School board holds organizational meeting

Published 4:17 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Lunenburg County School Board used its first meeting of the year to hold its only public hearing on the budget being developed and swear in a new member.

W. D. “Doug” Aubel, who was elected in November, was sworn in. He replaced James W. Duffy. Board members Elizabeth R. Williams, Kathy P. Coffee and Ada Whitehead were all returned after running unopposed.

Donald B. Carnes was also re-elected the board’s chairman.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to do this work with you folks,” he said. “A lot of school boards try to tear everything apart. We try to keep it together.”

The Monday, Jan. 11, public hearing on the budget drew only two speakers, both school system employees.

Sherry Clark advocated for another math teacher and for full middle and high school music programs.

She joined Hope Dunbar is asking that there be designated space for and a designated teacher to oversee the Virtual Virginia online courses.

Right now, Dunbar said, the students taking Virtual Virginia courses are mixed into other classes receiving instruction, and they occasionally need assistance that takes her away from her own students.

“Our children in our classes are at a disservice,” she said.

Dunbar said additional teachers are also going to be needed to help supervise students once the new Charger Courtyard is developed.

The high school is undertaking an approximately $15,000 project that will see the upgrading of a patio into a courtyard. School officials note the space is used and enjoyed regularly by students, staff and community members. The project includes purchasing shade sails for the current patio, building additional picnic tables, and creating a center courtyard off of the patio. A gazebo will be built by carpentry students and a brick walkway will be made with engraved commemorative bricks. The landscaping will be maintained by agriculture students.

“We need at least one or two more people out there to cover those areas,” Dunbar said.

Superintendent Charles M. Berkley Jr. said he will meet with the school’s principals, administration and school board members to as the budget gets developed.

“I have some ideas I will not bring out right now,” he said. “We’re working on some things.”

In another matter, the board also decided to abandon the practice of rotating the meetings periodically to the other schools and instead just have them all at Central High School.

“The pro of having it here is they always know where we are,” board member Amy N. McClure said.

Berkley said the school also offers ample parking and is well lighted.

He added the other schools will also still be represented because every month one of them does a presentation to the board.