By JONAH LOSSIAH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Monday, Oct. 21 meeting of the Cherokee Central Schools (CCS) Board of Education was called to order at 4:45 pm with Chairperson Jennifer Thompson; Vice Chair Isaac Long; Secretary Tara Reed-Cooper; Board members Gloria Griffin, Karen French-Browning, and Regina Ledford-Rosario; School Board Assistant Sunnie Clapsaddle; HR Director Heather Driver; CCS Finance Director Howard Wahnetah; Superintendent Dr. Michael Murray; and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Beverly Payne present. There was no Tribal Council representative present. Wolftown Rep. Chelsea Saunooke is the primary representative, and Vice Chairman David Wolfe is the alternate.
French-Browning led the opening prayer, then the Board approved the minutes and agenda from the Oct. 7 meeting.
The majority of this meeting was made up of reports presented by guests. The first to visit were William Lowe and Ashford Smith to deliver the Cherokee Boy’s Club (CBC) finance report. Lowe said that it is early, but that nothing on the report seems to be troublesome at this time.
The next guests were Michael Yannette and the CCS chamber singers. Yannette was there to present an update on the cost of their upcoming trips across the state and to Washington D.C. to perform “Si Otsedoha”. Before his presentation, they offered to sing a portion of the show for the Board. They filled the room with their voices for just over six minutes.
Afterwards, Yannette handed out a report of the budget and expenses for the trips. They will be performing in Asheville, Raleigh, Greensboro, and D.C. The group has almost raised enough money to cover all the expenses for their travels, though one major, lingering cost was their show in Greensboro at the State School Board meeting.
“I feel like we should pay for it,” said Chairperson Thompson. “We have our discretionary fund. This is something that these kids, potentially it could be their career. It’s their chance to tell their side of our history. Which, as well all know, in history books it’s not written.”
Superintendent Murray said, “You’re not sure that your football team is going to win the state championship, but when it does it’s going to cost you ‘x’ amount. And, we didn’t tell those kids they couldn’t go participate, we made sure we found the money. These kids are every bit as just as important, and in my opinion, they have worked their butts off to get here.”
The Board decided unanimously to cover the $5,406.36 expense for that concert, and Yannette said that he would fundraise to cover the remaining expenses from the other trips.
The final guest was Brett Robertson who provided a report on the new smoke/vape detectors, cameras, and the gun-shot detection system. He said they have been testing the vape detectors and would be pushing them out to ‘problem areas’ in the school. This past weekend, they began installing the gun-shot detection system in the elementary school. They will finish in the elementary this upcoming weekend and will work on the middle school next.
Once Robertson exited, the Board quickly passed the consent agenda. There was only one item for this meeting, which approved David Luke Hyde as an afterschool helper for the Cherokee Elementary School.
The last piece of business for the meeting was to approve a new position at CCS, an alternative classroom teacher assistant. Again, the decision was quick and unanimous to do so.
HR Director Heather Driver then conducted a SCAN training for the Board for the remainder of the session.
The next meeting of the CCS Board of Education will occur Monday, Nov. 5 at 4:45pm.