By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
The Cleveland School District Board of Trustees held its final meeting of the year this week.
Though in the middle of the school year, the year 2020 will come with change as District 4 Trustee Dr. Chresteen Seals will be succeeded by Lucille Holmes, former counselor of East Side High School, after the general election result in November.
Trustee Richard Boggs praised Seals in her final board meeting.
“Dr. Seals, thank you. You’ve been an excellent board member,” Boggs said. “I don’t think anybody will ever realize the decisions we had to make the last four years, very difficult decisions. I appreciate your leadership, your advice. It meant a lot to us.”
Seals was gracious towards all present.
“It has been a pleasure working with you guys and girls,” Seals said. “Really, we did go over a lot of hurdles and we worked it out in a very good way. We didn’t always agree but in the end, it was the board, the five of us. I want to say thank you all so much.
“It was a pleasure working with you, most of the time,” Seals joked.
Superintendent Dr. Otha Belcher reported that annual district attendance thus far is 94.2 percent.
“A little bit lower than what we want it to be at a 95,” Belcher said. “We had a flu epidemic to come through and bad strep throat at the middle school as well. It was pretty bad, missing a lot of kids and a lot of grown-ups as well.”
Belcher announced the district job fair would be Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Belcher recognized CCHS biology teacher Shelby Collins as the district’s teacher of the year and CCHS principal Brian Foster as administrator of the year. The two will be the district’s nominees for the respective state awards.
Belcher reported that all district safety drills are up to date. The district has completed four fire drills, a lockdown drill, an earthquake drill, a tornado drill and a bus drill.
The board also recognized CCHS biology teacher Margaret Smith-Black who was awarded 2019 Biology Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Biology Teachers.
Maintenance director Michael Harrington said Nailor Elementary School’s roof replacement has been completed.
The board approved the final payment of $24,940 to Roy Collins Construction to close out that project.
Technology director Neil Gong reported a major Internet outage for the district that lasted from last two days before it was restored.
He said the outage was due to an issue with the provider not the district.
Gong said camera and door installation has been completed for Cleveland’s Vo-Tech Center and the maintenance building. Wiring has been completed at the bus shop and central office.
Gong estimated the security upgrades are more than halfway through, with most of the wiring completed throughout the district and following up with hardware installation.
A proposal of collaboration was approved for the district to work with the Family Resource Center for an after-school program for Cleveland Central Middle School.
It comes at no cost to the district.
The board approved the start of a feasibility study for facilities improvement.
“This is the start of a study to see what we can, what we cannot do pertaining to upgrading our facilities to get an upstart,” Belcher said. “I think this the first step of what we need to look in to.”
The next board meeting was approved for Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.