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Board Briefs: School Board Begins Legislative Priorities Process

Posted On: Friday, October 18, 2019

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The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 began the development of its annual Legislative Partnership Priorities outlining its stand on statewide education issues.

The School Board as part of its work session heard an overview of education issues anticipated to be on the agenda during the upcoming session of the State Legislature.  

As legislation proposed in the last session carries over to the 2020 session beginning in January, the General Assembly could again consider hot-button issues including: using State tax dollars for private school and home school vouchers; reducing Teacher Retirement System benefits for future educators; and mandating a statewide school start date.

The School Board strongly opposes all three of these measures, as well as any other efforts to reduce local control over schools or approve unfunded State mandates.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer said she was very pleased the Cherokee County Legislative Delegation quickly voiced its opposition to a mandated statewide school start date and hopes to also gain their support for CCSD’s other positions.

“We hope to see our Delegation join us in lobbying for increased State funding for school counselors and for a mental health counselor in every high school,” Ms. Cromer said.  “This is a critical need not only for CCSD’s students, but also for all students statewide.”

In the coming weeks, School Board members will share their specific legislative concerns with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower so he and his staff can draft a Legislative Partnership Priorities report for the Board’s approval.  The School Board then will share these Priorities with the Delegation at a breakfast meeting in December. 

As part of its approval of the monthly human resources report, the School Board accepted the retirement announcement of Deputy Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer Trey Olson.  

Mr. Olson, a 24-year administrator, began his education career as a classroom teacher in Cobb County.  Over his 20-year tenure with CCSD, Mr. Olson served in numerous roles including as an assistant principal, assistant superintendent for personnel and his current post, which oversees all school operations and Principals. 

“We will greatly miss Trey and his dedication to our students and our employees,” Dr. Hightower said. “Countless educators began their careers because Mr. Olson saw their potential, recommended their hiring and supported their growth.  He made thoughtful improvements to both our human resources practices and our school operations protocols.  Trey has modeled servant leadership and always encouraged his colleagues to ‘give more than we get.’”

As a result of Mr. Olson’s planned retirement, Dr. Hightower also proposed a change to his organizational chart, which was approved by the School Board.  The change reclassifies the position to Chief Operating Officer over the Office of School Operations and eliminates the role of deputy superintendent.

The School Board also:

• Recognized seven CCSD students named to the State School Superintendent's 2019-20 Student Advisory Council;

• Recognized Cherokee High School junior Rebekah Seng as a Congressional Award Gold Medal recipient;

• Recognized first-, second- and third-place winners in the districtwide Fire Safety Contest and students who advanced to place at State;

• Approved a proclamation issued in recognition of Retired Educators Day;

• Approved the renewal of Partnership Agreements with the Cherokee Retired Educators Association and The City of Holly Springs;

• Approved the final reading of a School Board Policy change to reflect the adoption of a new Vision Statement, Core Beliefs and Priority Areas, which were developed through a community based process as part of CCSD’s Blueprint strategic plan;

• Approved the monthly financial reports;

• Approved the declaration of surplus property and its disposal at CCSD’s annual public auction at 9 a.m. Nov. 9 at the district warehouse at 201 Mountain Brook Ct. in Canton;

• Approved out-of-state travel and out-of-state and overnight field trips;

• Approved the monthly capital outlay projects report;

• Approved special lease agreements; and,

• Approved Dr. Hightower’s membership in Leading Ed Solutions Professional Development.

Next meeting: 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.

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