Board votes to extend Hawkins's contract
The Woodford County Board of Education on Monday night voted to extend the contract of schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins for another year. The unanimous decision to extend Hawkins's contract through June 30, 2020, was made after board members approved an evaluation of his job performance based on seven categories as determined by the Kentucky Department of Education. In the categories of strategic, cultural, human resource, collaborative and influential leadership, Hawkins earned an exemplary performance rating from the board. And he was evaluated as being accomplished on instructional and managerial leadership. "We have many, many, many more successes than I ever dreamed we would - and a lot of that is due to your leadership and by the ability to attract top-quality people to come work with you and work with us," said board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV. Hawkins, who has been superintendent of Woodford County Public Schools for eight years, thanked the board for their willingness to always do what's best for kids. He described himself as fortunate for being able to work with a staff of phenomenal people "who give everything they have every day so that our kids benefit. And that's across-the-board. Regardless of the position, regardless of what they do, regardless of the building, regardless of the location - they give everything they have so that our kids have a better experience in our schools." Hawkins, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Monday, said being able to share that occasion with people who he cares so much about made for a great day. After a performance for board members and their parents, a group of students from Huntertown Elementary School sang "Happy Birthday" to Hawkins, who happily put on a birthday hat and glasses while they sang. One-to-one program The board unanimously approved a fee schedule - $60 for rental and $25 for insurance - for students in the One-to-One computer tablet program next year. During the board's April 18 planning session, Hawkins told board members that both of those fees were reduced when compared to a year ago, but board Vice Chair Debby Edelen questioned the rationale for charging a $25 insurance fee when the district has maintained a fund balance of $22,000 to $34,000 over the last five years to cover the costs of repairing computer tablet for students. "Let's see where that balance is at the end of this coming year and if we're in good shape and we can reduce (the insurance fee after next school year) than we are very much in agreement with that," said Hawkins during Monday's regular meeting. Because of the unknowns related to how much repairs may cost with all the new devices being put into use next year, he said the district wants to make sure it's in a good financial position to cover any issue that may arise. In a related matter, the school board approved the purchase of 170 Acer Chromebooks at a total cost of $57,726.90 from EnPointe Technologies. Those tablet computers will be used by teachers. HVAC projects The board approved two change orders for the Northside and Southside elementary schools' HVAC projects. One change order allows the district to purchase new ceiling tiles for the schools, which means saving sales tax dollars. The other change order will save the district $3,994 in its contract with Marrilla Design & Construction because the school system already had builders' risk insurance - meaning the contractor did not need to purchase that coverage. Paving projects The board approved a bid on paving projects at Southside Elementary School and its bus garage property. The lowest of three bids - $162,588 - was below an estimate, which saves the district $28,368. The projects will include paving the driveway entering Southside Elementary and an area of asphalt on the bus garage property where buses are not parked. Board honors volunteer The board recognized Lisa Johnson, director of the Mentors & Meals program, for that volunteer organization's efforts in providing homework help and tutoring services to students at Woodford County Middle School. Peer mentors from the local high school, college interns and adult volunteers are involved in Mentors & Meals, a program operated in the Life Center at the First Christian Church of Versailles on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Over 15,000 volunteer hours were dedicated to tutoring WCMS students from 2011 to 2015. Also, more than 16,000 hot meals and 18,000 after-school snacks were provided to those students.