Union COunty BOard of Education

UC Little League gets 4 year use contract from BOE

The Union County Board of Education approved a use contract for four years at the field located below the sheriff's office on Hwy 33. Mary Ann Stackhouse, attorney for the BOE, recommended the approval. Stackhouse will be retiring this year, but the Board also extended the services of her affiliated firm with different legal representation.

School board increases salaries, prepares for HMMS construction

Finance Director Missy Brown explains the new salary schedule for teachers and other budget changes.

All Union County teachers will see an increase in their pay this school year. The Union County Board of Education approved a revised teacher salary scale at its meeting on January 11.
Missy Brown, finance director, explained that the additional increase is necessary to put the salary schedule on track to meet the $50,000 state mandated beginning salary in 2028. She further noted that the additional funding will come from the state TISA Growth monies and the pay increases do keep us competitive with surrounding counties.

BOE adopts 2024-25 calendar with early release days

The Union County School Board approved the 2024-2025 calendar at its November meeting. Most of the calendar was very similar to past years.
However, the addition of six early release days sparked some discussion. The early release days would close school at 1 p.m. rather than 3:15. Carolyn Murr, a Maynardville teacher and president of UCEA, voiced a concern for parents including teachers who would need to find additional daycare during the work day.

BOE funds Raptor System and maintenance needs

Josh Williams, Union County Public Schools Supervisor of Safety, explains the Raptor Emergency management system to the BOE.

The Union County Board of Education agreed to purchase a Visitor Management System as a component of the Raptor System that is already in place. Josh Williams, Supervisor of Safety, explained to school board members that the Raptor System manages and tracks the data for all fire drills, disaster drills and all real-life emergencies that may require a lockdown or evacuation.

Grants, mowing, equipment on BOE agenda

Ashley Scurlock of Cumberland discusses
the Clean Bus Grant with the School Board.
The grant provides two electric buses.

Two grants, mowing bids, and audio recording equipment appeared on the special called meeting of the Union County Board of Education last month.
Spring has arrived, the grass is growing and the former mowing contractor has gone out of business.
The Central Finance Purchasing Agent bid out a new contract that was much the same as the previous one. But the BOE requested that the contract only be for a partial calendar year and asked if a better use of funds would be to add one or two maintenance employees to mow.

BOE approves new director contract, Greg Clay at helm

Meeting on the HMMS Stage, BOE Chairman Marty Gibbs discusses the new director's contract while board member Andrew Reed listens, and Dr. Ronnie Mincey records his comments.

January 30 was the first day on the job for Greg Clay, the new Director of Union County Schools. At the regular meeting on January12, the Union County Board of Education approved a motion by Brad Griffey to accept a three-year contract as negotiated with a minor change to delete the word academic and broaden the scope of the four performance goals.

BOE names Greg Clay as director of schools

The BOE discusses contract negotiations regarding the new director, Mr. Greg Clay.

At its December 20, 2022, the Union County Board of Education elected to negotiate a director's contract with Washburn Principal Gregory Clay. Clay had been employed as a teacher and a principal at Horace Maynard Middle School. The announcement brought a round of applause from the audience.

School board votes to purchase sound system for meetings

The Union County Board of Education will have a new sound system that will include individual microphones that can be controlled by the member and a central location such as the chairperson. The board's action at its November meeting addresses concerns from board members and parents who had difficulty hearing the discussion at the meetings. Chip Brown offered the board several options but recommended the local vendor known as Avco because of the high quality at less expense.

BOE approves finalists for director

Dr. Tammy Grissom shares the TSBA recommendations for director with the Union County Board of Education.

The Union County Board of Education approved two candidates for consideration for director as recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association in a special called meeting on Monday, December 5, 2022. Ten applicants were considered by TSBA and the two recommended were Angela Messer, a Knox County Supervisor of Music, who will interview on Wednesday, December 14, and Gregory Clay, a Grainger County Principal, who will interview on Monday, December 19.

