Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welcome new board members

Happy New Year!  2013 is officially underway as our students have begun a second semester of learning, leading, and growing. 

Monday evening the Oconee County Board of Education officially welcomed two new members, Mr. Tom Odom and Mr. Mike Burnette, and swore in returning BOE member, Mr. Wayne Bagley.  All of these gentlemen have been elected to serve four-year terms beginning January 1, 2013, and expiring December 31, 2016.  The board is a five-member elected group with Mr. Mark Thomas and Ms. Kim Argo rounding out the BOE team.  Mr. Thomas and Ms. Argo are currently serving four-year terms expiring December 31, 2014.  In addition, the superintendent makes up the final member of the governance board as per state law. 

As we welcome these newly elected officials, it is a good time to clarify and communicate to the public the roles of board of education (BOE) members and what board policies state in relation to those roles and responsibilities.  Over the next few weeks we will be reviewing several policies that govern everything from the manner in which BOE meetings are conducted to nepotism and the code of ethics.  This week we will take a look at how the members of the board are elected, selected, and compensated in Oconee County. 

Board policy ABCD states in part that “The Board of Education of Oconee County shall be composed of five (5) members who shall be elected by the voters of the entire county.  The five (5) memberships of the board shall be designated as post numbers 1 through 5, respectively.” In accordance with this policy, Mr. Burnette was recently elected to serve in Post 4 while Mr. Bagley was elected to serve in Post 5. 

Additionally, board policy BBA states “The individual elected to Post 1 shall be the Chairman of the Board.  The Board elects the Vice Chairman and the Legislative Liaison at the first regular session in January.  Mr. Odom was recently elected to Post 1 and will serve as chairman.  At the January 7 BOE work session, Ms. Argo was the sole nominee for vice chairman and Mr. Thomas was the sole nominee for the legislative liaison.  These two positions will be officially voted on at the January 14 regular meeting and designated at that time for a one-year period. 

Board members are eligible for a small stipend for their board service.  Board policy BBBE states “The Oconee County Board of Education will compensate its members $150.00 per month for service on the Board of Education, payable in equal monthly installments.”  For the past several years, BOE members have agreed individually to forego compensation.

As superintendent, I welcome our new BOE members and look forward to working with them to support the students, teachers, and parents of Oconee County Schools in providing a world-class education. 

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