their career interests while also exposing them to rigorous academics. Brookwood's Aquaponics student-based enterprise sells products such as romaine lettuce, soap, garden kits, and bath bombs. In the program, half of the produce that is grown is donated to local co-ops, and a portion of the revenue from Farmers Markets goes to nearby charities.
- Among the 102 school system teams participating in this year's Relay For Life, 21 school teams and three Central Office teams each raised $10,000 or more. The total amount raised by Gwinnett County Public Schools for the American Cancer Society through the Relay For Life campaign was $759,548, more than 57% of the total funds raised in the Gwinnett Relay effort ($1,322,325). The following local school teams and Central Office teams were recognized: Norcross HS- $65,736; North Gwinnett HS- $55,996; GCPS Transportation Department- $45,638; Riverside ES- $33,542; Peachtree Ridge HS- $22,638; GCPS Instructional Support Center- $20,100; Bay Creek MS- $20,020; Brookwood ES- $18,365; Brookwood HS- $17,505; McConnell MS- $17,119; Osborne MS- $16,803; North Gwinnett MS- $16,281; GCPS Information Management and Technology Division- $15,600; Duncan Creek ES- $13,798; Mountain View HS- $13,456; Puckett’s Mill ES- $13,100; Mill Creek HS- $12,540; Couch MS- $11,947; Taylor ES- $11,381; Jackson ES- $10,786; Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology- $10,773; Duluth HS- $10,675; Grayson ES- $10,025; and Trickum MS- $10,008.
- Board members joined CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks and Gwinnett County Public Schools in honoring educators who had perfect attendance for 2017-18. During the October meeting, GCPS recognized the elementary and middle school teachers with perfect attendance. At its November meeting the Board will spotlight the high school teachers who did not miss a day of work last year. As part of the Teacher Attendance Recognition Program, the school system also honors the elementary, middle, and high schools with the highest teacher attendance rate, with the school with the highest overall teacher attendance rate awarded the Superintendent's Cup. Those honors go to Gwin Oaks Elementary School, Dacula Middle School, and Mill Creek High School, with Gwin Oaks Elementary winning the Superintendent's Cup for the second consecutive year. The attached document includes the names of elementary and middle school teachers recognized in the attendance recognition program tonight.
OCTOBER TEACHER ATTENDANCE RECOGNITION.pdf
Board adopts FY2020 Budget Calendar
The Gwinnett County Board of Education adopted the calendar of activities and dates associated with the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) budget. This calendar was presented at last month's meeting to allow time for review. Key dates include:
- March 23, 2019- Budget Work Session;
- April 9, 2019- Board Budget Work Session and Adoption of Tentative Budget;
- May 9, 2019- First Public Budget Hearing; and
- May 16, 2019- Second Public Budget Hearing/Final Budget Adoption/Adoption of Tentative Millage Rate.
GCPS recognizes Constitution Week
Throughout the year, schools reflect on the Board's core beliefs through curriculum-embedded lessons that embrace civic engagement. During September, that emphasis centers around Constitution Week and Citizenship Day. Kathy Sanchez, GCPS director of social studies, reviewed with the Board and its audience a number of the activities conducted by local schools during Constitution Week.
Board authorizes staff to engage with advisors for work related to G.O. bonds
In August, the Gwinnett County Board of Education approved a resolution to submit to the qualified voters of the Gwinnett County School District the question of whether to authorize the issuance of General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds, not to exceed the principal amount of $350 million. The General election will be held on November 6, 2018. At tonight's meeting, the Board adopted a motion authorizing the CEO/Superintendent and staff to formally engage with K-12 Capital Advisors (financial advisor); Stifel (Bond Underwriter); and Holland & Knight (Bond Counsel) for work related to the General Obligation Bond series submitted to voters. If approved by voters, this G.O. bond referendum would not require an increase in the current debt service millage rate.
Policy work continues
The following policy changes were approved after being tabled for review at the August 2018 Monthly Business Meeting:
- Policy DID - Internal Audits -Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EE - School Nutrition Program - Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EEE - Wellness Policy - Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
- Policy EGAE - Tax Sheltered Investments 403(b) and 457(b) - Changes were made in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
The following policy change was tabled for further review and will be brought before the Board at its November 2018 Monthly Business Meeting:
- Policy IDBA - Comprehensive School Health and P.E. Program Plan - Changes have been proposed in accordance with policy guidance and/or mandates in state and/or federal law.
Citizens addressing the Board
- Leonard Jack, Jr.
- Shellian Peters