Employing a new Director of Schools

The Union County Board of Education will be employing a new Director of Schools. A key part of this process is to provide everyone an opportunity to be heard. Dr. Tammy Grissom, Executive Director of the Tennessee School Boards Association, will lead a forum designed to determine views about the issues and challenges facing our school system and Director of Schools.

Outgoing BOE members recognized

Gerald Smith from Plainview receives his plaque for twenty years of service.

The Union County Board of Education has decided to meet at various schools for many of the 2022-2023 meetings. In August, the board met at Luttrell Elementary School.
It was a fitting venue to pay tribute to the outgoing board member of Plainview, Gerald Smith. Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Schools, thanked Smith for his 20 years of service and acknowledged his effort at Luttrell Elementary where he was also a parent volunteer for many years, especially when his daughter was a student.

Board appoints Dr. Carter interim until September

The Union County Board of Education placed Dr. Jimmy Carter as the interim director at its called June 23 meeting. The action was the culmination of a series of events that left the district without a director for a short time.
Parents had voiced concerns at the May and June board of education meetings regarding bullying, vaping and other student behaviors. Carter abruptly resigned after the parents spoke on June 9.

Parents voice concerns about middle school behavior, discipline

A dozen or so parents with concerns about Horace Maynard Middle School attended the Union County Board of Education meeting in May. Jessica Waggoner, the spokesperson, said that her fifth grader was terrified at the thought of being a student in the middle school next year.
Waggoner listed vaping, fights in the bathrooms and punishing everyone for the bad behavior of some as issues to be addressed. Another parent echoed these issues and added that bathrooms need adult monitors. One grandmother suggested that the middle school needs a PTO and better communication with parents.

BOE reviews FY 23 budget and calendar amendments

Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Carter and Finance Director Missy Brown shared estimates in revenues and expenditures for the FY23 School Budget at the Union County Board of Education Meeting on April 12.
Projected increases in revenue include local sales tax, the virtual school payment, and BEP growth funds. Salaries as well as equipment and supply costs account for most of the expenditure increases.

BOE offers telehealth, UC schools win state awards

The Union County Board of Education will partner with East Tennessee Children's Hospital to offer telehealth with parent permission for routine minor illnesses. The service will be available at Luttrell Elementary, Paulette Elementary, Horace Maynard Middle School and Union County Pre-K.
The partnership was approved with Brad Griffey in charge of the meeting on March 10, due to the absence of chair Coppock and vice-chair Gibbs. Dr. Jimmy Carter, director of schools, chaired the workshop.

School Board recognizes school leaders and thanks legislators

A group of students talking to the school board members about leadership.

Big Ridge Elementary School Student Council explains the projects and responsibilities of being a member. Each student received a certificate for their participation from Dr. Lauren Effler on behalf of the Union County Board of Education.

The Union County Board of Education recognized two school leadership groups and two state legislators at the February meeting. Dr. Kim Turner organized the Big Ridge Elementary Student Council as a way to grow school leaders. The council began small, but this year grew to have representatives for each grade level.

School Board honors Paulette Beta Club

A group of children and their teacher at a meeting

At the workshop of its January meeting, the Union County Board of Education recognized and congratulated the Paulette Elementary School Beta Club for its achievements at the Tennessee Elementary Beta Club Convention. Dr. Lauren Effler, Supervisor of Instruction, introduced each student and presented each a Certificate of Recognition for Achievement.

BOE names architect for middle school, fieldhouse named for Coach Kerr

The Union County Board of Education approved Lewis Group of Knoxville as architects for the proposed middle school in its December meeting.
Carrie Cooke, Purchasing Agent for the Union County Finance Office, chaired the nine-member committee. After several meetings over more than two months, the committee interviewed the highest qualified from the eleven firms who were interested in the project. Those firms made presentations and were ranked by the committee.

Reed elected BOE chair pro tem

Periodic absences for various reasons continue to cause the Union County Board of Education to barely have a quorum.
At the November school board meeting, Chairman David Coppock and Vice Chairman Marty Gibbs were absent along with Brad Griffey from Luttrell. Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Union County Schools, chaired the workshop and oversaw the election of Andrew Reed, who represents District 6 (Paulette), as the Chairman Pro Tem to preside at the November meeting.