School board to restore CCHS dean of students |

School board to restore CCHS dean of students

Christine Kuklica
The Churchill County School District selected the bid of the lowest appraiser to appraise the Plummer's Building at 50 E. Virginia St., in preparation for sale of the building.
Steve Ranson / LVN |

The Churchill County School Board of Trustees voted Thursday to restore the dean of students position after a $2.3 million deficit caused a reduce of force.

School Board President Ron Evans said at the last board meeting of June, Churchill County High School Principal Kevin Lords stressed the importance of the Dean of Students position for the high school. He said that because Lords made a strong plea for the position he feels that the position should be reinstated at the high school.

Trustee Matt Hyde said although he understands the reasoning for the dean of students, he believes that the district should also be concerned with getting back the athletic trainer position.

It didn’t take long for the trustees to decide to bring back the position.

Debbie Smotherman, CCMS office manager and president of the Classified Association, said she has concerns with the trustees’ decisions.

“Everyone in the district has been asked to take on more, to do more,” she said. “The teachers with the RIF are asked to take more students in their classroom, classified employees, custodians aren’t being replaced so now they’re taking on more too.”

Smotherman said her concern is the high school has almost 200 more students on campus than the middle school. She said the high school already has two vice principals and the middle school only has one.

“My question is, if everyone else is asked to take on more … why aren’t the high school vice principals and principal not asked to take a little bit more on themselves? We’re loading up the high school again, when everyone else in the district is being asked to take on more.”

Churchill County Juvenile Probation Officer Darin Hammer sang a different tune than Smotherman at the meeting. He said the dean of students position has bridged a gap between the adults and the students. He said in the last month of school, there were zero violent acts that took place at the high school when usually that’s their highest month.

“I’m able to work with the dean who is actively involved with the students and has a relationship with them; that makes it easier for us when interacting with the students,” he said. “We over at the juvenile probation office are seeing a difference in the number of incidents a year and we’re seeing a difference in the students … this position is highly valuable to us.”

Smotherman said she too believes that the position is important and that Darrell Parson, former dean of students, has played a valuable role with the students but she would like the district to give the high school principal and vice principals a trial period to see if those individuals can take on extra work and make it work.

Parson said he had talked to Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon a few months back about the importance of the position and that he’d be willing to make adjustments on his salary if needed to bring the position back.

Although Parson has been in talks with the district, it is still unclear on the process for filling the position.

Other items the trustee approved or discussed included the following:

Approved the lowest bidder to appraise the Plummer’s Building in preparation for sale.

Approved change order to A&K Earthmovers’ contract for the CCHS auxiliary gym site package.

Approved districts technology implementation plan.

Approved revised terms of contract for Phyllys Dowd, director of Business Services; Dawn Whitten, director of Food Services; Steve Russell, director of Transportation; and Brian Byrd, director of Maintenance.