Cleveland City School Board Named Board Of Distinction

Monday, November 4, 2013 - by Tony Eubank
Pictured  from left to right are George Meacham, Dr. Murl Dirksen and Dawn Robinson
Pictured from left to right are George Meacham, Dr. Murl Dirksen and Dawn Robinson
- photo by Tony Eubank

Director of Cleveland City Schools Martin Ringstaff was pleased to announce that the Tennessee School Board Association has named the Cleveland City Schools Board of Education as a Board of Distinction. 

The TSBA recognizes the work of exceptional boards using criteria based on board planning, policy, promotion, and development.

Dr. Ringstaff also announced that Mayfield Elementary principle Kelly Kaiser was named the East Tennessee Principal of the Year. “We’re very proud to have one of the top three principals in the state, he obviously does a fantastic job for us, as do all of our principals,” stated Dr. Ringstaff.

Dr. Ringstaff continued in his praise of Mr. Kaiser, “You can’t say enough about the leadership he provides, I applaud him every single day.”

The board also went over the school system’s long-range facility plans.  Dr. Ringstaff presented the estimates for various repairs and improvements the Cleveland’s schools. Dr. Ringstaff stated that school system has about $250,000 to spend.  Board member Dr. Murl Dirksen emphasized the importance of prioritizing in order to make in order to make sure that money that isn’t there isn’t being spent.

Dr. Dirksen was highly in favor of a keyless entry system being installed at Cleveland Middle School. He estimated that the CMS keyless entry, Cleveland High gym roof, improvement to radio communications for CHS and CMS, buses, the Blythe Bower parking lot, Ross painting, and furniture for Arnold and E.L. Ross schools, the Teen Learning Center and CMS, would be about $245,000 altogether.  The board moved to approve all of the above-mentioned expenditures.

Paul Ramsey, energy education specialist for Cleveland schools, presented to the board the proposed fee list for the use of Cleveland City School facilities. These fees will only have to be paid by those who want to use the school facilities for private use or gain. School-related groups and Non-Profit organizations will be able to continue to use those same facilities free of charge. 

He said, “Right now we have a lot of groups using our facilities, and the philosophy of our team was we’re a community schools system and we want the community to be able to use our schools. So, actually it will be some what rare that we even lease it,” asserted Ramsey.

The board approved the first reading of some policy and procedure changes. Among these are included are some changes to the schools system’s application and employment process and graduation activities.

Board member Dawn Robinson read her Tennessee Legislative Network report. She warned that the School Voucher program is picking up steam and that Lawmakers are beginning hearings to discuss the role of the Tennessee textbook committee. “They’re going to talk a lot about digital textbooks and the use of technology instead of purchasing hardback books, which I think would be great,” stated Ms. Robinson.

Ms. Robinson also informed the board about the state’s new GED test. The test will be computerized, “They hope that the computer generated test will account for 20% more people passing the GED.”  

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