• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Superintendent gets new four-year contract

The Woodford County Board of Education unanimously approved a four-year contract for schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins on Monday night. The new contract will pay Hawkins an annual salary of $162,099. The new contract replaces one with an "evergreen clause," which allowed the school board to extend Hawkins' contract by one year annually. Board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV said the board had been advised by its legal counsel to "exit the evergreen portion of the contract and develop a new contract" for Hawkins. Also, a $600 monthly car allowance has been reclassified as salary under terms of the new contract, which becomes effective July 1. "The progress that we've made (as a school district) is just amazing, and the (administrative) team that we've built is outstanding," said board member Margie Cleveland. "We are very proud of the job you're doing and we're very proud of this (school) system." Because of the progress being made by Woodford County as a district compared to other Kentucky school districts, board Vice Chair Debby Edelen described the new contract as "very appropriate." "Mr. Hawkins could've gone other places," said Wilson, "but he wants to be here because this is his home. And that's important, that's important." "I just consider myself to be pretty darn blessed. To not only live here, but to work in a wonderful community and work alongside just great people," said Hawkins, who was hired as superintendent in March 2008. "I truly, truly enjoy coming to work every day. And not a lot of people can say that, but I do." Prior to approving the new contract, Edelen summarized the superintendent's annual evaluation for the board and others attending Monday night's meeting. Hawkins achieved two goals: implementing a process for professional learning communities and establishing greater outreach for adult education/GED; and made progress on a third goal to develop a system of measurement to reduce the number of students performing at the novice level. He also was judged exemplary in six of seven leadership standards. The board unanimously approved his evaluation. Hawkins thanked the board for its ongoing support of quality education, and for always doing what is best for students. "When you look around the state," said Hawkins, "there is a strong correlation between quality school districts and a quality Board of Education. And you will not be a high-performing district (if you have) a dysfunctional board. It just doesn't exist." Graduation requirements The board approved a second reading of a revised graduation policy, with language to define college and career readiness, and a requirement that all students take a "soft skills" assessment before graduating. With the policy change, the number of credits required to graduate from Woodford County High School will remain 26. The credits required to graduate would've increased to 28 beginning for the 2018 graduating class under the old policy. Meal price increase The board approved meal prices for the 2017-18 school year. A regular elementary lunch for students will increase by 15 cents, with a middle and high school regular lunch increasing by 5 cents. "We did not want to do this, but we have to make the national average" in order to participate in the federal lunch program, said Hawkins at last Monday's planning meeting. Breakfast prices were not increased because a rising number of students are participating in the school breakfast program, Hawkins said. The only change in breakfast prices will affect adults, an increase of 20 cents to $2. Athletic trainer The board approved a three-year contract with the UK Department of Sports Medicine to provide an athletic trainer for Woodford County Middle School at a cost of $16,000 next school year. The cost of employing an athletic trainer will be split, with the district paying $8,000 to $9,000 and student fees covering the remaining cost. Woodford County High School already has an athletic trainer for its sports programs, which has been the case for several years. Chromebooks The board approved the purchase of 350 Chromebooks at a cost of $85,200. That cost includes accidental warranty insurance on the computer tablets.

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