BOE provides new accounting across schools
By SHERRY DIGMON
The Escambia County Board of Education voted Friday, February 11, to purchase NextGen Financial Solution, which will provide new accounting software in every school. Superintendent Michele McClung said Escambia County is the only county in the state not on this system. The cost is $167,230.
Board member Cindy Jackson asked Chief School Financial Officer Julie Madden for comments about the program since her department will be responsible for implementing NextGen across the schools.
Madden said she found out shortly before the board meeting that the item was on the agenda, and had no idea what the proposal included as far as components, training, etc. Though she was in favor of the purchase, she said she would like to have 30 days to review the proposal, hold meetings and make a plan for implementation.
By a 5 to 2 vote, the board approved the purchase. Jackson and Sherry Digmon cast the two “no” votes.
Jackson said she was in favor of the purchase, but felt Madden’s department should be given time to prepare, and the purchase could be approved at the next meeting.
Digmon later released this statement:
“I’m very much in favor of our purchase of NextGen,” Digmon said. “My only objection was not affording Ms. Madden and the financial department an opportunity to become familiar with NextGen and to plan its implementation. With that said, I have no doubt Ms. Madden and her team will do all in their power to make the transition as seamless as possible and to help everyone involved become proficient with the new system.
“I do appreciate our superintendent seeing the need for this program and bringing it to the board. It’s one more example of her commitment and the board’s commitment to bringing our school system up to speed.”
Again this month, members of the board joined Superintendent McClung in honoring several students, teachers and public servants for recent accomplishments and service.
Two teachers were recognized as Escambia County School Teacher of the Year – Leslie Wedgeworth, Flomaton Elementary School, Elementary Teacher of the Year; and Tyler Parker, Escambia County Middle School, Secondary Teacher of the Year. [See related story on page 1A.]
Two students were recognized for winning the county spelling bee – first place, Bradley Campbell, Pollard-McCall Junior High School; runner-up, Caleb Ware, Flomaton Elementary School.
Superintendent McClung recognized Mallory Marky, Escambia Career Readiness Center, who was selected to represent the local HOSA chapter at the 2022 HOSA State Leadership Conference and Competition. (HOSA – Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America).
The superintendent presented a certificate of appreciation to Sheriff Heath Jackson, and a certificate of appreciation to County Commissioner Fletcher “Scottie” Stewart for their commitment and dedication to the Escambia County School System.
McClung also presented her good news report citing several good things going on in the schools.
In other business, the board
* approved an overnight field trip for the W.S. Neal High School softball team to Gulf Shores, March 21 through March 23.
* approved an overnight field trip for Mallory Marky, Escambia Career Readiness Center, to the HOSA state level competition in Montgomery, February 24, 2022 through February 25.
* approved the 2022-2023 school calendar.
* heard updates from Deputy of Operations Shaun Goolsby on facilities and construction projects. He presented renderings of the proposed new field house at Escambia County High School. This is in the very early stages, with no decision being made at this time.
A couple of the renderings included a heated pool and covered practice field. One board member from the other end of the county said (good naturedly), “No, no, none of the other schools have that!”
Board President Coleman Wallace asked about the possibility of getting a track at ECHS. “We’d like to see the high school offer track,” he said. “It could help some of our kids get scholarships.”
* voted to expel an Escambia County High School Student for a period of up to one calendar year for violation of the Escambia County School System Board Policy / Student Code of Conduct. Student will continue to receive services at Escambia County Alternative School for one year per IEP (Individualized Education Program).
The board approved the following personnel recommendations by McClung.
1. Misty Hawkes, special education aide, Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective January 31, 2022
2. Tonya Ragan, counselor, W.S. Neal High School, effective February 7, 2022
3. Laurine Darnell, bus driver, Atmore Bus Shop, effective January 18, 2022
4. Nickolas Lambeth, bus driver, Atmore Bus Shop, effective February 11, 2022
1. Kendria Jackson, teacher aide, Escambia County Middle School, effective February 14, 2022
2. Malorie Buckhault, teacher, (STEM/Robotics Program), Academic Recovery Response Plan After School Program, Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective February 15, 2022 (replacing Emily Dean)
3. Jacob Middleton, teacher aide, Academic Recovery Response Plan After School Program, Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective February 15, 2022
4. Mary Caupp, counselor, W.S. Neal High School, effective February 14, 2022 (replacing Tonya Ragan)
5. Billy Baggett, utility / groundskeeper, Atmore Maintenance Department, effective March 1, 2022
6. Brandon Stophel, Utility / Groundskeeper, Atmore Maintenance Department, effective March 1, 2022
1. Takecia Barlow, Escambia County Middle School, non-renewal of principal’s contract, effective June 30, 2022
1. Michael Parker, part-time driver’s education teacher, Escambia County High School, effective February 14, 2022 through May 20, 2022
This article is written in my capacity as Atmore News publisher, not as a BOE member, and I am not speaking for the board. SD