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Board selects Engle as vice-chairman

During a brief meeting on Thursday, Oct. 9, the Unicoi County Board of Education chose its vice-chairman and athletic council representative for the next year.
Garland “Bubba” Evely nominated Tyler Engle to be the vice-chairman. Lisa White nominated Steve Willis. Four votes from the six-member board were required for an individual to be elected.
The board voted on Engle first. He received five “yes” votes (from himself, Evely, Willis, Cathy Thomas and Dwight Bennett). White voted against Engle. Because Engle received at least four votes, the board did not vote on Willis’ nomination.
Garland then nominated Willis to be the board’s athletic council representative. No other nominations were made. Willis received five “yes” votes (from Engle, White, Evely, Thomas and Bennett). Willis abstained from the vote.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, a brief discussion was held regarding the school resource officers (SRO) stationed at county schools. The school system has considered stationing security guards from Murray Guard at some of the schools – particularly those that were previously served by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
Due to cuts to the UCSD budget, Sheriff Mike Hensley has previously said that funding for SROs might not be available. This led Director of Schools Denise Brown to begin discussions with Murray Guard to provide security at some of the schools.
Brown said during Thursday’s meeting that all schools currently have an SRO provided by either the UCSD or the Erwin Police Department. She also said the system is waiting for a response from Murray Guard about moving forward with the proposal.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., and Busch Gardens in May 2015;
• Approved the members of the discipline hearing board for 2014-2015. The appointed members are Mindy Myers, Tommy Clouse, Debra Lane, Shelia Oliver and George Hall;
• Approved the 2014-2015 Unicoi County Middle School basketball schedule.
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The board’s next work session is scheduled for Nov. 10. The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13. Both meetings will be held at the central office on Nolichucky Avenue in Erwin.