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SERC seeks help from principals

Concerns of utilizing Farragut-area principals to determine needs and forms of aid were discussed at the Town-chartered Farragut/Knox County School Education Relations Committee meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Farragut Primary School.

Committee chair Margaret Johns committed to contact Hardin Valley Academy principal Sallee Reynolds in hopes of hearing from her and receiving her input and school needs.

They discussed that Reynolds may not be aware HVA is within the committee’s reach.

“I'd like to see more of a response from Hardin Valley,” committee member and BB&T manager Carla Lyle said.

As for Hardin Valley Elementary School, Johns said it is not within reach of the committee because Farragut residents do not attend.

Johns shared research and presented the committee with potential area businesses open to helping schools.

In Johns' presentation, she offered a timeline for the committee in order for it to accomplish its basic goals – such as holding a fundraiser and finalizing a budget for Board of Mayor and Alderman (with a deadline of June 1).

Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer said in response, “I'd like to see more of a showing among principals. The [proposed] timeline is dependent upon their involvement.”

The committee needs their monthly input in order to be a help to the schools, Palmer added.

At the end of January's scheduled monthly meeting, Heather Marshall shared her desire to start a paper drive for Farragut area schools. Marshall hopes to reach out to area businesses for the paper drive – thus helping schools and area businesses.

In Marshall's absence at the interim January meeting, Johns brought into discussion Knox County schools’ “Partners in Education,” found on-line Knox County Schools Web site. The current list, however, is being updated and is not complete.

Shannon Warden, committee member and Farragut Intermediate School PTA president, was quick to say there is a separate list of businesses willing to help public schools through the PTA.

Lyle said there must be other businesses similar to BB&T’s approach to helping children.

According to Lyle, BB&T donates monetarily and encourages employees to donate time – two needs each of the four Farragut schools has expressed. The Farragut BB&T branch works primarily with Farragut High School.

Lyle’s research since the Jan. 6 meeting involved determining the limits and guidelines for school fundraisers.

Lyle said schools are allowed two big fundraisers (school coupon book sales count as one). However, proposals may be made to Knox County and often are approved. Also, individual business donations or fundraisers are not included in the limit.

“[Knox County] doesn’t want kids going door to door,” Lyle said.

Johns noticed committee member Betty Clemens has missed at least three committee meetings. According to the committee’s charter, a committee member who has been absent for three or more meetings may be ousted from the committee with the approval of BOMA.

Johns met with Clemens, who was recovering from a fall at NHC Assisted Living. Johns reported that “Betty wants to contribute.” After sharing specifics with the committee, the committee chose to keep Clemens.

“We can use all the help we can get,” committee secretary Margaret Littlejohn said.

Johns said at the February committee meeting, Clemens plans to offer a report on a graduation seminar she attended last year.

Farragut Primary School principal Julia Craze and Town administrator assistant Valerie Millsapps also were present at the meeting.

Other absent committee members were Marshall, Alderman John Williams and, for medical reasons, Thomas Deakins, School Board member for District 6.

The next school committee meeting will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb., 3 at Town Hall.


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