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Published on Friday, October 5, 2018

Board of education approves settlement with split vote

Marlboro County Board of Education members approved a settlement agreement with former superintendent Dr. Helena Tillar at their October board meeting Monday evening with a vote of 6-2-1.
Board members Jackie Branch, Janice Bright, Nan Fleming, Macky Norton, Rev. Artemus Woods, and Board Secretary Barbara Ohanesian voted yes.
Board chairman Lucy Parsons and member Danny Driggers voted no while Vice Chairman Michael Coachman abstained from voting.
The agreement was reviewed with the board during an executive session prior to the meeting.
Ohanesian said they were doing this in the best interest of the district so they can move on.
"And in order to save in further attorney's fees or any issuance of legal action. We believe this is in the best interest of all parties involved with this agreement," she said.
Also during the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Gregory McCord announced makeup days since students, teachers, and staff were out of school for nine days due to Hurricane Florence.
He recommended October 15, Feb. 22, March 15 and May 27 as makeup days. January 17 will be a regular school day.
He suggested an additional change since the state says for high school students to receive the credit they must accrue 120 seat time hours, which is a total of 85 days.
This means first semester would end Jan. 18 so they can meet the 85 days. Then he added professional development day on Jan. 22 to allow students and staff to transition to second semester.
"This would allow us to continue with early release Tuesdays," he said.
For 240-day employees, makeup days would be Oct. 12, Oct. 15, Nov. 6, Nov. 21, Feb. 15, Feb. 18 and May 27.
McCord suggested board members wait for the legislators to guide them on additional makeup days. He reminded them as a board they can waive three days and request an additional three-day waiver from the state.
"I am asking we hold off on that until we find out what the state is recommending," he said.
Also during the meeting, Marlboro County High School Principal Derwin Farr announced a partnership between the Sheriff's Office and the school.
Farr said they have agreed to partner with them to provide security for the varsity and junior varsity football games for the remainder of the season.
"This partnership will save the school $6,000-$10,000 depending on how far we go in the playoffs," he said. "And they are going to work the JV games for us for free."
In other business, the board of education members also:
--approved recommendations for a fourth-grade teacher for Bennettsville Intermediate School and a seventh/ eighth-grade teacher for Wallace Elementary Middle School;
--had first reading to establish a new policy, revision of policy AC--Nondiscrimination/Equal, revision of policy GBA--Open Hiring/Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, revision of policy GCE--Professional Staff Recruitment, revision of policy GCEC--Posting and Advertising of Professional Vacancies, revision of policy GCF--Professional Staff Hiring, and revision of policy GDF--Support Staff Hiring.
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Author: Dan McNiel

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