Kingsport school board moves annual president, vice president elections

Rick Wagner • Nov 14, 2019 at 8:30 PM

KINGSPORT — The Board of Education is tweaking the way it chooses a president and vice president.

The BOE voted at its Tuesday meeting on the first and only reading of a proposal to revise its policy on electing its president and vice president. Those elections had taken place at the July meeting after any new board members took office. The change means the two will be chosen in June, after the May city elections in odd-numbered years, but the new officers would not begin their terms until July.

This way, the old board would know who was staying on and who didn’t get re-elected so it could elect officers. Members could make it known if they were willing to seek or would agree to serve as president or vice president during a mini retreat in April.

During a full BOE retreat earlier this year, new member Jim Welch said it was not fair for him and new member Julie Byers to have to vote on a president and vice president at their first voting meeting.

The board had considered a policy change that would not allow anybody who was up for re-election to be chosen president or vice president, but with only five board members that could result in a situation where three people would be on the ballot and/or not running, in effect forcing the two others to be president and vice president.

The BOE also revised its policy on having to have a minimum of a two-thirds majority vote to pass or amend a policy without prior public notice. Welch had said it would be mathematically impossible to have a two-thirds vote if all five members were voting, as would a three-fourths vote, but the board decided to go with a minimum of a two-third majority, which would require four of five members to approve if all five were there, or three of four to approve if one was absent and two of three if two were absent.

The board also approved a housekeeping change in student wellness and on a consent agenda.

In other action Tuesday, the BOE:

— Recognized the Dobyns-Bennett High School girls cross country team for being 2019 state champions. The group, coached by Bill Bingham, includes senior Sasha Neglia, who won the 2019 TSSAA individual state championship. Others on the seven-member team are senior Emma Russum, senior Julianna McReynolds, freshman Autumn Headrick, senior Gracie Allen, sophomore Macee Pickup and junior Morgan Cordell.

Neglia won her third individual championship, matching Carla McCready (1993-95) as D-B’s only three-time champs. She also became the ninth female to win the individual title at least three times. Her time of 17:22.9 over 5 kilometers is in the top five all-time at Percy Warner, where the state meet was held.

— Heard a presentation from Lincoln Elementary Principal Suzanne Zahner, Associate Principal Leigh Ann Sheppard and others about how the school was named a 2019-20 Gold Demonstration School by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It serves as an exemplary model for schools throughout Northeast Tennessee.

— Recognized D-B Advanced Placement biology teacher Kristina “Kris” Krautkremer for being selected for a Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the state in the science category. She won $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and got to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with other honorees for professional development. She said the others were in awe of the support Kingsport City Schools gives, which she said was part of why she won the award.

— Awarded tenure to 27 teachers who have served at least five of the past seven years in Kingsport City Schools and proven themselves above or significantly above expectations.