January 15, 2013 11:02:35 AM
Sarah Fowler - firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbus Municipal School District has named their Administrator of the Year.
Patricia Overstreet, principal of Franklin Elementary Medical Sciences and Wellness Magnet School, received the award during Monday night's school board meeting.
She has been with the district 10 years, serving as principal at Franklin for four years. She was also principal of Mitchell Elementary and assistant principal at Hunt Intermediate School.
A graduate of Mississippi State University, she holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in educational leadership.
She started her academic career teaching seventh and eighth grade science at Choctaw Middle School in Philadelphia, where she also worked with NASA as a science coordinator for kindergartners through 12th-graders at eight schools.
"Mrs. Patricia Overstreet is a committed educator who has given 10 years of service to Columbus Municipal School District," CMSD Superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell said.
"She was instrumental in developing and implementing the medical sciences and wellness magnet school curriculum at Franklin. Last school year, Franklin Academy was one of two schools in Columbus School District where students met and exceeded their growth expectations on state assessments. She is very deserving of this honor to have been chosen as CMSD's Administrator of the Year by colleagues, peers and district leaders."
Also recognized during the meeting were 2013 Teachers of the Year Melanie Ford, Sarah Oswalt, Lucy McKellar, Kandra Wilkins, Evans Dawson, Tracey Agerton, Kimberly Musselman, Erica Lewis and Talecia Scott.
In other news, Terry McCool of Point of Grace Church inquired about the sale of Lee Middle School, for which the church offered $175,000 in June 2012. The board rejected the bid, but church officials remained interested in the 14-acre property, with Pastor Shane Cruse approaching the board again in November to ask about rebidding.
"Is the property for sale?" McCool asked board members.
Board President Tommy Prude said he and the board members planned to discuss the matter in executive session.
"Once we make that decision, we will definitely let you know," he said.
The board also voted on several financial matters, including Project 2020 and personnel issues.
The board unanimously approved the purchase of 75 Rosetta Stone licenses costing $8,175 for 40 ELL (English Language Learners) students. Assistant Superintendent Anthony Brown said each student will need two different license numbers to run the foreign language program at home and at school.
The board also received two separate checks for Project 2020, the school's proposed dropout prevention program.
Omnova Solutions donated $5,000 to the project to help with the cost of brochures. Mississippi Department of Education awarded the school a $25,000 dropout prevention grant.
Board member Aubra Turner questioned a stipulation in the contract with MDE that said MDE has partial ownership in the project if CMSD accepted the funds. Grant Coordinator Janette Adams said every grant received came with a contract and certain stipulations.
Both issues regarding Project 2020 were passed unanimously.
A question over hiring additional personnel caused the board to go into a brief executive session. Turner said she objected to the proposed salary, expected to be around $37,970, for the new hire, who will serve as school board clerk and assistant to the deputy superintendent.
"I question that salary when we have teachers and other administrators not making that amount," she said.
Liddell said the salary was based on a scale and she hopes the district will be able to offer raises to teachers in the coming year.
The motion passed with Turner casting the lone dissenting vote.
Dr. Craig Shannon then made a safety presentation to the board which included the new security measures in place throughout the district. Shannon said in light of the New Town, Conn. shooting, each outside entrance is now locked after classes begin each morning. Shannon said the district hopes to install buzzers and security cameras in every school in the coming months. He also hopes to hire an additional school resource officer next year.
Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Hughes then addressed the board to discuss the monthly budget report.
Turner noted that board members used to get itemized reports of CMSD staff who attended training seminars and then were reimbursed with school funds and questioned why she and other members no longer received the reports. Liddell told Turner she would look into the situation.
Prude then reminded fellow board members of the board retreat Jan. 19 at the Wingate Inn in Columbus.
The board then went into executive session regarding potential litigation, student matters, a transaction and business discussion regarding prospective sale of land and a personnel matter.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @FowlerSarah