By David Meade
The Anderson School District One Board of Trustees packed alot into their first meeting of 2017 held in the library at Palmetto High School.
Board members approved a construction bid for Wren projects, adopted the 2017-18 school calendar, renewed the superintendent’s contract, recommended a new trustee member.
They also announced that the Palmetto High Auditorium will be named in honor of long time Board Chairman Fred Alexander, who died in November.
District One Finance Director Travis Thomas reported Anderson County collected Local Option Sales Tax revenue of $4,296,000 for the months of November and December. Anderson District One received 30.5 percent or $1,314,000. Of that, $262,000 goes to debt relief while $1,051,000 will go to capital improvement projects.
January is School Board Recognition Month and Superintendent David Havird praised the District One Trustees for the countless hours invested and their support of public education.
Havird said the board has a combined 92 years of service.
He also pointed out that around the state there were only 14 board members recognized with a 20 year pin. “We had three at twenty years or more,” Havird said.
Principals from across the District were also present to recognize the board. Principals placed books in each of the school libraries in honor of board members.
Havird read a proclamation by the SC School Board which focuses on ethical principles. The poster was signed by board members and will be framed and displayed at the District offices.
During the presentation, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Jane Harrison said board members “Lead a district that has been deisgnated as excellent for five years in a row.”
“You always act in the best interest of our students make thoughtful decisions and set the tone for the culture in District One,” Harrison said.
Assistant Superintendent for Administration Robbie Binnicker reported the school nutritional program for November was down about 100 meals from 2015 but still showed a profit of $62,000 which was higher than Nov. last year at $47,000.
Binnicker reported that for December they were down about 100 meals per day and December only showed a profit of $11,000 compared to $31,000 last year.
Year to date the nutrition program is showing a profit of $87,000 compared to being $12,000 in the red this time last year.
Binnicker said that a new program is being introduced to the High Schools called “Smart Mouth Pizza” which features pizza and calzones. Wren will be the first to enjoy the new menu.
The board unanimously approved a construction bid of $4,857,378 by MB Kahn for projects at Wren. The projects include a new Field House, Tennis Courts, Storage Building renovation, Ticket Booth, Concession, Restroom and parking facilities.
The Board approved the 2017-18 School Calendar which is similar to the present calendar however it will not include a Fall Break, because there is no election day in 2017, according to Superintendent Havird.
Binnicker chaired the calendar review committee for the five Anderson County School Districts.
Following a brief executive session for a legal update, contractural matter and personnel, the board unanimously approved a recommendation that Pat Cox be considered to serve as the Board of Trustees Member for Area Four (West Pelzer).
If approved by the County Board of Education, Cox will fill the seat left vacant by the death of Board Chairman Fred Alexander.
The Board also approved the Superintendent’s contract for 2017-18.
Superintendent David Havird read a proclamation honoring Fred Alexander for his years of service to Anderson School District One and the District One Board of Trustees. Alexander served on board for 26 years, many as Chairman.
The proclamation also stated that Alexander will be memorialized by having the Palmetto High School Auditorium named for him.
The proclamation was also read during a special ceremony held in the auditorium following the Board meeting.
The presentation included family members being presented a framed photo and proclamation by District One Superintendent David Havird and a special State House resolution presented by House District 10 Rep. Joshua Putnam,
District One State Champion athletes and teams were also recognized.
Wren swimmer Katie Brakish was recognized for winning the 2016 AAAA State Championship in the 100 yard freestyle. Brakish is a ninth grader at Wren.
Palmetto swimmer Tal Davis was recognized for his swimming accomplishments including winning the 2016 AAA State Championship in 200 individual medley and 500 meter freestyle. Davis will compete on the University of Georgia swim team next year.
The Palmetto High Girls Cross Country Team was recognized for their AAA State Championship. The team includes several all region and all state runners who will be recognized by the SCHSL soon.
The Palmetto High Competitive Cheer Team was recognized for being 2016 AAA State Champions
Other District One State Champion teams including the Powdersville Boys Cross Country Team and the Powdersville Band will be recognized at a future Board meeting.